This last week saw the end of one of the best, game-changers in comics, Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Annie Wu. The series gave us the day to day life of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, each Hawkeye in their own right. Since we’ve been covering Young Avengers lately why not go with Hawkeye, herself, Kate Bishop? So how’d this young woman go from rich girl to archer hero? Let’s find out!
Katherine Elizabeth Bishop was the youngest daughter in the wealthy Bishop family line. Her father was cold and distant, this only got worse when her mother died when Kate was young. Though she had a sister Kate spent most of her time alone learning all sorts of extra-curricular activities. When Kate was a young teen, she was attacked while walking in Central Park. This shook her and while therapy helped, she used her spare time to study combat so she would never be caught like that ever again.
When the Young Avengers first started out, Kate would witness them in action during a gala event she was attending, instead of fleeing with the other guests, she stayed behind to assist the Young Avengers even rescuing them from a hostage situation. While the team didn’t initially want her around as she seemed to be just a civilian, she showed she was capable in fighting and a great strategist.
The team would end up at the abandoned Avengers mansion where she would procure items from Hawkeye, Mockingbird, the Swordsman, and Black Widow, fashioning a costume and gear from the parts. She and Patriot would take on co-leader roles much to each other’s chagrin. Their were definitely feelings there but they were muddied by their desire to show they were strong leaders not needing assistance. Kate would become close friends with Stature, Cassie Lang, the daughter of Ant-Man, Scott Lang and the two would have a sisterly bond dealing with their teammates.
While Captain America was concerned for these teenagers’ well being, he demanded they disperse and never take up their costumes again. Kate decided to follow his command to the letter of the law and made them disperse, then reunite providing them all with new costumes. Patriot is badly injured and saved by a blood transfusion which Kate points out to Cap that they need mentors not adversaries in their heroics. Jessica Jones sides with the kids and provides Kate with the currently dead Clint Barton’s preferred bow. She explains to Kate that Cap was so touched by her standing up to him that it reminded him so much of the only other person to ever do that to him, Hawkeye. Giving her his bow and codename if she’d accept.
Now known as Hawkeye, Kate and the team were not on the wrong side of the law due to the Superhuman Registration Act. They side with those against registering and Patriot ends up hospitalized running from authorities, leaving Kate to lead the team solo. She’d come into contact with a revived Clint Barton masquerading as Cap and was slightly disgusted that that someone would take the exact costume of a fallen hero and told him as much, not knowing it was Clint at all. When next they met it was with Clint using the costume and identity of Ronin, he would demand his bow back through a contest of archery. Kate lost but would attempt to steal it back from the new Secret Avengers outpost. Clint was so impressed with her he said she could keep the bow and the name saying the world could use two Hawkeyes.
During a time travel adventure with the Young Avengers, Cassie and young Vision would die leaving the team shattered. Patriot left the team and Kate would go on to meet the alien, Noh-Varr. She’d be brought back to a new team of Young Avengers involving her old teammates Wiccan and Hulkling along with newcomers, Noh-Varr, Kid Loki, and Ms. America Chavez, eventually Prodigy and Speed joining as well. Getting mixed up with the extra-dimensional entity, Mother, the team would have to travel far from New York only to return to fight alongside every teen hero against Mother’s forces.
Kate would be allowed to live in New York again and start a mentorship/friendship with Clint Barton. Realizing that Barton’s life was a disaster, Kate would soon get frustrated with his refusal for help in the continuous messes he’d end up in. She’d take his dog, Lucky, with her to Los Angeles where she’d try to strike it out on her own. Her father would cut her off from his money and Kate soon realized that normal people life is really hard. She’d attempt to be an adventurer/private eye and she’d learn she’d made a powerful enemy of Madame Masque when she’d helped Clint out. Masque had a vast conspiracy in L.A. and Kate was able to bring it down before returning to New York to assist Clint in fighting off the Tracksuit Draculas gang from destroying the apartment building Clint had bought and sought to protect it and its tenants.
So there’s Kate Bishop! She’s a pretty great Hawkeye and I can’t wait to see where she goes next. I hope she and America Chavez get to hang out more and adventure together. Lady adventurers are great and hope to see more of them in comics. More Young Avengers, more Kate, more archery! See you next time!
Young Avengers (any series)
Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool