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Hawkeye: Who is Kate Bishop?

Hawkeye #1 variant cover
(Image credit: Leonardo Romero (Marvel Comics))

The arrival of the popular teen character Kate Bishop has been anticipated by fans of the MCU for a while now. In the lead-up to 2019's Avengers: Endgame, the first trailer showed the silhouette of a young woman showing an arrow, which got her fans excited. 

That opening scene of Endgame turned out to be Hawkeye's daughter (right before his whole family was Snapped), but the ground was somewhat laid. 

We've known for a while now Kate will debut in the upcoming Disney Plus series Hawkeye, played by actor Hailee Steinfeld who appears to be a superhero-in-training to Marvel Cinematic Universe veteran Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye.

And we now know the streaming series will debut November 24 and got our first official look at Steinfeld in character

As her dedicated comic book fan base knows, Kate Bishop is a character filled with limitless potential, possibilities, and may lead to some more very exciting MCU additions.

But if you're not yet familiar, Newsarama tells you all you need to know about Kate Marvel Comics' history and gives you some hints as to where her MCU story could lead.

Who is Kate Bishop?

Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

In 2005's Young Avengers #1, Kate Bishop was introduced as the youngest daughter of a rich Manhattanite family with an older sister named Susan. After her mother died in a skiing accident in Colorado, her father 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 supervillain 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 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 by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero.

How Does Kate Bishop Fit Into The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Hawkeye concept art

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As previously mentioned, Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop will debut as co-star of the Disney Plus Hawkeye series alongside Jeremy Renner's Avenging Archer in November. What her future in the MCU is after is less clear ... and includes a world of possibilities. And considering the stature of Steinfeld, it'll almost certainly be a high-profile one, 

The most obvious direction after Kate's debut in Hawkeye would be casting her in a Young Avengers film or streaming 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 in march 2022. And of course, Eli Bradley appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - though he hasn't become Patriot yet.

And the role of teen Cassie Lang has been recast with actor Kathryn Newton for 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantummania, which almost certainly will include an expanded role and the beginning of her own superhero journey as Stature, hinted at strongly in Ant-Man and the Wasp.  

Finally, while he hasn't yet appeared in the MCU yet, the teen Kang variant Iron Lad was the founding member of the team, and Loki certainly set up that character's potential future debut. 

Billy, Tommy, America Chavez, Eli Bradley, Cassie Lang, and Iron Lad are six 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 popular Loki variant made his live-action MCU debut in the Loki streaming series played by actor Jack Veal, albeit in a bit part. 

Ms. Marvel's Kamala Khan is also set to appear in the MCU via her own Disney Plus show. If Kate 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 alumni, 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.

And of course, depending on how the events of Hawkeye shake out, Kate is also a potential and perhaps even likely member of whatever mysterious team Julia Louis-Dreyfus' highly-sarcastic Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is putting together  (Dark Avengers? Thunderbolts?), which already includes two 'mirror' characters of the original MCU Avengers line up, Yelena Belova (Black Widow) and John Walker/US Agent (Captain America). 

We already know Florance Pugh's Yelena will appear in Hawkeye, so the breadcrumbs are already there. The Contessa recruiting Kate would put her halfway to a mirror line-up of the original team. 

She just needs three more.

First, there's a gamma-powered character. Tim Roth will revive his role as gamma-powered supervillain The Abomination in Disney Plus' 2022 series She-Hulk, which introduces Tatiana Maslany's titular gamma-powered attorney, giving us two possibilities.

Then, a Norse god. Perhaps Sophia Di Martino's morally ambiguous Loki variant Sylvie or the recently resurfaced Jaimie Alexander as Sif can fill that role? 

And finally, an armored character. Don Cheadle's War Machine seems unlikely, as does Gweneth Paltrow's Rescue. How about Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer setting up the premise of 2022's Armor Wars on Disney Plus? Or if Marvel really wants to surprise fans, Ty Simpkins from Iron Man 3 in a third MCU appearance as Harley Keener having built an armor in the workshop Tony Stark built for him? 

And let's not forget characters like the White Vision, Taskmaster, Ghost, Red Guardian, and others who are somewhat lost in the world and could be easy recruits to a team that flirts between heroism and whatever the Contessa's real agenda is. 

Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Whether or not Kate will become a partner to Hawkeye, go solo, or join a team remains to be seen, but hopefully, the Hawkeye streaming 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

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