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Today, Marvel's Hawkeye finally premiered on Disney+, giving fans two hours of adventures as Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) get to know each other in New York City through a plot involving an old vigilante costume, a group of thugs in tracksuits, and of course, a dog who really likes pizza. It's a lot to take in, which means we'll probably be spending the next week thinking about the two-episode premiere's many reveals, teasers, and setups for the other four episodes to come in the series.
Speaking of setups, the premiere didn't just introduce us to Kate, and introduce Kate to Clint, it also introduced viewers to a whole host of key supporting characters -- including a couple of potential key antagonists and one guy who just wants to look cool in front of his friends. Whether you realized it or not, all three of these people have the potential to be major players in Hawkeye, and at least one will probably be around even longer. So, let's take a closer look at these three vital supporting players from the Hawkeye premiere, unpack who they are, and what their presence potentially means.
SPOILERS AHEAD for the first two episodes of Hawkeye!
Maya Lopez, aka Echo
Let's begin with the character we see the least of in the series premiere, Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), who only appears at the very end of Episode 2 when she's revealed as the apparent leader of the Tracksuit Mafia. Though comics readers might recognize Maya as a hero these days, her introduction as an antagonist here is in keeping with her original comics roots. First introduced in the pages of Daredevil in 1999, Maya was raised by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, after he killed her father and promised that he'd take care of her in his stead. She soon established herself as a prodigy with the uncanny ability to memorize and replicate the movements of others, which allows her to do everything from perfectly play a song on the piano (though she's deaf) to copying the fighting styles of her opponents, much like Taskmaster. Originally introduced as an enemy of Daredevil sent by Fisk to bring him down, Maya eventually realizes she's been manipulated by the Kingpin, and turns on him. Later she became a hero and a vigilant, joining the New Avengers and even taking up Clint Barton's Ronin role eventually.
So, what does this mean for the show? Well, we could perhaps see a similar villain-to-hero trajectory for Maya in the MCU, particularly given the news that she's going to get her own spinoff somewhere down the line. As one of the most prominent deaf characters in Marvel Comics and the second deaf hero in the MCU (after Eternals' Makkari), that would be exciting to see.
Jack Duquesne, aka The Swordsman
From the moment we meet Kate Bishop's new stepdad to be, Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), it's clear that something is a little off about the guy. He seems a little too suave for his own good, he's fond of sneaking off, and as Kate soon discovers, he's got a thing for black market auctions. Also, he's really, really into swords. That's because Duquesne in a Marvel character known as The Swordsman, first introduced in the pages of The Avengers way back in 1965. Though he doesn't have any superpowers, he does have two things that serve him very well: An Olympic-level proficiency with bladed weapons, and a lack of ethics to hold him back.
At one point in the comics, he tried to join the Avengers just because he wanted the perks, and when they didn't let him in he tried to kill Captain America, so that gives you an idea of the kind of dude we're dealing with. The comics also established him as an important mentor figure in the life of a young Clint Barton, who along with the character Trick Shot, taught the young man how to fight. Do Clint and Jack know each other in the series? We don't know. What's Jack up to with all those swords and possibly murdering his uncle? We don't know that either, but we do know that Kate Bishop isn't going to stop until she proves that her stepdad is bad news.
One of the more delightful sidetracks of the Hawkeye premieres comes when Clint Barton, in pursuit of his stolen Ronin suit, realizes that it's been taken by a guy who's into LARPing in a New York park. Determined to get the suit back, Clint decides to vaguely play along until he meets the guy, who offers to give the suit back if Clint will just let him "kill him" in LARP combat. It's a very brief interaction, but fans of the Matt Fraction era of Hawkeye comics probably got a little jolt of excitment when the man said his name was Grills (Clayton English).
In the comics, Grills is a neighbor who lives in Clint's apartment building, and he's dubbed "Grills" by the rest of the residents because...well, he's always up on the roof grilling. He grills. Though he's not in any way a superhero, Grills does establish himself as a key part of the personality of Clint's neighborhood, even dubbing the hero "Hawkguy" after he misunderstands the word "Hawkeye." Sadly, comics fans also know that Grills doesn't make it out of the Fraction era alive, which could mean bad news for a fledgling supporting character who seems poised to make some kind of return in future episodes.