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Kate Bishop

by yo go re

When this series of Marvel Legends was announced, it was done slowly: rather than dropping all at once, characters were revealed as their shows aired. That's why, at first, it seemed like the pair of Hawkeyes were coming in a two-pack rather than solo releases.

Uncomfortable with her wealthy birthright, rebellious Kate Bishop's well-meaning determination sets her on a collision course with her superhero idol, Hawkeye.

The bio actually spells superhero "Super Hero," two words with a space in the center, but that's just weird. Kate, the new Hawkeye-to-be, is the latest in Marvel Studios' slow build toward a Young Avengers team (if not a Young Avengers movie, specifically): it started by using The Snap to age up Ant-Man's daughter Cassie, then introducing the idea of Billy and Tommy Maximoff, Isaiah Bradley's grandson Eli, and now Kate Bishop. Add in people like Ironheart, Kid Loki, America Chavez, Skarr, Talos' daughter, Namora, and you've got one massive team on the way.

New Hawkeye is played by Hailee Steinfeld, who once teamed up with Obadiah Stane and an Asgaardian actor to hunt down Thanos. Also she has a fancy car. [in the comics she literally does drive a Beetle, soooo... --ed.] The likeness on the toy is pretty good - or at least, it's better than Clint Barton's was. I'm not sure how old the characters are supposed to be, but it's interesting that she and Florence Pugh were born in the same year.

Unsurprisingly, MCU Kate Bishop does not wear a version of the comics' no-underwear costume. Instead, she's got a pair of black pants and a purple jacket, a look that appeared in the comics soon after the series aired. Like with Hawkguy, these are entirely new molds, because there wasn't really anybody she could have been repainted from. Well, they have several "woman wearing jeans" molds and some plain tops, but the Hawkeye-specific details on her jacket and legs are molded on, and she's got a pouch of something strapped to her right leg and a little holster of arrowheads on her belt, so all that stuff would have had to be cheated if this were a repaint. She also has a harness strapped around her chest to hold her quiver, and that's a separate piece from the rest of the body, meaning you could slip it off with some work.

As an archer, Kate needs two things: a bow, and some arrows. We already mentioned she's got a quiver, but that's attached to the harness. Her bow is a simple wooden bow with a metal riser, not some crazy collapsable contraption like Clint carries, and hers actually gets a little bit of paint instead of just being bare plastic: tan on the front of the arms, to let us know they're wooden.

The articulation is very good. Female figures will often get swivel/hinge elbows instead of double hinges (in order to maintain their smooth shape), but that would be terrible for archey stances, so Kate gets the hinges. Probably doesn't hurt that she's wearing her little LARP jacket. We also get pec hinges, for maximum arm-flailing abiliy, but it would be helpful if her ponytail were on a swivel, so you could move it out of the way of her arrows. The figure has an extra set of hands, done in a loose, relaxed pose, in case you want her to just stand around?

She also includes the right leg of the Infinity Ultron Build-A-Figure.

The problem with serializing comicbook stories in live-action is that human actors don't have the same kind of longevity as a pen and pencil drawing does; Tony Stark has been an adult superhero for 60 full years, but Robert Downey Jr. only managed 10. Such is reality. That means unless Disney is willing to let the MCU abruptly end, they need to find ways to refresh their characters believably. The Hawkeye series was a good passing of the torch, handily accomplishing what Falcon and the Winter Soldier wanted to. We got a detailed set-up of Kate, we got Clint seeing her talent, he got them working together... we got all the stuff that happened to Sam Wilson off-screen. The series was great, and the toy is too.

-- 01/09/23

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