The Marvel Cinematic Universe will expand its roster of characters in Hawkeye; here’s an explanation of their comic histories and likely roles in the Disney+ show. Marvel Studios may have announced Hawkeye in the summer of 2019, but they’ve been extra secretive about what the show will contain. While the official trailer hinted at the premise of the series — which will tackle Clint’s past as Ronin — the details of the story gave away very little. It was already confirmed that Jeremy Renner’s return as Clint Barton would take place after Avengers: Endgame, with reveal that Hawkeye would be set in 2025.
Hawkeye will formally introduce Kate Bishop to the MCU. Kate’s inclusion has been one of many signs that Marvel Studios is drawing heavily from Matt Fraction’s excellent comic run to make Hawkeye. Hailee Steinfeld was linked to the role for months, but her availability for the series wavered depending on what reports fans read. In the end, Steinfeld’s appearance on the set of Hawkeye confirmed that she was indeed taking on the role.
The main cast for Hawkeye has since been revealed. Following rumors of her possible appearance, Florence Pugh is set to return as Yelena Belova after debuting in Black Widow. The episodic format that comes with Disney+ means there is a lot of time for Marvel to explore several other characters. While Yelena is currently the only familiar MCU character set to appear alongside Clint Barton in Hawkeye, the show will introduce several new characters from Marvel’s expansive comic history. Here are all the new characters Hawkeye is confirmed to introduce in the MCU so far.
As mentioned earlier, Kate Bishop is set to make her MCU debut with Hawkeye. Hailee Steinfeld is playing the character after starring roles in The Edge of Seventeen and Apple+’s Dickinson series. Kate Bishop debuted in Marvel Comics in 2005 in the very first issue of the Young Avengers comics and quickly became an early member of the team as a result. Since then, her backstory has been explored where she comes from a rich family who did business with various mobs and villains. She was saved by Hawkeye one night, and that act sparked a fandom of the sharpshooting Avenger. Kate is also a survivor of sexual assault, which motivated her to learn how to protect herself.
Once Kate crossed paths with the Young Avengers, they were attacked by Kang the Conqueror at Avengers Mansion. While the rest of the Young Avengers had superpowers, Kate took a cue from Hawkeye and grabbed nearby accessories to lend a hand. She used Mockingbird’s battle staves, Swordsman’s sword, Hawkeye’s bow and arrows, and Black Widow’s belt. With Clint dead at the time, Captain America later gave his blessing to Kate to take on the Hawkeye mantle. Since then, Kate has had roles in several major comic events, teamed up with Hawkeye, and gone on more missions with the Young Avengers. She even started her own detective agency after the events of Civil War II. In Hawkeye, Kate will cross paths with Clint after taking up mantle of Ronin on the streets of New York City. Clint tracks her down and the pair join forces as the former Avengers’ past catches up with him.
Joining Kate Bishop in Hawkeye is her mother, Eleanor Bishop, played by Vera Farmiga from Bates Motel and The Conjuring franchise. Eleanor does not have a major role in Kate’s life in the comics. After marrying Derek Bishop and having two daughters, Eleanor was said to have died during a visit to Colorado. However, it was later revealed that Eleanor didn’t die all those years ago, as Kate thought. She secretly was giving orders to Madame Masque, Kate Bishop’s arch-nemesis. The comics have yet to reveal how Eleanor faked her death or why she is aligned with Madame Masque, but it’s possible the series will reveal this information. In the Hawkeye trailer, Eleanor is seen briefly, but there isn’t much to go on yet besides she will clearly play a sizeable role. No one hires Farmiga for anything less.
Jacques Duquesne aka Swordsman will be in Hawkeye with Tony Dalton (Better Call Saul) playing the character. The master of blades made a career for himself by showcasing these skills at carnivals and circuses. At one of these events, Jack met a young Clint Barton and his brother Barney after they ran away from a foster home. This led Swordsman to train both boys during their time with the circus, which is how Clint became so proficient with a sword and bow. But, Swordsman was also stealing from the circus and nearly killed Clint when he found out. This started a career of crime for Jack and saw him try to infiltrate the Avengers with the hope of pulling off bigger crimes. Instead, Swordsman became an actual member of the Avengers and eventually fell in love with Mantis. He died saving her from an attack by Kang. The character wasn’t seen in the Hawkeye trailer, but it’s probably because Marvel doesn’t want to reveal what he’s up to in the series just yet.
Newcomer Alaqua Cox joined Hawkeye‘s cast to play Maya Lopez aka Echo. Maya is a deaf Native American assassin who has great ties to Hawkeye and Daredevil in the comics. She started as an adoptive daughter of Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin, who ordered a hit on her father. Kingpin noticed the inherent skills of Maya, where she can immediately replicate any reflexive act. He made sure she then got the necessary training to become a lethal assassin. He originally told Maya that Matt Murdock aka Daredevil was responsible for her father’s death and sent her to kill him. But, she eventually found out the truth and left Kingpin’s side.
Maya returned a few years later in the comics as the original Ronin, the mantle Clint took in Avengers: Endgame. By this point, Maya’s identity as Ronin was a secret, and she began working with the New Avengers to find the Hand and Madame Hydra. She was later killed by Elektra and then resurrected by her hoping that she’d join the Hand. This led to Elektra’s death, which revealed she was secretly a Skrull and helped kick off the Secret Invasion storyline. Maya was then responsible for discovering Spider-Woman was also a Skrull. In the Hawkeye trailer, Echo is seen only briefly, so it’s hard to gauge what her storyline will be in the show. The good news is she’s getting her own spinoff series after her introduction in Hawkeye, and it’s possible she will take up the mantle of Ronin before heading on her own adventures.
Maya’s father, William Lopez, will also be in Hawkeye, as played by Westworld‘s Zahn McClarnon. Known in the comics as Willie “Crazy Horse” Lincoln from the Cheyenne tribe of Native Americans, he was a henchman for Kingpin. But, Kingpin later murdered Willie. With his final words, he made Kingpin promise to look out for Maya and raise her as if she was his own. As he died, his bloody hand touched Maya’s face, leaving the handprint that became a staple of her look.
Kazimierz Kazimierczak, aka the Clown, will be played by Fra Fee in Hawkeye and will likely be a secondary antagonist. He became a mercenary after two different events led to the deaths of his circus family and best friend. This led to many prominent villains hiring Kazi for his services, but his encounter with Hawkeye came after the “Tracksuit Draculas” sought out Kazi after Clint interfered with their business plans. Clown went on to kill one of Clint’s neighbors and attempted to return to the crime scene but was attacked by Lucky the Pizza Dog. When Clown and the Tracksuit Draculas returned once more, Clint and Kate Bishop fought them. This led to Clown sticking two arrows in Clint’s ears, making him almost completely deaf once again. The antagonist isn’t seen in the Disney+ trailer for Hawkeye, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t lurking somewhere making plans that will surely put him in the way of Clint and Kate.