Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Hawkeye episode 2
The first episodes from Marvel Studios' Hawkeye tease that something villainous is going on with Kate Bishop's mother. The fourth live-action Disney+ show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), but Hawkeye also introduces a few new Marvel characters to the mix. This includes the villains that the MCU's two archers will face off against as the season progresses, and there are many of them who have been teased already.
Hawkeye's conflict early on focuses on the Tracksuit Mafia searching for Kate and her suspicions that Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) isn't the man he says he is. However, Kate's mother Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) is lurking in the story and is becoming quite an intriguing character too. She's introduced through a flashback to the Battle of New York in 2012, during which Hawkeye saved Kate's life—but the scene also results in the death of her father. While Eleanor is mostly loving and kind to Kate, there are plenty of moments where she says or does something that seems off.
Kate's mother only has a small role in Hawkeye's first episodes, but that only makes her actions and words stand out even more. It's because of this that many are taking notice of Eleanor's role in the series and speculating about what she's really up to. This includes possible villainous intentions Kate's mom could have and the idea that she's behind some of the events that have already occurred in Hawkeye.
Eleanor Bishop's Marvel Comics Past
The idea of Kate Bishop's mother being a villain wouldn't be a huge shock based on her comic book history. Eleanor Bishop has not had a robust arc in Marvel's comics, but her story evolved in some fascinating ways where Hawkeye is considered. While she survived and husband Derek Bishop died in the show, the comics have their fates reversed. It was believed that Eleanor died during a trip while Kate was still young. This led Derek to get into business with some villainous groups, such as the Masters of Evil West Coast. However, the comics later revealed that Eleanor survived somehow and began working with Madame Masque, who had become Kate's nemesis, forming the new version of the Masters of Evil.
Ever since Marvel revealed that Eleanor was actually the mind behind Madame Masque's attacks on Kate, the comics haven't explored how this came to be or why Kate's mom is going after her. This leaves the MCU with a lot of freedom creatively to reshape her story as necessary, and Hawkeye has already shown this by having her character survive the Battle of New York and being the one to ultimately raise Kate on her own. Some theories have even suggested that the MCU could simplify Eleanor's story and make her and Madame Masque the same person. This could make Kate's mom the main villain of Hawkeye and give Vera Farmiga an MCU role that can extend beyond the Disney+ show.
Who Are Eleanor Bishop's "Powerful Friends" In Hawkeye
There's also a quick reference in Hawkeye to Eleanor's powerful friends, who could be quite important to her villainous ways. The moment in question came during Eleanor's argument with Armand Duquesne III. Hawkeye doesn't reveal exactly what they are talking about as Kate's eavesdropping begins too late into the conversation. However, Armand does say at one point that he has powerful friends too, which suggests Eleanor has them and he's aware of who they are or what they could do. There aren't any other teases about who Eleanor's powerful friends could be, but the thought that she is secretly a villain opens up several intriguing possibilities for Hawkeye.
Based on Eleanor Bishop's location, her powerful friends could be New York-based Marvel villains, such as Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio). Hawkeye is heavily rumored to include the powerful businessman previously featured in Daredevil. It's also possible that Eleanor's connections could include people like Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), the Power Broker (Emily Van Camp), or Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who has quietly been establishing her own group in the shadows of the MCU. Otherwise, this could be a tease of Hawkeye introducing new villains, such as Count Nefaria and the Maggia.
Is Eleanor Bishop Behind Armand's Murder In Hawkeye Episode 1
Eleanor's villainous deeds in Hawkeye could include the murder of Armand III. The first episode of the series wrapped up with the reveal that someone killed Armand in his home. Kate Bishop discovered this when she went to snoop on him after seeing him at a black market sale for Ronin's sword and costume. However, Armand's argument with Eleanor that took place before that is what may have been her final straw. Armand made it no secret that he didn't fully support their upcoming marriage, so whatever he spoke to Eleanor about in private could have sent her over the edge and made her decide that it was time for him to go.
If Kate's mom did kill Armand, it will be fascinating to learn what her motivations for killing him were. On the surface, it could just be about removing a nuisance from her and Jack's life. Eleanor seems to be doing just fine for herself financially, so while the Duquesne fortune will be nice to have once she marries Jack, it doesn't appear like that would drive her to kill Armand. Instead, it's more likely that Hawkeye hasn't revealed the full extent of Eleanor and Armand's relationship. If Eleanor is involved with New York's criminal organizations, it's possible that the Duquesne family amassed its empire in some unpleasant ways. This could mean that Eleanor and Armand became rivals and this was a power move to eliminate her competition.
Marvel Keeps Repeating The Parent/Child Conflict
Hawkeye making Kate Bishop's mother a villain would also continue an MCU trend by having villainous parents related to the main heroes. Marvel Studios has utilized these types of relationships from the very beginning. Even though Obadiah Stane wasn't actually Tony Stark's parent, he was a father figure to him in Iron Man. Marvel then used actual villain fathers with Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thanos in his multiple appearances. The MCU even gave Odin a secret evil past, made Taskmaster a function of her father's evil plan, and changed Vulture to be the evil father of Spider-Man's crush. Eleanor would become the MCU's first evil mother, but she'd still join the ranks of an evil parent of an MCU hero.
It's actually quite rare for major MCU characters to have their parents be introduced and not be evil at this point. Hawkeye has already shown one of the only positive parent/child relationships in the MCU by having Clint spend time with his kids, who are clearly a driving force in who he is, and why he lives the kind of life that he does. The familial aspect of Hawkeye's story is obvious through their inclusions and knowing that they'll continue to be part of upcoming episodes. Clint's strong relationship with Lila, Cooper, and Nathaniel then works as a counter to the possible reveal that Kate's mother is evil.
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