The 5 Hawkeye villains we want to see in the Disney+ series
As filming gets underway for the highly-anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ series, fan speculation has fueled further regarding the story for Hawkeye, especially in regards to potential villains set to appear in the series in addition to Jack Duquesne, aka Swordsman. With that in mind, we decided to delve into the comic book history of the titular archer and select five of his best villains that we’d like to see come to life in the limited series.
Created by Mark Gruenwald and Eliot Brown and first appearing in the third issue of the 1983 solo Hawkeye series, Wendy Conrad, aka Bombshell, was a master juggler and an expert in explosives and joined fellow villain Oddball to eliminate Hawkeye and Mockingbird at the behest of Crossfire, though were defeated and only narrowly escaped thanks to Oddball’s brother Alvin, aka Tenpin. Her and various other villains would go on to form a group known as the Death-Throws, which would later be defeated by Hawkeye, Captain America and Mockingbird. Though it may take a while for the MCU to introduce characters such as Tenpin and Oddball to the screen worlds, fans’ desire to see Adrienne Palicki return as Mockingbird’s alter ego Bobbi Morse and the series’ New York setting would make Conrad’s introduction the perfect way to do so and could also go a long way to tease the arrival of Crossfire, widely considered to be the closest Hawkeye has to an archenemy.
Though more of villain to the Avengers as a whole rather than solely Hawkeye, the Steve Englehart and Tom Sutton-created Griffin has faced off against him a handful of times, but it’s the villain’s familial ties that make him the perfect character to bring over from the pages of the comics. Born John “Johnny” Horton, Griffin was once a low-level gang member in New Orleans before moving to Chicago and working for a gangster that introduced him to the Secret Empire, which would experiment on him that resulted in his supervillain state, where he would first fight Beast and Angel of the X-Men before going on to fight the West Coast Avengers and other Marvel heroes, including Hawkeye. In the comics, Griffin has a daughter, Yo-Yo Rodriguez, who previously appeared in the MCU in Agents of SHIELD as a major character, though was reimagined as an Inhuman, but given she regains her superspeed ability later in the series’ run and the lack of introduction to a father for the character, it would make for a fan-pleasing outing that further expands the universe. In addition, the Secret Society have appeared in the MCU during the second season of the short-lived Agent Carter, albeit their name changed to Council of Nine, and with the remaining person involved with the council left alive in the series finale, it could prove an interesting tie into the rest of the small screen universe.
Baron Helmut Zemo
With his MCU iteration being a variation of parts from both Baron Helmut Zemo and other Barons throughout the comics, it may be a bit trickier to find a work in for the notorious Captain America villain, but with the character still being alive and set to return in other Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, there’s still plenty of opportunity for the character to appear in the series. Son to original Baron Zemo, Helmut would at one point in the comics become the leader of the superhero group Thunderbolts under false pretenses and after his nefarious motives were revealed and Hawkeye took control of the group, Helmut set his sights on the archer and went on to become a major villain for him. Teaming up with Hawkeye’s former mentor Trick Shot, dying from cancer, to bring the archer down in the Blindspot storyline while killing all of the Thunderbolts and only leaving Hawkeye alive in Old Man Logan, Zemo has been a very formidable foe for the Avenger and with the exact timeline for both Hawkeye and Falcon and the Winter Soldier unknown, though the former’s set photos have pointed to a 2025 setting, there’s certainly room for Daniel Brühl’s villain to appear in both.
Not only is Trick Shot one of Hawkeye’s most notable rivals, he’s also one whose various comic threads would work for the series and the plot seemingly being developed in it. Originally acting as one of Clint Barton’s mentors alongside Duquesne — who we know will appear in the series — under the name of Buck Chisholm, the two would have a rift during a robbery of a wealthy criminal’s mansion as Clint discovers one of the guards he shot in the arm was his brother and elects to remain by his side, infuriating Trick Shot and establishing them as enemies. Following the death of Chisholm at one point from cancer, the mantle would later be taken up by Clint’s brother, who had seemingly passed away years prior only to be revived by Baron Zemo. Rumors have swirled since February that Trick Shot and Clint’s brother Barney would be introduced in the series, and with Swordsman already set to appear in a key role, it would be thematically apt for the Clint’s other mentor and brother to appear in the series.
Much like Zemo and Griffin, William Cross, aka Crossfire, is a supervillain with such a number of ties to the bigger Marvel universe that his arrival would not only prove exciting for fans, but also connect a lot of threads and set things up for the future. Created by Steven Grant and Jim Craig, Crossfire is the cousin to Ant-man villain Darren Cross, portrayed in the eponymous film by Corey Stoll, with cybernetic implants whose main goal has been to turn the superhero community against one another and end the rise of superheroes. Not only would his actions see him run afoul of Hawkeye, but he would also be a major foe for Moon Knight, and with Oscar Isaac just landing the central role in that Disney+ series, his introduction in the Barton-centered project would make ultimate sense before going on to be a major villain in the latter series.
The Hawkeye limited series will see Jeremy Renner reprising his role as Clint Barton, with the story also set to introduce his protege Kate Bishop, who is officially being portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld.
It will be directed by Amber Finlayson and Katie Ellwood, aka Bert and Bertie, who are best known for their work on Troop Zero, and Rhys Thomas (Staten Island Summer). Hawkeye is expected to debut in Fall 2021 on Disney+.
In the comics, Bishop becomes Hawkeye after Clint Barton, and is also a member of the Young Avengers. Disney has not yet confirmed if they have plans to give Bishop her own spinoff show or have her appear in the MCU down the road, but it is certainly a possibility.
The project’s working title “Anchor Point” is actually serving as a homage to the first volume of Kelly Thompson’s fan-favorite comic book series that was published in 2017. Titled as Vol.1: Anchor Points, it was Kate Bishop’s first solo comic series after appearing in the Young Avengers issues. However, it’s still unknown if the said comics’ storyline would connect to the series’ plot or not.