Kate Bishop was always a likable character. In the Young Avengers, she easily held her own and showed she more than had what it took to be a hero. Matt Fraction has elevated the character to a different level. Her time with Clint Barton was spotty and it was great seeing her decide to stop putting up with his problems and head out on her own. Trying to make it on her own in L.A., she's discovered a whole other set of problems. She hasn't necessarily gotten in over her head but getting on Madame Masque's bad side wasn't the best move. She is young so provided she survives this experience, she has time to learn.
When Kate and the series jumped over to the West Coast, it felt like an odd move. We came into this series expecting Clint Barton as Hawkeye and now Kate was making friends with other people. I'll admit I was a little unsure of it all but Fraction has made it all work nicely. It definitely makes for a different kind of story and it feels like we're reading two different comic series.
Annie Wu's art and Matt Hollingsworth's colors are spot on. The more you see, the more of the adventures of Kate you want to see. It's not Clint but you can feel the spirit of the series that Fraction has created. You can't help but want to root or cheer for Kate as she gets in deeper and deeper into the mess she's stumbled upon. I was a little dismayed at this issue not continuing Clint's part of the story but within the first few pages he was the last thing on my mind. I would totally love to see more stories of Kate as a private eye.
You can't deny that Kate and parts of the story gets a little too cutesy. It's not really something to complain about but a couple parts were a little too tongue in cheek, despite the moments of despair.
I've always preferred the Clint Barton stories in this series but Fraction, Wu, and Hollingsworth completely sold me on Kate taking the spotlight with this issue. There's a crazy range of emotions going on and things don't go great for Kate, despite her usual upbeat and cheerful nature. This is the sort of comic you want to read slowly to savor each moment. You simply don't want it to end. This issue was well worth the wait and you'll be bummed once you've read it and it's over. But you can always read it again. It's definitely going to be interesting to see what happens next.