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Hawkeye: Who is Kate Bishop?

Hawkeye
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel Cinematic Universe viewers have been teased with the arrival of Kate Bishop for some time now. In the lead-up to 2019's Avengers: Endgame, there was wild speculation that she would debut in that series, but that turned out not to be true.

Instead, Kate Bishop will debut in the upcoming Disney Plus series Hawkeye, with actor Hailee Steinfeld playing the superhero-in-training to MCU veteran Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye.

Since then, some fans have theorized that not only will Kate Bishop be a partner to Clint Barton, but that she could succeed him in the mantle of Hawkeye - instead of simply just sharing it with Clint as she does now in Marvel comic books.

For the uninitiated, here is an overview of Kate Bishop's Marvel Comics history and how her story could be featured in the MCU.

Who is Kate Bishop?

Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

In 2005's Young Avengers #1, it was shown that Kate Bishop is the youngest daughter of a rich Manhattanite family and has an older sister named Susan. While her birth mom died in a skiing accident in Colorado, her dad Derek was emotionally distant. Despite this, Kate admired him until she caught him beating up a man one night while she was little. 

After she became disillusioned with her father, Kate started to investigate his activities. One night, she followed him to a meeting with the super-villain El Matador but was caught and held up for ransom. However, she was rescued by Hawkeye and The Avengers. From then on, she came to admire Hawkeye due to his skills despite not having any superpowers.

When she is sexually assaulted in Central Park, Kate takes up archery, martial arts, and swordplay in order to learn to defend herself. Then, on the day of her older sister’s wedding, Kate and Susan are held hostage, and the then-newly formed Young Avengers attempt to rescue them. However, it's Kate that ends up saving her, Susan, and the Young Avengers when the would-be teen heroes become hostages themselves.

Later on, Kate follows the Young Avengers to their mansion and ends up fighting Kang The Conqueror with them. After donning Mockingbird's battle staves and mask, Swordman's sword, and Hawkeye’s bow, Kate helps the Young Avengers save the world and becomes a permanent member of the team alongside Ant-Man's daughter Cassie Lang.

How Does Kate Bishop Fit In The Marvel Universe?

Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

During the first iteration of the Young Avengers, Kate was co-leader of the team alongside Patriot. When Patriot got injured during the comic book event Civil War, Kate scolded Captain America for not training them enough. In response, Kate received the bow and arrows of the original Hawkeye.

After Captain America passed away, Kate Bishop met Clint Barton for the first time when he tried to take up the Captain America mantle himself after receiving an offer from Tony Stark. When Kate explains that she became Hawkeye to honor the Hawkeye who came before her, Barton officially endorses her and passes on his title, bow, and arrows to Kate.

In addition to being a member of the Young Avengers, Kate Bishop would also become the superhero partner of Clint Barton while he was doing street-level crime fighting in Brooklyn, New York in the hit series Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and others. Kate would also have her own solo misadventures in Los Angeles with her own Hawkeye series.

How Does Kate Bishop Fit Into The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Hawkeye concept art

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Kate Bishop will debut as co-star of the upcoming Disney Plus Hawkeye series alongside Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye. After its scheduled late 2021 first season however, something even more interesting could happen.

The most obvious direction after Kate Bishop’s upcoming appearance in Hawkeye would be casting her in a Young Avengers television series. After all, she is not the only young superhero appearing in Marvel Phase 4. 

In the third episode of WandaVision, Wanda gives birth to a pair of twins named Billy and Tommy. In the comic books, these two will become the superheroes Wiccan and Speed and become members of the Young Avengers.

In addition to Billy and Tommy, America Chavez, another future Young Avenger, will also make her debut in the film Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. And of course, Eli Bradley appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - though he hasn't become Patriot yet.

Billy, Tommy, America Chavez, and Eli Bradley are four of the core Young Avengers in the comics, but a few tweaks could shake up the line-up even more.

Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Although he appears as Kid Loki in the second iteration of the Young Avengers, the upcoming Disney Plus Loki series could still fit the trickster in the team should they choose to form. If Loki were to either de-age or de-age and gender swap, things could be quite interesting.

Ms. Marvel’s Kamala Khan is also set to appear in the MCU via her own Disney Plus show. If Kate Bishop or any other Young Avengers member has a guest appearance on the show, then this could set her up to be a member as well.

Another option for both Kate Bishop and Clint Barton could be the West Coast Avengers. As the name implies, this is an iteration of the Avengers based on the west coast of The United States. Both Hawkeyes have been prominent members at one time or another.

With the West Coast Avengers, the MCU could have a line-up that combines the original iteration from the '80s comics and the 2018 version. The West Coast Avengers have a large list of alumnus, which include many Marvel characters already established in the MCU such as the Scarlet Witch, Vision, USAgent, Hawkeye, and soon - Kate Bishop.

If these characters were to meet and form the West Coast Avengers, it could be the chance to form a multi-generational superhero team. With a few other characters such as 2018 West Coast Avenger America Chavez and perhaps Deadpool or a version of the character, the team could bridge the past and present while paving the way for the future.

Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Whether or not Kate Bishop will remain a partner to Hawkeye or go solo remains to be seen, but hopefully, the upcoming Hawkeye tv series will let her shine as brilliantly as she has done in the comic books.

All of Kate Bishop's stories are available digitally. Check out our best digital comics reader recommendations for Android and iOS devices.

Latonya Pennington is a prolific freelance pop culture critic. Their comics criticism can be found on WWAC, Comics MNT, and Syfy Wire, among others.