After What If…? wraps up its first season, Hawkeye is the next Marvel series set to premiere on Disney+. It will star Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) training a new archer, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to take over the Hawkeye mantle. What do we know about the story so far?
Marvel has already set up an antagonist
In the post-credits scene of Black Widow, we see Yelena (Florence Pugh) at Natasha’s (Scarlett Johansson) grave. She’s joined by Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus), who shows Yelena a picture of Clint and tells her he’s the one who killed Natasha. But as we know from Avengers: Endgame, of course, that’s not the whole story.
Given Yelena’s newly reawakened feelings of sisterly love for Natasha and the fact that she’s still grieving her loss, it’s likely she’ll waste no time going after Clint. And Kate will have to factor into it somehow. Will she be the one to rescue or protect Clint from Yelena? Will Yelena use her to get to Clint? We’ll have to wait and see.
Yelena is a fantastic character who quickly became a favorite among many Marvel fans. She’s just too likable to be portrayed only in an antagonistic light. Not to mention the fact that she’s being set up to become one of the new heroes of the MCU. So it’s likely she won’t be the only opponent in the series. Perhaps she’ll realize she’s being manipulated by Valentina. Maybe she’ll even fight alongside Kate at some point — which would be so much fun to see.
Influences from Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’ comics
The series is likely to be influenced by Matt Fraction and David Aja’s 2012 run of Hawkeye comics, where Kate comes back into Clint’s life and the two team up. It’s a prominent and beloved series and one where Clint and Kate spend a lot of time together, so it would be unusual for the series not to draw inspiration from it.
Thematically, there are some similarities going on here. When Kate reconnects with Clint in the comics, he’s feeling weary and is generally pretty battered from his years of fighting side by side with his superpowered friends. Kate brings a revitalizing energy, which is just what he needs at that point.
Clint is at a similar place in the MCU. While his family is resurrected in Avengers: Endgame after being dusted by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, he has spent five years without them. It’s a dark period for Clint, which he spends angrily killing lots of criminals with a samurai sword. This mirrors his time as Ronin in the comics, during which Kate assumes the Hawkeye mantle.
So even though Clint is now reunited with his family, he’s probably still dealing with feelings of grief and guilt. And that means we’re poised to see a dynamic between Clint and Kate that’s similar to what we see in Fraction and Aja’s comics.
Will Clint lose his hearing?
It’s purely speculative at this point, but some fans have suggested Clint might lose his hearing, at least partially, during the series. This has precedents in the comics. He originally loses his hearing in the 1983 Hawkeye miniseries by Mark Grunewald. He later regains his hearing, then loses it again during Fraction and Aja’s run.
It would be an important decision in terms of representation. The MCU has done very little in terms of representing characters with disabilities, and this would be a significant step forward. The fact that it’s Clint — an important Avenger — who has periods of deafness in the comics and not just a side character is something a lot of fans view as a meaningful example of positive representation. And many have wanted to see it on screen for a long time.
Hawkeye is set to premiere on Disney+ on November 24.
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