Avengers: Endgame’s latest trailer holds back on the hints. Captain Marvel makes an appearance, and we have some new shots of our heroes in swanky suits, but other than that, the new glimpse at the end of Phase 3 of the MCU is a lot like the trailers for the final season of Game of Thrones: sound and fury, signifying as little about the plot as possible.
If there’s new info to glean — and what else are trailers for, really — a single shot in a trailer gives something to dig into: The latest trailer for Avengers: Endgame teases a comics-established successor to Hawkeye.
For a split-second in the Endgame trailer, we see Clint Barton teaching a young woman to fire a bow. This could mean a lot of things. But for the comics world, it’s pretty reminiscent of a specific character: Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye.
Yes, there are two Hawkeyes in the Marvel Universe, and they exist simultaneously — kinda like the two Spider-Mans we all know so well, thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Except it didn’t take a multiverse to make Kate Bishop.
It just took Clint Barton’s death.
In 2004, Clint died, and in 2007, he was brought back to life. (How all that happened is not really important for our purposes — just take my word for it.) While he was dead, the world moved on, and a Young Avenger named Kate Bishop wore a purple costume and using trick arrows to honor his legacy. She called herself Hawkeye.
When Clint, who was never a man of large ego, returned, he saw her in action and thought she did pretty well with the name. Maybe even better than him. He was also interested in hiding his return from death for a while, and so he borrowed a code name, costume, and weapons from another fallen Avenger, Maya Lopez, to become the ninja-esque superhero Ronin, an identity he would use until 2010. When he became Hawkeye again, Kate refused to give up the name, and so, two Hawkeyes.
Avengers: Endgame will debut Clint Barton’s Ronin costume, complete with samurai sword action. Now, in the comics, Kate Bishop has no relationship with Hawkeye before she borrows his superhero name — she’d never even met the guy, much less been trained by him. But the movie version of Clint Barton is pretty different from the comics one. He doesn’t struggle with hearing loss, he’s a career SHIELD agent, and he has a wife, three kids, and a midwestern farm.
The MCU’s version of Kate Bishop could easily be Clint’s daughter, Lila, introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The age difference between Lila as seen in Ultron and the young woman in the Endgame trailer doesn’t really line up with the Marvel timeline, but it wouldn’t be the first time that sort of thing had been fudged.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will be entering an entirely new phase after Endgame, literally and figuratively. If Marvel Studios wanted to start planting seeds for a new generation of Hawkeye, well, now is the time.