Review: Hawkeye: L.A. Woman (vol. 3)

Posted 27 October, 2014 by Lianne in Comics / 0 Comments

Hakweye: L.A. Woman, vol. 3
By: Matt Fraction (writer)
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

Kate Bishop heads to Los Angeles to get away from New York, life, and Clint Barton – but not away from trouble! Because Madame Masque is hanging out at poolside with the rich and famous as well! As Kate helps a reclusive and Sixties-damaged pop music genius find his lost masterpiece, Madame Masque finds Kate. By which we mean starts trying to kill her again. This one has it all! Characters! Plot! Story! Dialogue! Theme! Meaning! Message! Action! A little exposition! Fire! Arrows! Criminals! Neighbors! Large bodies of water! Clients! Cops who don’t care! A system that victimizes the victims! The dog! In a broken town where cynicism and apathy has its claws around the throat of the good and decent, Lady Hawkguy is the only hero you can trust!

Collecting: Hawkeye Annual 1, Hawkeye 14, 16-18, 20.

I have really been enjoying Matt Fraction’s run on Hawkeye, having read volume 1 (review) and volume 2 (review). I wasn’t in any particular rush to check out volume 3, but after having heard that Fraction’s run was ending with volume 4, I bumped it up the reading list 😉

Volume 3 picks up from around…issue #15? The one featuring Lucky the dog. This time around we actually read the discussion that took place between Clint and Kate just before Kate took off to L.A. and as far away from Clint’s troubles as possible. But that doesn’t mean that trouble stays away; upon arriving in L.A. it’s just one bad trip after another for Kate; her experiences, and the bruises that go along with them, seem to reinforce, if anything, that Kate’s much like Clint than she even realises.

Her adventures in L.A. were interesting enough, a sort of coming-of-age in that Kate navigates through mysteries and sticky situations without Clint or the Young Avengers around for back-up. She meets friends and enigmatic figures who point the way throughout her investigations, but she also comes across enemies, including the familiar Madame Masque, as well as some shocking revelations close to home, as well as a taste of the shocking pragmatism that organisations like SHIELD can work under.

Kate Bishop’s adventures in L.A. were interesting, but I admit something was left wanting. I think it had to do with the lack of humour in her adventures; Clint is funny and his perspective on things colourful, which adds to his stories. Kate, while snappy and tough in her own right, lacks the extra oomph that can elevate a situation or the storytelling. Nonetheless it was interesting to follow Kate for a change, especially as she’s worked more or less as a sidekick or in the backdrop, and her adventures here sets up the stage for events in the next book. I look forward to seeing how this series wraps up in the next volume *tear*

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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