The new Avengers: Endgame trailer is here and it’s packed with emotion. Recapping half of the MCU movies to date, charting the rise of our heroes and the devastation left by the Thanos snap, the remaining members of the team are grief stricken and broken but determined to do “whatever it takes” to defeat Thanos.
Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) was conspicuously absent from Avengers: Infinity War (we’re told he’s under house arrest) but we know he survived the snap and will be back for Avengers: Endgame in his new guise as Ronin (more on that later).
But one of the highlights of the new footage is a glimpse of Barton training a young woman in archery. This could possibly be his daughter Lila who appeared briefly as a young child in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, although we think Lila would be too young.
Instead there’s another option for who this young woman is and she could be a key part of the MCU.
Could she be the MCU’s Kate Bishop?
In the comics, the Clint Barton helps to train up a younger, female Hawkeye by the name of Kate Bishop. The sight of Renner’s Clint teaching a young, female character the ins-and-outs of archery will instantly draw to mind this parallel for anyone who’s read these comics.
Created in 2005 by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, Kate Bishop debuted in the Young Avengers comics alongside a bunch of other new junior heroes. After being brutally attacked in a New York park, she trained restlessly in combat and archery.
Over the years, the comic book version of Kate has enlisted the Clint Barton version of Hawkeye as her (somewhat reluctant) mentor. In one mission together, they brought down a villain named Madame Masque, who swore revenge on Kate as a result and singled her out as a nemesis.
Although Clint Barton has been established in the MCU since Renner’s debut in 2011’s Thor, and a version of Madame Masque showed up in the Agent Carter TV show, this is the first whiff we’ve had regarding the arrival of a female archery-based hero in the MCU.
Fans of Kate’s comic book run, and particularly her banter-filled exchanges with Clint, will surely be hoping that this bow-wielding woman could be the MCU’s version of Kate Bishop. This trailer only shows her for a second, though, so we’ll just have to wait and watch to find out what Marvel has in store for us.
What does this mean for the future of the MCU?
Whether this character is Kate Bishop, Hawkeye’s daughter or someone else entirely, the sight of Hawkeye training anyone raises interesting connotations for the future of the MCU at large.
After all, since Avengers: Age Of Ultron, we’ve known that Clint has a family at home and is quite keen to call time on his avenging and spend more time with them at their idyllic farm (preferably without Nick Fury hiding in the shed). And since Captain America: Civil War made unlicensed superhero-ing illegal, Clint has officially been an outlaw. He took the same house-arrest deal as Ant-Man to hang up his heroics and spend more time with the kids.
Could it be possible that Clint is training up this new archer as someone that can take his place in the Avengers, and take up the mantle of Hawkeye, allowing him to retire for good? It certainly seems like a very plausible conclusion to draw, but we have very little info to go on!
Where does this fit with Hawkeye’s arc in Endgame?
In terms of the plot specifics of Avengers: Endgame, we already know that Clint Barton is going to show up in Japan at some point wearing a moody new outfit. Clint’s new threads in the film are believed to make him the MCU version of Ronin, which is a mantle that Clint briefly took up in the comics when he was on a revenge mission.
In the comics, Clint’s lust for revenge and transformation into Ronin occurs after an event called House Of M, in which Scarlet Witch caused a lot of destruction. In Avengers: Endgame, it might be safe to assume that Clint is out for revenge because the Thanos snap at the end of Infinity War killed members of his family and/or friends.
So, with that in mind, here’s our best theory as to how this young female archer could fit into Clint’s transformation into Ronin: perhaps Clint was training-up this individual, only for the Thanos snap to kill her, prompting Clint to go into full-on Ronin revenge mode. The fact that Clint’s happy training scene shows up in the trailer alongside all the other Avengers’ backstory bits seems to suggest that it happens fairly early on in the film.
Clint clearly re-joins the Avengers (he’s there in that epic team shot at the end of the trailer), so it’s easy to assume that he is going help the gang undo the damage that Thanos has wrought. Hopefully, this plan will succeed, and he will be able to bring Kate Bishop (if this actually is her) back from the dead (if she actually is dead).
Marvel has a history of introducing new heroes during big team-up events, and it looks like this new archer could be the latest example of that. We’ll just have to wait for the film’s release on April 26 to find out more, though…