Kate Bishop: Who is The New Hawkeye?

A New Hero Takes Her Shot

Kate: I have no powers and nowhere near enough training, but I’m doing this anyways. Being a superhero is amazing. Everyone should try it.”

Young Avengers Vol. 2 #1

A businessperson is working late. He is taking a break and practicing his golf swing when he hears a bang in a nearby room. He investigates and spots a young woman reading the company’s secret files. She has to be dealt with. The man raises his golf club and charges.

The woman hears him, drops the papers, and pulls a pair of tonfa from her belt. The club is deflected as she lands several blows that knock him back. The man runs for his desk and fumbles for a gun. The woman unslings a concealed bow and nocks several arrows. The volley pins the man to a wall, unscathed except for the arrow in the hand that held the gun. Hawkeye grabs the files and leaves.

Clint Barton has competition for the Hawkeye identity in the form of Kate Bishop. This scrappy young archer is aiming for the top. So who is she? How did she become a hero? Why is she the new Hawkeye? Let’s find out.

Taking Aim: Kate Bishop’s Backstory

Kate:I aim to please.”

Hawkeye Vol. 5 #15

Kate Bishop debuted in Young Avengers #1 in 2005. She was created by Allen Heinberg and Jim Cheung.

Kate Bishop is the daughter of a wealthy businessperson. His associates kidnapped her, but she was rescued by a team of Avengers led by Hawkeye. The incident inspired Kate to study martial arts and archery so she would never be defenseless again.

Years later, her sister’s wedding was disrupted by a group of criminals fighting the Young Avengers. She joined the team breaking into Avengers mansion to steal gear belonging to Mockingbird and the recently-dead Clint Barton. Kate Bishop impressed the team during a battle against Kang the Conqueror and joined them.

Captain America and Jessica Jones tried to break up the Young Avengers, but Kate’s stubbornness and resources helped them stay together. Cap acquiesced because her personality reminded him of Barton. Cap gave her his bow and The Avengers’ blessing to use the codename Hawkeye.

Leaving the Nest: Kate Bishop’s History

Kate: [sighs] “Fourteen walk-ins that wanted “the real Hawkeye”, twelve of them so they could punch him in the face, and seven who were looking for an optometrist.

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Vol. 1 #1

Hawkeye met her inspiration when Clint was resurrected. He didn’t like her at first, but eventually came to view her as a little sister. He gave her tips about being a hero while she kept him from acting self-destructive.

The new Hawkeye bonded with Jessica Jones over their respective traumatic experiences. Kate Bishop studied detective work under Jessica and eventually formed her own agency. Unfortunately, most clients wanted Clint instead of her and she eventually folded.

Kate learned that her father was working with a villain called Madame Masque. They colluded to ruin her life, but she stopped them. Kate also learned that her long-dead mother had been resurrected as a vampire and swore to track her down to stop her.

Avenging Arsenal: Kate Bishop’s Powers and Personality

Kate: [about her bow] “Not old-fashioned. Vintage. I’ve always loved vintage.

Young Avengers Vol. 2 #4

Kate Bishop doesn’t have superpowers, but she rarely needs them. She is an expert martial artist, gymnast, and archer with a quiver of trick arrows gifted to her by Black Panther.

Kate has used Mockingbird’s Battle Staves and a sword belonging to The Swordsman, but her signature weapon is a bow. She eventually swapped out Hawkeye’s bow for a Kree Composite Soul Bow, an alien bow that fires bolts of psionic energy.

Kate Bishop is blunt, independent, and refuses to take crap from anyone. She takes her heroics very seriously and gets annoyed when allies use a nickname instead of using her code name. She occasionally suffers from pride and arrogance.

The Actors Who Play Kate Bishop

Hailee Steinfeld – Hawkeye

Didya Get All That?

Hawkeye’s sharpshooting successor

Image: Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE, exclusively on Disney+. Film Frame. (c) Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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