Image: Marvel Comics

The current run of Hawkeye has been outstanding. Writer Kelly Thompson, artists Leonardo Romero and Michael Walsh, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Joe Sabino created one of the most exciting, stylish comics on stands with Kate Bishop’s Los Angeles adventures, and the strength of this team suggested the book could have real staying power. Alas, this is current-day Marvel Comics, where a book is lucky to get past 12 issues without cancellation or a relaunch. Hawkeye made it all the way to #16 before getting the chop, which is more than can be said of most of the other books in Marvel’s recent wave of cancellations. But the book is going out on top with a story arc that brings Kate back together with her mentor Clint Barton for double the Hawkeye action.

This exclusive preview of next week’s Hawkeye #16 has Kate and Clint cornered by a squad of assassins, and they have to use whatever advantage they can to escape. That includes Kate’s evil father, who is currently tied up in Kate’s office with his mouth taped shut so he can’t use his powers of suggestion. Kelly Thompson’s script balances high stakes drama with humor, and Leonardo Romero reinforces that dynamic with expressive characters and big, bold layouts and compositions. Romero’s artwork with Jordie Bellaire has been essential to this book’s success, and there’s a mix of craft, passion, and ambition in the visuals that elevate the story.

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This excerpt begins with a palette of muted browns and grays, and the colors gradually gain more contrast as Kate and Clint head into the fight. Once the attack begins, there’s a rush of bright colors to intensify the spectacle, with purple serving as the major accent in both Kate’s costume and Joe Sabino’s bullseye-shaped arrow descriptions. This team channels the thrilling spirit of classic Marvel comics while taking a more modern approach for the dialogue, plot, and design, and hopefully they’ll get the opportunity to continue exploring their remarkable creative relationship in the future.

Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics

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Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics

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Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics

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Image: Marvel Comics