Did Disney’s ‘Hawkeye’ just squander a major villain?

Image: Keane Eacobellis / Marvel

Disney’s new Hawkeye series is drawing praise from critics and MCU fans alike, but some sans of the source material, namely the seminal Hawkeye Vol. 4 by Matt Fraction and David Aja, are already frustrated by the short shrift given to one of the titles main villains.

The first episode of the series introduced us to the “Tracksuit Mafia” (also known as the “Tracksuit Draculas” in the comics series) as the principal muscle of whoever is behind the death of Armand Duquesne III. Thus far, their principal member and de facto leader seems to be the character, Kazimierz “Kazi” Kazimierczak portrayed by Irish actor, Fra Fee. Unlike the other Tracksuit “Bros”, Kazi dresses far more elegantly and is seemingly leading from the shadows, letting the more flamboyant mafia members do the dirty work.

In the comics, Kazimierczak is a far more chilling character. In his alter ego of “Clown”, Kazimierczak is a face painted sadistic assassin, hired by the powers that be behind the Tracksuits to eliminate Clint Barton. Clown’s macabre make-up and chilling cruelty made him a standout villain in the series and many rejoiced at his casting as a chance to see the villain in an onscreen role.

However, the end of the second episode is the reveal for the character Maya Lopez aka Echo. Many fans believe that the inclusion of Kazimierczak is nothing more than a bait and switch and that the character will be downplayed if even featured at all, in favor of the Echo character. Indeed, Disney Plus has already announced an Echo solo series to be on the boards.

However, all hope is not lost to fans of the character. The MCU has often introduced characters while delaying their origins. Crossbones from the Captain America franchise immediately springs to mind. Brock Rumlow in continuity as a traitorous SHIELD agent long before he donned his iconic skull mask in Age of Ultron. It may well be that, unlike the comics’ character, the MCUs Clown will have an origin happening in real-time over the course of the series. As the Disney Plus series has already made marked departures from the Fraction penned series most notably with the existence of Hawkeye’s family in the MCU version. Given the popularity of the character among fans of the comic, as well as Marvel/Disney’s ability to keep mum about plot developments, there’s still a fairly good chance they may soon see an on-screen version of the villain.