Volume 1note (2016 2018)
Written by Kelly Thompson and drawn by Leonardo Romero with covers by Julian Totino Tedesco.
Starring in her first solo title, this series follows the young heroine as she moves back to Los Angeles to resume her short-lived career as a private eye, which she last attempted in the "L.A. Woman" arc from Matt Fraction & David Aja's Hawkeye. With her mentor Clint Barton away on a grassroots approach to avenging, how will Kate manage by herself? As Kate finds out, not easily — but with the help of some friends both old and new, she might actually pull it off.
This run contains examples of the following tropes:
- A Day in the Limelight: Kate previously co-starred with Clint Barton in Matt Fraction's Hawkeye and Jeff Lemire's All-New Hawkeye, but this series is the first to feature Kate as the headliner of a Hawkeye comic.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: While in a clone of Kate's body, Madame Masque kisses Clint Barton, who finds that to be gross. Kate is simultaneously annoyed that Masque is so loose in her body and angry that Barton found kissing her to be unpleasant.
- Asshole Victim: Brad, a former employee of Mr. Bishop who Kate has been tailing in hopes of interrogating him, turns out to be a rude lying jerk. When he gets attacked by his ex-girlfriend-turned-dragon, Kate maneuvers to save his life, bitterly muttering about if this proves she's on the wrong side.
- Batman Gambit: When Kate receives her mother's necklace covered in blood and a note from Madame Masque, she assumes the intent is to lure her to Masque. It actually leads her to her father instead, where Masque listens in hopes that Mr. Bishop will explain how he got powers in his clone body.
- Blood Magic: Eden Vale can summon anyone from any point in space and time as long as she has a sample of their blood. However, the effects on bringing back the dead are not permanent.
- Big Brother Mentor:
- Jessica Jones —Marvel's preeminent private investigator and mentor/friend to Kate— shows for a few issues to help with a case.note
- Clint, the original/other Hawkeye, also guests for the final arc of the run with his own case he needs help with. This happens after the two's Generations one-shot, and continues the theme of how Kate sees Clint as a troubled, clumsy, but well-intentioned and ultimately a positive influence on her.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Literally with a gun this time. When we first meet Detective Rivera, she is wearing an ankle holster carrying a small pistol. Later Kate briefly notices one of the masked Take Back Control members is wearing an ankle holster, a clue that this is actually Detective Rivera undercover.
- On another assignment, Kate notices a billboard with a woman model's face on it, which she dismisses as obviously airbrushed. Later that day, she meets said woman and discovers she really does look like that because of Terrigenesis.
- Madame Masque inhabiting a clone body of Kate comes back in the third arc, with Clint Barton kidnapping her to secretly replace a captive Kate with Masque.
- Cloning Gambit: Derek Bishop looks significantly younger than in previous appearances in the comics, as with Madame Masque's help he's put his soul in a youthful clone body. It's also activated a dormant gene that gives him mind control superpowers.
- Clothing Damage: After Dhalia Dorian/Rebecca Brown transforms into a dragon, her dress rips apart as she mutates into an enormous reptile, but remains just intact enough to cover the essentials when she shrinks back to human form.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: After Aggregate is arrested, he's taken to the police station for questioning, and horrifically explodes into green goo.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Johnny, Kate's neighbor and romantic interest, turns out to have superpowersnote right in time to save Kate's life at the climax. He claims he'd been meaning to tell her but it slipped his mind.
- Emotion Eater: Aggregate uses chemically marked stickers to entrance people in hatred and control their actions. He can then draw upon all the hatred he created to hulk out.
- Enemy Mine: When Kate and Clint anticipate a big villain showdown incoming, they steal Mr. Bishop from Madame Masque's cells in hopes that he'll use his "Suggestion" superpower to keep Kate safe. It works, but he also gets away.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Madame Masque is completely perplexed at why Kate chose to save her life rather than letting her fall to her death.Kate: If you still don't understand, then I don't know how to make you understand.
- Grand Theft Me: In Volume 2, Madame Masque captures Kate and takes her place in a bio-duplicate body resembling her. This is not revealed until late in the issue, with most of it spent following "Kate" acting seemingly out of character. It's intended in hopes of discovering if Kate's body activates any latent superpower genes the way her father's did, but Masque fails to find anything.
- My Greatest Failure: Kate has never gotten over the time the last time she saw her mother, where Kate naively turned down Mrs. Bishop's offer to flee with her from Mr. Bishop, still angry at her over an argument and not realizing her mother might be in danger.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Clint's urgent plan to save Kate from Eden by swapping her with Madame Masque in a clone body massively backfires into Masque and Eden forming a Villain Team-Up within just a minute of them meeting each other.
- Poor Communication Kills: The second arc has Kate spend most of it not wanting to talk to her friends about the case she's working on, as the culprit responsible for all the attacks on them is her father. Not until she gets kidnapped by an underground fighting ring, rescued by her friends, and then kidnapped and breaking out again from Madame Masque, does she come clean about why she was being so withdrawn.
- Pulp Magazine: Julian Totino Tedesco's (digitally-painted) covers evoke this aesthetic, while the stories themselves are very inspired by pulpy detective/crime novels.
- Remember the New Guy?: The Hawkeye Generations one-shot basically exists to retcon in the heroes meeting Eden Vale, the villain of the final arc.
- Revenge: Eden wants revenge on Clint Barton, as his actions in Nevada during Civil War II caused collateral damage that resulted in the death of her daughter.
- Running Gag:
- Kate using frozen peas as ice packs for injures. She eventually runs out because she forgets to put them back in the freezer, and muses she should buy more... or maybe buy an actual ice pack. When Clint arrives in the final arc, he resorts to the same thing.
- Also Kate trying to maneuver awkwardly around her lack of detective license, which she forewent because she has virtually no money and it would cost her $225.
- Ship Sinking: While there was occasional Ship Tease of Kate and Clint in prior runs (despite their significant age difference), their team-up in this series clarifies them as Like Brother and Sister who find the idea of kissing each other disgusting.
- Sequel Episode: The premise of this series picks up on threads originally started in the "L.A. Woman" arc of Matt Fractions's Hawkeye, bringing Kate back to Los Angeles to resume her short-lived career as a PI.
- Sherlock Scan: Kate often surveys an area for "anchor points" in her investigations, which are represented in the art by purple circles around a point of interest. Amusingly, they'll often highlight distracting appeals to Kate like delicious food or a hot guy bystander, among items actually useful to her objective.
- Spiritual Successor: The 2018 relaunch of West Coast Avengers can be seen as this to Hawkeye, which incorporates both Kate and Clint as part of the team. It's also written by Thompson as well.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: Her first day as a detective goes this way, as her first few visitors are either confused that she's not the more famous Hawkeye, are demanding to see him because they want revenge, don't even know where they've entered, or are far too fickle or aggressive to take a case from.
- Think Happy Thoughts: Invoked by Kate to defeat Aggregate. Having discovered the positive thoughts can counteract the hypnotic-hate trance placed on Greg's victims, Kate lures him to the outdoor film festival playing The Sound of Music, where hearing "My Favorite Things" causes Greg's powers to start diminishing.
- Tracking Chip: After Brad gives an obviously false testimony and leaves, Kate and Jessica Jones secretly plant a tracker on his clothes. It works the first day in leading them to his location. But on the second day, they discover the tracker fell off at a laundromat after Brad washed his clothes.
- Villain Team-Up: The final arc has Kate and Clint face off against a villainous union of Eden Vale, Madame Masque and all her minions, Crossfire (briefly), Swordsman, and Lady Bullseye. Justified that Eden has the power to summon people across space and time using samples of their blood, and threatens to kill anybody who protests her leading them.
- Wham Shot: The last page of the final issue (#16) reveals that Kate's mother is still alive, and what's more, she's working alongside Madame Masque.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: When fighting against Madame Masque's minions, Kate openly wonders if maybe they all have tragic backstories and are harassed by their boss. As their commentary suggests, most of them are Only in It for the Money and are growing to despise having to get the tar beaten out of them by the Hawkeyes over and over again.
- Wolverine Publicity:
- Issues five and six feature Jessica Jones on the cover, partially to capitalize on her cross-platform recognizability. Justified in that she's an active player in those issues' stories regardless.
- Done in Issue 12 when Wolverine Laura Kinney, Wolverine Gabby, and Jonathan (an actual wolverine) join Kate's investigation.
- WTH, Costuming Department?: In-universe. Madame Masque in a clone body of Kate finds Kate's costume to be confounding, particularly how it has two large holes on either side of her body that don't seem to serve any purpose besides exposing her hips.Masque: What's up with these hip holes? I mean, is she just really into her hip bones or what?Clint: Nobody knows. I don't ask.
Volume 2 (2021 2022)
Written by Marieke Nijkamp and drawn by Enid Balám.
Back in New York after a lengthy stay in Los Angeles, Kate takes a "pit stop case" to reacclimate herself to the city, but this new mission may very be a trap that's too good to be true.
This run contains examples of:
- Adaptational Modesty: The redesign of Kate's outfit in this series covers the holes on either side.