*For this whole article, you have to bear in mind that whenever I say Netflix, I mean whatever streaming service Disney would choose to use; presumably their own but I don’t want this being PG*
I’ll be honest with you here, I’m not Jeremy Renner’s biggest fan. As Hawkeye, he offers very little to his comic book counterpart and doesn’t even resemble him in personality or physicality. Literally the only similarities between comic book Hawkeye and MCU Hawkeye is that they both use a bow and arrow to kill people/aliens/robots.
Don’t get me wrong, I love almost everything to do with the MCU and while there have been a couple of drab films and a few bum characters, it’s mostly been phenomenal entertainment from start to finish, spanning a whole array of genres and themes.
They just can’t get Hawkeye right.
He’s got a wife? And kids?! He lives in a wooden house in the middle of nowhere and has a tractor? He sounds like Steve Martin in Cheaper by the Dozen, to be honest; albeit with a recurve bow and a jacket that only has one sleeve.
Conversely, in 2012, Marvel Comics commissioned Matt Fraction and David Aja to create a new Hawkeye comic book series that would coincide with his appearance in the first Avengers film. It was absolutely brilliant.
Set in the present day but with a decidedly 60s feel about it – sort of like how, bar the modern tech, Netflix’s Sex Education is almost definitely supposed to be in the 80s – the comic series ranging from My Life as a Weapon to Rio Bravo follows Clint Barton when he’s not fighting super villains on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D or the Avengers.
I won’t give it away, but the series more or less follows Clint protecting the block of flats in New York he lives in from a nefarious Russian Mafia boss, intent on owning all of the buildings in his block so he can make a new build.
Along the way, he has to deal with assassins from his past and other criminal masterminds, meanwhile trying to maintain a normal existence (badly) with his complicated relationship to Kate Bishop; his friend/sidekick who, confusingly, is also a Hawkeye.
The formatting and the pacing works perfectly for a Netflix series akin to Daredevil, and the reasonably dark tone and adult humour more or less means it couldn’t be flying the Disney flag alongside Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D on ABC or something.
Just look at these bloody visuals, eh?!
It’s what the world needs.
Meanwhile, we’re getting a Loki show when we’ve already seen so much of him and apparently a Scarlet Witch series.
Presumably, the Loki show will have a lot of Asgard scenes – i.e. not cheap – and the Scarlet Witch addition will have a lot of magical CGI which, again, is fairly costly. What I’m after with Hawkeye is a man in a grimy New York high rise with a bow and arrow. Hardly Avengers: Endgame stuff over here.
Perhaps it would have to be a prequel to current Avengers-era Clint Barton, without Jeremy Renner (not that I don’t like him, he’s just not right for it). The thing that worked perfectly with the comic series was the constant internal conflict with Hawkeye realising that he’s just a man with a bow, fighting alongside gods.
Hawkeye is at his best when he’s fighting people on the same level as him, wondering why he’s part of the Avengers and trying to juggle his “job” with his mental incapacity to just stop, for a moment.
Also, look no further than Kate Bishop for a strong female character who can hold her own and serves as a pretty fantastic role model.
The potential is overwhelming.
Images via Marvel