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There aren't enough Marvel-based Christmas films or shows. We’ve got Iron Man 3, which is just a jolly good time, and that’s about it. But now we have the new Disney+ series Hawkeye, which takes place in a very Christmassy New York City - and it is just delightful.
While Loki broke open the multiverse, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced the next Captain America, Hawkeye goes down a much lighter and grounded path. After all, Hawkeye is just a guy who’s pretty good with a bow and arrow, and the new show very much embraces that. It strips away all the magic, Gods and super soldiers that we’re used to seeing, and gives us a glimpse into a sort of normal life. Well, at least normal by MCU standards.
The first two episodes of the series set up the MCU’s newest dynamic duo, Kate Bishop and Clint Barton. While the buddy cop theme isn’t exactly anything new for Marvel as we had the same thing with Sam Wilson and Bucky, this particular duo is just a lot of fun to watch. Hailee Steinfeld is a great new addition to the ever-growing list of MCU talent, and she bounces so well off of Jeremy Renner. The chemistry between these two characters is hilarious to watch as they fumble their way through all kinds of trouble.
As well as the comedy appeal of the central pair, you'll also have a lot of laughs watching these first two episodes as a whole. From Rogers The Musical to the NYC Larpers, it’s a constant barrel of laughs. Then there’s the tracksuit mafia, who are perfectly brought to life in this series - if you’ve read the Hawkeye comics, you’ll be a huge fan of their inclusion here.
Laughs aside, there’s also plenty of action throughout the first two episodes as we see our heroes try to survive the holidays. It looks as though the criminal underworld has been very busy after the Blip, and Hawkeye's past as the Ronin has made him many enemies. Those five years where Hawkeye was hunting down crime families have come back to haunt him with a vengeance, but all the poor bugger wants to do is spend the holidays with his family.
With that said, considering the tone with which Ronin was originally set up during Avengers: Endgame, audiences might get a bit of whiplash seeing his character change so drastically. While I tremendously enjoyed this light Christmas theme, it’s strange to see the seriousness of Ronin’s backstory be hampered down a little. There are some very serious elements to the show though, which help to keep this series grounded, but the mix of comedy keeps things quite lighthearted.
All in all, Hawkeye definitely manages to separate itself from the rest of the MCU shows that we’ve had so far. It’s unique, funny, full of action, and Hailee Steinfeld in particular as Kate Bishop just steals the whole show. I for one can not wait to watch the rest of the series to see how she will be set up for the wider MCU.