Kate Bishop is ready to emerge in the MCU in the upcoming Hawkeye series streaming on Disney+. She will take on Hawkeye’s role and share it with Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye, who’ll train her and pass his skills onto her. In the comics, she becomes quite good and proves her worth. But, if the two Hawkeyes were to fight each other – Kate Vs. Clint – who would win?
Kate Bishop might have some advantages over Clint Barton, but he is still the superior Hawkeye and would win in a fight. Clint is Kate’s mentor, and although she learns quickly and becomes as good as Clint skill-wise, Bishop still lacks the experience to threaten him in a one-on-one fight seriously.
Perhaps Kate Bishop will surpass Clint Barton and become the stronger character in the future, but she’s still not there yet. However, it’s been hinted that she may get some superhuman powers later due to her father’s gene. If that manifests, along with the experience she collects over time, it might be enough to put Kate over the top.
Kate Bishop and Hawkeye’s Relationship Explained
If you haven’t read the comics, you probably think that Kate Bishop is Hawkeye’s daughter, seeing that he’s training her in the trailer for the new Hawkeye show. While he does get a protege and becomes her mentor, Kate isn’t his daughter. They aren’t related in any way.
To understand Barton and Bishop’s relationship and how they met, I’ll give you each character’s background from the comics.
Clint Barton’s Hawkeye History
Clint Barton’s Hawkeye is an old-school character that fought with the Avengers and many other teams for decades. Sometimes, he took on the mantle of Ronin (masterless Samurai in Japan), but he always got back to his Hawkeye identity.
Barton is the more popular Hawkeye, especially after Jeremy Renner portrayed the character for a decade now in the MCU. Kate Bishop, portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld, is just getting introduced to the cinematic universe.
In the comics, Clint has been around from the 60s, first appearing in Tales of Suspense $57 in 1964. He was a criminal living in a circus before he became the hero we all know. Barton learned archery and swordsmanship skills there but eventually turned his back on the life of crime and became a SHIELD agent.
Later, he was one of the original members of the Avengers with Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow, as they fought intergalactic threats regularly. He was also a member of the New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Thunderbolts, and other teams while having numerous partners like Kate Bishop later becomes.
Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye History
Kate Bishop is a much younger character, both age-wise in the comics and appearance-wise in the Marvel Universe. As I mentioned, Kate is just getting introduced into the MCU, while her first comic book appearance was in Young Avengers #1 in 2005.
Kate is the stepdaughter of Derek Bishop, a wealthy but criminal-oriented businessman. As a child, she was unaware of her father’s dark businesses until she saw him beat up another guy in their home. She hid in her father’s car and saw him make criminal deals, after which she got left behind and her father’s business partner, El Matador, kidnapped her for ransom.
She tried to escape but succeeded only because of timely intervention from the Avengers. That was the first time she ever saw Hawkeye, and she began admiring him because he was just a human among Earth’s mightiest heroes. Clint has become her role model ever since.
Fast forward a decade or so, Kate got attacked while jogging in Central Park. The trauma always stayed with her, but it prompted her to start training martial arts, archery, hand-to-hand combat strategies, swordsmanship, and a lot of other battle techniques and skills.
She was determined to become a hero, and after a while, she proved her worth and joined the Young Avengers team that included Hulkling, Iron Lad, Patriot, and others. As Hawkeye had been presumed dead at the time, she took the identity as a homage to her hero and started operating as the new Hawkeye.
Did Hawkeye Train Kate Bishop?
After Captain America and Iron Man ordered the Young Avengers to disband, Kate was the one to dispute them, and she never gave up. In the meantime, Clint Barton reemerged as Ronin, and learning that Kate had taken over his identity, he put her through several tests to see how she would react.
Bishop passed all his tests, so Barton started training her. After a while, the two became partners, and they fought numerous missions together, mostly for SHIELD, dealing with street-level threats.
They shared the Hawkeye identity for a while (Clint was often referred to as Hawkguy, to make things easier to follow), and had a somewhat turbulent partnership, after which Kate decided she needed some space and left New York for California. Her father cut her off their wealth, though, so she had to work as a private investigator/superhero for hire to pay the bills.
Barton and Bishop reconciled later, and Kate still thought of Clint as family. They fought many times more, lastly when Clint asked for her help trying to find somebody trying to kill him. They learn that they have a common enemy, and it’s later revealed that Kate’s mother is still alive and closer than she might think.
In conclusion, Kate admired Clint since she was just a girl, and his heroism heavily influenced her decision to become a hero in the first place. He trained her extensively, and they have had an on-and-off partnership ever since, but their bond and platonic affection for one another goes way beyond their hero work – Kate and Clint consider each other family.
Is Kate Bishop as Good as Hawkeye?
Clint trained Kate Bishop extensively and taught her as much of his skills as possible. Additionally, she trained many martial arts and combat skills herself, making her an incredibly formidable opponent for anybody.
One thing that Hawkeye couldn’t teach his protege, though, is experience. So, is Kate Bishop as good as the original Hawkeye? Let’s compare some of their traits and abilities to see who comes out on top.
Archery & Swordsmanship
Kate trained archery since she was quite young, long before Clint started training her. After her attack in Central Park, Bishop trained numerous martial arts and combat skills extensively, including archery and swordsmanship.
On the other hand, Clint Barton is an absolute master of both, and he transferred that knowledge to Kate as much as he could. I’d give him a slight advantage with the sword, but we can call this category even.
Clint is certainly physically stronger, although Kate is quite strong as well. Still, being a well-trained male character gives Barton a slight advantage in raw physical strength. It makes him slightly more durable as well.
Agility & Stamina
When it comes to stamina, I think Kate and Clint are about the same. They are humans in great physical shape, but like any other human, they eventually get tired.
As for their agility, this is where Bishop probably has a slight advantage. She’s smaller, more nimble, and agile. Therefore, Clint might be a bit physically stronger, but Kate is more agile.
Both Hawkeyes are incredible combatants. They are highly intelligent and strategic. Both have a plethora of combat skills they implement in battle, which is why they can fight alongside heroes with superpowers against much more powerful enemies. Fearlessness is a trait they also share, along with archery and swordsmanship.
Still, I think Kate has a slight advantage when we talk about pure fighting skills. Although Barton is a prolific combatant, Bishop trained in more different martial arts, including boxing, jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, kickboxing, hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, and much more.
That doesn’t necessarily mean she’d beat Clint in a fight, just that she has a more diverse skillset.
Finally, the battle experience is where the two separate the most. Kate is a newer, younger character, and she saw a lot less battle than Clint. He was a SHIELD agent, an Avenger, a Thunderbolt, Ronin, a member of numerous other teams, and operated on solo missions.
Kate is quite active, too, but she’s just too young to get that kind of experience. She’s a member of the Young Avengers and partnered with Cassie Lang and Clint on several missions. She’s the future of the Marvel Universe, but experience-wise, she’s nowhere near the original Hawkeye.
Kate Bishop Vs. Clint Barton: Who Would Win, and Why?
When you draw the line, Kate Bishop and Clint Barton have very similar skillsets, which is understandable, considering they both carry the Hawkeye identity. They both have master-level archery and swordsmanship skills and share the same fearless attitude.
Clint is physically stronger, while Kate is more agile and nimble. Also, they both have great combat skills that they utilize in battle incredibly well, but Kate’s skillset is a bit more diverse. When it’s all said and done, it’s a wash between them – until you come to the experience department.
That’s what eventually sets Clint apart from Kate Bishop. He’s far more experienced, which is why I believe he would win the hypothetical fight against Kate. So, Bishop might be as good as the original Hawkeye skill-wise, but she’s not there yet in terms of experience.
She’ll probably get there with time, and some speculations were thrown around about her potentially being able to develop superhuman abilities, so who knows? Maybe one day Kate Bishop will surpass her mentor and become the superior Hawkeye. But, as things are, Clint still has that title to his name.