Hawkeye was one of the first Marvel shows announced for Disney Plus. Unveiled in a blaze of publicity alongside The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki, it faced several delays due to scheduling conflicts and COVID-19. The show saw a premiere last night in Hollywood and next week we finally get to see it for ourselves, with the first two episodes coming out next Wednesday.
Trailers and promos indicate a witty and action-packed adventure, taking major cues from Matt Fraction and David Aja’s classic run with the character. The core of the show seems to be Hawkeye’s relationship with his protégée, Kate Bishop, who’s eager to learn all his bow-based secrets.
Writer Jonathan Igla has said he sees the show as an opportunity to give Clint Barton the screen time he deserves, pointing out that the gigantic ensemble casts and world-threatening stakes of The Avengers movies mean there’s little room for individual character development and quieter moments. Speaking to Variety, he said:
“I think we’re getting to see a funnier side of Clint in this show. And we’re getting to see him in a mentorship role, which we hadn’t really gotten to seen before. But I would say that the highlight, the thing that really comes from the comic books that mostly influenced the show is what Clint is doing when he’s not with the Avengers. I’m always excited by those moments in-between the biggest missions, and that was exciting to get to dive into.”
Kevin Feige also chimed in, agreeing that so far MCU Hawkeye has only encompassed a tiny fragment of the character’s long history in Marvel Comics:
“All of these roles have been fairly small. And then in Ultron, we got a little more. And then he just starts stealing all of these scenes. But it was always the intention to explore much more. The character’s history is vast. And also, the Matt Fraction comics, which I am sure people have been spending a lot of time talking about, was a big tonal inspiration for us. And seeing that and this new dynamic.”
One aspect I’m particularly looking forward to is that Hawkeye already looks like it’s going to be the most fun take on Hawkeye seen so far in the MCU. Aside from the closing scenes of Endgame, he’s been tortured and miserable for years, so some optimism regarding his future is long overdue.
The first two episodes of Hawkeye air on Disney Plus on November 24.