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'Hawkeye: Kate Bishop - Team Spirit' TPB review
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‘Hawkeye: Kate Bishop – Team Spirit’ TPB review

‘Hawkeye: Kate Bishop – Team Spirit’ lives up to the name with plenty of Kate Bishop storytelling.

Kate Bishop fans can rejoice in knowing there’s a new collection to enjoy of her crime-fighting exploits this week. Kelly Thompson’s fabulous West Coast Avengers #5-10 and the five-issue War of the Realms tie-in Journey Into Mystery are now collected in a slightly smaller format for smaller hands. In both cases, Kate teams up with a motley crew to vanquish bad guys.

This book opens with the team of Gwenpool, Hawkeye (Clint), Hawkeye (Kate), America, and Quentin Quire fighting Gridlock. It’s a good taste tester for readers who may not be aware they’re in for a wacky ride with goofy villains and tons of character work. Soon after, the characters head out on a new mission at an abandoned carnival and are soon blown up. So begins the first arc involving new friendly faces, familiar enemies, and Kate connecting with her mother.

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Once that first battle is over, the team heads out for a second adventure to close out the West Coast Avengers portion of the collection. I won’t give away the enemy, but Thompson throws in Noh-Varr to thoroughly mix things up. Along the way, there are testimonials directly towards the reader as if they were filming a reality show, interesting relationship developments for Gwenpool, and in general great character writing. It’s hard to not thoroughly love these characters as they are spunky, have plenty of attitudes, and continue to have spot-on dialogue.

It’s a shame to this day that this series didn’t go on for a healthy 100 issue run, as Thompson understood these characters so well. The art was top notch, too, with Daniele Di Nicuolo, Gang Hyuk Lim, and Moy R. all supplying create cartooning as far as expressions and character body language. There are some rather inventive group shots and the diary entries always work.

'Hawkeye: Kate Bishop - Team Spirit' TPB review

It’s easy to forget how strong Wonder Man is.
Credit: Marvel Comics

Closing out this collection is the McElroys’ War of the Realms tie-in series. This series has Kate leading a team that’s even more eclectic which features Wonder Man, Miles Morales, and some mainstays from Asgard.

The plotting for this story arc is top-notch stuff. Each issue offers a different scenario for this ragtag team to overcome making the book feel very episodic and new in each chapter. The first issue is all about getting the team together and setting up the god of war on his chase to capture the baby, followed by an RV camping experience, an encounter with superhero western characters, a convention, and finally a big climactic battle with the god of war. You can also tell a lot of planning went into the series thanks to the focus on each hero feeling quite equal (Hawkeye gets moments to shine, Miles too, and it’s fun to see each one get a moment in the sun). That’s key for a team book, but surprisingly, many don’t manage to capture the heart and purpose of all the team members.

The McElroys’ take on each of these characters is delectably offbeat, too. Miles is young and a bit goofy, Wonder Man is a pacifist and also coming off a so-so acting career, Sebastian Druid is hilarious as a so-so sorcerer supreme, and Thori is his always hilarious dog self. The book is very funny at times and it’s hard not to crack a smile by simply looking at them due to the great dynamic the team has throughout.

I’ve always been a fan of André Lima Araújo’s work and his pencils are excellent here. There’s a fine line to everything that harnesses detail and makes this a nearly tactile experience. Colors by Chris O’Halloran and letters by Clayton Cowles help focus your attention on the character which is already well-placed thanks to Araújo’s great facial expressions. There’s a fantastic double-page spread in the western chapter that explores the space very well in an action sequence using every hero. On top of all this, there are two reactions from characters that’ll have you laughing out loud.

Team Spirit is a good collection for fans who want more Kate Bishop in their life. She’s the backbone of both series collected here and it’s a good example of how younger heroes can be as impactful as the decades-old mainstays.

'Hawkeye: Kate Bishop - Team Spirit' TPB review
‘Hawkeye: Kate Bishop – Team Spirit’ TPB review
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop - Team Spirit
Team Spirit is a good collection for fans who want more Kate Bishop in their life. She's the backbone of both series collected here and it's a good example of how younger heroes can be as impactful as the decades-old mainstays.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.8
Sharp art with impressive character acting throughout
Lots of humor
Great character writing from cover to cover
The ending to the War of the Realms tale is anticlimactic
Sorta odd these tales are paired since they don't relate to each other beyond Kate being in them
8.5
Great
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