It’s Christmas Eve, so I thought I’d share my rambling thoughts on Hawkeye, the Disney+ miniseries that attempts to get Clint Barton home in time for Christmas, while confronting the ghosts of his past as the Ronin.
We mainly follow Kate Bishop, who as a young girl was rescued during the Chitauri attack on New York by Barton, and has ever since aspired to be like him. While Kate and her mother Eleanor attend a charity auction gala, Kate discovers a secret auction in the basement where items recovered from the Avengers Compound are offered for sale. The auction is interrupted by the Tracksuit Mafia, who make off with a watch; Kate manages to defeat the mafia while wearing the Ronin suit, though later on they catch up with her. After seeing a news report of the Ronin’s return, Barton rescues Kate but her apartment catches on fire, so they have to abandon the suit.
The return of the Ronin has prompted the Tracksuit Mafia to hunt for Barton at the instigation of their boss, Maya Lopez. Barton uncovers links to Eleanor Bishop’s fiancé and the Mafia, and discovers that Lopez is after the Ronin because he killed her father. Barton attempts to recover the watch from Lopez but is apprehended by a masked assailant who is revealed to be Yelena Belova. Yelena later catches up with Kate and explains her mission to kill Barton. She further reveals that she has been hired by Eleanor, who is working with Lopez’ “uncle”, who is revealed to be the Kingpin.
As events come to a head, Barton is able to convince Yelena that he and Natasha were friends, and she sacrificed herself for the whole universe. Eleanor is arrested, and Kate is able to incapacitate Kingpin using trick arrows, though he is able to escape. Lopez confronts him after learning he engineered her father’s murder, and a gunshot is heard. Meanwhile, Barton brings Kate along as he is reunited with his family for Christmas.
I’ve missed a great deal of the twists and turns of plot out here, because this is quite a hefty storyline, but it’s also really great – in fact, I would hesitate to say it is one of the best Disney+ Marvel shows I’ve seen so far! I’m not particularly a Hawkeye fan, but I do believe he was always somewhat relegated to a side role in the Avengers movies, which is a shame when you consider the fact he used to actually lead the West Coast Avengers back in the day. It was nice to see him in his own show where, while he’s not necessarily front and centre all the time, he passes on the mantle to Kate Bishop. I know a lot of the internet doesn’t seem to like the show because of her, but a lot of the internet seems to hate on Marvel shows simply because they include significant female roles. Which is just stupid.
There are so many tie-ins to the Defenders in this show, I think that’s a major part of why I enjoyed this one so much. The big one, of course, is Kingpin, played by Vincent d’Onofrio, who created the role in the Netflix Daredevil series. I am a very big Daredevil fan, so was a big fan of this. Maya Lopez is Echo, a fairly complex superhero who is slated to get her own Disney+ series in 2023, which I am very excited about! I’ve read there are hints that Laura Barton, who owns the watch that was a catalyst for so much of the action throughout the series, as well as suddenly steps up almost as a partner to her husband’s superhero persona at times, might actually be the SHIELD agent Mockingbird, which could be really quite something if that is used in the future.
Overall, it’s a very different type of Marvel show, with a lot of the New York high society glitz undercut with the organised crime underbelly of the city. I really enjoyed it, perhaps in part because I didn’t expect very much from it. Like I said, I wouldn’t call myself a Hawkeye fan, but the show turned out so well that I was really impressed!