By Hervé St-Louis
December 24, 2021 - 19:32
Studios: Disney+, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Writer(s): Jonathan Igla
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Florence Pugh, Vera Farmiga, Tony Dalton, Fra Fee, Alaqua Cox, Linda Cardellini
Directed by: Bert, Bertie, Rhys Thomas
Produced by: Jonathan Igla, Rhys Thomas, Trinh Tran
Running Time: 294 minutes
Release Date: November 24, 2021
Rating: PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Hawkeye is the last of the original Avengers to get a series or a show. I am glad that this happened. Clint Barton has always been a great character in comics, able to differentiate himself from the more popular and distinct, Green Arrow. Here we delve further into Hawkeye’s family life and his feelings about fighting Thanos with his fellow Avengers. Barton has a lot of inner conflicts and loose ends that he needs to clean up, but he attempts to make things right with his family just before Christmas. This aspect of the character is what intrigues me the most. He is used to being a secret operative, not a high-profile extrovert like Thor or Tony Stark who suck all the air in a room.
In this series, he continues to be the ultimate pro, taciturn and quiet. He is the straight man to newcomer Kate Bishop, who thinks herself a heroine, and attempts to force herself has his sidekick. It’s a classic Logan and Jubilee relationship with the new heroine learning about new trick arrows while the older, tired, and grumpy hero is trying to push her away from the superhero lifestyle.
The series started slowly with little action but as with many such streaming series, picked up the pace by episode five and everything was resolved by episode six, the last one of the series. Hawkeye, the series, continues to world-build the Marvel universe, continuing some existing drama and conflicts hinted at in the Black Widow movie and the introduction of Daredevil-related characters, such as Kingpin.
With Hawkeye, Marvel is preparing the transition to a new generation of heroes. I found that Clint Barton, as played by Jeremy Renner, looked tired and old. He would be one of the oldest Avengers. Kate Bishop is really his replacement, although I would like to see Renner stay in the MCU, much like Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. I liked that Hawkeye was not the butt of jokes here, as he often is on the Avengers Assemble cartoon and other representations of the Avengers, even from the comics.
An important element of the series was the design inspired by David Aja’s work on Hawkeye. The logo, the costumes, the sets, and the opening titles were all inspired by his illustrations and designs from the Hawkeye comics. Very few artists have their work used as extensively, except for the likes of Jack Kirby. It is understandable that Aja felt that Marvel lifted his work from the Hawkeye series without much acknowledgement. His take on Hawkeye and Kate Bishop is the best and should be celebrated.
While slow at first, I liked the Hawkeye series a lot by the end of its run. It’s too bad that Renner will never get his own marvel film, but a series is better than nothing. About the end credit controversy, I liked it a lot and did not feel cheated by Marvel. MCU fans often act like cry babies. They need to grow up a bit.
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