After watching his entire family vanish before his eyes in the opening moments of Avengers: Endgame, Clint Barton dropped his superhero act. In the five years following Thanos’s MCU-altering Snap, the Avenger better known as Hawkeye became the wayward Ronin, trading in his trademark bow and arrow for a katana. This new persona was one of a murderous vigilante who traveled the world attempting to mend his grief by destroying various crime syndicates. With a lot of assistance from his former S.H.I.E.L.D. partner and Avengers teammate Natasha Romanoff, the old Hawkeye made a comeback and helped save the world, bringing his wife and three children back with it. Now, in the new trailer for Clint’s upcoming stand-alone Disney+ series, Hawkeye, all the guy wants is to spend Christmas with his family and make up for lost time. But thanks to his unexpected new protégé, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), Clint’s past finally appears to be catching up with him.
Early in the trailer, Clint watches a NY1 news broadcast that shows images of Ronin roaming the streets of New York City, accompanied by an anchor’s pronouncement that “authorities are wondering if the masked vigilante who terrorized the city’s underworld is back.” It’s soon revealed that the Ronin imposter is a young woman named Kate, a talented archer and Hawkeye fan who doesn’t seem to know what she’s getting herself into. With Kate masquerading as Ronin, Barton’s former enemies are lining up to get their revenge.
Like the first two MCU TV shows to land on Disney+, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye shines the spotlight on an Avenger who never received their own movie during Marvel’s Infinity Saga. Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton is one of the founding Avengers, who made his first appearance as a cameo in 2011’s Thor, when he was an eagle-eyed S.H.I.E.L.D. agent reporting to Nick Fury. He is also, of course, one of the few heroes with no superpowers and no superpowered suit to compensate; he’s just a guy with a bow and arrow in a world where nothing makes sense.
Each of the three live-action MCU TV shows to date has struck a different tone by focusing on various themes around its title characters. WandaVision was a superhero story about grief disguised as a sitcom with minimal action; The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was action-packed and tackled Big Ideas around race and how the Snap would affect international relations; and Loki blended comedy and action as it delved into the strange sci-fi realm of the multiverse. Hawkeye seems to lean closer to Falcon in terms of its straightforward format and emphasis on the action, while also incorporating a more light-hearted tone, as it appears to feature more of a family element than any of its predecessors. But just like the three MCU shows before it, Hawkeye is another series that focuses on the past and the implications of the Infinity Saga as our characters forge new paths and form new relationships amid Marvel’s burgeoning Phase 4.
The new series appears to draw a lot of inspiration from the critically acclaimed Hawkeye comics by Matt Fraction and David Aja, which ran for 22 issues from 2012 to 2015. While Kate Bishop made her debut in the Young Avengers in the early 2000s, Fraction’s series helped popularize the character as she fought alongside the hero who inspired her in the first place. The trailer also provides glimpses of Fraction’s Tracksuit Mafia bros, one of likely several crime organizations Barton and Bishop will have to face, as well as a wonderful first look at Clint’s one-eyed dog, Lucky:
Elsewhere in the two-minute trailer, we see quick shots of Kate’s mother Eleanor (Vera Farmiga), and Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), another superhero from the comics who will be making her MCU debut. Maya, a hero known as Echo, shows up near the end of the trailer with a red light cast across her face, though her involvement in the show’s plot remains unclear. (In the comics, her father was partners in crime with the villainous Kingpin, so it’s possible her family’s criminal history overlapped with Ronin’s in the MCU.) And while she doesn’t appear anywhere in the show’s first teaser, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) is expected to return in the series after making her debut in Black Widow. The after-credits stinger of the 2021 film showed Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) assigning Belova her next target: Hawkeye. With Belova under the impression that Barton was responsible for Natasha Romanoff’s death (which isn’t entirely untrue), Belova will become yet another enemy seeking revenge against Barton in the series.
Hawkeye premieres on November 24 and will run for eight episodes, concluding just after Christmas. Very fittingly, the show is rich in holiday spirit (à la Iron Man 3), as the trailer features “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing over its montage of explosions, Christmas trees, and ice-skating (and arrow-slinging) at Rockefeller Center—and, perhaps most important of all, the MCU’s first trip to Broadway via Rogers: The Musical. Hawkeye is still a couple of months and an Eternals film away, but until then, we’ll have plenty of time to wonder how the Battle of New York will play out in musical form.