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The Evolution of Kate Bishop’s Costume

Now that set photos of Hailee Steinfeld as the Kate Bishop version of Hawkeye, in full costume, have been revealed, it seems like a good time to go over all of the interactions of Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye costumes. 

Her first one debuted in issue four of the Young Avengers when she stole some gear from the various bedrooms of superheroes at the Avengers Mansion. The reason she was there in the first place was that the Young Avengers were headquartered at the Avengers Mansion at the time. Kate Bishop crossed paths with them due to the Young Avengers getting into a conflict, and Kate saving their lives. Kate was led to the Avengers Mansion by Cassie Lang, daughter of the recently deceased Scott Lang, known to the world as Ant-Man. Cassie wanted to retrieve her father’s gear and to join the Young Avengers. Kate stole the weapons in order to fight against Kang the Conqueror, who was there to bring Young Avengers leader Iron Lad to the future, who secretly was a teenage version of Kang sent to the past. 

Her costume consisted of the dress she was wearing at the time, with some of the bottom ripped off, Mockingbird’s mask, Mockingbird’s battle staves, and Swordsman’s sword. It was not really a proper costume, but that issue is fixed with her next costume, which appeared 2 issues later. 

Kate Bishop in Young Avengers 4. Credit: Jim Cheung, John Dell, Drew Geraci, and Justin Ponsor

Kate Bishop’s second costume debuted in Young Avengers number six, in which she properly became Hawkeye, although she did not have the blessing of Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye, who was believed to be dead at the time. After the events of Young Avengers 4 and 5, the Young Avengers were forced by Captain America to give up their weapons and stop being Young Avengers. A few weeks passed, but Kate Bishop and Cassie Lang brought them back together to show them a new headquarters, with new costumes included with it. 

Kate Bishop in Young Avengers Presents 6. Credit: Jim Cheung, John Dell, and Justin Ponsor

Kate Bishop’s next costume would not show up until nearly a decade later, when it appeared in Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run, starting with issue 3. Her costume was designed by David Aja, and it was inspired by the look of Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in the 1960’s TV show The Avengers (no relation to the Marvel Comics property.)

Kate Bishop’s costume had debuted in the third issue with very little fanfare, as she was just shown to be wearing it, without a single mention of the redesign. This costume is primarily associated with Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run, but it has been Kate Bishop’s main costume since 2012 and does not seem to be going anywhere. This version of her costume is the one most recognized by fans and is the one that is primarily associated with her in general. 

Kate Bishop in Hawkeye 3. Credit: David Aja, Matt Hollingsworth

This next one is not technically a costume, but it is an outfit many think of when they think of Kate Bishop. It is one that debuted in Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye number 22, where Kate was seen wearing it as she approached Clint Barton’s apartment building, which was currently under siege from the Tracksuit Mafia, who are going to be featured in the new Hawkeye series, and whose look was just revealed from set photos. The outfit just consists of some jeans, sunglasses, and a T-Shirt, but the markings on the shirt are what has made this one-time outfit remembered. 

Kate Bishop in Hawkeye 22. Credit: David Aja, Matt Hollingsworth

In the TV show Avengers Assemble, Kate Bishop (as Hawkeye) made a brief, non-speaking cameo in the thirteenth episode of the third season “Into the Future”. This version of Kate Bishop is from the future and is part of the revolution to take down Kang. This version of the costume is a mix of her Young Avengers outfit and her Hawkeye outfit. Her mask and pants look to come from her Young Avengers look, while her shirt seems to be inspired by Aja’s design in the 2012 Hawkeye book. 

Kate Bishop in Avengers Assemble

Her next costume is not actually in the comics but instead debuted in Square Enix’s game The Avengers, where Kate Bishop was recently added in as the first DLC character. Square Enix’s version of Kate Bishop takes a similar approach to the comics, but instead molds her history around the story of the game, as the game has her and Clint Barton splitting off from The Avengers to hunt down A.I.M. by themselves, and her DLC missions involve The Avengers tracking her down. The largest difference, by far, in this interpretation is the fact that A.I.M. technology has allowed Kate Bishop the power of teleportation, which is a significant departure from the roots of the character, who is shown to typically be a down to earth foil for the otherworldly hijinks The Avengers get into. 

Kate Bishop in The Avengers. Credit: Square Enix, Collider.

Her final costume is the one created for the new Disney+ Hawkeye show, where this version of Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Pitch Perfect), wears a costume similar to the Aja Hawkeye suit. This new version of Hawkeye is for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where The current Hawkeye, Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, Mission Impossible), is attempting to train a new Hawkeye after the events of Avengers: Endgame, where Barton took up the name Ronin. 

This version of Kate Bishop’s costume contains not too many significant changes to the Aja Hawkeye costume, with the only notable changes being them removing the shoulder and hip holes, and the costume department giving Kate Bishop black cargo pants instead of the purple spandex she originally had. This is a welcome change for fans, and this new version of the costume is probably the best costume Kate Bishop has had so far. 

Kate Bishop in the new Hawkeye show.

Kate Bishop has had 6 distinct costumes throughout her decade and a half of existence, and yet she has had one of those costumes throughout most of her career. A large part of the reason she has had this many costumes in such a short amount of time is due to the fact that Kate Bishop, along with other recent Marvel creations from the time, has been getting a lot more attention from the mainstream due to Marvel Studios’ efforts to introduce younger heroes. This is due to the fact that, unlike comics, actors age, meaning Marvel cannot keep using the same characters for the entirety of their cinematic careers, as fans are not very welcoming of recasts. This has led Marvel to go to their legacy characters for inspiration, who are all recent creations. This newfound interest in these characters has given them media outside of comics. Some of these include Miles Morales, who recently had both a hit video game and a movie (Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Kamala Khan, who recently starred in a video game and has a Disney+ show on the horizon (The Avengers and Ms. Marvel), and now Kate Bishop, who has DLC in The Avengers video game, and an upcoming Disney + show. (Hawkeye).

Written by Donovan Reed

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