Over the course of six episodes, Hawkeye on Disney+ has opened up a lot of new avenues and potential storylines for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While of course nothing is confirmed, there is still lots of evidence to review now that Hawkeye has concluded.
Much of the plot was based on Matt Fraction’s celebrated Hawkeye and Kate Bishop comics, and the stunning credits sequences are directly inspired by David Aja and Annie Wu’s signature art style. The show itself introduced us to Kate as well as Maya Lopez, AKA Echo, and it returned fan-favorites like Yelena Belova to the screen. As possibly the last time in the foreseeable future that Clint Barton is headlining an Avengers property, we also saw the development of future lineups for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
All in all, Marvel’s Hawkeye hit the mark. Take a look below at some of the best moments (and some light speculation) for the future of the MCU. Don’t worry, Rogers: The Musical is not included.
While we’re on the subject of music, let’s talk about the Hawkeye soundtrack. The series was lightly festive, with a holiday backdrop of New York City. Whether music from The Nutcracker is playing in the background of a car chase or the Tracksuit Mafia bros are bobbing their heads to Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” music has played an important part in Hawkeye.
And if you think about it, this actually makes sense. Sound is so closely tied to Hawkeye as a hero. Clint is famously partially deaf and now it’s been officially acknowledged on screen; throughout the show sign language is utilized among many of the characters. In addition, Maya, who is deaf, compels Clint to embrace this part of his identity rather than fight it. Her iconic entrance also shows her listening to music with her hand against a speaker as Depeche Mode’s “Christmas Island” plays ominously.
Other Avengers Teams
After the Infinity Saga, the Avengers of the MCU are no longer the same team as when we met them. Black Widow and Iron Man sacrificed themselves in the fight against Thanos. Steve Rogers passed his shield on to Falcon and reunited with Peggy Carter. Thor is exploring space with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Wanda is off on her own contending with reality. Now, Bruce, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange are functioning as veteran leaders but there are also many new additions — not to mention team formations.
With Shang-Chi, Yelena, Kate Bishop, and Maya securing prominent spots in the MCU, there’s potential for other Avengers teams to step into the spotlight. Both Maya and Shang-Chi have fought with the New Avengers and Shang-Chi was also part of the Secret Avengers — as was WandaVision‘s Monica Rambeau. Monica, as Photon, led the Mighty Avengers alongside Luke Cage, and this Mighty lineup also included Sam Wilson’s Captain America, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, and Blade (among others).
Yelena brings some moral ambiguity to the table, as she was a member of the Dark Avengers, a team instrumental in the Secret Invasion storyline (which will be a 2022 Marvel release). The Dark Avengers also featured John Walker as U.S. Agent along with Baron Zemo. And of course, Hawkeye‘s Kate Bishop could head to the best coast in some incarnation of the West Coast Avengers, or the Young Avengers might finally assemble sooner than we think.
No matter what teams might be appearing in the future MCU, it’s clear that duos also have a place among the many all-star ensembles. Kate and Clint are a prime example.
Kate Bishop and Clint Barton
“Your problem is branding.” Kate points out to Clint that people want sincerity rather than his typical cool, detached persona — which is all the more poignant since Kate is speaking as someone who was directly inspired by Hawkeye. At first, Clint is resistant to Kate’s help and they don’t yet have that same rapport as they do in the comics.
Episode 3 is where they really turn the corner as a duo. Their communication is slightly out of sync during the iconic car chase, but by the time they have their moment together in the subway, their sentences have come to complement each other. Likewise, episode 4 shows Kate and Clint becoming more like family for each other, with the movie marathon and the coin flipping, and Clint even opens up to Kate about his grief. In that same episode, Kate falls off the roof and Clint must confront a flashback to Natasha’s death, causing him to temporarily shut Kate out.
Though they have their ups and downs with each other, all of these small bonding moments come together in the finale, when Clint finally calls Kate his partner.
Hawkeye Fight Scenes
While both Maya Lopez and Yelena Belova might have first appeared as antagonists, over the course of the Hawkeye series their characters were enriched with backstory and intricate ties to the rest of the MCU. Both characters also had excellent entrances onto the show. Maya uses her deafness and her prosthetic leg as strengths during combat and Yelena’s hard edges have only sharpened since Natasha’s death.
In modernizing comic book characters, it’s easy to default to standard dark leather outfits. Hawkeye even pokes fun at the archer’s lack of a distinctive hero costume. Maya and Yelena, however, had TV debuts that featured signature elements of their style from the comics. As her father is dying, he leaves Maya with her signature bloody handprint across her face, and when Yelena first arrives on the rooftop, she’s wearing her arachnoid mask with the multiple eyepieces.
Another significant showdown is the impromptu fencing match between Kate and Jack Duquesne, Eleanor Bishop’s fiancé. From the start, Kate suspected there was more to Jack than meets the eye, and this scene shows his dubious side. Kate tricks him into parrying her surprise attack and in the process exposes his expertise, a sure sign that he has something to do with the missing Ronin sword. Also, has the offer of a butterscotch candy ever been more sinister?
New MCU Villains
Kingpin, Kazi, and Eleanor – oh my! These six episodes of Hawkeye presented audiences with a range of new villainous figures, from the endless number of Tracksuit Mafia bros to the revelation of the literal big bad, Kingpin and the (not-so?) shocking involvement of Kate’s mother, Eleanor, in the plot to kill Clint. After all, Kate’s family has often been a source of her problems.
It would appear that Jack was a red herring in the villain department and that actually, it was Eleanor and the Kingpin who were pulling the strings along. Thanks to Maya, the futures of Kingpin and Kazi seem pretty bleak, though any Marvel fan knows that an eye for an eye never means absolute death. Perhaps we’ll get more information in the upcoming Echo series.
Yelena’s Mac and Cheese
The interactions between Yelena and Kate were some of the best scenes in the show. Most of the time, they seemed like sisters — with Yelena filling the role of big sister, like Natasha, and Kate becoming the little sister who needs to be reigned in, like Yelena used to be.
As always, Yelena is a scene stealer with her ability to do something completely innocent, like offer Kate some mac and cheese, while revealing her assassination mission. She brings an additional layer of humor to the Hawkeye series with every appearance, plus her inclusion allows both Clint and fans to properly mourn Natasha.
Watch Out for Old Allies
Recently, in Spider-Man: No Way Home, we saw the inclusion of Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, in the MCU. With his surprise entrance, a new question pops up: Who else might appear from separate Marvel franchises?
As discussed earlier, many of the new main heroes, like Yelena, Maya, Monica, and Shang-Chi, have ties to other prominent Marvel characters such as Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. It’s even possible that the new Taskmaster could return alongside the other Widows who Yelena has been rehabilitating. However, one of the biggest outlying questions from the Hawkeye finale is that watch — it’s a reference to Agent 19, the codename for Bobbi Morse. And Bobbi, as Hawkeye fans will know, was Clint’s ex-wife as well as the hero Mockingbird. This connection to Laura Barton makes sense — throughout the series she demonstrates impressive tactical knowledge — but it also raises questions about Laura’s past.
Speaking of allies, there’s Lucky the Pizza Dog, undeniably the goodest boy in the MCU. You could even say he brought Clint and Kate together just as much as Ronin’s suit and sword. If Ronin gave their mission purpose, then Pizza Dog provided the heart.
This year, Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series have brought us many spectacular television moments. Throughout Hawkeye, we saw the development of an exceptional young hero in Kate Bishop. The show also introduced dynamic new characters and brought familiar favorites back into the fold.
As a last installment in Marvel’s 2021 MCU lineup, Hawkeye was right on target. Which moment stands out to you most from the Hawkeye series? Do you have any MCU predictions? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!