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Kate Bishop: The Better Hawkeye

By Sam Andico  and Dre Willis 

Earlier this year, Marvel announced that the admittedly better Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, would be getting her own solo series. Hawkeye will be helmed by Kelly Thompson with art by Leonardo Romero, with the first issue set to be released in December 2016. Kate was first featured in Young Avengers #1 by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, and gained popularity throughout the years in the Young Avengers series (both Heinberg/Cheung’s and Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie’s). However, Kate truly shone in Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Annie Wu’s Hawkeye series, and was even given her own storylines.

The announcement of Kate getting her own series is pretty monumental; when Thompson’s interview with iO9 was released in September, many (who have never been introduced to Kate) wondered what would happen to Clint and why this “random girl” was being given the title of “Hawkeye.” Well, that’s what we’re here to do – tell you all about the wonderful hero that is Katherine Bishop.


As mentioned above, Kate’s first appearance in the Marvel universe was in Young Avengers #1 (April 2005). In this series, it is revealed that prior to joining the team, Kate is brutally assaulted in Central Park. This traumatizing incident led Kate to engage in intense combat training – she learned all the tricks of the trade. (No one besides Jessica Jones and Kate’s therapist knows about her assault.)

After befriending Cassie Lang (yes, Ant-Man’s daughter), the two of them are introduced to the Young Avengers – initially Hulkling, Wiccan, and Patriot – and join the team, to the initial chagrin of the initial members. She is jokingly referred to as “Hawkingbird” by her teammates as her original outfit consisted of pieces from Mockingbird, Hawkeye (his bow & arrow), Black Widow, and the Swordsman. She becomes an official member of the Young Avengers after their battle against Kang the Conqueror.


Kate officially meets Clint Barton later on in Young Avengers Presents, while he is known as Ronan. He constantly tests her, to see if she is worthy enough of the title of Hawkeye and his bow. She fails his initial test of splitting an arrow in half with another – but her infiltrating the Secret Avengers base impresses him, and he allows her to use the Hawkeye name and keep his bow.


Clint and Kate become close friends, which leads to their adventures in Bed-Stuy in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye run for Marvel NOW! Clint serves as her mentor. The two of them constantly test each other and engage in friendly competition from time to time. Together, they protect the community that they both work in. However, one day, Kate can no longer take Clint’s aloofness, and takes on the city of Los Angeles, where she goes up against the notorious Madame Masque. Fraction and Annie Wu give Kate her own solo issues, delving into her witty, independent, tough-minded, and caring personality. She has a knack for helping others and doing what is right.  

Kate is also seen in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers run (2013).

It’s definitely exciting to see that Kate is getting her own series. After touching on what her life in L.A. would be like in Fraction/Aja/Wu’s series, it is definitely going to be interesting to see her come into her own and emotionally deal with the aftermath of Clint Barton’s trial in Civil War II. Her willingness to take the shot, and utter badassery will definitely make this series one for the books.  

And you may be wondering how exactly should Katie Kate Hawkeye (haha, Hawkeye joke) be portrayed in the MCU. Well, here’s a concept idea we’ve come up with.

Set a few years before the first Iron Man movie, Kate Bishop, a young woman from a well to do family, experiences a traumatising assault. Instead of succumbing to her tragedy, Kate decides to take back her life by getting help through a therapist and training hard so that something like that never happens again. While jogging around town, Kate witnesses a crazy man with bow being chased by a gang of Russian speaking, tracksuit wearing men.

Curious, she follows them and is amazed at the man’s skill in taking down the Russians. Kate confronts him and demands to be trained. The man refuses but Kate is stubborn, which he admires. He introduces himself as Clint Barton and eventually agrees to train her. Throughout the training and fighting the Russian gang, the duo learn about each other and grow as partners. In the show we’ll get to see the complex relationship that is Hawkeye x Hawkeye, the backstory of Clint Barton, the introduction of his brother Barney, an array of interesting supporting characters living in Clint’s apartment in BedStuy, the introduction of Lucky the Pizza Dog, and the origin of Clint Barton’s wife Laura. We might also get some insight into what exactly happened in Budapest with a Black Widow guest star appearance! In the end, Kate could become an Agent of SHIELD which would warrant her introduction onto the show or perhaps have her own solo series where she shines as Hawkeye and possibly incorporate her brief adventures in LA and the beginning of the Young Avengers!

As for who would star in this show, we have a couple ideas. #1 draft pick for Kate Bishop (aka The Better Hawkeye) is none other than Arden Cho, who recently played Kira Yukimura on Teen Wolf. At least to us and a bajillion people on the internet, Arden Cho is Kate Bishop in disguise. She can easily play the bad-ass archer with an attitude working through her own tragedies while also keeping things fun. Our second choice would be Li BingBing who was recently in Transformers: Age of Extinction and the Resident Evil franchise. I mean look at this fan art based off of her by Meder Taab:


Now for Clint Barton, the OG Hawkeye, we’re sticking with the OG actor Jeremy Renner. This will give him more time as Hawkeye, something everyone has been demanding since Thor! If for some reason Renner is unavailable, we do have an idea for a slightly younger Clint played by Garrett Hedlund, whom you may know from Tron: Legacy (don’t worry – we won’t mention Pan). A great actor, who I’ve liked since Four Brothers and someone who could really portray the witty but self-destructive Clint Barton (best written during Matt Fraction’s run). Plus, you can’t tell me he doesn’t look like Clint and Jeremy Renner in this edit by Hettolandija:


We really do hope that Kate will one day make her way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Until then, we’ll be sticking to our headcanons. We can’t wait for our favorite West Coast Avenger’s new adventures.

(Hawkeye #1 by Kelly Thompson, with art by Leonardo Romero, will be released this December.)


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