Hawkeye: Marvel finally acknowledges the “Avenger without powers”… or do they? (Spoiler warning)

Okay, this looks bad
Hawkeyes catchphrase brings a smile every time

Gionna Bean

“Okay, this looks bad” Hawkeye’s catchphrase brings a smile every time

Gionna Bean

Okay, so… Hawkeye happened. Yes, that is a pair of purple Converse and, yes, that is a shirt that says Hawkeye’s iconic catchphrase. Who are you to judge? Well, maybe you should be asking me that, since I’m about to judge the heck out of the new series that just aired its season finale on Disney+. Yes… I am well aware that “this looks bad.”

   The first episode opens up with a flashback of Kate Bishop’s childhood. The flashback highlights how Bishop lost her father at a young age during the MCU Attack on New York in 2012. 

   As she fearfully watches the chaos playing out outside her window, she spots Hawkeye (Clint Barton) fighting on a rooftop with a bow and arrow. This leads her to strive to become an amazing archer because, as she says to her mother, “I need to protect us.” 

   Fast forward to the present: a hearing-impaired Clint Barton finds Kate Bishop using his Ronin suit from his days of vigilante work after losing his family to The Blip. He now has to protect her from his old enemies, especially the tracksuit mafia, while trying to get back to his family for Christmas.

“There are four arrows more dangerous than that one?”

Zoebelle Bean

   While many argue that the series isn’t good because it didn’t have as much action as the MCU phase 3 movies did, Soph. Jack Reynolds respects the new approach Hawkeye has taken.

   “While Marvel is known for being action-packed throughout their movies and TV-Shows, Marvel has been trying to add more characters into each role. For me, Marvel has come a long way to show that they aren’t just another franchise that is all about actions,” said Reynolds.

   Reynolds believes that the slow-paced TV show format is better suited for introducing new characters. This intimate format can help the viewer to gain a better understanding of the character without having action interrupt good character development.

   An anonymous sophomore disagrees. “I feel that Marvel doesn’t care as much about the shows as they do the movies. For example, Infinity War was a very action-packed movie.” 

   Sr. Zoebelle Bean is an adamant fan of Hawkeye. She points out that people who think the series didn’t have enough action probably hadn’t gotten past the first one or two episodes. She believes that the series provides plenty of great action scenes.

   “The fight scenes were pretty good, especially the one where Clint was pretty much deaf the whole time after Echo crushed his hearing aid.”

   Bean’s favorite fight occurs in the third episode, after Clint breaks free from the Tracksuit Mafia. After Echo kicks his hearing aid out of his ear, he gets the better of her, jumps into a ball pit, and attacks two of the tracksuit guys without even seeing them. He does all of this while still being partially deaf. “I would say he fights even better without his hearing aid,” Bean said. 

   Bean commented that she likes that the MCU is starting to introduce disabilities.

   Spiderman: No Way Home even briefly introduced Matt Murdock, who goes by the alias Daredevil, a blind lawyer/crime fighter. Along with Clint’s hearing disability, the MCU is opening up to being a more diverse community.


   There are only two things about the series that have annoyed Bean. “Kate Bishop, in the comics, serves a very important role as Hawkeye’s successor and protégé. However, in this series, she is very nearly tossed to the side as a character.” 

   Bishop is portrayed in the comics as a cool and collected, no-nonsense fighter. In the TV series, she is the complete opposite. “She is not a fighter- she is a school-taught archer who has never been in the field or a real fight before. In the comics, she seems more mature and respectable,” said Bean.

   Jr. Sidney Hogan holds the opposite opinion. “I didn’t realize that Hawkeye would mainly follow Kate’s perspective. I like that there’s a female lead, and Hailee Steinfeld’s acting makes it even better. I would still like Kate as a character even if she wasn’t played by Hailee Steinfeld. I like her backstory and personality. To those who think her character is annoying: maybe you’re just not used to a strong, independent female lead?” said Hogan.

  Many have found the MCU to be more inclusive in this aspect, as with the inclusivity of those with disabilities. “It’s nice knowing that the MCU is becoming more expansive and trying new female characters. All of this time, there have been all these cool male superheroes but we still don’t have a super cool (like spiderman) female hero,” said an anonymous sophomore.

“Ah, I love hot sauce”

   Conversely, the other thing that has disappointed Bean in the series is Yelena Belova’s surprise appearance in episode 4. “Devoting an entire episode to her appearance was dramatic and made the series suffer. Just when the plot seems to pick up, Yelena shows up and makes comments about mac-and-cheese and hot sauce for half an hour of our time while Bishop sits in a corner and studies her until she leaves. The conversation is half-hearted between the two women- half the time I’m expecting Bishop to leap out of her chair and attack the enemy or Yelena to show her true colors, when in reality they sit there ‘peaceably’ until Yelena offers a short quip and darts out a window. What did the audience get out of this? What did this part of the episode achieve?” said Bean.

   Yelena Belova is a beloved character to many in the MCU. While most Marvel fans were elated to see her at the end of episode 4, Bean thought there were just too many plots running at the same time, which took away from the focus of Clint and Kate against the tracksuit mafia and Echo.

“Should probably walk the dog, don’t you think?”

   However, one thing that most Marvel fans can agree on is that Lucky the Pizza Dog was a great addition to the series. 

“I like Pizza Dog because he’s cute, obviously. I like him as a companion for Kate. I don’t think he gets in the way at all; he’s not featured very often, plus, dog owners who watch the show can relate to many moments where he’s featured,” said Hogan.

   “I like Pizza Dog because, one, he’s a dog and two, he’s so adorable. Yes, I think Pizza Dog (Lucky) contributes well to the plot because according to the comic, he helped to stop Taskmaster. And to those who think Lucky is in the way: how rude,” said Reynolds.

“More. cookie. please. thank you.”

Zoebelle Bean

   There are many ways in which the series connects to the comics, which is perfect for comic book fans. Bean comments that the series takes many moments directly from volumes in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye series, including volumes such as “My Life as a Weapon” and “Rio Bravo”.

   “The coolest connection, however, was the car chase in episode three that connected directly back to issue number 3, ‘Cherry’. The entire chase scene was based on the trick arrows used (each one was directly from that issue), the awesome car driving, and Clint being both cocky and deaf at the same time. Even the iconic opening page of ‘My Life as a Weapon’ with Clint jumping off a building backward while firing an arrow was a cool addition in the series,” said Bean.

“This has gotten very real, very quickly”

   The series will clearly contribute to later projects in the MCU. Kingpin was a focus in the last episode. Although it seemed that he was killed when Echo shot him, he was shot many times in the comics and still came back very much alive. 

   Also, Kazi, Echo’s sidekick, is a villain in the comics. He’s known as The Clown, and he’s the one who deafens Clint in the comics. Kazi also looked as though he was about to die but, as Bean points out, “He was still breathing and Kingpin was never shown on screen getting shot, meaning they are probably far from done with their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kingpin has known to become blind for a brief time in the comics so this could set up quite the rebound for him.” Kingpin should serve as a gateway to an introduction of Daredevil as well, since they are known enemies in the comics.

   Yelena also quickly became a fan-favorite through her hilarious obsession with hot sauce and mac and cheese. After establishing a relationship worthy of BFFs with Kate, she is sure to come up again later in Marvel projects. 

Zoebelle Bean

   Although the series was not the redemption many had hoped for Clint Barton’s previous lack of acknowledgment in the movies, the characters from this series are not done making their mark. The series will clearly continue to have “echoes” throughout future shows and movies in phase 4.