Hawkeye Hits a Bullseye
Hawkeye is the only original Avenger who never got a movie. All of then except for Clint and Natasha got movies leading up to the first Avengers movie and even the Black Widow got her own movie postmortem. In getting a Disney+ 6 episode series, Hawkeye gets just under 5 hours for his own story with episodes ranging from 41 to 62 minutes in length. We get the introduction of Kate Bishop as well as a few other characters to the MCU roster. I’ve seen good reviews as well as some very critical opinions on the series. I think they did a good job with the show. There’s some good action and character development along with a decent amount of humor to keep things light. It’s definitely worth a look, especially given the number of places things going on in the series may lead.
The series starts back during the first Avengers movie with a young girl who will later be revealed to be Kate Bishop. An explosion rocks the penthouse she’s in when a hole is blasted into the side of the building during the alien attack which ends up killing her father. She sees Hawkeye fighting the invasion with just a bow and arrow, a regular guy fighting beside heroes with powers and armor. At her father’s funeral, her mother, Elenor, says she can have whatever she wants. What she wants is a bow. Queue the scenes of her learning archery, martial arts, and gymnastics. This is how you train to be a super-hero. Cut to modern day and and Kate comes home for Christmas after getting in trouble, arriving at the same penthouse she was in before. They must have done some good repairs with the office wall being the only issue to keep the place livable. (It’s funny how something like that is one of the things that’s most questionable in a world with super-heroes.) Her mother has a new boyfriend, Jack Duquesne, who has an interest in swords. (A little Googling revealed that in the comics, Jack is the Swordsman, a villain and later Avenger who has been associated with Hawkeye. I’m familiar with the character but never knew his real name so didn’t make the connection at first.) At a big fancy Christmas gala/fundraiser, Kate follows up on a secret auction will all sorts of interesting things from the destroyed Avengers Tower including Clint’s Ronin costume and sword. When the bad guys blast through the wall looking to steal a bunch of stuff, especially some watch, Jack ends up with the sword which contracts down conveniently (I’d love to see how that actually works.) and Kate gets the costume. After fighting bad guys in the costume, Kate ends up getting filmed and on the news in the costume while saving a half-blind dog. Yes, this is Lucky, Clint’s dog from the comic books.
Meanwhile, Clint and his 3 children are in New York City. His wife Laura is back home because this is supposed to be some time for him with the kids. Honestly, I think it was just an excuse for her not being there so the kids would have to be sent home once things started getting messy. The family goes to see Rogers: The Musical, a really bad telling of the events in the first Avengers movie. Every time you see anything about the musical, the only song you get is the cheesy “I Could Do This All Day”. Given it’s a stage performance, they make the in-show casting look pretty good for the most part. How do you cast the Hulk? Toss a regular sized guy in a green hoodie with green face paint. It’s so bad, but I’m assuming it’s supposed to be. Then there’s also something that Clint points out and that’s that Ant-Man is included in the team. Why? It’s an odd choice as he’s probably one of the lesser known heroes to later be associated with the group. Maybe that’s the point but I’d think movie people attending the play would have no idea who he is. Clint catches the news back at the hotel room and sees someone in the Ronin suit and knows he needs to get it back. When he mentions what’s going on to his wife, she actually asks about the watch. Now I’m really wondering what’s up with this watch that it seems so in demand. Clint send the kids home without him and promises he’ll be home for Christmas.
Move ahead to Clint finding Kate in the Ronin costume and her trying to become his partner. The Track Suit Mafia (TSM) is after her though since they want Ronin for the things Clint did in Avengers: Endgame. Most of the bad guys are a big joke leading to some good humor throughout the series. There are some of them that are more serious trouble. The first is Kazi who seems to be the second in command. The other is Maya Lopez who I knew from the comics as Echo. This makes sense as an Echo series is on the schedule for Disney+. Clint tries to keep Kate out of everything and lets himself get taken by the TSM to try to find out what’s up and get things taken care of without Kate getting hurt. There are 2 problems though. Kate doesn’t listen to just about anyone and her mother owns a security firm that can somehow track and target whatever phone number she wants. Again, it’s the mundane things that seem the least believable in here. I can accept trick arrows more easily than this stuff. But she ends up following Clint, getting caught, and ruining his plans. They escape but end up running across Yelena Belova who has been hired to kill Clint. He is not having a good time in New York at all and definitely wants Kate out of the middle of this now that a Black Widow assassin had entered the fray.
Kate still thinks Jack is the bad guy and behind a lot of this and tells her mom. She also gets some LARPer friends of hers to make new costumes for herself and Clint while getting them to use their contacts to get some of Clint’s gear back. One of them is actually a lesbian too. It’s not pushed as part of the story, but she just mentions the bag his stuff is in is from her girlfriend. It’s pretty cool that it’s put out there as matter of fact as anything else. Things keep going and Kate’s mom gets Jack arrested. Kate goes back to her old apartment for some reason and it ends up Yelena is there and helping herself to some mac and cheese that somehow didn’t get toasted in the fire. Plus, the stove is still working too? (As, I’ve said… it’s the little basic things here that I question.) There’s actually some humorous conversation that even leads up to Kate telling Yelena to stop making her like her. It turns out that Yelena has disappeared during the Snap and found out that Natasha died during it but didn’t have all the details so had no problem taking down Clint since she believes he’s to blame.
When it comes down to the end, a lot happens with a number of surprises. There’s lots of fighting with lots of trick arrows which is fun. Elenor ends up being a bad guy who is actually connected to the Kingpin. (Vincent D’Onofrio reprises his role as Wilson Fisk that he played in the Netflix Daredevil series.) In fact, she sent Yelena after Clint. Thankfully, Yelena gets enough of the true story from Clint that she doesn’t try to kill him anymore. Jack shows up, sword in hand, and helps out in the fighting along with some of the LARPers. It makes me wonder if they plan to have the Swordsman actually appear somewhere in the future or if he’s tossed in there just in case they want him at some point. They hint at Kingpin possibly getting killed by Maya but I really don’t see them actually throwing him away that quickly. And finally Clint, with Kate and Lucky in tow, finally makes it home for Christmas.
Oh, and then there’s the watch. Clint found it and gives it to Laura. She flips it over to find a S.H.I.E.L.D. symbol and the number 19. Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) was agent 19 as well as Hawkeye’s wife in the comics. This brings up a lot of questions. Is “Laura” an alias? Is she really Mockingbird or is this a red herring? If she is, that pushes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. even further away from the MCU. This opens a lot of questions that I bet we’re not going to get answers to any time soon.
On top of that, we have Kate now working with Hawkeye and in need of a code name. All the ones she thinks of are lame but at least with just the arrows and not Bobbi’s equipment like in the comics, we didn’t have to worry about Hawkingbird. The end filters off but it sounds like he might share the Hawkeye name like in the comics. On top of Kate, we have Ant-Man’s daughter, Cassie, out there who was Stature in the comics. Wanda’s sons, Billy and Tommy, are most likely still out there somewhere. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier introduced Isaiah Bradley which could lead to Eli (Patriot). The Vision and (soon to be) Kang have been introduced which could lead to Iron Lad. The only one we have no leads on would be Hulkling though we have seen the Kree through Captain Marvel, but we don’t have the original Mar-Vell from the comics that was his father. The trailer for the new Doctor Strange movie even shows America Chavez, even though she wasn’t in the original team. There’s definitely enough to start building a Young Avengers team. I would definitely love to see that.
They really used the 6 episodes to give themselves a lot to work with and build on. The show had it’s questionable points but was still solid. The action was well done, especially in the last episode as everything got resolved. Marvel had a lot on its plate with all the upcoming shows so I’m not sure when we’ll see where things go from this point. For how, I’ll look forward to shows that have been announced like Moon Knight, X-Men ’97, Agatha: House of Harkness, Secret Invasion, and the second season of What If?