12 Things To Know About Kate Bishop Before The Disney+ Hawkeye Series

With Hailee Steinfeld set to portray Marvel's world-famous female archer Kate Bishop on the new Disney+ "Hawkeye" series, it's time to brush up on our knowledge of the character.

Kate Bishop was only introduced to Marvel comics in the early '00s, but already has a complicated, Marvel-esque history replete with time travel, universe hopping, and tragic familial connections to villainy. While there's a lot to discuss when it comes to the junior Hawkeye, the most important elements (and those most likely to relate to the Disney+ series) come from her adventures in the first and second volumes of "Young Avengers" and the Matt Fraction and David Aja run of "Hawkeye," which is the loose inspiration for the new show.

While Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton is often thought of as the least mighty Avenger, his protégée Kate Bishop keeps him on his toes and frequently forces him to engage in exciting, if low stakes, heroics. How does this well-bred and well-moneyed young lady succeed in corralling an Avenger? Read on to learn the most important things you should know about Kate Bishop before "Hawkeye" premieres on November 24.

Before she was a superhero, Kate Bishop was a debutante

Kate Bishop's father is a publishing magnate and a very wealthy man, which means that Kate hasn't wanted for much in her life, except for maybe a stable father figure who actually shows an interest in her.

As Kate aged, she grew disillusioned with her father and took up her mother's influence, spending her time away from Hawthorne Academy in soup kitchens and women's shelters, critical of the way her family lavished money on themselves. Since then, Kate has found better ways to spend her family's wealth, including outfitting the Young Avengers with new uniforms and weapons and providing Clint Barton with access to exclusive villain-filled venues.

However, Kate has kept in touch with her high-class social circles and has Avenged a time or two in a designer dress. Most notably, she ripped apart an Emanuel Ungaro-designed garment to procure medicine and stop looters during an issue of "Hawkeye" devoted to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Her experience in high society also comes in handy whenever heroes must tangle with the likes of Madame Masque, the mafia, or a troupe of high class circus performers. It seems likely Kate's experience with the social elite (and knowledge of designer fashion) will be helpful to Clint as they infiltrate a Christmas party at Rockefeller Plaza in the new series.

She's self-assured, stubborn, and (almost) always right

One of Kate's greatest qualities is her self-assurance. To many people that comes off as stubbornness or arrogance, but it's not really stubbornness or arrogance if you're only saying stuff because you're right. Kate cuts to the chase, saying exactly what she means and sparing few feelings. When the Scarlet Witch attempted to soften Kate's words after she referred to Victor Von Doom as a dictator (to his face), Kate hastily cut her off with, "Kate said what she was trying to say." What a queen!

Kate's gentler with people she cares about, but only to the point at which their behavior negatively affects her. When Clint Barton started pushing away the people most willing to offer him help, she told him off and took a break from the man-child who wouldn't admit when he was in over his head. The decision to head out to L.A. on her own didn't land her in the best circumstances, as she ended up broke and trying to be a superhero for hire — okay, maybe sometimes Kate's a little stubborn — but she returned to New York when she uncovered a plot to kill Clint, sure she was the hero who could save him (and she was right).

Disguises are in Kate's repertoire

Multiple times in Fraction and Aja's "Hawkeye" run, Kate dons disguises to infiltrate villainous lairs and rescue Clint from trouble. Presumably, a mix of being unassuming and just the right height and body type lets her get away with the ruse so many times.

She knocked out circus performer Fifi, stealing her striped outfit and pink wig (conveniently barbed with arrows), and rescued Clint when he was captured and held at gunpoint.

Another time, Kate came to Clint's rescue in Madripoor when she infiltrated the Madripoor Pearl, a luxury hotel hosting an exclusive auction for the rich and evil. While Clint was busy sticking out, getting caught, and being used as a punching bag, Kate detained and replaced Madame Masque. She even swiped Clint's S.H.I.E.L.D.-issued Am-Ex Black card and attended the auction disgusied as the villain, securing a tape of Clint Barton assassinating an Asian dictator (never fear, the tape was a ruse to smoke out a S.H.I.E.L.D. mole). For this disguise, Kate at least had the benefit of a gold mask that covered her whole face, but it's still a good thing that all female superheroes and villains seem to have the same waist size.

Madame Masque is her arch nemesis

Every hero has a villain, and for Kate Bishop, her opposing antagonist is Madame Masque. They first butted heads in Madripoor, during the aforementioned auction and identity theft. What could be fueling Madame Masque's particular Kate-focused rage, however, is being hogtied in a bathroom while Kate used Masque's power and henchmen. That's sure to bruise any ego.

Following that embarrassing encounter, Madame Masque kept tabs on Kate, approaching her in Los Angeles with her face uncovered when Kate's financial strings were cut, her car was repo'd, and some bellmen made off with most of her possessions. In the guise of Whitney Frost, Masque offered Kate a place to stay, an offer Kate accepted with gratitude and exploding arrows. Masque retaliated by burning down Kate's next residence and killing an associate, pinning the murder on Kate. Oh, and Masque and her business associates took a hit out on the Hawkeyes. Needless to say, the feud is ongoing.

Kate's parents, Derek and Eleanor Bishop, are not the kind of parents superheroes want

Part of the reason why the feud between Kate and Madame Masque is ongoing is because Kate's parents are in cahoots with the villain! It's bad enough that Derek Bishop is an emotionally distant, self-serving, money-grubbing capitalist, but when Kate secretly spies him beating someone in his study, the walls of daddy adoration drop and disillusionment sets in. Kate still takes his calls and spends his money, and even makes nice with his new wife (who happens to be one of Kate's former classmates), but when she discovers that daddy dearest is in league with Madame Masque, who has spent an awful lot of time trying to torture and kill Kate, all bets are off.

Oh, and Derek was also part of the cabal who voted to kill the troublesome Hawkeyes for mucking up their real estate scheme. Dad of the Year, right there.

Of course, Kelly Thompson's 2017 "Hawkeye" solo series revealed that Eleanor Bishop is much less dead than previously advertised, and has been directing the activities of Madame Masque. Is no parental relationship sacred? Since the Disney+ series has cast Vera Farmiga as Eleanor Bishop, it's safe to assume this more recent connection to Madame Masque is the one the show will develop. It will be interesting to see how the MCU interprets Kate's complicit parents and their affiliations with the nefarious.

Kate Bishop is trained as a world-class archer and swordswoman

It takes a lot of skill to be Hawkeye, in addition to training, precision, and a certain level of devil-may-care regard for personal safety. But before Kate became a Young Avenger, she was kidnapped by El Matador and rescued by the Avengers, and then sexually assaulted in Central Park. The latter event left Kate feeling even more isolated and alone, and as a result she sought therapy, self-defense lessons, and combat training. Her mission? To make sure what happened to her never happened to anyone else. 

By the time the Young Avengers assembled in the ​​Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung series, Kate was a skilled archer, fluent in fencing, and could wail on any bad guy with battle staves. She continued developing her skills in martial arts, boxing, and other hand-to-hand combat before officially falling in as Clint Barton's protégée. While Clint bested Kate in experience, through his tutelage — and her good ol' fashioned determination — Kate has grown to be as skilled and proficient as the original Hawkeye (and she actually organizes her trick arrows).

She's a founding member of the Young Avengers

Kate met the Young Avengers during a hostage situation at Kate's sister's wedding. The team, then consisting of Iron Lad (Nathaniel Richards and the future Kang the Conqueror), Patriot (Eli Bradley), Hulking (Teddy Altman), and Asgardian (Billy Kaplan) destroyed a rose window, set a fire in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and almost became hostages themselves. Uh, they were not the most together superhero team at the start (or later, if we're being honest). But Kate's quick thinking and fast moves saved them, and together they took down the gunmen.

Kate later tracked the team to the recently demolished Avengers Mansion and insisted they let her join them. Reluctance gave way to need when Kate rescued them again, freeing them plus Cassie Lang (who would go on to become Stature) and joining them, Captain America, Iron Man, and Jessica Jones to take on Kang the Conqueror (yes, the future version of Iron Lad; yes, this story arc is full of time travel shenanigans). Before the ensuing battle, Kate outfitted herself with various parts of the Avengers' costumes, borrowing gear from Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Swordsman (her codename was a little scattered at first).

As the Young Avengers solidified, so did Kate's costume, weapons, and codename. She went on to co-lead the Young Avengers, splitting leadership duties with the equally stubborn Patriot. The "Young Avengers" run helmed by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie took the team into space and the multiverse, providing these young heroes with adventures as epic as the ones undertaken by their adult counterparts.

Kate Bishop is not that straight

On the page, Kate has had romantic entanglements with several of her teammates, including Eli Bradley (introduced to the MCU in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier") and Tommy Shepherd (Wanda's speedster son, last seen in the MCU dissolving into the "WandaVision" hex). During the 15-issue "Young Avengers" series by Gillen and McKelvie, Kate was romantically involved with Noh-Varr, a Kree super soldier from another universe. The series revolved partly around the teens' exes as super-foes, pitting the team against a phantom Patriot and three of Noh-Varr's ex-girlfriends.

Aside from those heterosexual romances, the Young Avengers is largely seen as the queer team, anchored by the central relationship between Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) and Teddy Altman (Hulkling). America Chavez (to be introduced to the MCU in "Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness") is a lesbian, David Alleyne (Prodigy) comes out as bisexual in the series, and Loki explains that Asgardians don't really have the same understanding of sexual identity. When Noh-Varr admits he was on a Kree exploratory vessel and that "exploratory" has multiple meanings, Kate asks, "Am I the only person on the team who's straight?" To which America cheekily replies, "Princess. I've seen the way you look at me. You're not that straight."

While a romantic relationship between Kate and America still has not graced the pages of Marvel's comics, they are gals who are pals, appearing in each other's storylines and solo titles, continuing to give hope to those looking for role models that Kate Bishop will one day be confirmed to be queer.

She's got Hawkeye's bow (and his support)

When outfitting herself for her first Young Avengers mission, Kate swiped items from the Avengers' weapons cache, including Hawkeye's bow. Following that first mission (which included defeating Kang the Conqueror — these teens were not playing around), Captain America and Iron Man decommissioned the Young Avengers, unwilling to encourage children to put themselves in harm's way.

After it was obvious that the Young Avengers wouldn't stop assembling, and that helping them was a far better solution than continuing to treat super-powered heroes like they were normal teenagers, Steve Rogers returned the bow to Kate, since Clint Barton wasn't exactly using it at the time (Clint was dead, because comics).

After Clint Barton was resurrected (seriously, comics), he took up the mantle Ronin and tested the new Hawkeye, attacking her while she was on the worst date ever with Eli Bradley. Clint invited her to show off her skills at the Secret Avengers' base, where he revealed his identity. She put everything on a bet that he couldn't make "the Robin Hood shot" (splitting an arrow down the middle), but he did, so Kate had to give up the name and the bow. Luckily, Kate is stubborn as hell, so she broke into the secret headquarters to steal the bow back. That took guts and proved to Clint that Kate had exactly the right kind of fight in her to be a Young Avenger. He let her keep the bow and the name, and promised to have her back if she ever screwed up.

Kate and Clint Barton have excellent communication

Despite Kate getting so frustrated with Clint that she took a cross-country trip to clear her head, Kate and Clint have excellent communication. Sometimes Clint is a dummy when it comes to phrasing things and has difficulty expressing his feelings (Kate, too, actually), but they communicate when it counts and rarely have difficulty understanding each other, even without words (sometimes, they're much better without words).

During the course of the Fraction and Aja "Hawkeye" run, Clint suffered hearing loss, forcing him to rely on hearing aids, sign language, and lip reading. From the Disney+ "Hawkeye" trailer, it looks as though the MCU's Clint may have similar problems after having the Avengers Compound explode around him in "Avengers: Endgame." His ability to communicate with Kate in sign language may become an important element of the show, bringing increased diversity to the MCU and proving that you don't have to have a super-soldier serum fix your ailments before continuing as a hero.

Her dog is Lucky the Pizza Dog

Lucky the Pizza Dog debuted in Fraction and Aja's "Hawkeye" run as the abused pup of Ivan, a member of the Tracksuit Mafia. He and Clint bonded over pizza, and later, Lucky attacked the Tracksuit Dracula shooting at Clint. Lucky was kicked into traffic for his heroism, and Clint did everything to save him. Lucky pulled through (with injuries fairly similar to what Clint was recovering from at the start of the issue), and Clint adopted him (Clint also changed his name from "Arrow," which was too much kismet for certain archers).

Lucky stayed in the background of most issues, popping up around Clint's apartment, often with a slice of pizza in his mouth. But Lucky continued to protect his people, leaping into the fray just like a Hawkeye. In an issue of "Hawkeye" told entirely from Lucky's point of view, he even tracked down the murderer of one of their neighbors and tried to do his own avenging. 

When Kate had enough of Clint Barton refusing to ask for help and pushing aside the most important people in his life, she took a break from their mentorship and headed out to Los Angeles. As she exited Clint's apartment, she wryly said, "C'mon, Lucky," and Lucky followed her, because he had always been Kate's dog just as much as Clint's.

A shared Hawkeye title is less confusing than it sounds.

When Kate joined the Young Avengers, Clint Barton was kind of dead at the time, meaning the mantle "Hawkeye" was available. After giving Steve Rogers a dressing down for not agreeing to train the Young Avengers, Steve gifted Kate Clint's bow and arrows and bequeathed the codename to her. Despite her reservations, who's going to say no to Captain America?

Since superheroes rarely stay dead, Clint Barton was revived following the "House of M" storyline by means that are truly too complicated to cover here. At the time of the Fraction and Aja "Hawkeye" run, which lasted from 2012 through 2015, Kate and Clint were sharing the codename. This caused some confusion, but not as much as you might think. In a genius moment of disambiguation, Grills, one of the tenants in Clint's building, mispronounces Clint's codename as "Hawkguy," differentiating the two Hawkeyes no matter how much Clint really, really wishes it didn't. Kate seems fine with the verbal distinction.