Even though death is a seemingly one-way prospect, in the world of fiction, it is often decidedly less so. This is especially true in the world of comic books, where resurrections and fake-out deaths are as common as radioactive accidents and world-ending threats, and characters are often available to come back at a moment's notice.
The MCU has certainly dipped its toe into this, with seemingly dead characters like Loki returning to the screen time and time again and, more memorably, half of the cinematic universe coming back from the grave in Endgame. But for the most part, those unfortunate souls who wind up dead in the MCU stay dead.
As the franchise continues to expand, the question of the permanence of certain character deaths remains up in the air.
Hawkeye offers up a great example of this, with the final "murder" of the Kingpin seeming very much up for debate. Not only have rumors swirled about a future reunion of Kingpin and his longtime comics rival, Daredevil, but a recent photo showing actor Vincent D'Onofrio getting into shape has also served to fuel fan fervor.
A more seemingly straightforward death from Hawkeye with Kazi, a former ally of Tracksuit mafia leader, Maya Lopez, could also be prime for reversing. In the series, Kazi was revealed to have known of Kingpin's role in the death of Maya's father, leading to her taking his life. With Maya, a key antagonist from Hawkeye, getting her own spinoff in the near future, Kazi's return would make a good deal of sense, complicating her journey to deal with the past.
Although nothing concrete has been revealed about the future of Kazi, recent comments from an actor from Hawkeye would seem to pave the way for his return...
Is Kazi Really Dead?
Speaking with Attitude Magazine, actor Fra Fee, who plays Kazi in the MCU, spoke about his potential future within the mega-franchise. Responding directly to a question about Kazi returning, Fee teased that "No one's ever dead in Marvel."
"Erm, the truth is, I don’t really know just yet. But I very much hope that Kazi can make an appearance. I wouldn’t put money on the fact he met an untimely end at the end of Hawkeye. No one’s ever dead in Marvel. I would be very hopeful and I’d certainly be thrilled to revisit the character and the world — I had such a good time."
Speaking more generally about his time acting, Fee opened up about his experience as an openly gay man, sharing that he was often advised to "suppress the sexuality."
"[I] feel unbelievably proud of the fact I achieved that as an openly gay actor. Whenever I was studying and seeking advice from what I deemed to be very learned, experienced people, often the old-fashioned attitude was ‘Suppress the sexuality. It’s OK to live your life privately but don’t put it anywhere near the public eye because people will only see you as one thing,’ which was something I really, really struggled with."
Will Hawkeye’s Kazi Return for Echo?
Although Fra Fee's comments are not definitive, they do seem to tease a possible return for Kazi, likely in the upcoming Echo series. Kazi and Maya's relationship was a real strength in Hawkeye, with the latter forced to deal with Kazi's part in her father's death. This drama could be further examined in Echo, with the series pushing Maya to contend with her violent past before truly becoming Echo.
Additionally, even as Kazi is seemingly dead, there is still more to be explored with his character. In the comics, Kazi exists as a much more bizarre character called the Clown, with a painted face to match. Although Hawkeye never really dived into his madder side, characterizing Kazi as a more steady character, Maya's turn on him could possibly transform the character into the more demented Kazi seen in the comics.
Even if Kazi remains dead in the MCU, it is possible that Fra Fee still appears in Echo. Zahn McClarnon, who played Maya's deceased father in Hawkeye, is set to return in Echo, almost certainly through flashbacks. This avenue could also work for Kazi, with Maya forced to contend with the death of a dear friend at her hands.
Whether through resurrection or flashback, a return for Kazi seems quite possible, especially considering these comments from Fee. Whether or not the character will actually reappear, and if so, in what form, is still up for debate, at least until more about the series is revealed.
Apart from the possibility of Fee's return to the MCU, his insight into the experiences of queer actors is also instructive, shedding a light on the harsh reality of things. Even as many like to think the industry, and more generally, the world at large, has moved past its myriad of prejudices, issues around LGBTQ+ representation remain.
Just recently, the mildly progressive film Lightyear was subject to review bombing from unhappy fans, likely due to the presence of a single same-sex kiss in the film. So, even as progress is made, it's still vitally important to recognize the troubling state of things and support the small victories that move the needle toward fair and balanced representation.