Hawkeye: Heartfelt for the Holidays


Hawkeye is a six-episode miniseries currently releasing on Disney + under the Marvel umbrella. It is the fourth show that Marvel has produced this year, and it is centered around Clint Barton. Barton is a family man above everything else who just wants to celebrate the holidays with his family. But when his dark past confronts him head on in the face of a teenage girl, he is forced to embark upon a mission to protect her and himself. The first two episodes came out on Wednesday, November 24, and new episodes are dropping every Wednesday through the finale on December 22. The first few episodes have been filled with charming characters, exciting action, and heartwarming moments. While it doesn’t contribute much to the MCU as a whole, it is a fun series that is enjoyable without greater context.

The characters and the performances are significant in making the show what it is. Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld, is one of the most amusing and relatable characters the MCU has put forward. Kate has idolized Hawkeye since she was saved by him as a child, and dedicated her life to archery to be like her hero. Hawkeye himself, portrayed by Jeremy Renner, is one of the more forgotten original avengers. Without superhuman abilities, and nothing but his archery prowess and technology to protect him, he is easy to overlook. The series gives him more character development and displays his savviness and experience. These two main characters are accompanied by a villian with an engaging backstory and a compelling connection to Hawkeye.

Another standout aspect of the series is its action. Marvel is known for their elaborate action sequences but Hawkeye perfectly blends not taking the action too seriously while providing entertaining scenes. Nothing is absurd or over the top and the action is not extremely overused like is occasionally the case with other Marvel products. The show is very creative with designing trick arrows for Hawkeye to use. These arrows serve a variety of purposes and the ways that they are used is captivating. The action is far from the most interesting that Marvel has shown they are capable of, but it is perfect for the series and doesn’t take away from the experience in any way.

Hawkeye is set during the days leading up to Christmas, and it is very much an emotional holiday adventure. Hawkeye wants nothing more than to spend the holidays with his family but can’t step away from Kate as he feels responsible for her problems, “because that’s what heroes do.” Hawkeye, widely considered one of the most “boring” Avengers, is given a lot of characterization and emotional scenes to help viewers further understand his character. The main antagonist of the story so far is also given an emotional backstory that hits hard. Her backstory is incredibly moving and makes you question who and what you’re rooting for. With more episodes to be released, it is safe to assume that we will see more touching family scenes from Hawkeye and more emotional moments. 

Being the fourth miniseries released by Marvel this year, Hawkeye had big shoes to fill after WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. While it doesn’t have the same scale or massive consequences of its predecessors, it is a sweet, genuine, and sincere adventure with likeable characters and holiday spirit. It is refreshing and comforting, a direction that Marvel hasn’t approached before. Hawkeye is the perfect show to enjoy during the holiday season, and one that is still exciting for die hard Marvel fans. The finale airs next Wednesday, and if you haven’t watched it already, the start of Winter Break is the perfect time to binge watch the first five episodes. 

Illustration by Leo Metzger