The latest Avengers: Endgame trailer has fans clamoring about a brief moment on the ol’ Barton farm featuring Clint, apparently, teaching a young girl to shoot a bow and arrow in, what we can assume, is the post-Civil War peace before the Snap ruined everything. Comics fans immediately clocked a hidden potential in the otherwise innocuous slice-of-life bit: That girl could be the MCU’s take on Kate Bishop, the other Hawkeye.
Or, more likely, it could be Clint’s young daughter, Lila, last seen in Age of Ultron.
But let’s indulge the possibility for a second and take a look at who, exactly, Kate Bishop is, where she would fit into the MCU, and why everyone is so excited that there’s even a slight chance of her being brought into the fold.
Kate Bishop was first introduced fairly recently back in 2005 with a Young Avengers special that cast her as a relatively normal civilian-slash-wealthy-heiress who was brought into the superhero lifestyle almost by accident. Luckily, she just so happened to be extremely proficient with a bow, as well as a master of multiple forms of martial arts, even if she was just a human teenager. Kate joined up with the Young Avengers and helped bankroll her new team, provide costumes, and generally stand up to all the mainline Avengers who told them to stop–a tenacity which eventually earned her the Hawkeye codename (as well as Clint’s original bow) from Captain America himself.
Where was Clint during all of this, you ask? It’s a little complicated. He faked his own death and secretly adopted the Ronin identity. It was a whole situation, but the long and the short of it was a distinct lack of Hawkeye in the Marvel Universe, even though Clint was technically still around.
Clint’s ruse was eventually dropped, however. After his official return to the public eye, he came to collect his bow and his name–which was a bit of an issue, considering Kate wasn’t done with them yet. They very nearly fought over it, but eventually came to a sort of careful, begrudging respect for one another. Clint actually found himself endeared by Kate’s take-no-prisoners tenacity, and agreed to let her continue to be Hawkeye right alongside him.
Not a bad turn of events, all things considered.
From that point, Kate and Clint developed a sort of student/mentor relationship–though it was hardly traditional. Clint was less a teacher and more a sort of long suffering, older brother figure–a dynamic that anchored the now iconic Hawkeye solo comics series by Matt Fraction and David Aja in 2012.
It was largely through that particular series that fans began to flock to Kate as an A-Lister in Marvel’s line up. She and Clint formed a sort of superheroic sitcom with one another that allowed her to shine as a totally unique take on Hawkeye, even though she shared a name and color scheme with the original.
So–is that Kate in the Endgame trailer? Probably not. It’s more than likely that what we saw was Clint and his daughter on their farm during Clint’s post-Civil War house arrest (notice the ankle bracelet). However, that doesn’t mean it’s totally impossible. For one, the MCU isn’t exactly beholden to the comics for Kate’s origin story, meaning she could be Clint’s relative this time around, or even his grown up daughter. For another, there’s no context in the scene that suggests the girl with the bow is a Barton family member at all–for all we know, Clint started teaching archery during his house arrest.
If it is Kate, then the implications are pretty massive. There’s suddenly potential for a Young Avengers spin-off right there and up for grabs, as well as a neatly built bridge to the Hawkeye solo film Clint’s small but dedicated fanbase has been begging for for so many years. It could even mean a slow pivot of Clint’s MCU characterization toward the Clint Fraction and Aja popularized in their stories.
But we really don’t recommend getting your hopes up. In all likelihood, if the MCU were going to bring someone like Kate Bishop in, they’d do it with a lot more fanfare than a throwaway scene in a trailer. Anything is possible, but probably not this.