One lavender scented heiress with perfect form and one ex-carnie slash arrow-slinging Avenger who probably has to google instructions on how to boil water. What could go wrong?
Turns out, a lot
It doesn’t help that Clint Barton (a.k.a Hawkeye) needs a purpose, a direction, an order, in life and it just so happens to be a day he’s not being bossed around by Captain America or S.H.I.E.L.D. It also doesn’t help that trouble seems to constantly be five feet behind, wanting to ask for his help, and the direction his heart takes him is backwards, right to them. His heart is not a terribly good compass. He gets in over his head and ends up falling off of some great precipice, usually both literal and figurative.
It does help, however, that in Clint’s little vacay from this plane of existence (more or less), his trusty bow was entrusted to wildly talented Kate Bishop (also a.k.a Hawkeye) and it didn’t take long after Clint revealed himself to be alive for her to give him that trust back…not the bow, though, she definitely stole that along with Clint’s respect. She’s got his back when it gets bad…and it helps that she has a car.
Never Gonna (give you up) Be a Sidekick
The first time Kate talks to the original Hawkeye she straight up calls him a doof. Maybe that’s because Kate Bishop truly is spoiled and not necessarily used to authority ,or because she truly is better than everyone she talks to, or because it truly only takes one look to case Clint Barton’s inability to “adult.” Either way, he calls her on it once and then never again, like the time she called him on calling her “Katie.” They both know the other doesn’t actually mind the nicknames, if they did the nicknames would stop…but I also think so would the partnership.
They call each other dumb nicknames, they platonically love each other, they get fed up with each other, they protect each other, they push each other, it’s what they do.
Like puzzle pieces
Kate was forced to grow up fast, lonely and a victim of sexual assault, and now she’s mature for her young age. It’s hardened her, but not enough that she stopped letting people in and not enough that she can’t sometimes enjoy being a rich 21 year old (ish) in New York City.
Clint, despite being orphaned at a young age, was encouraged to grow up foolishly and recklessly in the circus by becoming a thief. Events unfolded, as they do, which should have hardened him and taught him how to be self-sufficient but instead it left him with a very millennial sense of self-hatred that shows up in his humor and general lack of care for himself (despite 38 being a very generous guess at his age). Who needs to learn how to cook when you don’t care if you starve to death?
One depressed archer takes one traumatized archer under his wing. You see why they’re partners – not hero and sidekick even though their age difference lends itself to that dynamic. They fit, and Steve Rogers saw that when he gave Kate Clint’s bow. I think Steve knew they would get each other’s humor, they would get each others struggles.
The World’s Big Enough For 2 Hawkeyes…or Maybe a Hawkeye & a Hawkguy
What they don’t seem to “get,” or share, is the name Hawkeye, according to the general public, despite the fact that Clint and Kate have a running joke about their shared mantle. The series, and most of the other books Kate shows up in, regularly points out real life sexism by having randos call her Lady Hawkeye, Lady Hawkman, Hawkette, and even “female archer.” Understandably if it’s a group fight scene including both her and Clint it would be acceptable for someone to call her Lady Hawkeye…EXCEPT there are people who no longer consider Clint to be THE Hawkeye because, well, he’s not anymore. Why should Kate be the one getting an edited codename, right? So Clint’s Hawkguy which rolls off the tongue much more than Kate’s “Hawkeye-But-Not” name. Too bad for Kate, she’s now got ‘Lady Hawkguy’ to deal with…so I made a shirt.
She’s Hawkeye, that one over there is the Hawkguy. Not Lady Hawkguy, not Hawkguy at all.
“Hawkeye…which one? You mean Lady–”
“Hawkeye. Not the Hawkguy. Hawkeye.”
It’s true that Kate does now have her OWN Hawkeye series but if Clint is only ever called Hawkguy then maybe eventually we’ll get past the point of people calling Kate any other Hawkname. Then he can have his name back once they’re both Hawkeyes, like they’re supposed to be. Equal partners. A same-name dynamic duo where no one is the sidekick. Batman and Robin WHO??
This post contains links that may or may not make me money to continue living/writing.