Kate Bishop’s new life in L.A. as a private investigator is about to get a bit of a mix up—because Hawkeye’s next arc is bringing in the big guns in the form of Jessica Jones herself. Eager to learn more, we sat down with series writer Kelly Thompson to see how Jessica and Kate will fare together on a wild new case.
With Hawkeye Investigations established and one case under her belt, Kate is already well used to life in the city of angels by the time her investigative idol Jessica turns up on the trail of her own case in Hawkeye #5. Will Kate be able to show off everything she’s learned to Marvel’s own master of Personal Investigation, and help Jessica crack her case? Check out our interview with Thompson below, as well as a preview of the issue making its debut here on io9.
io9: Tell us a little bit about how Jessica Jones enters Kate’s new life in LA for this arc.
Kelly Thompson: Jessica is back to running her PI firm in her own book, and so we have a two-issue arc that finds Jess in LA on a case, tracking down a missing person. She asks Kate to pitch in – and also takes advantage of using Kate’s office—Hawk EYE Investigations—as a temporary base of operations. Alias Investigations West, if you will!
What’s Jessica’s relationship with Kate going to be like in this story?
Thompson: Kate and Jess have some history as Jess was pretty heavily involved in the Young Avengers first coming together in a sort of mentor capacity. And Jess and Kate, more than any others of the Young Avengers I think, made a real connection back then. Jess has not been a huge feature in Kate’s stories since then, but for me at least I think they’ve always remained friends and Jess as a sort of mentor to Kate. I think anyone that is there at such a pivotal time in your life, leaves an indelible mark.
When bringing another hero like this into a story, how do you go about it as as writer? Does the story form around the idea of the guest appearance, or is the story first, and then the idea of adding another character?
Thompson: I think you can probably do it both ways, in this case, the most important thing to us was exploring the Kate and Jess dynamic and growing that relationship. Jessica Jones as Kate’s mentor, and teaming them up as a great way to show how Kate is both excelling and struggling as a PI. So the story all sprung up around Kate and Jess and that relationship, and then we thought about what kind of case they should take on, what kind of issues we were interested in exploring.
Kate’s now following in Jess’ footsteps by being a PI herself. How do their styles differ when it comes to their jobs? What sets Kate and Jess apart in their approach to this new case?
Thompson: Jessica is definitely the more hardboiled of the two. She’s got the hard earned experience, natural skepticism, and talent. She’s also got some legit superpowers to back her up when she needs them—having a super-powered punch ready at any time (and being able to TAKE a super-powered punch) is definitely an ace up your sleeve. Kate is definitely more brash and inexperienced, working largely on gut instinct and a reasonable amount of luck and charm. But she’s also got very good eyes, as we’ve been establishing since issue one—a natural gift that she’s developed as Hawkeye and which is benefiting her in a big way as a PI.
A lot of your comics work has focused on writing team-ups and teams in general—ensemble casts like in Jem and A-Force. Kate’s picked up a few new friends in the first arc of Hawkeye, and now she’s teaming up with Jessica Jones. What is it that you like the most about writing situations like this?
Thompson: I love team books because I think the chemistry can be real magic. It’s one of my favorite things about both Jem and The Holograms and The Misfits—the depths and layers of those relationships. And it was definitely my favorite thing about my stint on A-Force—letting them both love and hate one another, for their relationships to evolve and grow. I think Kate Bishop works really well as a solo character as she has a vibrant and infectious interior voice… her own special running commentary, if you will, that’s full of her very specific way of looking at the world. But a supporting cast to build out a character’s world is always important, and especially for Kate, who is in the middle of a bit of a “rebuild” of her life—trying to push forward into new ventures and to reconcile some parts of herself with others. It was particularly vital that Kate build a new and thriving life for herself in every way, including supporting cast.
Beyond these two issues, how will her time with Jessica Jones shape Kate’s adventures as a PI going forward?
Thompson: Kate’s definitely learning a lot from her Jessica Jones team-up. In fact, one of the devices we use in this arc are a “Tips from Jessica Jones” bit, but as all Jess’s advice is filtered through Kate and subject to her interpretation, the tips may not be EXACTLY what Jess intends.
Hawkeye #5 will hit shelves next week, on April 5.