Did Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’ miss the mark?

Arianna Heyman, Features Editor

Of all the Marvel content released in 2021, “Hawkeye” is the most grounded in reality. Premiering on Disney+ last December, Marvel finally gave Hawkeye aka Clint Barton  a starring role. 

Unlike the other Marvel shows such as “Loki” and “Wandavision,” this show reminds us how enjoyable the simpler Marvel tales can be. There was no usage of magic or talk of the multiverse in this program. It was just a fun superhero story about an Avenger who was always considered to be the “least exciting.” 

The element of fun is brought to life by Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton and ​​Hailee Steinfeld as new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) addition Kate Bishop. The inclusion of Bishop was a great plot device which added more color, depth and comedic relief to the show. The addition of Steinfeld was a fantastic foil to Renner’s occasionally stuffy Hawkeye, and their chemistry highlighted the best parts of their characters. 

This series sees Barton’s demons finally catching up to him as he finds a new protege in Bishop. Barton has to navigate teaching Bishop how to be a superhero while trying to not get himself or Bishop killed in the process. 

Historically, Hawkeye has been the least flashy of all of the Avengers. He has been a background character throughout the movies, so I think this series added some necessary depth and backstory to Renner’s Hawkeye. The show allowed for Hawkeye to be seen as a more dynamic character within the MCU.

The villains in the series were quite forgettable and sometimes confusing. They definitely were not as memorable as Thanos (“Avengers”) or Killmonger (“Black Panther”). However, the lack of a noteworthy villain allowed the show to focus on character development. 

An unexpected surprise in the series saw the return of Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) aka the sister of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow). 

In my view, Belova is one of the most exciting additions to the MCU and brings comedic relief to every scene. Belova is a more relaxed version of her sister and steals every scene that she is in. 

The relationship that formed between Belova and Bishop was enjoyable to watch on screen and will be exciting to watch evolve in the future. 

Overall, I thought the show was fun to watch and was a great vehicle to introduce new characters into the MCU. I liked that Hawkeye finally was allowed to show more depth in this series and shine. 

This series was clearly a way to move the phase four storyline along because the actual plot was forgettable. This show worked best through character development rather than the actual story itself. 

The new characters added vibracy and a sense of excitement for future projects. Renner’s performance reminded the audience of Hawkeye’s value in the MCU and I was happy to see the character receive long overdue kudos. I would not say that it’s “must see TV” but it is a fast and enjoyable watch for any Marvel fan.   

Rating: 4/5 stars