by Rachel Gardner
Before I go into the specifics, I would encourage those who have Disney+ (and I realize this is not everyone) to watch the various Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) limited series – Wandavision, Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Loki, What if… and Hawkeye. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed them all (though, just a warning, they can get kind of violent at times).
While I've enjoyed all the MCU series, the most recent addition, Hawkeye, was the most fun and nostalgic for me.
I used to read a lot of comic books (beginning as a tween). And, while I started with DC comics and will always have a heart for Batman, when I discovered Marvel comics, I kind of fell in love with Hawkeye. Like Batman, he didn’t have super-human powers. He was raw and real and driven by his emotions, channeling them into useful skills that sometimes saved the day. He also had a brooding side (again, like Batman) with dark moments that blurred the line between hero and villain in his quest for justice. That complexity was always especially intriguing to me because it was just so human.
The story line in the limited Disney series is from the comics written by Matt Fraction, which first introduced the partnership between Clint Barton and Kate Bishop (who will become Hawkeye). It isn’t an exact replica, but it has enough threads to connect, and brought up a lot of memories I had completely forgotten. Also, these comics are illustrated by some of my favorites, David Aja and Annie Wu, both of whom are unbelievable artists.
There are 6 episodes of the TV series in total, between 47 and 59 minutes each. The show manages to balance not taking itself too seriously (just wait for the lyrics in the musical “Rogers” – we couldn't help but laugh out loud and then sing them for the rest of the day) while still having all the complexity in storytelling that comes with being part of the Marvel universe.
The main strength of the show is how Clint and Kate play off each other and develop. Kate is a charming and playful mess, always in over her head yet able to effortlessly talk her way out of almost any situation. Clint is the opposite – sullen, pessimistic, uninterested in being anything but ordinary, and yet always ready for whatever may come (more Batman parallels!).