Who is Kate Bishop in Marvel’s Hawkeye?

If there’s one thing the MCU excels at, it’s launching new characters. Every movie and TV series seems to be overflowing with them at this point. And fans speculate wildly as to who’s going to pop up next. For some reason, they really want Mephisto to show up. Fans are seeing him in every corner of the MCU at this point. But one new character who is definitely on the way is Kate Bishop.

Shakespeare once wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. A similar concept hopefully applies to heroes named Hawkeye because the MCU is about to have two of them. The trailer for the new Disney+ series Hawkeye was her official coming-out party. But for anyone who isn’t familiar with this character from the comics, they might be confused by two archers with the same name.

The death of Hawkeye

Hawkeye (Marvel Studios)

If there’s one truth to comic books, it’s that characters who die rarely stay dead. This isn’t just a Marvel thing, either. It’s extremely rare that a hero, villain, or secondary character doesn’t come back to life at some point. That was certainly true for Clint Barton. Keeping that in mind, it’s honestly a wonder that the man doesn’t die more often. He’s a human who fights monsters and gods, after all.

During one of Scarlet Witch’s many breakdowns, Hawkeye ended up on a Kree ship. That ship was subsequently destroyed, killing the former Iron Man villain and long-time Avenger. But as previously mentioned, death is rarely a permanent condition in comics. Thanks to yet another incident involving the Scarlet Witch, Clint Barton would be resurrected and return to action once more.

This time, she used her power to create an alternate reality called House of M. In it, Magneto and the Mutant species reigned over the world. Many of the remaining human heroes banded together to form a resistance. A side effect of this new reality was the resurrection of Barton. And even though he died again in House of M, reality being returned to normal restored him to the land of the living.

The rise of Kate Bishop

Kate Bishop Hawkeye
Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop (Marvel Studios)

Raised in New York by wealthy socialites, Kate Bishop became extremely disillusioned with her father. She discovered his dealings with a criminal known as El Matador. This realization ended with her being kidnapped by him and subsequently rescued by the Avengers. Hawkeye in particular played a big role in saving her. This experience proved to be a huge part of her decision to become a hero.

After suffering more personal trauma, Bishop found solace in martial arts training. It took time but she became an impressive fighter. On top of that, she also worked to become an exceptionally skilled archer. Kate Bishop’s fascination with Hawkeye certainly manifested itself early on. She was impressed with how he had no powers yet managed to keep up with the rest of the team.

Kate Bishop would eventually connect with the Young Avengers. When bad guys busted up her sister’s wedding, the Young Avengers stepped in and failed miserably. Kate essentially saved them. Together, she and Cassie Lang tracked them down and joined the team. It’s worth noting that several members of the Young Avengers are already in the MCU. That includes Cassie Lang, Eli Bradley, and Scarlet Witch’s sons.

It was during the early stages of this time that she finally chose a hero name. She went with Hawkeye as he was dead at the time and she had been deeply inspired by him. More than that, her costume also featured a purple color scheme similar to his. And Kate Bishop would also establish herself as a formidable archer and respected fighter. That being said, things got complicated when Barton came back.

Two Hawkeyes are better than one

Once Clint Barton rejoined the land of the living, Kate Bishop was left in a rather awkward position. So they did the adult thing and decided to share the name. DC might have a dozen different people called the Flash running around at any given moment. As such, Marvel can have two Hawkeyes if it wants. Frankly, having Kate around made Barton an even better character.

For a while, Barton fought under the name Ronin and mainly steered clear of Kate Bishop. But he eventually returned to the role of Hawkeye. At that point, he and Kate Bishop started strengthening their bond. It’s not like they’re father and daughter. Frankly, it’s more like they’re brother and sister. Barton is the haggard somewhat dimwitted older brother. Bishop is the smarter, more successful little sister.

Honestly, it’s a dynamic that works for both of them. This relationship humanized these characters and made them much more relatable. What’s interesting about their dynamic is that Kate is most assuredly not his sidekick. They are equals in combat, even though they use the same name. It will be interesting to see this all play out in the upcoming series.

Kate Bishop joins the MCU

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop
Hawkeye BTS (Marvel Studios)

Hawkeye debuts on Disney+ on November 24. Given what was shown in the trailer, the series will draw heavily on one era. From 2012 to 2015, Matt Fraction and David Aja produced the comics book series Hawkeye. It was key in defining the relationship between Barton and Bishop. Other fan favorites from that run such as Lucky the Pizza Dog and the Russian gang known as the Tracksuit Draculas will also be appearing in the show.

On top of that, another hero to wear the Ronin costume named Maya Lopez, aka Echo, is also part of the series. And someone is running around as Ronin, as well. Even more intriguing is the fact that Vincent D’Onofrio keeps teasing a return as the Kingpin in this show. What’s becoming increasingly apparent is that this series is doing its own thing. That has generally worked out well for the MCU so far.

But there’s another big difference and that’s MCU Barton’s family. They don’t exist in the comics. This made the relationship between Kate Bishop and Barton that much more important. MCU Barton’s family is a completely different dimension. As such, the nature of that comic book relationship will change on some level. Regardless, it will be interesting to watch an MCU with two Hawkeyes going forward. And a Pizza Dog, of course.

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