Streaming is the new big thing for the MCU, and this year has been an absolute smorgasbord of Marvel TV shows. TV shows that I have really enjoyed, despite some of my colleagues complaining that there's too much Marvel.
The next Marvel series to hit Disney Plus is Hawkeye, and now it seems the tables have turned. Frankly I could not be less enthusiastic about the whole thing. The worst part is, I’m not even sure why.
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It might be down to the fact that the first Hawkeye trailer, which debuted earlier this week, doesn’t actually reveal very much about the show. Nothing we didn’t really know already anyway.
It features Hawkeye himself ditching his kid, during a vacation in New York, because a copycat has started fighting criminals in a fashion, and outfit, inspired by Hawkeye’s antics as Ronin between Infinity War and Endgame. A copycat that just happens to be Kate Bishop, aka the other Hawkeye from the comics.
Yes Marvel comics has two Hawkeyes, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Hawkeyes (opens in new tab) from wider realms of fiction and pop-culture. So let’s move on.
Where is the story in the Hawkeye trailer?
The thing is, the trailer doesn’t do much else beyond tell us what else Hawkeye (the series) has in store for us. Just Clint and Kate fighting against a bunch of generic bad guys and emphasising the fact that Clint is once again disappointing his kids — and at Christmas no less.
Clearly some criminals are after Kate (and presumably Clint too), but it’s not exactly clear what the stakes are and what’s going on. Not beyond the whole ‘Clint needs to be with his kids at Christmas for once in his darned life’.
It’s that last bit that’s had people comparing the series to Die Hard, which is also a story about a grizzled middle-aged man trying to spend Christmas with his family.
Christmas is not enough
Though I have to point out Die Hard was a lot less in your face with the whole ‘Christmas’ thing. I’ve already seen someone on Twitter refer to Hawkeye as the “The most Shane Black Marvel thing that hasn't been written and directed by Shane Black” — referencing the Iron Man 3 director who is obsessed with Christmas.
But the involvement of ‘Christmas’ doesn’t automatically mean something is going to be good. Look at Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, which featured a popular internet meme, Aubrey Plaza in a role she was clearly born to play, and a heartwarming plot about Christmas spirit. But it sucked, and is often considered one of the worst Christmas movies ever made.
But, again, beyond the whole Christmastime setting, the trailer doesn’t really tell us what’s going on. Sure, there’s a nice montage of scenes that promise lots of arrow-action and zany antics (because Kate Bishop is apparently a bit of a clutz).
But that’s about it. We can gleam that Clint is going to try and stop Kate from her copycat vigilantism, but it’s even less clear why he’s hanging around with her fighting off bad guys.
Hawkeye has always deserved better
Hawkeye has always got a pretty raw deal in the MCU, especially in the first Avengers movie when his role was limited to “brainwashed plot device”. Follow-up movies have tried to emphasise the fact that Clint is a pretty special guy, despite not having any superpowers to work with. He can keep up with superheroes, gods, and alien monsters after all.
He’s as deserving of his own solo adventure as any other Avenger, and I’m surprised that I am so completely underwhelmed by the very first trailer. I am just not excited at all.
Hopefully that is going to change over the next couple of months, as Marvel and Disney ramp up the marketing for Hawkeye’s very own TV show. Given his existing reputation among non-Marvel comics readers, it’s going to be a pretty hard sell — even if it is included in the Disney Plus subscription.
Hopefully that marketing will give us a better idea of what’s going on in the series. If not, well, here’s just hoping that Hawkeye itself is worth watching. It no doubt will be, because Marvel properties generally are.
Plus if I can get behind the bland and generic action/adventure that is Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then the odds are Hawkeye can win me over pretty quickly as well.