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Kate Bishop Is The New Tony Stark, Not The New Hawkeye

Warning: SPOILERS for Hawkeye Episodes 1 & 2.

Although Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) is going to be the new Hawkeye, the young archer is actually more like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) than her hero, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). Set a couple of years after Avengers: Endgame, Hawkeye finds Clint and Kate caught up in a New York City criminal conspiracy surrounding Kate's mother Eleanor (Vera Farmiga), her fiance Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), and the Tracksuit Mafia. Hawkeye is also a sharp character study that contrasts Clint Barton and Kate Bishop as the Avenger reluctantly works with the 22-year-old vigilante.

Iron Man kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it was a bold move to make billionaire playboy Tony Stark the MCU's centerpiece hero from Phases 1-3. Tony was an arrogant, self-aggrandizing narcissist who wasn't anyone's idea of what a superhero should be. But after Stark was kidnapped by the Ten Rings, he developed a sense of justice and Tony initially became Iron Man to right the wrongs made by Stark Industries as weapons manufacturers. Tony's altruism grew and turned Iron Man into a genuine superhero who protected the world with the Avengers until Stark's noble sacrifice in Endgame. While Tony did change after he became Iron Man, Stark's essential character remained consistent. Tony was a product of being born privileged and possessing incalculable wealth. Along with his scientific genius, Stark saw no problems that couldn't be solved by throwing money at it.

Related: Hawkeye Proves The Avengers Can Make Heroes & Not Just Villains

In Hawkeye, Kate is really a lot more like Tony Stark than she is Clint Barton. Kate was also born to immense wealth and privilege and she's the only superhero in the MCU who was raised among the New York City elite. Bishop grew up in a luxurious Manhattan penthouse (a few blocks from Avengers Tower) and she never had to worry about money until Kate's mother, Eleanor, canceled her credit cards in Hawkeye episode 1. Even then, Bishop knows she can solve her problems with her family's money. Later, the Tracksuit Mafia set fire to Kate's apartment, and while Bishop worried about her possessions, she also knows that everything can be replaced thanks to the Bishop fortune. Indeed, in the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark consistently wrecked his Malibu mansion but he was never concerned with what it would cost to repair all of the damage. Eleanor correctly assessed Kate when she said, "Young people think they're invincible and rich people think they're invincible. You've always been both."

While they are both archers without superpowers and who favor wearing purple, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop couldn't be more different as people. Clint Barton is a grounded family man who wants nothing more at this point in his life than to be a father and husband. But Barton has also done terrible things in his time as an Agent of SHIELD, and especially when he massacred international criminals as Ronin. By contrast, Kate has no idea what the life of a superhero entails besides that adventuring looks cool and she hopes to have trick arrows like Hawkeye. Kate is not unlike Tony Stark, who initially became Iron Man as a lark and for the thrills but gradually accepted the serious responsibility of being a superhero.

Kate Bishop may be the next Hawkeye but she's also indirectly filling the void Tony Stark left behind as the MCU's wealthy superhero who was born with money. Kate Bishop has always been wealthy and doesn't understand what struggling to make ends meet is like. By contrast, Tony's protege was Peter Parker (Tom Holland), and Stark admired Spider-Man for his "Bruce Springsteen working man's vibe." Hawkeye flipped that dynamic by having Clint Barton reluctantly mentor Kate, a rich kid who is in over her head in spite of her many skills and talents. While Kate Bishop will never meet the late Tony Stark in the mainline MCU, she's a lot more like Iron Man than even she knows.

Next: Why Kate Bishop Must Have Survived Thanos' Snap

Hawkeye streams Wednesdays on Disney+.

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