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Hawkeye #14

by Charles Martin on January 03, 2018

Hawkeye #14
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Leonardo Romero
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

OMG, lookit dat cover! Kate Bishop smooching on Clint Barton! Legacy superhero incest! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

But if you've been reading this title regularly, you know Madame Masque is running around LA in a Kate Bishop clone-body sooo … 'nuff said? 'Nuff said.

The double Hawkeye caper that kicked off last month is still going. I was going to say "still going strong" but I think we've taken a small but distinct step down in quality this month.

This issue is Clint's time to shine. He bonds adorably with Kate's Scoobies, makes inevitable (but pretty funny) use of her frozen peas, and moves the issue along with one of the most epically stupid plans of all time.

We get to watch it fall apart with impressive speed and Kate immediately calls him on the stupidity, but it's still so dumb. Clint should really know better. So should Kelly Thompson, to be honest. On the plus side, there's plenty of snarky humour, including a potshot at Kate's infamous hip-holes. And there's something very Matt-Fraction-ish (in a very good way) about Clint making things worse by trying to help.

While Kate doesn't get a chance to punch anybody this month (shame), she does get a superb opportunity to unpack a big duffel bag full of maternal feelings in a meaningful, heartbreaking way. In another display of quality characterization, the "family" theme from the previous issue makes a superb and plot-critical reappearance at the climax. Ms. Thompson's script has a few weaknesses, but there's also plenty of great stuff here.

Clint's idiot plan throws us into a cliffhanger, though, so we've got at least one more issue of double Hawkeye shenanigans ahead of us. That could potentially be a great thing.

Leonardo Romero's art moves the story along, but it is, as ever, short of character detail. This issue isn't livened up by any of the fancy layouts or memorable settings Mr. Romero sometimes delivers. (Perhaps it's because Clint is our action star this month and he doesn't have Kate's awesome Archer-Vision? Wait, why wouldn't OG Hawkeye have Archer-Vision?) 

Even Jordie Bellaire's usually-vibrant colours are muted. Granted, the settings are dimly-lit, but that hasn't been cause for dialling down the palette before - recall the moody green basement in #11. The overall visual presentation isn't truly disappointing, but this issue, more than some previous ones, could have used a little more artistic pizzaz.

This is a satisfying enough issue if you're already invested in the title and the current story arc. That arc is still on track, and it may well end up being great. Once we're looking at it in hindsight, though, I doubt that #14 is going to stand out as a high point.
 

Our Score:

7/10

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