The first reactions to Marvel Studios’ latest Disney+ series, Hawkeye, are in and it sounds like the MCU has another small screen hit on its hands. The show will take the comic book adventure down to street-level threats, with early reviews praising the more insular story and paying particular attention to the performances of Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld and the burgeoning relationship between their character Clint Barton and Kate Bishop.
Hawkeye is set in post-blip New York City where former Avenger Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) AKA Hawkeye has a seemingly simple mission: get back to his family for Christmas. But when a threat from his past shows up, Hawkeye reluctantly teams up with 22-year-old skilled archer Kate Bishop to unravel a criminal conspiracy. Indeed it is this change in the Marvel scale and the instant chemistry between Barton and Bishop that has critics hooked so far…
The series will take inspiration from Matt Fraction’s critically acclaimed comic book run, with executive producer Trinh Tran recently confirming as such and teasing the relationship between Barton and Bishop. “The [Matt] Fraction/[David] Aja style and tone is what we were really gravitating towards,” Tran explained. “Once they encounter each other and go off on this journey together, there’s so much they can bounce off each other.” Evidently, this change in direction from the ever-reaching scope of the MCU and the recent introduction of the multiverse proves to be a refreshing change of pace.
One critic even goes so far as to describe the series so far as “perfect,” and heaps praise on the various nods to the source material and its handling of founding Avenger, Clint Barton.
The series stars Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, and newcomer Alaqua Cox. Episodes are directed by executive producer Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert & Bertie; executive producer Jonathan Igla is head writer.
Unfortunately, not everyone was as enamoured with what they’ve seen of the Marvel series thus far, with one reaction left feeling deflated after the first couple of episodes thanks to some pacing issues and a lack of intrigue.
Another slightly less positive reaction to the series called Hawkeye “ the least ambitious of the MCU series thus far” and compared the show to one of Netflix’s Marvel outings, though they too were quickly charmed by Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop.
Created by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, Kate Bishop eventually takes over the mantle of Hawkeye from Barton, fighting alongside other, younger heroes, each of whom continue the legacy of several beloved Avengers, including Cassie Lang as Ant-Girl. “I can’t wait for people just to see how we are interpreting this character through the comics and in her own sort of ways. She’s such a badass, there’s no denying that,” Steinfeld previously said of her debut as Kate Bishop, a character who is likely to become an MCU mainstay. “She’s so smart and witty and quick and her physical ability to do so many things is through the roof. It’s really tested me and it’s kept me going through quarantine, I will say, it’s given me a reason to stay with it. But I’m very excited as I continue developing her to see sort of how we come up with it all.”
Thankfully, most of the reactions to Hawkeye so far have been extremely positive, with one viewer even calling the series “Probably my favorite new addition to the MCU.”
Hawkeye is scheduled to premiere on November 24, 2021 on Disney+.