Adaptations: “Hawkeye”


Aubrianna Martinez, Senior Digital Editor

The 2021 Disney+ series “Hawkeye” exceeded expectations, especially for those who expected it to be the Hawkeye of Marvel Cinematic Universe follow-up shows.

From the first of the set photos that were leaked to the trailers, it was clear that the show would have an incredibly different tone than what had been previously used for Clint Barton. The new and energizing tone for the show can clearly be attributed to two factors.

The 2012 comic series “Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon” created by Matt Fraction and David Aja is the obvious origin for the show’s plot and this version of the new characters it introduces. Not only does the show lift some scenes directly from the comics, it borrows inspiration from it too, in that “Hawkeye” is the origin story for the new hero to take on the mantle of Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, but it features whacky gang activity, a pizza dog, and other unique New York characters for the heroes to befriend. Even the artwork that rolls across the screen with the credits at the end of each episode is akin to the comic’s style.

The show also completely changes the characterization of Clint Barton, changing his demeanor from a character who seemed pained to be present because apparently, someone in the writer’s room thought he would be interesting if they made him aloof. In “Hawkeye”, Hawkeye is actually appealing, as he is now a tired dad who is trying to finish work quickly so that he can get back to his family, but is not an unfun person. Kate Bishop references this retcon of Clint Barton’s personality explicitly in the second episode, “people don’t want that cynical, cool thing anymore. They want sincerity.”

More than that, the series as a whole is easily the funniest of the MCU follow-up series that has been developed and hosted by Disney+, which can again be attributed to the comic series. As an adaptation, the “Hawkeye” series is a fairly loyal adaptation to the 2012 comic series, with the occasional changes serving to update the world portrayed within the comics and the MCU at large, as all of these follow-up series have served as leading to a new segment of stories in the MCU.