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Kate Bishop Finally Equalled Iron Man’s Darkest MCU Record

Warning: Contains spoilers for Hawkeye episode 3, "Echoes".

In Hawkeye episode 3, “Echoes,” Kate Bishop tackled a strange part of Iron Man’s legacy and now has something in common with him that no other Avenger does. Tony Stark died at the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3 in Avengers: Endgame. However, Iron Man’s legacy still hangs heavy over the MCU with perpetual questions of who will take over his role in the franchise, who could be the next to wear an Iron Suit (get ready for Ironheart), and who can match Robert Downey Jr.’s charisma. Kate Bishop might not be claiming the whole title, but she has taken one small part of his legacy for herself by her actions in Hawkeye episode 3.

Hawkeye episode 3 includes the first fight scene where Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) draws his bow and the most protracted bout of Barton and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) fighting together. Having been captured by the Tracksuit Mafia, led by Maya Lopez’s Echo (Alaqua Cox), the two fight their way out of the building together and enter an epic car chase through the city. With Clint Barton driving, Hawkeye sees Kate Bishop take charge of his bow and trick arrows.

Related: Hawkeye Episode 3 Ending: Clint & Jack Already Know Each Other?

One of these trick arrows earns Hawkeye’s Kate Bishop the claim to the same dubious honor that Tony Stark earned in the Iron Man. When Kate Bishop fires an explosive arrow into the front of a truck, the truck explodes in a ball of flames and flips down the street, undoubtedly killing those inside. The only other Avenger to intentionally kill humans in their debut was Iron Man when Tony Stark escaped from the compound where he was held prisoner. It is, of course, arguable whether Kate Bishop was fully aware of what the trick arrow would do, yet while she seems surprised, she also seems giddy at the idea of more dangerous arrows and shows no remorse for having killed the members of the Tracksuit Mafia. Repeatedly throughout the car chase, as she fires arrows that she does not know the effect of, she makes potential kill shots which are only non-lethal through luck rather than judgement.

The fact that Kate Bishop kills some of her opponents is emphasized and highlighted by the way that Hawkeye fights alongside her. During the fight with the Tracksuit Mafia in the building, Kate Bishop is largely occupied by a single opponent who she fights by hand. Clint Barton, however, takes down a huge number of the crew with his bow, a potentially lethal weapon, in ways that are notably non-lethal. While Barton sends a lot of them to the hospital with pierced shoulders, hands, and feet, it is unlikely that any died the way that Kate Bishop's targets in the car chase did.

Kate Bishop has idolized Hawkeye and always wanted to be the best, but Clint Barton makes it clear in Hawkeye episode 3 that Kate does not understand every part of what it means to be a hero. She has focused so much on her own prowess and how cool being a hero could be that she has forgotten the human cost on both sides of the equation. As Clint Barton starts to accept that she can be useful during the fight and guides her in the battle, it is notable that he repeatedly guides her to non-lethal means (if only through luck). In part of the cartoon silliness of Hawkeye, Clint Barton recommends she shoot the putty arrows at the car's wheels and the arrow made giant by the Pym arrow notably hits the empty back end of the villain’s truck. The emphasis on non-lethal force, coupled with Kate Bishop's use of the explosive arrow, adds a dark sheen to Hawkeye episode 3.

Next: Why Echo Needed A Deaf Actor In Hawkeye

Hawkeye releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.

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