The live-action Hawkeye series has openly taken bits and pieces of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye comic run. We looked at how Episode 1 incorporated the introduction of Lucky the Pizza Dog, and Episode 2 featured Clint’s capture by the Tracksuit Mafia that had some clear ties to the comic. This week, Hawkeye Episode 3, “Echoes, adapted one of the comic’s most iconic sequences: the trick arrow car chase. Unlike previous episodes, the car chase sequence is based heavily on Fraction and Aja’s work, and is as close to being “directly from the comic” as the series is likely to get. You might be surprised to see what the episode borrowed straight from the comic and what they changed.
What They Borrowed
Of course, the car chase sequence happens both in Hawkeye Episode 3 and Hawkeye #3. In both stories, Clint and Kate are being chased by hoards of the Tracksuit Mafia with one Hawkeye hanging out of the window to shoot arrows at their assailants, causing mayhem throughout the streets of New York. A major difference, though, is that in the comic the two archers are also the original chasers. But more on that below.
The car chase wouldn’t be the car chase without the endless barrage of random trick arrows that Clint has on hand. We could write an entire article on the arrows in this episode alone…so we did. Check out the next “From Page to Screen” for that.
As is their thing, Clint and Kate have a lot of back-and-forth throughout the chase in both the series and comic. It’s a bit different in the live-action version, however, because Clint mostly can’t hear Kate. For example, a running joke in Hawkeye is that Clint set out to label his trick arrows on that day, which led him down a series of poor choices, including the car chase sequence itself. In the episode, Kate complains that Clint should label his arrows. Another running joke is Clint’s concern for the red 1970’s Dodge Challenger, and both versions end up wrecked.
In both, the chase ends on a bridge and in a stand-off between archers and the Tracksuit Mafia. In the comic, Kate saves Clint, who’s held at gun point. A classic visual is Kate pointing an arrow at the sky, which is replicated in Hawkeye—the major difference being that the live-action scenario involved both Hawkeyes and a Pym arrow.
What They Changed
Hawkeye prominently featured a red 1970 Dodge Challenger. That car drove the plot as much as it drove the characters, so it’s no wonder that Hawkeye Episode 3 did give brief nod to a ’72 Challenger. But live-action Kate and Clint don’t use it, even though there isn’t too great of a reason for why not.
The most iconic part of the car chase sequence in both the comic and series is that Hawkeye is leaning out the window shooting wild arrows that the other one hands to them at the Tracksuit Mafia. Hawkeye flipped the archer, though, and featured Kate as the one with the bow. This isn’t too surprising, as its a solid way to give her more time in the series as an archery master, something the comic had already established.
The Reason for the Chase
Like I said, the Challenger drove the plot in the Hawkeye comic. Clint meets a woman while looking for labelling tape. He offers the buy the car, and they end up sleeping together. It turns out this woman is dangerously connected to the Tracksuit Mafia, and Clint calls Kate for help after the Mafia knocks him and and abducts the woman. This begins the care change, but they find her pretty easily, because she’s tied up in the backseat of the Challenger next to Clint’s tracker arrow. They take the Challenger and keep fleeing the Mafia following them.
In the series, Kate and Clint and solely escaping the Tracksuit Mafia. There’s no tied-up woman in the backseat—they’re simply trying not to be killed by Echo.
At the end of the day, if you enjoyed Hawkeye Episode 3’s car chase sequence, you can thank Matt Fraction and David Aja. It’s Aja’s art in particular that causes the original to standout—there’s an impressive amount of apparent movement on the page. Combined with the expertly layered panels that make it feel like you’re watching little details simultaneously with big moments, the original chase sequence in Hawkeye is one hell of a ride.