Kate Bishop confronts Madame Masque with writer Kelly Thompson!

Things have gotten pretty complicated in Kate Bishop’s life, to say the least. With her personal and professional lives  colliding, she’s been forced to face some challenges from her past. And, as it turns out, Kate’s old foe Madame Masque orchestrated the drama.

On October 4, writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero bring Kate and Madame Masque together for a showdown in HAWKEYE #11!

So what makes Masque such an excellent nemesis? We asked Kelly Thompson for her view on the classic villain.

Marvel.com: Kate has a long history with Madame Masquegoing back to writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja’s run. We’ve seen the tension building between these two characters for a while.

Kelly Thompson: Yes, Fraction wrote such a fantastic intro for those two characters—with Kate sort of cavalierly embarrassing Madame Masque by taking her place. I think that intro is exactly the kind that makes for arch-nemeses. Madame Masque has been fixating on Kate ever since. And it’s not an accident that their story plays out this way.

Marvel.com: Masque has worked with (and manipulated) Kate’s dadand we’ve seen Kate trying to sort things out with him recently. What are these events going to do to their relationship?

Kelly Thompson: Masque has definitely been playing the long game in her approach to Kate. Laying some groundwork that’s really emotionally devastating to Kate by encouraging and assisting Derek Bishop in sort of leveling up in his villainy, if you will. But Masque also has her own desires—namely power and powers—and that’s syncing up nicely now with her desire for pure revenge. So she’s moving into a less subtle, more openly destructive phase of her plans against Kate.

Marvel.com: It seems like Masque wants to clone Kate…and Kate’s definitely not down with that!

Kelly Thompson: Yeah, Masque’s desire to clone Kate—a literal reversal of what Kate did to her when they first met (though without the clones)—isn’t an accident. And Masque will not be the only one with revenge on the brain when this ends.

Marvel.com: In some ways, it seems like Kate’s dad could be her arch-nemesis as well. While she can’t just write her dad off, maybe Madame Masque will take his place?

Kelly Thompson: Yes, I think that’s definitely a slow boil story building in the direction of Bishop vs. Bishop. And Kate would much rather have Madame Masque to fight, as that’s far less complicated overall. She has a greater internal struggle with her father—knowing that there are good things about him, things that she wants to save. But she also feels the need to do what’s right and shut him down. She doesn’t really know what that should look like…does she arrest him? Does she fight him? What’s the move? It’s not an easy question for her to answer. It’s a little more complicated than your traditional “save the day” super hero story.

Marvel.com: What else can you tease about the upcoming issues?

Kelly Thompson: This arc comes to a close with issue #11—and Leonardo Romero and [colorist] Jordie Bellaire are doing truly tremendous work. I think people are going to really love it.

HAWKEYE# 12 exists as a standalone story—a team-up with Wolverine (and Gabby—and yes, Jonathan the Wolverine and Lucky will meet) and we’ve got the fantastic artist Michael Walsh coming back for that story.

Then in December with HAWKEYE #13, we kick off an all-new arc guest starring Hawkeye original flavor…Clint Barton!

Check out Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero’s HAWKEYE #11 on October 4!

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Writer Kelly Thompson reveals new details about Kate Bishop’s recent strange behavior!

Case No: 090617

Investigator: Marvel.com

Clients: Kelly Thompson

Case Overview:

Kate Bishop returns in HAWKEYE #10 on September 6—but something doesn’t seem quite right with our super sleuth. Kate learned that her father is in league with the tall, dark, and villainous woman known as Madame Masque—and if that wasn’t enough, her mom’s necklace just resurfaced with some oh-so-confusing evidence. Seems like no surprise that Kate is shaken up, but writer Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero worry something more might be going on.

“Listen, she’s not eating nearly enough tacos. She didn’t make finger guns once today. She doesn’t have any bandages on her face. She looked like she combed her hair and she’s wearing heels. Who is this person?!” confides Thompson. Word on the street even says Kate was out clubbing… so unless she’s secretly eradicating some illegal nightlife activities, something must be seriously wrong with our feisty female detective.

Detail of Events:

Between the drama with her dad, the bad guys, and new cases continually popping out of the woodwork, Kate has quite a lot on her plate. And while she might not have any trouble clearing a plate of mini donuts, a plate full of super hero-sized problems often proves a bit harder to swallow.

But Thompson ponders, “Kate does not run away from a fight. Kate runs headlong, full bore into any fight she sees for good or ill.” So when Kate doesn’t seem too interested in immediately running to the aide of her friends, she gets pretty concerned.

“The whole thing with Kate’s dad has really put her in a vulnerable position, where she’s a little angrier, a little less clear headed, and definitely feeling more guilty—especially as it relates to her friends,” recounts Thompson, after noticing Kate acting a bit uncharacteristically for a few issues now—putting herself in too much danger, making only a normal amount of jokes, and acting unusually with her friends. And now she’s becoming unexpectedly mischievous, explains Thompson, spilling the beans that Kate kisses multiple in issue #10. Expect things to get awkward and complicated—even by Kate’s standards. So is this dual persona just Kate’s way of dealing with recent difficult experiences or is something more sinister going on?

Actions Taken:

It looks like the task of making that discovery falls on you, True Believers! The tables have turned—Kate’s in the hot seat and we need to figure out what’s going on. What exactly should we look for?

“Did she put a frozen food of some kind on her face to reduce swelling? Did she get punched in the face a lot? Make one too many jokes so that it becomes uncomfortable for everyone? These are day-in-the-life for Kate Bishop—and if you don’t see them, maybe you should worry,” warns Thompson.

Additional Notes:

Be warned, there will be a lot to sift through in this investigation. “Expect Kate to confront her father on the biggest questions between them. Expect one of the Kate’s friends to make a lot of relationship trouble in her life. Expect Kate to kick many butts and Lucky to play a low-key pivotal roll in that. Expect Kate to go out with her friends and to have a very vintage, classic Hawkeye villain show up,” teases Thompson, who also adds that master artist Leonardo Romero provides some brilliantly-subtle visual clues to help us differentiate the pages where Kate’s acting normally—and the ones where she’s not quite herself.

Be the first to figure out what’s behind Kate’s strange demeanor with HAWKEYE #10, by Kelly Thompson and artist Leonardo Romero, on September 6!

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Get the inside information on a new club opening up in Hawkeye #9!

Project Mayhem: Venice Chapter

Come one, come all to the thing we can’t talk about…ah screw it, fight club! That’s right, on August 2, return to a blood and sweat soaked Venice basement reminiscent of the Hotel California to work out your frustrations, and then maybe never leave. Hosting, as always, is creator Kelly Thompson and her partner in creation, Leonardo Romero.

Location: We plead the fifth.

Time: When the need for violence arises.

Rules:

  1. Do not talk about fight club.

*We understand that by making this you probably think we broke this rule, however, see rule 3.

  1. No rules! We don’t play fair.

*This is fight club, not whine about someone blinding you with dirt club.

  1. We do what we want.

*We, the people running the club, do what we want. You, do whatever we say. It’s the golden rule: He who runs the fight club makes the rules.

A word from our Sponsor:

Introducing our newest gladiator: Kate Bishop! That’s right, super hero Hawkeye has joined our ranks and will be fighting her way through not only our seasoned champions, but also some heavy daddy issues. Poor thing got caught up tracking down someone else’s father in her latest case, but it’s her own she’s really after.

“We’re finding Kate in a much more emotional state than we’re used to finding her,” says Thompson. “She really grew up with her father mostly believing there were some aberrations there but she thought he was a really good man in general. So peeling back those layers and finding out that’s not really true not only calls into question things about him, but it makes her question things about herself.”

Looks like daddy Hawkeye may just end up on his daughter’s super villain hit list…talk about your family drama. Good thing she has come to us in her time of need. It’s time to punch the pain away, Kate.

“Kate is a very good fighter so even if she doesn’t look like the guys who are down there in these cages, she’s going to do well in a one on one fight. She’s incredibly smart, she’s well trained, and she’s a super hero,” warns Thompson. But let’s not forget that, that means she must stick too a code, she can’t just hurt people willy-nilly. Sounds like prime time for you newbies to make your mark, so come on down!

Reviews:

StreetFighter212: YAAASSSS!! I’M GONNA WRECK YOU WUSSIES!! COME AT ME BRAH!

            Deadpooled: Kate is going to wipe the floor with you.

Clint4life: Whatever, she’s not even the real Hawkeye.

Cagedfighter16: Is anybody reading this?! COME AND RESCUE ME!!! They’re keeping me in a cage and I don’t want to be here!!!

TheRealKateBishop: Okay I was playing along with this at first but now it’s on. I’m not the sad seal at the zoo, for one thing I can’t balance a ball on my nose…I’m busting everyone out, finding Molly’s dad and taking you creeps down!

Deadpooled: Oh snap!

Be sure to grab seats for Kate’s fight club debut and find out if she solves her case or gets lost in a whirlwind of fists and emotions in HAWKEYE #9 out August 2, written by Kelly Thompson with art by Leonardo Romero.

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What surprising face from Kate Bishop’s past has plans for her future?

Kate Bishop has gone up against some shady characters lately, but she has also seen some exciting successes, as she builds her detective agency and enters a new phase of her life. Things will soon get a little darker for Kate, though, when a face from her past shows up in HAWKEYE #8, coming July 5.

Just who is this mystery character?

Kate has seen her fair share of action as a super hero, so she has no shortage of rivals who could potentially crop up and cause trouble. On the other hand, maybe an old friend will make an appearance, and the two will find themselves fighting baddies together.

Writer Kelly Thompson weighs in on our top five guesses—without spoilers, of course!


Clint Barton

He went through a lot recently with CIVIL WAR II and the trial that followed after he killed Bruce Banner. And now we see him fighting HYDRA in SECRET EMPIRE. We’d call this a pretty interesting time for him to reunite with Kate.

Kelly Thompson: Clint and Kate are both definitely in interesting places in their lives, going through a lot and growing a lot. Does that mean they grow toward one another or away from one another? That may indeed be something we’re about to find out. They are definitely going to be connecting in the HAWKEYE GENERATIONS issue—so maybe that’s going to set them up for connecting in HAWKEYE too? All the winks…all the nudges!


Steve Rogers

Getting his blessing as Hawkeye held a lot of significance for Kate. But things have changed a lot for Steve, to put it mildly, and he and Kate would relate to each other very differently now.

Kelly Thompson: It’s pretty hard for anyone to ignore the power of Steve Rogers. And it’s probably doubly true for Kate. The Captain America stamp of approval is a big deal, especially to a young hero. But Kate is nothing if not her own person, and that’s part of what earned Cap’s respect in the first place. She’d have no problem standing up to him today, the same as in the past. Sure, she’d throw up her tacos a bit later from the stress of it all, but Kate makes the tough calls in situations, it’s simply who she is.

Cassie Lang

Cassie and Kate kept the Young Avengers together when Steve and Tony Stark told them to disband. And the two have quite a history of fighting together. We’d really enjoy watching them in action side by side.

Kelly Thompson: It’s been a long time since Kate and Cassie spent any real time together, so it’d be great to get them back together, but I think the surprise guests showing up in Kate’s life soon are a bit on the more contentious side than I’d hope Cassie would be. Still, it’d be a heck of a curveball and we are telling a detective story…so it could happen.


Madame Masque

In Matt Fraction and David Aja’s beloved HAWKEYE run, Kate went up against Madame Masque, and we’d love to see a rematch.

Kelly Thompson: I think Madame Masque was so well developed by Fraction, Aja, and Annie Wu that she’s definitely what I would call Kate’s nemesis, or certainly the top contender. Does that mean she’s destined to come back into play soon…or does that mean we should focus on other potential villains for Kate’s “rogue’s gallery”? Nobody knows! Okay, well, I do, but I’m not telling.


America Chavez

We’ve seen Kate show up in America’s book—maybe America will make an appearance in Kate’s? We really can’t get enough of Amerikate!

Kelly Thompson: I was really glad that I got to consult on Kate’s guest starring role over in America’s book as I had been planning for America to guest star in HAWKEYE well before America got her own book! So we re-jiggered things a bit to ensure we didn’t step on any toes while AMERICA was launching. Suffice to say I’m still itching to get America over into HAWKEYE and it’s basically well overdue at this point…so maybe it’s happening now? Obviously I can’t confirm or deny any of these guesses at the risk of spoiling things, but I will tell you this: at least one of these guesses is right on the money!

Find out who’s paying Kate a visit on July 5 in HAWKEYE #8 by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero!

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Kelly Thompson gets Kate Bishop some guidance from Jessica Jones!

It’s Women’s History Month everyone! And it just so happens that Marvel Comics has a leading lady team-up that Hall and Oates would be proud to sing about coming your way April 5 in HAWKEYE #5 by series writer Kelly Thompson and guest artist Michael Walsh. That’s right, Jessica Jones rolls into town with Kate Bishop ready to soak up all the veteran detective tricks she can like an enthusiastic sponge.

“I think Kate would be the first one to admit that she’s sort of still figuring out how to be a PI and so Jessica Jones has already been a sort of mentor and a great force in her life, so to get to use her in the private detective capacity as well, she’s super into it,” says Thompson.

The writer let slip that throughout this two issue team-up Kate pulls advice from her experiences working with Jessica; sort of like Jessica’s PI tips, brought to you by Kate Bishop. For instance, Jessica might see a suspect in Kate’s aviators and Kate’s take away from that: aviators rule! A thought cops everywhere agree with, Kate, because aviators do indeed rule.

“I think that certainly these aren’t bits of advice Jessica is trying to impart, it’s just bits of experiences that Kate is choosing to pick up from her specific sensibility,” Thompson notes. “And sometimes they’re more relevant to actually learning something than others, but I think within the context of the story it’s fun and everyone will enjoy it and you learn a little bit about Kate and a little bit about Jessica at the same time.”

Hawkeye #5 cover by Julian Totino Tedesco

Now given that Jessica pretty much owns the role of stoic, street smart sass master who doesn’t take lip from anyone, we could imagine that there might be a bit of tension with Kate about as stoic as a five-year-old whose parents just brought home a puppy. Even so, Thompson believes Jess can’t help but be reminded of when she began her detective days, and may even pick up some tips herself.

“I think everyone learns a little bit from Kate just because she’s such a boundless fount of optimism, to an almost ridiculous degree,” the writer shares. “I don’t think that’s Jessica’s sensibility but it sort of rubs off on her. It’s definitely a mentorship but as they grow together, I think it changes a little bit through our story so it goes more from mentor-mentee to just colleagues which is huge for Kate and it’s thanks to Jessica’s strong guiding hand that helps her get there.”

Catch all the action and maybe even a few detective tricks on April 5 in HAWKEYE #5!

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Black Panther, All-New Wolverine, Darth Vader & More Make Cut for Great Reads!

Great news, Marvelites! YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) named an unprecedented 17 Marvel titles, including BLACK PANTHER, ALL-NEW WOLVERINE, DARTH VADER, and PATSY WALKER A.K.A. HELLCAT!, as part of their 2017 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list! In addition, BLACK PANTHER made the Top 10 List of Great Graphic Novels for Teens!

Our SVP of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel says, “It is both energizing and humbling to have so many Marvel titles included in this year’s list. From STAR WARS to BLACK PANTHER to THE VISION and beyond, their selections provide a little something for everyone. With so many fantastic titles released in last year from publishers across the industry, we’re honored to be recognized by YALSA yet again.”

All Marvel books that are recommended for readers aged 12-18 that are both quality literature and appeal to teens include:

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE VOL. 1: THE FOUR SISTERS – written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by David Lopez
BLACK PANTHER: A NATION UNDER OUR FEET BOOK 1 – written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze
CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL. 1: RISE OF ALPHA FLIGHT – written by Michele Fazekas, illustrated by Tara Butters, Kris Anka and Felipe Smith
DARTH VADER VOL. 1: VADER – written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larroca
DARTH VADER VOL. 2: SHADOWS AND SECRETS – written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Salvador Larroca
DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 1: THE WAY OF THE WEIRD – written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Chris Bachalo
GROOT – written by Jeff Loveness, illustrated by Brian Kesinger
HAWKEYE VOL. 5: ALL-NEW HAWKEYE – written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Ramon Perez
HAWKEYE VOL. 6: HAWKEYES – written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Ramon Perez
KANAN VOL. 1: THE LAST PADAWAN – written by Greg Weisman, illustrated by Pepe Larraz
LANDO – written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Alex Maleev
MIGHTY THOR VOL. 1: THUNDER IN HER VEINS – written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Russel Dauterman
MOCKINGBIRD VOL. 1: I CAN EXPLAIN – written by Chelsea Cain, illustrated by Kate Niemczyk
MS. MARVEL VOL. 4: LAST DAYS – written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona
MS. MARVEL VOL. 5: SUPER FAMOUS – written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa
PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! VOL. 1: HOOKED ON A FELINE – written by Kate Leth, illustrated by Brittney Williams
VISION VOL. 1: LITTLE WORSE THAN A MAN – written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Check out the full list of the 2017 Great Graphic Novels for Teens now! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on the Marvel Universe.

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The Hawkeye artist opens his sketchbook for a look at life as a private investigator in L.A.!

Kate Bishop plans to strike out solo. That means she’s not only moving, but also taking on her own solo title with HAWKEYE. The series launches next week from Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero and transplants Kate to Los Angeles where she intends to put her private investigator’s license to work.

We talked with Romero about getting Hawkeye’s costume just right, working her into the City of Angeles, and the potential pitfalls of PI work in the Marvel Universe!

Marvel.com: What is it about Kate Bishop and her role as Hawkeye that appeals to you as an artist?

Leonardo Romero: Definitely her personality. Finding the best way to portray Kate’s attitude in body language or facial expressions is always fun.

Marvel.com: Kate’s always had a unique way of seeing the world; does that come through in the art?

Leonardo Romero: Kate has a much sharper perception than normal people. So, she can see elements and small details that would go unnoticed in our eyes. To represent this, we developed this “Hawkeye Vision” where we use bullseyes as a graphic element to show us the points of interest that Kate is seeing in an apparently common scene.

Marvel.com: Kate’s Hawkeye costume in the book seems both functional and stylish. Was there a lot of back and forth in coming up with the look?

Leonardo Romero: Actually no. I think that the previous design is just so strong and I love it so much that I preferred to add small details to it instead of changing. So, of course there [are] some minor differences, but the best parts were already there.

Marvel.com: In the book, Kate’s heading to L.A. Do you enjoy mixing the real world elements of that city with the Marvel version?

Leonardo Romero: Sure; L.A. itself is such an amazing city to draw, especially Venice Beach. Mixing that with some fictional elements certainly makes it more pleasant to me as an artist.

Marvel.com: Kate’s working as a PI these days. Does that put her more on the street level as far as her adventures go or will she be kicking up trouble on a larger scale?

Leonardo Romero: Yeah, I think working as [a] PI and trying to help normal people naturally puts her more in an urban scenario and street level as well. But you never know, sometimes a small problem can unfold into a very large one.

Marvel.com: How has it been working with Kelly so far?

Leonardo Romero: Working with Kelly has been amazing. It’s really cool to work with someone who not only understands the characters so well, but also gives them a lot of personality and makes them reliable. Plus, she’s super cool and kind, so it’s been amazing.

Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero hit the mark with HAWKEYE #1 on December 14!

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