Marvel's Phase Four has introduced many new faces to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. WandaVision had Monica Rambeau, Loki showcased Jonathan Major's Kang the Conqueror, and Shang-Chi presented Simu Liu's titular hero, and that has only been in the last calendar year. To finish it off though, fans now have Hawkeye, which is the debut of Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop.
The character has consistently been mentioned as the standout element of the show, with Bishop aiming to become a staple hero of the MCU for years to come.
The first installment of the Disney+ series gave audiences an incredible flashback sequence to Avenger's Battle of New York, which showcased the very moment that Bishop's idolization of Clint Barton started.
But in the present day, the dynamic between the two seems a little rocky. So what's up with that? And how will it change over the course of the series?
The Hawkeye and Kate Bishop Dynamic
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hawkeye actor Hailee Steinfeld discussed her character of Kate Bishop in the series.
In particular, the topic of Kate and Clint's dynamic comes up, with Steinfeld saying that the reason Bishop acts how she does with Hawkeye is the character "made the discovery of Hawkeye at a time of extreme loss in her life" during The Avengers' 2012 Battle of New York, so seeing the Avenger in person is a lot for her to process:
"What we see with the fans that come up to him and want to take a picture with him, it's like they're recognizing him in a public setting and being excited about the fact that he's in a place that they wouldn't have expected to see him... so they want to document it and we don't necessarily know if they're lifelong fans or not, but with Kate we do know. She made this discovery of Hawkeye at a time of extreme loss in her life, and she sees in him part of what she lost.
What is it about Clint that the character looks up to? The actor attributes it to Hawkeye's "ambitious and may a little reckless" to help and protect people, something "[Kate] idolizes:"
"... This human who is as ambitious and maybe a little reckless, as she is, someone who wants to help people and wants to protect people, she recognizes that part of him. That's what she idolizes."
Now, given what fans have seen from the first two episodes, their relationship is off to a questionable start. According to Steinfeld, the dynamic between the two "ultimately evolves into this partnership that continues to evolve from there."
"It is a true evolution.. when we see the two of them meet for the first time, this is Kate face to face with her idol in a situation where she has no idea how high the stakes are or how much danger she's in. She's just completely excited that he's right there. She has so many questions and so many things she wants him to sign, until she realizes what the situation is. Then she quickly becomes someone who wants to be at his level and be an ally. So it ultimately evolves into this partnership that continues to evolve from there."
The Battle of New York Started it All
Marvel fans around the world loved the opening scene and its deep cut into MCU lore. Now, every time someone watches Avengers, they're going to think 'that's the moment the real Kate Bishop was born.'
As for the evolving dynamic between the two, the whole fanboy angle probably won't last much longer than the next episode. As Steinfeld mentions, Kate still doesn't quite understand the danger she's gotten herself into; so it's still more fun-and-games in her mind.
The turning point will likely be when Bishop learns about everything Clint Barton did during the Blip. His time as Ronin prior to Endgame is certainly nothing to idolize.
There's also the matter of Yelena, who will more than likely bring up more skeletons in Barton's closet. A big conversation about Vormir will probably crop up as well.
Kate might soon wish she never met her hero.
Hawkeye streams weekly every Wednesday on Disney+.