Following on from the review in Issue 1786, ‘Hawkeye’ has delivered in true Marvel fashion, with twists leading to a satisfying conclusion. Barton and Bishop make every effort to impress in their battle against the Tracksuit Mafia, with a bigger baddie appearing on the scene as Maya Lopez starts to gain our sympathy.
Native American actress Alaqua Cox portrays deaf character Maya, taking the baton from Lauren Ridloff as Makkari in ‘Eternals’. Both Cox and Ridloff are actually deaf, making their long overdue representation in the MCU all the more significant. Lopez has a poignant backstory; a past riddled with crime and the death of her father weighing on her shoulders. Her eventual liberation from the clutches of the mafia sets the scene for a future Marvel TV series in which she becomes the superhero ‘Echo’. The main villain of the series reveals himself to be a crime lord named Wilson Fisk, with the alias ‘Kingpin’, a huge specimen of a man with ties to Daredevil. Kate finally appears to have met her match in Kingpin, and their confrontation arguably allows her to cement her place in the new line-up of heroes.
We are also graced with the presence of the highly anticipated Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova. Yelena maintains a comedic comradely banter with Kate throughout each of their interactions, reminiscent of jesting with her sister, leading to a gut-wrenching exchange with Barton. Episode 5 also affords us a poignant glimpse into her experiences following the blip, which makes Natasha’s spiritual presence even stronger, with the show becoming a second tribute to the fallen Avenger. As always, Pugh leaves us wanting to see more of Yelena, and she is sure to continue as a prominent feature in the MCU.
Hawkeye and Bishop manage to amass a team of amiable and accommodating, albeit naïve, Medieval ‘LARPer’. They come along for the ride, helping where they can, but are relegated to the sidelines; there to service Hawkeye’s needs. There are hints that they may develop into characters that are more fleshed out, but for now they remain loyal sidekicks.
Marvel opted for Hawkeye’s story to be a TV show in lieu of a film due to the complexity of the story they wanted to tell, and it’s easy to see why. Eleanor Bishop herself turns out to be less innocent than she appears, and Laura Barton’s character is given a new spark with intriguing connections to S.H.I.E.L.D. and a potential explanation for how she met Clint – something that could be explored in a second season? ‘Lucky’ the golden retriever remains more a symbol of companionship and comfort than an active part of the team, although he will surely be at Kate’s heel in future shenanigans.
While many bits and pieces of the show are suggestive of the earlier films – Rogers: The Musical and the Avengers memorial being notable examples – a particularly interesting scene is that of the two archers assembling their multitudes of trick arrows, that recalls scenes of Tony Stark tinkering with his suits and tech in the Ironman movies. The series gives us an insight into Barton’s preparation for battles that we didn’t tend to see earlier on.
Our beloved Barton and Bishop have yet to have future appearances confirmed, although we are hopeful they will be back on the big screen.