10:00 am EDT, July 29, 2019

‘Hawkeye’ plot theories for the upcoming MCU Disney+ series

With a Hawkeye series confirmed to be coming to Disney+, we’re taking a look at how Kate Bishop might be introduced and just how Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton will factor in.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s slate over the next few years became that much clearer at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Not only as we’ve come to expect on the big screen, but also with the offerings heading to Disney’s subscription streaming service, Disney+.

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One of those series was centered around Hawkeye, a.k.a. Clint Barton, one of the few non-superhumans of the Avengers team, and a master archer.

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What an amazing event to be a part of tonight at SDCC … @marvelstudios @marvel #hawkeye #katebishop #🏹🏹

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But with his decision to set his Hawkeye moniker to one side in Endgame, and instead adopt the name Ronin, as he took out crime lords and organizations across the globe, there is a huge space for someone to step up and inherit the name. Enter: Kate Bishop.

With a handful of clues at our disposal, from SDCC, interviews, and more, we’re breaking down some possibilities for the direction of the series — including taking a couple of cues from the Marvel comics.

Handing over the Hawkeye mantle

One of the few details given about the Hawkeye series is that it will feature Clint taking Kate under his wing, before passing the Hawkeye baton off to her. This is something of a diversion from the comics, as Kate was already operating as Hawkeye before Clint became aware of her. However, as the MCU’s version of Hawkeye is not dead, and Kate doesn’t necessarily need to take his name to honor him, having a more formal handover would make a certain kind of sense. And something similar does happen in the comics.

In the limited series Young Avengers Presents, Clint Barton — still operating under Ronin, following his resurrection — encounters Kate and the other Young Avengers, and formally hands over his bow and arrows — but not without testing her a little first. Kate, after losing a wager with Clint and surrendering her use of Hawkeye’s bow and name, later infiltrates the Secret Avengers’ base to take it back. Clint, of course, notices Kate, but sees the move as exhibiting the kind of determination needed of a leader and grants her permission to use them. From that moment on, Clint becomes a sometimes-mentor to Kate, though the two also maintain something of a friendly rivalry, especially as they both use the Hawkeye name.

The series may take on a more traditional mentor-mentee relationship between the two, as a way to transition the Hawkeye name over to Kate, and particularly because Clint already has an established family, including a wife and three children, which is very different to his life in the Marvel comics.

Kate Bishop is already Hawkeye

With Clint operating as Ronin, and taking a darker path in Endgame, we could also meet a Kate who has already adopted the Hawkeye name, as a way to reclaim it and disavow the choices that the former-Hawkeye made following Thanos’ snap. This would make the series fall more into step with the Marvel comics, and require both characters to reckon with what happened in the intervening years, before Tony Stark restored the population.

The possibilities for introducing Kate as an already established Hawkeye could be endless, no least if she is operating in and around Manhatten. Kate, in the comics, is the daughter of Derek Bishop, a publishing magnate. Kate deeply admired her father, but it is later revealed that he is involved in criminal activities, which irrevocably alters her perception of him. She used that wealth and influence to volunteer at soup kitchens, and women’s shelters, wanting to do good — but the Hawkeye series could take it one step further, with Kate becoming a street-level hero, thwarting her father’s criminal plans, and also keeping people safe.

In a post-Endgame world, and with Clint needing to step back into the light and atone and reckon with his killing spree, becoming aware of Kate and being reminded of what it’s like to do and be good through her could be exactly what he needs — while also not ignoring what he did after the Snap.

Matt Fraction and David Aja vibes

One of the biggest clues given as to the potential direction of the Hawkeye series was in both the logo and key art. Reminiscent of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s award-winning 2012 run on the Hawkeye comics, the logo and art hints at the series following in its footsteps, both in style and substance. But that also brings up a few hurdles, as the Clint Barton in that run is single, living alone with a dog in an apartment building (which he owns), and is also… well. Kind of a disaster.

However, there’s no telling what might happen in the time between Endgame and when the series debuts in fall 2021. With the very real possibility that his time as Ronin, the rampant killing spree he went on, and the death of his best friend, Natasha, could take an emotional toll on him, it is not much of a stretch to think that it could extend to a breakdown of his marriage. That could leave Clint alone and looking for a way to make amends and put his life back together.

Bringing the action back down to street-level, introducing Kate into Clint’s life, and centering around the apartment building, could breathe new life into the hero. After all, he has always been in the shadow of some of the other Avengers, though he does still have his fans. Reinvigorating him in a new setting, while passing the torch over to the next generation of hero, could be exactly what Clint Barton needs.

Hawkeye will debut on Disney+ in Fall 2021.

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