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Hawkeye: Kate Bishop’s role in the Marvel Universe, explained

In the opening scenes of Hawk Eye, Marvel’s new Disney Plus series, a young girl looks down from the recently demolished side of her Manhattan skyscraper. In days gone by, her window was a perfect vantage point of the Stark Tower. During the Battle of New York, a gaping hole offers a glimpse of the infernal chaos – and the Avengers in combat. The girl, Kate Bishop, is watching the raging war as Clint Barton aka Hawkeye jumps, twirls, and plants an arrow in the head of a Chitauri warrior. The moment will shape the Impressionist kid into a formidable archer for the next nine years. In 2021 when Hawk Eye is losing weight, the girl is Kate Bishop, a would-be warrior.

“It was really important to find a way that makes the most sense, why Kate idolizes Clint as she does, and at what crucial moment in her life does it experience or meet this that makes sense to her to start training and learning archery? “Says Marvel Studios producer Trinh Tran, tells Polygon how she looks at the Battle of New York from a new perspective. “So it felt like the moment was right because it was such a big moment in the MCU that he was going to connect with her. Your character is, in a sense, the eyes from the audience’s point of view. She saw Hawkeye in such a way that anyone who happened to get into this situation sees the moment. And that really inspired her to learn this craft. So it made the most sense for the two of them to find an organic way to connect and connect across one end, to create that, this chemistry in this partnership along the mission they are going through. “

Marvel Studios introduces Kate, played by Hailee Steinfeld, as a quirky, funny college student whose moment of danger intersects with the greatest moment of her life: her hero Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). The first two episodes of the Hawk Eye In the Disney Plus series, the professional Avenger and his teenage follower are on the run from the tracksuit mafia, buttoned swordsmen, and perhaps a few other mysterious enemies. Hawkeye knows what he’s doing even though he’s lost his hearing. Kate is on her way. But it still feels like a moment of transition: are we going to witness the future of the Marvel Universe take shape?

Seems quite possible. Because comic book readers know Kate by a different name: Hawkeye.

When Kate Bishop becomes Hawkeye

Yes, there are two Hawkeyes in the Marvel Universe, and they exist at the same time – a bit like the two Spider-Mans we all know so well, thanks Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Unless it didn’t take a multiverse to make Kate Bishop in Marvel Comics. It only cost Clint Barton’s death.

Clint died in 2004 and was brought back to life in 2007. (How all of this happened doesn’t really matter for our purposes – just take my word for it.) While he was dead the world moved on and a young avenger named Kate Bishop wore a purple costume and used trick arrows to claim his legacy to honor . She called herself Hawkeye.

Kate Bishop holds a cup of coffee from Hawkeye # 1, Marvel Comics (2012).

Image: Matt Fraction, David Aja / Marvel Comics

Created by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, Kate was the daughter of wealthy parents with a huge dose of stubbornness and the goal of becoming an archery superhero alongside the Young Avengers, a super team that is exactly what it sounds like . When Clint, who was never a big ego man, returned, he saw her in action and thought she had done pretty well with the name, maybe even better than him. And he wasn’t ready to reveal that he was alive again, so he fought crime with a sword under the name Ronin (one of several Marvel characters who have assumed that identity). When he finally became Hawkeye again, Kate refused to give up the name. Since then, the Marvel Comics universe has had two Hawkeyes – or Hawkeye and Hawkguy if you really want to be unique.

Clint Barton’s MCU version was quite different from the comic book version. He’s not struggling with hearing loss, he was a career SHIELD agent, and he has a wife, three children, and a farm in the Midwest. That changed with the one-two punch of Avengers: Endgame and Hawk Eye. Endgame debuted Clint Barton’s ronin costume, complete with samurai sword action. (The costume also plays a huge role in the new Disney Plus series.) He now leads a civil life with his resurrected family and lost his hearing due to a series of brutal encounters with the Avengers.

In the comics, Kate and Clint’s modern relationship was really cemented in Matt Fraction and David Aja Hawk Eye, in which she appeared as a recurring supporting character and built herself up to be her own Hawk Eye ongoing series (written by Kelly Thompson and drawn by Leonardo Romero and Michael Walsh). There she became an arch-swinging but inexperienced private investigator in Los Angeles.

And now, in Disney Plus’ Hawk Eye, Kate Bishop is here to bring the Marvel Universe even closer to what the creators of Marvel Comics invented all those years ago.

Kate Bishop as Marvel’s new Hawkeye

Kate Bishop fires an arrow in a moving car in Hawkeye

Image: Marvel Studios

After the double dip premiere, there are only four episodes of Hawk Eye before Marvel jumps to what’s next (including a echo reasons). But how important is Kate and a new generation of young heroes Mrs. Marvel‘s Kamala Kahn too heart of steelis Riri Williams for the bigger MCU? Tran suggests: very.

“I can’t go into much detail without spoiling something. What I can say is that, especially after Infinity war and EndgameAs you know, characters come in and out. and [adding new characters] it’s really about how they fit into the MCU to go in the direction we want to go and of course characters that we are also passionate about and want to bring to life on screen […] But much like the audience watching, new waves of people are coming in. Compared to 10 years ago some of these kids have grown up, so we’d like the new voices to represent everyone who loves these characters, who loves the Marvel world, so to speak. “

As coined by Marvel Studios and showrunner Jonathan Igla, MCU Kate is a disruptor arriving at a time when the universe really needs one.

“She doesn’t stop talking and she doesn’t stop asking questions!” Says Tran with a reasonable amount of glee. “That’s one of the reasons I think Clint finds it a little too much at first and could come across as annoying in a way. But that’s what makes her really interesting – she gives her opinion. And she’s not afraid of it. So we sometimes use their voices as a guiding post to ask the questions the younger voices are supposed to ask. “

One of those strong moments comes in the first episode when Kate shows up at a fancy auction event with her mom in a suit and tie. If this had been a movie or a show five years ago, Steinfeld would likely have worn something alongside a prom dress. But instead she shows herself as hellishly sharp in a traditionally masculine look, and that throws off Armand Duquesne (Simon Callow), who wonders if she could wear “something more feminine” next time. Tran doesn’t exaggerate the moment when asked, but she says it is an indication of how Kate can mess up the status quo – the Marvel Universe or otherwise.

“We use Kate as a character to bring out a particular mindset,” says Tran. “We point out that she is a young woman coming into this world. How she deals with it, how she sees this world, how it is perceived by others, all of this is explored in the action. Especially in her relationship with her mother. They have a bit of these opposing views about who she thinks she is and who she wants to be. We point this out and find it interesting to create this conflict between the two. “

In the comics, Kate is Hawkeye. In Hawk Eye, she’s just Kate. But in the end … well, anything seems possible, which based on their legacy seems to be exactly what the character is supposed to bring to any story.

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