Hawkeye #6 review: Learning what a monster Dhalia Dorian is


A search for a missing girl has led Kate and Jessica to starlet Dhalia Dorian. Yet does Dhalia have far more secrets than she lets on?

Hawkeye #6

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Michael Walsh

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

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Get twice your detective super heroines for the price of one! Kate Bishop has teamed up with her mentor, Jessica Jones, to track down a missing girl in Venice Beach. This case has tied into Kate’s own search for her missing father via a surfer dude, Brad. Yet nothing is as it seems. Somehow Brad is mixed in with newfound Hollywood beauty queen Dhalia Dorian. To top it off, a mysterious dragon has somehow come into the mix! It’s tough being a private eye in the Marvel Universe!

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As a result of being chased out of Dhalia’s estate by the aforementioned dragon, Kate and Jessica are left with only blurry photos as clues. Their attempt to bug Brad turns out to be a wash. This is actually a clever bit of irony as Kate’s been all but overusing tracers in her previous case. Thanks to a bit of help from her tech-guy Quinn, Jessica and Kate learn the location of a secret meeting between Dhalia and Brad. It isn’t long before the secret of the dragon is revealed.

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At Least Its Not a Double Dragon!

While I did make some attempt to not have spoilers in the first two paragraphs, the mystery isn’t that complicated. It was fairly obvious that Dhalia was the dragon herself, somehow, from the previous issue. Yet that’s thankfully not the only selling point of the story. The main draw is pairing Kate’s youthful sass with Jessica’s more experienced foul mouth. Kate sees Jessica as her ghost of private eyes yet to come, and that’s no bad thing. As a team-up between two peers, it’s a blast.

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Because I have read a lot of Kelly Thompson’s comic book work, I may see parallels between her works as a result. In a few ways, this reminded me of her last arc on A-Force last year. The last story involved a search for a missing girl amid monster drama who turned out to be said monster. In addition, that arc also featured the addition of a foul mouthed guest star—in that case, Elsa Bloodstone. Elsa even teamed up with the youthful Nico Minoru for a bit of a fun contrast.

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I found that arc to be a blast, so I certainly don’t mind if Hawkeye dovetails it a bit. Enough of the circumstances are different that it stands out as its own story. It’s merely a case of pointing out one of the patterns of a writer you happen to like. Jessica Jones has nowhere near as much of a potty mouth, nor is as bloodthirsty as Bloodstone was. Dhalia’s situation turns out to be much different. The theme of misunderstanding remains central, which is a fine theme for a mystery.

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Seems Like the Source of Dhalia’s Beauty Isn’t Maybelline!

Dhalia Dorian turns out to be one of the new Inhumans running around, like Ms. Marvel. Were this written in the 90s, she would have been a mutant since Marvel Comics were heavily pushing mutants instead of Inhumans then. What is most noteworthy is it allowed Kate Bishop to reason her way out of it once it was clear that neither arrows nor Jones’ super powers could save the day. Unlike the Aggregate, Dhalia could be talked down, especially since Kate could relate to her plight.

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In addition, we get another appearance by Bishop’s supporting cast. Quinn seems to always turn up due to being her technology guy, but Mikka, Ramone, and Johnny all turn out. Jones may dismiss them as “too many” sidekicks, but they symbolize one of the things I like about Thompson as a writer. She utterly gets how key a memorable supporting cast are. Some writers can go two years without a cast which goes deeper than two, yet Thompson has doubled that in six issues.

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Furthermore, a look at a clipboard behind Kate’s gear offers a look at some long-term story lines. The previous arc with the Aggregate is referenced, as well as the villain Madame Masque. Usually associated with Iron Man, Madame Masque is as close to a nemesis as Kate has thanks to the previous Hawkeye series by Matt Fraction and David Aja. Could the masked mobster be due up? Thompson’s never written an official Marvel villain before, and I’m psyched to see her take one on.

Pizza Dog Is the Cameo Everyone Should Be Happy About!

While Jessica Jones is fully in character, she doesn’t smother Kate Bishop. This is key since many times a team-up with a more established character risks this. Thompson does a great job capturing Jones’ experienced cynicism. Yet her voice for Kate remains as sassy as ever. As a native Brooklynite, I can appreciate her endless nicknames for people, especially the PG-13-rated ones for people she dislikes (Brad). The pair try to out sass each other, which makes the dialogue fun.

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Michael Walsh once again does the art, flanked by regular colorist Jordie Bellaire. Walsh’s style is similar to that of Leonardo Romero, who is set to return next issue. Walsh gets a lot of action this time around, in particular with the dragon. He draws a great looking dragon, who manages to look unique compared to the thousand other dragons who inhabit the Marvel Universe. Julian Totino Tedesco’s cover also captures the feel of an old school pulp or film poster, which fits the tone well.

Image by Marvel Comics

Next: See the start of the Bishop & Jones P.I. team in #5!

In conclusion, while the mystery with Dhalia may not have been the most complicated, it didn’t need to be. The twist was a perfectly fair one in the Marvel Universe, which is half the thrill of this series. Kate may be out of New York, but being a private eye in this universe still means shooting arrows at some freaky things. With all of the humor, action, chase sequences, and heart of a syndicated TV show, Hawkeye once again hits a perfect bullseye in terms of quality.