With the finale in the rearview mirror, Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye series has come to a close. Each week we have looked at ways in which the live-action series has adapted parts of the Matt Fraction and David Aja Hawkeye comic book run. Between the origins of Lucky the Pizza Dog, Clint’s capture by the Tracksuit Mafia, Episode 3’s car chase and trick arrows, the connection between the live-action LARPERs and the comics’ neighbors, and Kingpin’s role, the series has covered a lot of ground. Looking at the finale episode of Hawkeye, a few things stand out as having strong ties to the source material: (1) the importance of Kate taking on the “Hawkeye” mantle; (2) the six-day Christmas-themed adventure; and (3) Kate’s parents’ role in the organized crime that the Hawkeyes go up against.
Hawkeye and Hawkeye
A clear goal of the live-action Hawkeye series was to introduce and establish Kate Bishop as the next “Hawkeye.” While the show follows Kate from her pre-superhero days through her first adventure with Clint, in the Hawkeye comic she is already established as Hawkeye alongside Clint’s own Hawkeye persona. While the series finale ended just shy of officially referring to Kate as Hawkeye, it’s almost certain that the next time we see Hailee Steinfeld’s character there won’t be any question about her superhero identity.
The live-action and comic Hawkeye stories also both seem to have built a greater appreciation for Kate’s character over time. While both the series and comic are premised on Clint Barton’s story, Kate is a major character throughout his story. The Hawkeye series of course ends in a way that reflects Kate’s new role in Clint’s life and as a hero. The Hawkeye comic ends with a similar acknowledgment of the significance of the relationship between the two. On its final page, it also calls the Hawkeye comic run a “Clint Barton/Kate Bishop Comic Book,” giving further credit to Kate being deserving of the Hawkeye mantle on the same level as Clint.
Six Days of Christmas
Hawkeye made itself a Christmas show, and it made sure you knew how Christmas-y it was as often as it could. The series was clever to use its six episodes to cover the six days leading up to Christmas, which served as a countdown for Clint to get home to his family for the holiday. Not only did the second issue of Hawkeye explore a heavy Christmas theme, it also specifically looked at the six days of Clint’s life during that time. The comic version of the six days of Christmas had cameos from Tony Stark, Wolverine, and Spider-Man, which obviously the series did not. But it did heavily feature Kate, as well as the Tracksuit Mafia like the live-action series, did. In Hawkeye, the six days were presented out of order, and that added to the intrigue of the narrative––it’s interesting to think about how the Hawkeye series would have played out if its reveals and investigative themes were similarly distorted in order.
Both six-day stretches end with Clint having company for Christmas. In the Hawkeye series, Clint makes it home to Missouri with Kate to spend Christmas with his wife and kids. Comic Clint has a much different family life than MCU Clint, though. He is divorced with no children and is living alone. At the end of his six days, a family that lives in his apartment building comes to keep him company in a warming moment for the self-deprecating and down-on-his-luck archer.
Bishop Family Values
One of the major reveals of the Hawkeye series was that Kate’s mother Eleanor Bishop was working for Wilson Fisk, also known as Kingpin, and her ties to New York City’s criminal underground was essentially the catalyst for the entire series. In the comics, Kate Bishop’s mother is the one who is presumed dead, and her father Derek Bishop raised her. In the live-action series, of course, the parents’ statuses are reversed, but in both iterations, they made deals with Kingpin among other criminal figures and organizations that ultimately impacted Kate and her safety.
In any event, the Bishops were a wealthy family which gave Kate the status as a socialite on top of being a superhero. As a result, we get to see Kate bring Clint to a fancy event in a skyscraper in order to investigate some criminal activity in both the comic and the series.