This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Once upon a time, I would have said that when it came to superhero TV shows, DC reigned supreme. But these days, Marvel is really giving them a go with all these big-budget, big-name Disney+ shows. Maybe it’s because they’re focusing on miniseries-like seasons instead of episodic arcs. Either way, the format really works for them, and it also allows for the introduction of a lot of cool new characters. Enter: Kate Bishop.
With beloved characters alongside the introduction of new ones, Hawkeye managed, mostly successfully, to juggle a large cast of characters with unique and overlapping stories. We not only got Kate Bishop and Clint Barton, but other recognizable heroes and villains that I imagine we’ll see more of in the future. And can I say: it’s so good to see Clint Barton finally get it right. There have been hints of that proprietary mix of exasperation and exhaustion that I love so much throughout the franchise, but not like this.
And whether you’re a longtime Hawkeye fan or just falling in love with the characters for the first time, you can’t go wrong with any of these eight comics to read after you see and love. Hawk Eye. You’ll find: more Kate sass, more exhausted Clint, more Lucky the dog, and maybe even a few other great superheroes you’ll recognize along the way.
Spoiler warning: Mild to moderate spoilers for Disney Hawk Eye are ahead, including mentions of characters that appear in later episodes and some implications about their stories. Read below at your own risk if you haven’t watched the series yet.
Hawkeye: Private Eye by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Michael Walsh
Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye, is settling in as a private detective in Los Angeles. But managing life as a private detective and one of two Hawkeyes can be tough enough, especially when clones and mind-controlling cults get in the way. Special guest appearances by: PI’s renowned superhero Jessica Jones, Lucky the dog and Laura Kinney as Wolverine. This series shows Kate in fine, sassy form, with all the jokes and one-liners she can fit in between shooting arrows at bad guys. Because, hey, a superhero has to do what a superhero has to do.
hawk eye vol. 1: My Life as a Gun by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, Matt Hollingsworth, Annie Wu, Chris Eliopoulos, Alan Davis, and Francesco Francavilla
The run that led me to Hawkeye and clearly one of the big inspirations for the Disney+ series considering Fraction was a consulting producer for the show. You’ll recognize the tracksuit mafia that plays a major role in Hawk Eye and some other fun Easter eggs. However, my favorite part of Fraction’s Hawkeye is hands down Kate and Clint’s banter. So good.
Hawkeye: free fall of Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt
When a new Ronin begins to terrorize the streets of New York, all eyes turn to Hawkeye. But with a new villain on the scene, Clint has more to worry about than who is wearing his costume. However, when his mission puts him on a collision course with Ronin’s secret plans, only one of them will walk away from the fight. This is another one where we can see some definite similarities to the Disney+ series, so if you want to delve into Clint’s past and his connection to Ronin, this one is for you.
West Coast Avengers: The Best Coast by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, and Daniele Di Nicuolo
After realizing that there is no superhero team protecting California, Kate Bishop reforms the West Coast Avengers. But it turns out there aren’t many superheroes available, or interested. Alongside America and Clint Barton, he enlists Gwenpool, Kid Omega, and her boyfriend Fuse to keep the West Coast safe from all manner of villainy. Because, well, they’re all he has. Lots of great Kate and Clint interactions in this one, plus some really fun stories.
America #5 by Gabby Rivera, Kelly Thompson, Ramón Villalobos and Jen Bartel AOC
Best friends America and Kate reunite in this edition of America by Gaby Rivera. The two former Young Avengers are brought back together to face a new threat when semi-legal private detective Kate Bishop finds herself on a new case. In comics lore, Kate has been fighting crime for a while (see: Young Avengers, West Coast Avengers, THE Avengers, etc), so it’s fun to see her interact with her superhero friends in addition to the other Hawkeye.
Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Raffaele and Greg Smallwood
Another team of Hawkeye + Hawkeye. And this time, it’s Kate who has to save Clint when he finds himself in the middle of a battle royale with an inexplicably young Barton and just about every Hawkeye foe imaginable out to kill him. It’s Kelly Thompson’s writing, so you know the jokes are good and the sass is constant.
Widowmakers by Devin Grayson, Mike McKone and Michele Bandini
Can’t get enough Yelena? I feel you. Even when I act as an antagonist, I can’t root against that amazing and daring assassin. His comic origins and stories differ quite a bit from the MCU, but if you want to delve deeper into his character, widow makers is a very good place to start. It also features the Red Guardian, but again, quite different from the movies, so don’t be surprised when you find out that maybe, at some point, she was married to Natasha. Yes, I tried to warn you.
Phoenix Song: Echo by Rebecca Roanhorse and Luca Maresca
If you, like me, were instantly fooled by one of Hawk EyeThe emerging characters of Echo (played by Alaqua Cox), this is the series for you. After being chosen as the new avatar of one of the most powerful forces in the Marvel universe, Phoenix, Echo must come to terms with her new cosmic powers. However, Echo doesn’t just have to worry about overwhelming new abilities. There are forces out there determined to see the former street fighter fail, unleashing forces that only Marvel’s mightiest superheroes have been able to control.
Learn more about the origins of Hawkeye or Kate Bishop in these articles on why she’s too good for the Avengers and how Kelly Thompson honed her voice.