Review: Anchor Points (Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1) by Kelly Thompson (2017)

Rating: ★★★½
Genre: Graphic Novel, Contemporary
Categories: Questioning, Superheroes
Content Warnings: N/A
Buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Kate Bishop (ex-Young Avenger and Hawkeye 2, after training under Clint Barton) has struck out on her own, moving out to Venice, California while trying to find where her rich father has vanished to. She’s started her own detective agency, which would probably be more legit if she, you know, had $245 to spend on a license. But even without one, Venice has a lot to throw at Kate, from mind control cults to rampaging dragons. Kate is on the case!

Impression: Cute volume! Kate was a little more boy crazy and a lot more sassy (like, the words ‘sass’ and ‘sassy’ were used way too many times on page) than I remember from Young Avengers, but I guess studying under Clint will do the latter. (That, and new writers).

“Anchor Points” contains the first two stories in the new Hawkeye: Kate Bishop series, and they’re basically about bonds & the power of love and communication (given that it’s the ‘anchor points’ from the title). The resolution in both stories aren’t quite set up well enough for my tastes so they feel a little abrupt, and there are far too many quippy jokes for even half of them to land, but it’s still cute and fun.

The art itself is solid and charming, and I like the repeated motif of the targeting system in Kate’s head. Also, a cute side f/f pair and a brief reminder that Kate’s questioning if she’s bi.

There was one art problem which kept recurring, though: of course, pages normally are read left page, then right page. But sometimes we’d get two page spreads that weren’t clearly laid out as two-page spreads. Basically, there was nothing that crossed the break, just enclosed panels on each page, so there’d be no reason to think that you had to read across both pages instead of down one page first, and every single time it threw me out of the story because I’d read half the panels in a jumble, then realized when I moved onto the right page that it was a spread. Hopefully later volumes are better at clearly indicating spreads and not tripping up the reader.

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