Hawkeye Trailer Introduces Pizza Dog, The Most Important Character In The MCU

The upcoming Disney+ "Hawkeye" series sees the return of Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, which is cool I guess, but not the coolest news of the day. More exciting is the introduction of Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, the next Hawkeye, and Alaqua Cox as Echo, the MCU's first Indigenous and deaf hero. But the best news of all comes in the form of the fluffy golden retriever that the entire world will soon fall in love with, Lucky the Pizza Dog. 

The MCU might be full of action and have an ever growing roster of badass heroes, but you know what the series severely lacks? Pets! How's a hero suppose to get anything down without a canine sidekick? Luckily, the truest hero of them all has arrived! If you're not familiar with Hawkeye's comic book companion, Lucky, then prepare for your life to get a little brighter — here's a guide to the heartwarming story behind the MCU's new good boy.

Who Is Lucky The Pizza Dog, the Goodest Boy in the MCU?

The Hawkeye series was announced to a lukewarm response, but there were rumblings of excitement as fans realized the possibility of seeing the 2015 Matt Fraction and David Aja "Hawkeye" run adapted to screen. One of the most popular comics of the 2010s, the series was praised by fans and critics alive for its witty dialogue, minimalist art style, and much more grounded nature. It told the very human adventures of Hawkeye, his protege Kate Bishop, and their beloved companion Lucky.

Unlike other superhero companions, Lucky doesn't have any wild abilities — other than being intensely loyal and good at biting bad guys. When he first comes into the archer's life, he's named Arrow and serves as a guard dog for the Tracksuit Mafia. This takes place at the beginning of issue #1, but the mobster group goes on to become a major obstacle for Clint and Kate throughout the series.

Clint earns Arrow's loyalty without even realizing, showing the dog kindness and offering a slice of pizza with lots of good head pats. In turn, Arrow earned Clint's loyalty by defending him in battle. He jumps into a fight with the mafia men, attacking a mobster for attempting to shoot Clint. Sadly, he pays for his heroism when he's thrown into oncoming traffic by the evilest men to ever walk the earth. Clint gets Arrow to a veterinary hospital just in time to save his life. After multiple surgeries, he recovers, but notably loses the use of his left eye. Clint gladly takes ownership of the pup, bring him home and renaming him "Lucky."

Bestest boy Lucky sticks around for the long run, becoming a welcome part of the team. In fact, he becomes the star of one of the most popular comic issues in the series, issue #11. Told entirely from Lucky's point of view, the issue lets the breakout character take the lead and solve a crime to help save the team. This is also the issue where fans discover that Lucky thinks of himself as "Pizza Dog" because of his favorite food.

The Story Behind Lucky The Pizza Dog

Part of what makes Lucky so great is his simplicity. It's all in the name after all — Lucky the Pizza Dog is a dog who loves pizza. He's an adorable golden retriever who's loyal to his arrow-wielding pals and loves the classic combo of mozzarella and tomato sauce. But that doesn't mean he's without any emotional depth. He's a crucial part of Clint's life and in the comics, a much-needed comfort from the chaos of fighting crime.

Lucky also has particularly emotional origins for writer Matt Fraction, who talked about Lucky being based on his own golden retriever, Captain Applejack. Sadly, Fraction's dog was put down shortly before he began work on the series. At the time, emotions were already running high because he feared his comic book career was taking a turn for the worst. But sometimes the best art comes from pain. Thinking of Captain Applejack, Fraction decided to give Hawkeye a dog. From there, the rest of the comic came into view. Speaking to Live Wire! Radio podcast, Fraction said that once he realized Clint needed a dog, he was able to write the first issue in a single day. He added, "It was a very bad, very sad day, but I wrote it in a day."

Telling the story of his inspiration, Fraction said:

"When Captain Applejack was a puppy I found him under a car. And he was so sick and so little and so mangy I didn't know if he was very young and very sick or very old and about to die. He was wrinkly. So I gave him to Hawkeye. I gave him this beat up mutt who was neglected and ignored. And as I started to kind of write and give him this kind of emotional thing he was connected to, like, the character's anima appeared. That was it, it wasn't a hawk. It was a dog. And then I got the book. I understood what the book was. I knew what happens. I knew what it was about. And if I couldn't save Captain Applejack, Hawkeye could save Lucky."

Lucky The Pizza Dog in Hawkeye

The presence of Lucky was one of our first signs that the Hawkeye series would take inspiration from Fraction and Aja's comic run. His presence was a promise for a more grounded story: rather than fighting alien super villains, Clint will take on mafia men. It's a nice change of pace for the MCU, especially because the Disney+ series are such a good opportunity to size down the scale of their storytelling. While that's been true to an extent, the series thus far have still been pretty sweeping — "Wandavision delved into the cosmic horrors of Wanda's abilities, while "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" found a way to introduce more characters than the show could maintain, all while traveling the globe in single episodes.

But nothing is more grounding than a dog! Lucky is a promise of something more domestic: Clint's gonna have to slow down to get Lucky his daily dose of pepperoni, and if he doesn't there will surely be hell to pay.