I should open this post with the fact that it’s not really a review of Age of Ultron as much as it is speculation about what direction the MCU can take from here. Still, there are spoilers for Age of Ultron below, so you might want to get out while you still can if you haven’t seen the film.
Still with me? Good. Let’s go.
So one of the biggest reveals of the movie is that the Clint Barton of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or Earth-199999 for the uber nerds like me at home) is actually a fairly well-adjusted family man with three kids, a nice farm, and a wife named Laura played by Linda Cardellini. Being so used to Matt Fraction’s run that features Clint as a beautiful human disaster, it took a second to adjust to that.
Even with Hawkguy aside, it’s not like Clint Barton has had a “good” life. He came from an abusive home (one that ended up causing his deafness), his found family turns on him, his wife gets replaced by a Skrull, and he been erased from reality TWICE by an angry Wanda Maximoff. At that point, Russian mobsters down your throat and Deadpool getting in your business multiple times is a walk in the park. To have one universe out there where Clint gets to have the happy life feels like a sigh of relief, even if it nukes the possibility of adapting Fraction’s run from orbit.
What hasn’t been nerfed because of this though? The possibility of introducing Kate Bishop as the next Hawkeye. In fact, the door is wide open that Kate could be racing Pizza Dog through it.Think about it: the movie seemed to be setting up Clint retiring from the superhero life to take care of his family and probably spending time roaming around his farm on a tractor or something. Meanwhile in New York, we’ve met Daredevil and we’re coming very close to meeting Jessica Jones, a former superhero who has given up that life and has become a private investigator for superheroes. In the comics, Kate Bishop is initially the victim of some kind of assault and the only two people who know about it are her therapist and Jones.
In a world where vigilantes are picking up the slack in the neighborhoods destroyed by the Chitauri, it only makes sense to bring a brand new archer up through the ranks into the new Avengers being set up by Steve Rogers. Introduce Kate as an heiress rescued by Jones and treated by Claire Temple. Have her be so angry about what happened to her that she finds an outlet in training in hand to hand combat and becoming a vigilante much like Daredevil.
And hey, if Clint’s going to retire instead of being erased from existence, maybe he can be the one to grant his name and bow to this new and brilliant spoiled brat of a superhero instead of Steve and have Kate be the one who fights in Infinity War. We may not get the apartment in Bed-Stuy with all the Russian tracksuit mobsters, but maybe we would get that split arrow trick that Fraction has gone back to as a moment between the two of them again and again.
Now, I don’t know how likely this is to happen. I’m sure Jeremy Renner has a multi-picture deal and I’m certain someone will find a way to make Clint not retire since he’s already going to be appearing in Captain America: Civil War. Lord knows Tony Stark’s retirement did not stick at all. It might not even go down like that in the slightest if it ever did.
Still, Marvel needs to find a way to make the TV part of the MCU begin to fit in more with the movies and include more women superheroes. I’m excited for AKA Jessica Jones and Captain Marvel and I loved Agent Carter more than I love a lot of things, but there are so many amazing women in the Marvel Universe that need a spotlight. By leaving the door open for Kate Bishop to take her shot, it could be the impetus Marvel needs to bring it all in, especially with an audience of teenage girls who need their own heroes.