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Why you should (or maybe should not) watch 'Hawkeye'

December 1, 2021
<p>Illustrated by Daena Faustino</p>

Illustrated by Daena Faustino

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO EPISODES OF HAWKEYE.

Ten years after we are introduced to his character in “Thor,” America’s least noticeable Avenger finally gets his chance in the spotlight.

“Hawkeye,” premiered Wednesday, Nov. 24, on Disney Plus. The show stars Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, or Hawkeye. It is the fifth Marvel show to premiere on Disney Plus in 2021. 

International relations senior Grace Hickey watched the first two episodes and said she was excited at the prospect of the series being a little more toned-down than the more cosmic, newly expanding multiverse projects that Marvel is putting out, like “Loki,” “Eternals” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

“Eternals—I loved it—but it made my head in a spin," Hickey said. "So I kind of like that Hawkeye seems a little bit more calm like I understand who’s fighting who and why they’re fighting each other."

Yet even Clint’s first solo outing is not exactly his alone. The series introduces (and arguably, is about) a new archer Kate Bishop, portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld.

The series starts off with a flashback to the Battle of New York, which took place during the Avengers movie. Kate’s father is killed by the aliens led by Loki but Kate is saved by the arrows of Hawkeye himself. This is Kate’s origin story:at 12 years old, she promises to protect her mother and learns gymnastics, fencing and archery.

Eventually, Kate and Clint meet at the end of the first episode, after Kate manages to get her hands on and wears Clint’s old outfit he wore as “Ronin.” Ronin is the persona Clint anonymously donned during the five-year gap between the end of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” As Ronin, Clint terrorized and murdered organized crime throughout the world, making a few enemies along the way. 

The series follows the adventure that ensues after organized crime groups start chasing after Kate, as they all believe her to be Ronin. From here, the audience sees Clint and Kate taking up the classic roles of the reluctant and grizzled mentor and the eager and somewhat-naive protege. 

Public relations junior Caitlin Finerty said she was intrigued when she first heard about the series because of Clint Barton’s standing in the Marvel movies. 

“I was a little nervous that there wasn’t going to be enough content, until I heard that it was not really focusing completely on Clint, but it was also focusing on Kate Bishop,” Finerty said.

Marvel is self-aware of this fact in the show. Clint, for a long time, has constantly taken a back seat for character development, in favor of other heroes like Iron Man or Thor. 

There are a handful of occasions where they acknowledge this. The first is when Clint is watching the musical “Rogers!” about Captain America. The musical number that is performed introduces all the original characters, with their key attributes--Thor is a god! Hulk is so strong! Iron Man can fly! 

But when describing Hawkeye, the singers use generic language to describe him, singing, “While Hawkeye seems cool! Like a really nice guy!”

Marvel also acknowledges it in a conversation between Kate and Clint, when Kate tells him that his issue is “branding.”

But this role as the low-key Avenger has also turned some away from the series.

Political science senior Grace Golec said that despite being a fan of the Marvel movies, she does not have intentions to watch the show right now.

“I think Hawkeye is an interesting character, but I really don’t enjoy Jeremy Renner’s acting all,” Golec said. “They haven’t made him interesting for the 12 years that he’s been this character and so I haven't had any reason to want to watch it because they haven’t really given any build-up to this moment, other than small stories.”

Golec said she does not think Hawkeye being an uninteresting character is only Renner’s fault, but also the fault of the directors. 

“They haven’t really given him a lot of anything," Golec said. "And most of the movies he was focused on the least."

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Golec said she does not feel like it is a good enough reason to watch a TV show just because it’s a part of the expanded Marvel world. She said people do not need to watch the shows to understand the movies because Marvel is not going to make the stories too complex. 

“I would remind them that not everyone even has access to Disney Plus, so things can’t be that big to the storyline," she said. "Otherwise, people are gonna be completely confused when they go and see the movies."

New episodes of Hawkeye come out Wednesdays at 3:01 a.m. on Disney Plus. The series will run through Dec. 22.

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