The latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been delivered to superhero fans this week, with spin-off series Hawkeye making its way to Disney+.
Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hawkeye takes place after the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and earlier in 2021, the end credits of Black Widow teased potential conflict in the original six-part Disney+ series.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What happens in Hawkeye?
Hawkeye chronicles life for former Avenger Clint Barton aka Hawkeye in the aftermath of Bruce Banner’s decision to use the Infinity Stones to reverse Thanos’ devastatingly destructive finger snap.
With life on Earth restored, Clint is determined to get home for Christmas so he can be with his wife Laura and their children Cooper, Lila and Nathaniel.
Unfortunately, Hawkeye’s biggest fan, 22-year-old skilled archer Kate Bishop, throws those best laid plans into disarray by adopting the Ronin costume on the streets of New York City.
Mentor and enthusiastic protegee join forces to unravel a criminal conspiracy at “the most wonderful time of the year”, which introduces the character of Maya Lopez aka Echo, who will headline her own spin-off series.
Who’s in the cast?
Jeremy Renner returns to reprise his role as the titular hero, who has appeared in previous MCU films such as Thor, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame.
Los Angeles-born star Hailee Steinfeld plays Kate Bishop, a Marvel Comics character who takes up the Hawkeye mantle after training as a member of the Young Avengers.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan UK, the 24-year-old said she felt lucky to have played a series of strong young women on screen.
She said: “My dream next role, to be completely honest, is the next role I’m playing, which is Kate Bishop in Hawkeye.
“To play anything in the Marvel universe is a dream, but Kate Bishop is a character that I love so much and I’m so excited to bring her to life.”
Linda Cardellini (Brokeback Mountain) plays Hawkeye’s wife Laura, while Ben Sakamoto, Ava Russo and Cade Woodward play their children Cooper, Lila and Nathaniel respectively.
Alaqua Cox will play Maya Lopez aka Echo - who will headline her own spin-off series - in the future, while Oscar-nominee Florence Pugh is expected to reprise her role of Russian super-spy Yelena Belova from Black Widow.
The series will also star Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, and Zahn McClarnon.
Is it any good?
At the time of writing, Hawkeye has an approval rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s what some of the critics are saying about it:
“Hawkeye is not as ambitious as WandaVision, but it has a breezy quality that’s easy to get into.” – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
“Hawkeye feels like a lighthearted Christmas action romp. Call it ‘Die Hard With Exploding Arrows.’” – Bob Strauss, San Francisco Chronicle
“Despite Marvel Studios not having a hand in helping develop the DefendersVerse on Netflix, there are some brutal hand-to-hand fights reminiscent of Daredevil.” – Adam Barnhardt, ComicBook.com
“If you’re looking for a fun holiday spin on the vigilante trope that plants Marvel’s trajectory firmly back on the streets of New York City, this spirited series delivers.” – Alicia Gilstorf, Tell-Tale TV
When can I watch it?
Hawkeye began streaming on 24 November on Disney+.
The first two episodes were made available on that date, with the show's remaining four episodes to be released on a weekly basis.
The season finale is currently set to premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday 22 December.
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