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Hawkeye's Kate Bishop Explained: Who Is the MCU's Teenage Archer?
Everything's coming up Hawkeye in the MCU. Not only did Jeremy Renner's tortured hero find redemption in Avengers: Endgame, he's set to star in his own Disney+ series in 2021. And Clint Barton won't be the only Hawkeye this time. The series will also introduce his teenage counterpart, Kate Bishop (with Hailee Steinfeld reportedly up for the role).But who is Kate Bishop, and why did she steal Clint's superhero identity? We'll tell you everything you need to know about this hotheaded heroine and founding member of the Young Avengers. Here are the topics we're covering:
- Who Is Kate Bishop?
- Kate Bishop's Origin
- Kate Bishop's Powers and Abilities
- Hawkeye vs. Hawkguy: Kate Bishop's Connection to Clint Barton
- Kate Bishop's Signature Villains
- Kate Bishop in TV and Games
Who Is Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye?
In a time when Hawkeye was dead and the Avengers disbanded, Kate Bishop was one of several teenage heroes who stepped up to fill that void. Using nothing but her family wealth and her own well-honed archery skills, Kate took up the mantle of Hawkeye and helped spearhead a new team called the Young Avengers. Now that Clint has returned, he's taken it upon himself to train his young protege and share the Hawkeye name. It's a dysfunctional partnership, to say the least, but they've made it work.
Have you read Avengers: The Children's Crusade?
[She's a] hotheaded heroine and founding member of the Young Avengers.
Kate Bishop's Origin
Kate Bishop was created by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung and debuted in 2005's Young Avengers #1.Kate grew up as a child of wealth in Manhattan. Unfortunately, that wealth couldn't protect her from being attacked in Central Park. To help overcome the trauma of that incident, she began training in martial arts, fencing and archery. This training helped restore her self-confidence and eventually inspired her to take up the superhero lifestyle.Kate saw her opportunity after a chance run-in with the fledgling Young Avengers. She donned a costume inspired by both Hawkeye and Mockingbird's uniforms and forced her way into the team's ranks. It wasn't long before she proved herself more than worthy to carry the name Hawkeye.
Kate Bishop Cheat Sheet
First Appearance: Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Creators: Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung
Aliases: Hawkeye, Hawkette, Hawkingbird, Lady Hawkeye
Current Team: West Coast Avengers (Previously Young Avengers)
Recommended Reading: Young Avengers Vol. 1: Sidekicks, Hawkeye (2012) Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon, Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Vol. 1 – Anchor Points
Kate Bishop's Powers and Abilities
Like Clint Barton, Kate Bishop has no superhuman abilities. She's just a skilled fighter and an incredible marksman who fearlessly charges into battle against much stronger foes.Also like Clint, Kate is very skilled with a bow and arrow. She even has her own arsenal of trick arrows supplied by Black Panther. And she draws inspiration from other key figures in Clint's life, wielding a pair of twin staves like Mockingbird and even sometimes a sword like Clint's old mentor Swordsman.
Kate Bishop and Clint Barton
Hawkeye vs. Hawkguy: Kate Bishop's Connection to Clint Barton
Though she shares his superhero name, Kate doesn't necessarily have a direct connection to Clint Barton. That's true of most of the Young Avengers. They pay tribute to Earth's Mightiest Heroes, even if they aren't related to those heroes by blood. If anything, Kate chose the Hawkeye name out of convenience. His abilities most directly correspond to hers, and since Clint was dead at the time, it's not like he was around to complain about trademark violations.Clint did eventually return to life and restart his superhero career (first as Ronin and then as Hawkeye again). That kicked off an uneasy alliance between Clint and Kate that's persisted ever since, with both characters reluctantly sharing the Hawkeye name. Clint is also sometimes jokingly referred to as "Hawkguy," just to keep things simple.As Hawkguy, Clint is both a mentor and an annoying older brother figure to Kate. As much as Kate looks up to him, she's also come to realize he's not the shining paragon of heroism she made him out to be. More and more, Kate has found herself putting distance between herself and her fellow Hawkeye, most recently by heading to California and seeking her own superhero destiny.
Watch highlights from Marvel Studios' reveals at the Disney+ panel during D23 Expo 2019:
Kate Bishop's Signature Villains
Despite not having powers and focusing as much on detective work as superhero missions, Kate Bishop has developed a few intense rivalries during her brief career. Her own father, Derek Bishop, was revealed to be a powerful crime lord with ties to other big-name Marvel villains. One of those villains, Madame Masque, has essentially developed into Kate's arch-nemesis over the years. The two have a bitter rivalry going, even though they share a lot in common as daughters of wealthy, evil fathers.
Kate Bishop versus Madame Masque
Kate has also tussled with some of the biggest villains in the Marvel Universe thanks to her membership in the Young Avengers. She's been involved in more than one battle between the Kree and Skrull empires, and she and her teammates even fought Doctor Doom in a story called Avengers: The Children's Crusade.On the other end of the spectrum, Kate and Clint have both fought against the New York branch of the Russian mob (or "The Tracksuit Draculas," as Clint refers to them). Hawkeye and Hawkguy are pretty equal opportunity when it comes to making enemies.
Who Is Pizza Dog?
While Kate Bishop counts a number of A-list Avengers as friends and comrades, her most important ally is undoubtedly Lucky the Pizza Dog. Like Scooby-Doo, Lucky is blessed with unusually keen canine intelligence and a love of human junk food (hence the nickname "Pizza Dog"). The critically acclaimed Hawkeye #11 even presented a superhero adventure entirely from Lucky's nonverbal point-of-view.
Lucky originally took a shine to Clint Barton, even attacking the Russian mobsters threatening Clint's apartment building. He was severely beaten by the mobsters and left for dead, but Clint's quick intervention saved Lucky's life. Lucky became a fixture in Clint's loft, though it wasn't long before he took an even bigger shine to Kate. When the two Hawkeyes parted on unhappy terms, Lucky headed west with Kate. They've been pretty much inseparable ever since.
Kate Bishop in TV and Games
- TV: Despite being one of Marvel's more prominent teen heroes over the decade, Kate Bishop has had surprisingly little presence in Marvel's animated TV projects. To date, she's only appeared in one non-speaking role in an episode of Avengers: Ultron Revolution.
- Games: Kate appears as a playable character in several free-to-play Marvel games like Marvel Puzzle Quest, Marvel Heroes and Marvel Future Fight. She's also available as DLC in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2.
Kate will finally be making her MCU debut in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, with Hailee Steinfeld reportedly up for the role.Initially, fans speculated that Clint's own daughter Lila would become the MCU's version of Kate Bishop, creating a father/daughter dynamic that doesn't exist in the comics. However, despite Avengers: Endgame showing Clint training Lila in the art of archery, it now appears Kate will be introduced as a completely separate character. Marvel has indicated the series takes place during the five years between Infinity War and Endgame, showing more of Clint's time as Ronin. Kate could wind up becoming a surrogate daughter for Clint – a chance for him to mentor an up-and-coming hero and fill the void left by his family.We'll find out when the Hawkeye Disney+ series debuts in 2021!
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
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