Kate Bishop
Hawkeye Vol 5 1.jpg
Cover of Hawkeye #1 (December 2016).
Art by Julian Totino Tedesco.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceYoung Avengers #1 (April 2005)
Created byAllan Heinberg
Jim Cheung
In-story information
Alter egoKatherine Elizabeth Bishop
SpeciesHuman
Team affiliationsAvengers
Young Avengers
Champions
West Coast Avengers
Secret Avengers
PartnershipsHawkeye (Clint Barton)
Notable aliasesHawkeye
Hawkette
Lady Hawkeye
Lady Hawkguy
Abilities
  • Highly skilled archer, fencer, swordswoman, martial artist, boxer, and other forms of combat
  • Use of two battle staves, a sword, a bow, and trick arrows

Hawkeye (Katherine Elizabeth "Kate" Bishop) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, Bishop first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (April 2005).[1] She is the third character and first female to take the Hawkeye name, after Clint Barton of the Avengers and Wyatt McDonald of the Squadron Supreme. Her costume appearance is patterned on the first Hawkeye and Mockingbird.

Kate Bishop has been described as one of Marvel's most notable and powerful female heroes.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Hailee Steinfeld portrays Kate Bishop in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Hawkeye on Disney+.

Publication history

Hawkeye first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (April 2005), created by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung.[8] She is first introduced as Kate Bishop and in issue #12 she takes up the Hawkeye mantle as the original Hawkeye was dead at the time after being killed in Avengers #502.[9]

Alongside Clint Barton, Kate Bishop co-starred in Matt Fraction and David Aja's series Hawkeye (2012).[10]

Hawkeye appeared in the 2013 Young Avengers series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.[11]

Kate Bishop co-starred with Clint Barton in the All-New Hawkeye series by Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez (2015), redesigned by Leonardo Romero.[12]

Kate starred in her own Hawkeye book, written by Kelly Thompson, starting in the fall 2016 Marvel NOW! catalog.[13] The book was cancelled with its 16th issue in early 2018.[14] Thompson would then create the 2018 incarnation of the West Coast Avengers, which featured Kate as the team leader.[15]

A five-issue limited series, titled Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, by Marieke Nijkamp and Enid Balám, was released in November 2021 to tie in with Kate's MCU introduction in the Disney+ series.[16]

Fictional character biography

Kate Bishop is the daughter of wealthy Manhattan socialites Derek Bishop and Eleanor Bishop and the sister of Susan Bishop. Eleanor was later apparently killed in Boulder, Colorado, leaving Derek to raise Kate and Susan.[17]

Young Avengers Special

Young Avengers Special reveals that some time prior to joining the team, Kate Bishop was brutally attacked in (what appears to be) Central Park.[18][19] At first, the incident left Kate traumatized, but then it spurred her to engage in intense combat training.[20] So far the rest of the Young Avengers are unaware of this incident, as Kate has only told her therapist and Jessica Jones. The exact nature of the attack is not made clear — only the initial ambush is shown on-panel.[21]

Young Avengers

A "normal" civilian forcibly introduced to the Young Avengers in an early rescue attempt made by the team, Kate has demonstrated skill and level-headedness in high-pressure situations. Independent, tough-minded, and blunt, she is also an excellent archer. Her encounter with the young team led her to investigate them on her own, following them to Avengers headquarters and donning the gear of Mockingbird and Hawkeye, as well as what may be Swordsman's sword and Black Widow's belt. When Kate first appears wearing Mockingbird's mask, Patriot jokingly refers to her as "Hawkingbird." She invites herself to join the team after freeing them and helps them in their battle against Kang the Conqueror.[22] She was subsequently confirmed as a member of the team.[23]

After the team's first adventure stopping Kang the Conqueror, Captain America and Iron Man ordered the team to break up and refused to train the team without their parents' consent. However, Kate Bishop still wanted to be a Young Avenger. Believing the worst Captain America and Iron Man could do was inform their parents, Kate took the team to an abandoned warehouse previously owned by one of her father's companies, Bishop Publishing, which became the team's lair. She also had new uniforms made for them, since Cap told them to "never wear those uniforms again."[24]

Kate is close with her friend and teammate Stature, and has a certain degree of chemistry with teammate Patriot, although their relationship is punctuated by near-constant bickering and one-upmanship; when Stature observed that "no matter what happens" Wiccan and Hulkling "have each other" and Kate has Patriot, Kate immediately objected, saying "all we do is fight". The team’s newest member, Speed, immediately referred to Patriot as "your boyfriend," prompting another denial by Kate. Upon meeting Speed for the first time, she was not her usual composed self (for lack of a codename, her self-introduction stalled after "I’m..."). Still, she is the driving member of the team, pushing everyone to stay together and operates as the team's unofficial deputy-leader when Patriot's not around, even giving him occasional orders.[volume & issue needed]

After Patriot is injured, Captain America informs the Young Avengers that he hopes that they start normal lives.[25] Kate tells him if he had trained them, Patriot might not have been injured and it was best for him to help the Young Avengers by accepting them. Jessica Jones returns to give Kate the original Hawkeye's bow and arrows with a note from Captain America addressed to Hawkeye.[26] Jessica told Kate that the only other person to stand up to Captain America the way Kate did was Hawkeye, and that Captain America wanted her to take Clint's codename.[27] Kate did and became the third "Hawkeye."[22][25]

Civil War

Kate has been identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes who appear on the cover of the comic book Avengers: The Initiative #1.[28] However, she and Patriot (also on that cover) make a brief appearance in Doctor Strange's home, the hideout of the New Avengers in the second issue of Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America, casting some doubt into their allegiances. However, in the same issue of Fallen Son, Iron Fist remarks that "It's been a tough week" leading to the assumption that series takes place in the week following Cap's death, and the Young Avengers may have registered after that.[29] In the same series, however, Kate and Patriot confront Clint Barton, who had temporarily taken on the costume and shield of Captain America who are attempting to capture them for being unregistered heroes, leaving more confusion.[30]

Unaware of who he truly is, Kate berates Clint, saying that she took Hawkeye's name to honor him but did not copy his costume as that would be shameful; she further states that "if Hawkeye were alive, I'd call myself something else." Her words convince Clint to return the shield and costume to Tony Stark, condemn Stark for his role in the Civil War, and go his own path.[30]

Young Avengers Presents

In the Young Avengers Presents limited series, Kate assists Patriot in tracking down Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, aiding him in taking down a cell of A.I.M. cyborgs in the process.[31]

In the last issue of the series, Kate goes on an awkward date with Eli, ultimately turning him down, to his embarrassment. She is then attacked by Ronin, who tests her abilities. He invites her to the Secret Avengers hideout and reveals himself to be Clint Barton. The two discuss determination to lead and "always taking the shot." Kate bets him that he cannot split an arrow (a supposedly impossible feat), and wagers his original bow. He wins using a far inferior bow, reiterating that no matter how impossible, when the lives of their teammates depend on it, one should always take the shot. Humiliated, Kate surrenders the bow and her codename, and is rebuffed by Patriot. Speed takes Kate out on a date to ease her tension and the two infiltrate the Secret Avengers base and reclaim the bow. Meanwhile, Clint attempts to advocate for the Young Avengers to the other Secret Avengers, wishing to serve as mentors to them. He notices Kate's presence and visits her later, granting her permission to use his name and bow, acknowledging that her infiltration demonstrated the determination necessary to lead her team. He offers her the Secret Avengers' support, giving her an old photo of himself, Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver in their early days as Avengers. Reaffirmed, Kate approaches Eli and kisses him, asking him to be patient with her and give her time.[32]

Secret Invasion

Kate participates in the battle against the Skrull invasion with her teammates, but is defeated, despite the aid of the Initiative.[33] She and the Young Avengers later show up to join in the final fight. When she is knocked unconscious, her bow and arrows are used by Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye to continue the fight.[34]

Siege

Kate joins the Young Avengers, New Avengers, and Secret Warriors in stopping Norman Osborn's siege of Asgard.[35][36][37] Unfortunately, when the Sentry levels Asgard, Kate and Patriot are trapped beneath rubble. During a doubtful moment Patriot passionately kisses Kate, which prompts her to push him away after a startled moment. Not long after, they are rescued by their friends and rejoin their group, but not before Kate tells Patriot that was a 'Hell of a kiss' with a shared smile, hinting at the start of a relationship.[38]

Avengers: The Children's Crusade

After the events of Siege, Kate is seen amongst the heroes celebrating at Avengers Tower.[39] Clint Barton later encourages her to keep the name "Hawkeye" despite returning to the mantle himself, saying that the world is big enough for two "Hawkeyes" for now.[40]

Kate appears alongside the other Young Avengers in Avengers: Children's Crusade.[41]

Kate also appears alongside the other Young Avengers in Avengers: The Children's Crusade Young Avengers, a one-shot in which the Young Avengers are grown up and are now the Avengers. It is an alternate timeline altered by Iron Lad continuing to alter the timestream to defeat Kang the Conqueror.[42]

Marvel NOW!

Kate appears alongside the original Hawkeye, Clint Barton, in the new Hawkeye series, which takes place after the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline. The two co-star in the series, focusing on street-level crime instead of being superheroes (which they acknowledge is what makes each of them Hawkeye). They maintain a mentor/student relationship, although they regularly exhibit competitiveness with each other; in a mission to help Clint, she takes down and then poses as Madame Masque, who becomes bent on exacting her revenge and ultimately killing Kate.[43]

After Clint began acting increasingly aloof and hostile towards her and her attempts to help him, Kate decided to leave New York for a bit and go to Los Angeles, together with Clint's dog Lucky; however, as soon as she arrived there she learned that her father cut her off from his money, leaving her to her own devices.[44] To earn some money, Kate put an ad describing herself as half-superhero, half-private eye.[45] During her stay in L.A., she ran afoul on a criminal organization headed by Masque, and while she managed to bring it down, she learned that her father was implicated in it. Kate gave him a phone call and told him she would make him pay. She returned to New York to assist Clint in defeating the Tracksuit Mafia after they kill one of Clint's residents named Grills, with her dad secretly conspiring with other supervillains and mob bosses to put a hit on her and Clint.[46]

As part of the "All-New, All-Different Marvel", Kate Bishop was at Hawkeye's house at the time when Old Man Logan showed up.[47] After explaining who he was and eventually passing out on Hawkeye's couch, Logan woke up 33 hours later. After learning that Logan was looking for Mysterio, Kate Bishop looked up his last known whereabouts on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database and demanded to come with Logan as he investigated. When they arrived, they found a man named Eddie and his unnamed partner there. Logan immediately attacked them cutting off one man's hand despite them denying that they knew who Mysterio was. A horrified Kate Bishop tried to stop him, but Logan quickly neutralized her as the two men escaped.[48]

Kate later fought against the Secret Empire. A powerless Cassandra Lang tries to help and is nearly killed in the process.[49]

In the All-New Hawkeye books, Kate and Clint retrieve Project Communion from Hydra, which turns out to be three innocent kids turned into powerful, psionic Inhumans from the Terrigen Mists. They don't trust S.H.I.E.L.D. with them, so they rescue the kids from S.H.I.E.L.D. and have them live in Barton's apartment, until Hydra tracks their location. When Clint deems the children too dangerous to hold, they reluctantly hand them over to Hydra. Kate's trust in Clint is shaken, and she starts operating solo for a short time while re-evaluating her life and relationship with Clint. Clint eventually helps her come up with a plan to rescue the children from Hydra and fake Project Communion's deaths in front of S.H.I.E.L.D. to keep Maria Hill away. They have the kids stay with Barney while Clint contacts the Avengers to get a good security system for them. Kate tells Clint she still wants to be a solo hero for a while in order to be herself, as she's idolized Clint for so long and used the Hawkeye identity to avoid becoming like her dad, but is ready to become her own person. The series also explores Kate's childhood, where she initially idolized her father and wanted to be like him, but after learning about his criminal activities, decides that it's best if she doesn't know what he does while he doesn't know what she does. This is realized after Kate was abducted by one of her dad's rival gangs, and she was rescued by Hawkeye and the Avengers, which inspired her to become a hero in the future.[50]

Following Clint assassinating Hulk in Civil War II, Kate is angered by Clint's actions, but still shows some sympathy for the position he's in. She's more upset that the media is attacking her for Clint's actions, but is comforted by her former Young Avengers teammates. She sides with Iron Man in the conflict.[51]

After the conflict, Kate moves back to Los Angeles and begins her own Private Eye investigations. It doesn't start too well as the residents were expecting Clint (either to hurt or praise him for his actions in Civil War II), but Kate is eventually approached by a college student who needs her help with a stalker.[52]

While trying to stop some dwarves from using a mystical artifact, she was interrupted by Ghost Rider and Gwen Poole. After a brief scuffle and police show up on the scene, she and Gwen drive away from the scene while Ghost Rider escapes with both the mystical gem the dwarves were using and Gwen's ghost friend Cecil.[53] Subsequently befriending Gwen after she describes Kate as both "the real" and "the better Hawkeye" and Kate nicknames her "toots", sleeping on her couch overnight, Kate retrieves Cecil from Ghost Rider and helps him acquire a new corporeal body.[54]

Kate then invites Gwen to join her in forming a new reality show-funded West Coast Avengers alongside Clint, America Chavez, Quentin Quire, and Kate's boyfriend Johnny "Fuse" Watts,[55] facing B.R.O.D.O.K. (who later is revealed to be MODOK Superior) and Madame Masque once again, and ultimately discovering her mother to be alive as a vampire, preventing her cult from sacrificing America. In addition, Kate found that both her parents were part of Madame Masque's West Coast version of the Masters of Evil.[56]

Kate and the West Coast Avengers later assist Superior Spider-Man (Otto Octavius's mind in the Proto-Clone's body) in defending San Francisco during "The War of the Realms" storyline.[57]

Powers and abilities

Kate is highly skilled at archery, fencing, swordsmanship, jujitsu, gymnastics, boxing, and other forms of combat.[58][59] She carries two battle staves similar to those once used by Mockingbird, a sword similar to the Swordsman's, as well as Clint Barton's bow and arrows.[60][61] Black Panther had also supplied her with trick arrows.[30][59]

Cultural impact and legacy

Critical reception

Gary Walker of CBR.com described Kate Bishop as one of Marvel's "most seasoned street-level heroes," writing, "Taking on the title of Hawkeye is no simple feat, but so far Kate Bishop has done the legacy proud. Though her beginnings were privileged and her tastes expensive, she has acclimated herself to helping and understanding the plights of the everyday person. Working alongside Clint Barton, she has helped see off several mafia-based threats to the streets of NYC. Kate took her talents out to Los Angeles, noticing an imbalance between heroes on the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States. While there, she proved herself to be a formidable street-level hero, operating alone without her fellow Young Avengers or the guidance of Clint."[6] Sara Century of Syfy called Kate Bishop "one of the most popular new characters Marvel has released in the last two decades," saying, "Kate Bishop is one of the few superheroes who truly loves being a hero day after day and treats it like her job rather than an unending ethical burden. After moody and overly-aggressive heroes overwhelmed the landscape of comics for the better part of the last thirty years, sometimes it’s nice to just read a heartwarming story about someone who really loves what they do. Kate might be a little impulsive and short-tempered sometimes, but she’s also fun-loving, pure-hearted, and hilarious. She’s dragged Clint Barton onto his feet with her sheer enthusiasm more times than anyone can count, and even when we see a glimpse of her in a possible future timeline in All-New Wolverine, she’s still the same Kate Bishop we know and love today. In short, this is one of Marvel’s best-beloved characters"[62] Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter referred to Kate Bishop as a "fan favorite," asserting, "Originally introduced as a supporting character, Bishop quickly graduated to protagonist status as she revealed herself to be more thoughtful and capable — if no less impulsive — than the man who was technically her mentor. By the series’ end, she had spent time in Los Angeles as a solo private eye, a status quo she’d return to for her first solo comic series, 2016’s Hawkeye. The Kate Bishop of that series owed as much to Jim Rockford or Veronica Mars as she did Clint Barton or any other comic book archer, completing the transformation of the character from Young Avengers‘ hyper-competent, most confident member to an incarnation of the classic private eye trope — a detective who gets the job done, as much by coincidence and accident and personal charm as through use of her varied and impressive skill set. (Her personal life, of course, is very complicated as well.) The result is a hero unlike most in comic books, and one that is remarkably charming and enjoyable to read about; if the Kate Bishop of the MCU proves to be half as interesting, she’ll be a welcome addition to the universe, and just might be many fans’ new favorite character."[63] Rosie Knight of Nerdist asserted, "This is another legacy character inclusion. Of course we aren’t talking about Clint Barton, who’s been on our screens a lot! The archer we want to see join the MCU is Kate Bishop, who first appeared in Young Avengers #1 by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, John Dell, and Justin Ponsor. Bishop would be a brilliant addition, as she’s a smart, sassy super who’d bring some much needed new blood to the team and already has a massive fan following."[64]

Accolades

Literary reception

Volumes

Hawkeye - 2016

According to Diamond Comic Distributors, Hawkeye #1 was the 16th best selling comic book in December 2016.[73][74][75] Hawkeye #1 was the 241st best selling comic book in 2016.[76]

Jeff Lake of IGN gave Hawkeye #1 a grade of 8.8 out of 10, writing, "With a strong creative team and an equally strong opening act, Hawkeye #1 hits all targets. It’s both fun and relevant, giving a fan favorite character her due in a story that feels perfectly geared to her many talents. Your Hawkeye or not, you’ll like this book. Hawkeye #1 hits the ground running and never looks back, the creative team of Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire on target early and often. Their Kate is one immediately believable and root-worthy, her sharp wit and numerous talents put to great use from the start. With fantastic art and some strong early setup, it’s easy to get excited by the potential shown here."[77] Brandon Guerrero of ComicsVerse gave Hawkeye #1 a score of 84%, asserting, "Kate Bishop gets her own sassy, muscular ab-filled solo comic. Thompson and Romero create a fun look into the beginning of Kate's career in private investigating while she also manages to fight crime on the side."[78]

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop - 2021

According to Diamond Comic Distributors, Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 was the 32nd best selling comic book in November 2021.[79] Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 was the 801st est selling comic book in 2021.[80]

Dustin Holland of CBR.com called Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 a "fun, thrilling first issue that promises plenty of action and fun," saying, "Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 ends by hinting at an unseen antagonist, whose involvement threatens to recontextualize every element of Kate's case. This first issue is sure to leave fans anxious to see what happens next. Nijkamp, Balám, and Junior have filled this page-turner with an energy that can't be ignored. Hawkeye: Kate Bishop has all the makings of a great new series."[81] Megan Peters of Comicbook.com gave Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1 a grade of 4 out of 5 stars, stating, "Hawkeye: Kate Bishop pushes forward with a strong start in its debut, and this first issue finishes with that same power. A juicy cliffhanger promises a seedy trap is gunning for Kate, and readers know Hawkeye will deal with it in her usual (somewhat clumsy) fashion. So if you want to see how the case works out, Hawkeye: Kate Bishop better stay in your sights. It is rare for Kate to miss, and this solo series is aiming to take the heroine to all-new heights."[82]

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

An Ultimate Marvel version of Kate Bishop appears as a 15-year-old classmate of Miles Morales. The character was initially unnamed but her identity is later confirmed by writer Brian Michael Bendis.[83] Following a one-year ellipsis, the 16-year-old Kate is seen dating Miles.[84] In this reality, Kate and her family are members of HYDRA, and she believes they can make the world better.[85] Miles eventually reveals to Kate that he is Spider-Man, which freaks her out and she does not talk to Miles for weeks.[86] She tells his secret to her family.[85] When Miles goes to her house to check on Kate, the former is drugged and kidnapped while HYDRA agents kidnap Jefferson Davis, Ganke Lee, and Black Widow.[87] Despite the reveal, Kate still seems to hold feelings for Miles and does not like to see Spider-Man tortured by Doctor Doom.[88] After Spider-Man breaks free, defeats Doctor Doom, and is rescued by his friends, Miles breaks up with Kate and she is knocked out by Dagger.[89]

Avengers: The Children's Crusade

In Avengers: The Children's Crusade: Young Avengers, an alternate future Kate is seen still operating as Hawkeye for Kang's Avengers team. She is married to Tom Shepherd (now known as Quicksilver) and is expecting twins. Her outfit has changed to match Clint's original Hawkeye costume.[90]

Secret Wars

A 1602 version of Kate appears during Secret Wars where she operated in the Battleworld domain of King James' England. Similar to Robin Hood, she stole from the rich alongside her friends Teddy and Billy, but was caught by the Punisher Sheriff and distracted him so her friends could escape God Emperor Doom's judgement. During her time at the Shield, she met and befriended America Chavez and joined the Hel-Rangers, and eventually escaped with Chavez.[91][92]

What If..?

In What If? House of M, Kate and the Young Avengers are killed by Red Skull one month after the depowering of every hero on the planet. Kate was killed by the Cosmic Cube's power.[93]

Old Man Logan

In Old Man Hawkeye, a prequel to Old Man Logan, a middle-aged Kate is the mayor of a refuge district deep in the wastelands. She later assists Clint in his revenge quest against the Thunderbolts. After doing so, he requests her help in delivering a case of super-soldier serum, but she refuses to help him on his endless revenge crusade and drives off to look after her district, correctly predicting that the task would kill Clint in the process.[94]

Old Woman Laura

In a possible future, an adult Kate assists in a raid on Latveria (one of her contributions being firing a bullet containing the permanently miniaturized Wasp into a Doombot so she can take over its systems). She also helps in the release of several imprisoned heroes.[95]

In other media

Television

Video games

Podcasts

Collected editions

Hawkeye's solo appearances have been collected in a number of trade paperbacks:

Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, Vol. 1: Anchor Points Hawkeye Vol. 5 #1-6 136 June 13, 2017 978-1302905149
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, Vol. 2: Masks Hawkeye Vol. 5 #7-12 January 2, 2018 978-1302905156
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, Vol. 3: Family Reunion Hawkeye Vol. 5 #13-16, Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 112 May 22, 2018 978-1302910976
Hawkeye: Private Eye Hawkeye Vol. 5 #1-12 288 August 20, 2019 978-1302917951
Hawkeye: Go West Hawkeye Vol. 5 #13-16, Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1, West Coast Avengers #1-4 224 March 30, 2021 978-1302923433
Hawkeye: Team Spirit West Coast Avengers #5-10, War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #1-5 248 March 15, 2022 978-1302934781

References

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