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[Header from Marvel/Disney+'s Hawkeye]

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The latest miniseries to join the Marvel Cinematic (small screen) Universe is Hawkeye—a six episode adventure into Clint Barton’s life, and that of his new protege, Kate Bishop. Marvel comic fans will, of course, know who Kate is, as she has a long-established history in the comic universe (she first appeared in 2005). However, fans of the on-screen super-verse only may not quite know what to make of this Hawkeye-in-the-making.

For those looking for a little background on Kate, her time with Clint, and of course, the much-beloved Pizza Dog, these are the best comics to get caught up.

 

Young Avengers #1 - Sidekicks (Part 1) - 2005

The best place to start is, of course, at the beginning! This is the start of the Young Avengers (now an established team), and the launch of Kate Bishop’s comic career. It’s a good idea for fans to start reading a bit of the Young Avengers comics in general, as many of the big names in this team (including Cassie Lang, Ant-Man’s daughter, Eli Bradley, Wiccan, and more) are already in the MCU.

This comic also helps to establish Kate’s history and backstory - her wealthy upbringing, how she discovers the Young Avengers as they begin to form, why she is the powerful fighter that she is, and how she connects with them.

Buy the first tradeback volume:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million

 

Young Avengers Presents #6 (2008)

This special series gave a little more depth and backstory to the Young Avengers, in turn, with each getting an issue devoted to them. This is the Hawkeye issue and sees Kate meeting Clint for the first time. The story as it plays out here is not likely to be the one that plays out in the series, but it’s a great way to get to know the comic book Kate better - and without having to pick up a more ensemble-focused book, too.

This book also works as a bit of a stand-alone title, making it short and sweet for new fans to read, and includes Clint as Ronin - which ties into his stint as such during the events of the Snap.

You can read this issue in the back of the 1st tradeback volume of My Life as a Weapon, listed below!

 

My Life as a Weapon (2013)

If any comic is the one to read before the series, it is this one. While the Hawkeye miniseries will not be a direct adaptation of this book (or any book), it borrows the most from this series. Set in New York City, My Life as a Weapon is all about Kate and Clint’s first real team up (as the Young Avengers Presents is more of a meeting than joining forces). Pizza Dog appears here, and in the show, and it seems that this is where Disney+ is getting inspiration.

It’s great to see the kind of dynamic that these two heroes build, and to understand how things are likely to play out - even if the details of the plot are going to be different. For one thing, in this comic, Kate and Clint have met already - whereas in the series, they are seemingly meeting for the first time (although she knows who he is, of course).

Buy the first tradeback volume:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

Hawkeye Vol. 6: Hawkeyes (2016)

Finally fans should pick up this incredible book, that wraps up past, present, and future for the Hawkeyes. Here, it’s possible to get a better idea of who Kate is, and where she comes from, as scenes from as far back as her childhood are included. However, it also shows how her partnership and relationship with Clint grow, and how close their relationship really is.

This does assume a little prior knowledge, as it takes place at a time (or times) when these two characters are already well-established, but that’s true of reading any single series or book, rather than starting from Clint’s first issue and reading every appearance… which, given that this is over four and half thousand issues for Clint, and nearly 600 for Kate, might be a little too much to do between now and Nov 24th!

Buy the first tradeback volume:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

Which are your favorite Hawkeye comics? Let us know on twitter @quirkbooks!


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