Marvel’s Hawkeye TV adaptation is now in full swing, with the latest set photos revealing Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop in all her purple-jumpsuited glory. Joining her in the show will be Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, who’ll serve as a mentor in Kate’s journey towards becoming a hero. While we don’t know much about the show yet (or who the titular Hawkeye will be), we do know a lot about Kate Bishop and all the adventures she’s been on so far.
Whether you’re familiar with Kate from her Marvel Comics appearances or not, here’s a refresher on who she is and why she takes up the Hawkeye mantle for herself.
Kate Bishop earned the Hawkeye name after joining the Young Avengers
Kate Bishop became a member of the Young Avengers — a group of superheroic teens– in 2005 after witnessing them in action.
As a trained archer, martial artist and highly-skilled combatant she became the team’s ace in the hole and eventually earned her place as a member of the roster.
While she lacked superpowers of her own, Kate more than held her own and was ultimately gifted the ‘Hawkeye’ name by Captain America, who was impressed by her stubbornness and future potential.
At the time the original Hawkeye (Clint Barton) was missing and presumed dead. When he returned, he tested Kate and found her worthy of keeping the name.
From then on, they both existed as superheroes known as ‘Hawkeye’.
Clint Barton hasn’t always been her mentor
While Clint Barton took on Kate’s mentorship in the 2012 Hawkeye comic series, their relationship was mostly strained before then. When the two met face-to-face for the first time, Barton aggressive towards her and aimed to test her strength before he trusted her.
When Kate proved herself, she was mostly left to her own devices.
The Young Avengers continued to fight crime, while the more senior Avengers dealt with global, earth-shattering events. The threats of the Secret Invasion, Civil War and Siege mostly kept Barton occupied and while their paths occasionally crossed, they mostly existed apart.
Hawkeye (2012) was the first comic to really explore their relationship in depth.
Kate and Clint have come to rely on each other
When the enemy forces in Clint Barton’s life all started to cave in on him in his solo Hawkeye comic, it’s Kate he turned to. Teaming up, the pair faced off against Madame Masque, a group of thugs nicknamed the ‘Tracksuit Draculas’ and a creep known as The Clown, amongst other evil villains.
It took years for Clint and Kate to really work together, but both have an important role to play in the other’s life. As a mentor, Kate gives Clint Barton a sense of purpose. In many ways, Clint serves as a father figure and inspiration for Kate, even if her stubbornness and pride won’t let her admit it.
The dynamic between them is often aggressive, but beneath the surface there’s a deep sense of affection and trust.
Kate Bishop runs her own detective agency
Kate Bishop is a resourceful individual and she proved her mettle when she established Hawkeye Investigations. As the owner of this detective agency, Kate takes on people’s troubles and helps them deal with sticky situations like stalkers and criminal conspiracies.
Work was slow at first, but she managed to carve out her own niche in the space and eke out an everyday living.
You can read more about Kate’s adventures in volume five of the Hawkeye series, which began in 2017.
If that’s not enough, check out Hawkeye (2012)
Matt Fraction and Dave Aja’s Hawkeye comics run from 2012 remains one of Marvel’s best modern comics. It highlighted the relationship between original Hawkeye Clint Barton and new Hawkeye Kate Bishop in ways the comics had never previously touched. It was an incredibly personal story, but one filled with action and adventure.
Arguably, it was this comic that led to the current popularity of Clint Barton, who often went overlooked in the Marvel canon. At its core it’s a human story, and it’s why the series has remained so popular over the last few years.
At only 22 issues, it’s easy to dive into and experience for yourself.
If you’ve never picked up a comic before, it’s also very accessible. It’s got an art and writing style that appears simple on the surface, making it easy to start reading.
It’s very likely the plot of the new Hawkeye TV adaptation will be heavily inspired by the comic’s direction so if you’re looking forward to the show, you should definitely check it out.
If you need more reasons to dive in, revisit io9’s 2015 review of why it’s one of Marvel’s greatest comics of all time.
Stay tuned to Gizmodo Australia for all the latest news from the worlds of pop culture, tech and mystery monoliths.