Hawkeye’s new TV series is just about to arrive on Disney+, with the first episode airing on November 24th. In the trailer, we see that Hawkeye is training a girl on his archery skills. While many believed it was his daughter, it’s actually Kate Bishop. So, if she isn’t, who is Hawkeye’s daughter?
In the MCU, Hawkeye’s daughter’s name is Lila Barton. We see her as a small child in the Avengers: Age of Ultron and in the aftermath of the Avengers: Infinity War, training her archery skills with her father. In the comics, Hawkeye has no children, only an unborn, deceased child.
Let’s look at Clint Barton’s Hawkeye MCU and comics history to learn more about his daughter and other relationships he has that are very important for his character arc.
Hawkeye’s Daughter In The MCU
Many fans who have seen the Hawkeye TV show trailer think that the girl he trains with the bow and arrow is his daughter. However, that’s not the case, not only in the MCU but also in the comics (more on the comics part later).
Kate Bishop is the girl who inherits Hawkeye’s nickname as he trains her to pass the torch to her. She’s not his daughter, and they aren’t related in any way. Bishop’s story began in 2005 when the character had been created.
Kate was a girl living in New York City, coming from a wealthy family. As her family is quite influential, she always thought she was safe from all evil – until some crooks attacked her in Central Park one night.
Bishop started training martial arts to defend herself and watching Hawkeye be a superhero without really having any superhuman powers. She wanted to be like him and started practicing her archery skills. Eventually, Kate joins the Young Avengers team, and Clint takes her under his wing, training her to be the new Hawkeye.
Many fans don’t know that things weren’t like that in the beginning. He wanted nothing to do with it, but after Barton realized that Kate wouldn’t give up on being a hero, with or without his help, he realized that it would be better to help her and teach her how to stay safe instead of letting her end up getting killed.
She was already a great archer before Clint started training her, but after learning some of his best tricks, Kate became just as good with the bow and arrow with time – the only thing she lacked was the original Hawkeye’s experience had.
Why Didn’t Hawkeye Train His Daughter Instead Of Kate Bishop?
In the MCU, Clint Barton has a daughter quite interested in archery called Lila Barton. We see her a couple of times through the movies, first when she was still a little girl in Avengers: Age of Ultron and then as a teenager in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War.
We learn here that she loves archery just as much as her father, as they train together on a family picnic. However, as Thanos snapped his fingers, Barton’s entire family got wiped from existence, including Lila. Of course, the remaining Avengers managed to get everyone back in Avengers: Endgame.
So, after they were back, how come Barton chose to train Kate Bishop to take on the Hawkeye role instead of his daughter? Well, it’s quite simple.
Clint knows both sides of the medal that the superhero lifestyle brings. Sure, you get satisfaction, thrill, and praise from the world for your heroic endeavors. However, the other side of the medal means you’re at life risk 24/7.
And, it’s not just the risk of being attacked in a park late at night. I’m talking about dangers literally out of this world. You never know what you’re going up against or who you’ll have to deal with. It’s a hard, dangerous life, and Barton had seen enough of his hero friends getting killed to let his daughter take the job as a hero.
Lila is interested in archery, so he encourages her to train and enjoy, but when it comes to becoming the next Hawkeye, he doesn’t want to put Lila in that kind of life-threatening danger every day. He doesn’t even want Kate to take the role, but seeing that she won’t give up, even without him, makes Barton realize he can train her and keep her as safe as possible.
What will happen in the series remains to be seen, but there are some hints. We know that Black Widow’s sister, Yelena Belova, will return after being falsely convinced that Clint is responsible for Natasha’s death. She’ll likely play the role of the villain before she realizes that Barton is innocent, so we might see some awesome Kate Bishop vs. Yelena Belova action.
Hawkeye’s Daughter In The Comics
In the comics, things are quite different for Hawkeye. In the main Marvel Universe (Earth-616), Clinton “Clint” Barton has no children. Hence, Lila Barton doesn’t exist. He doesn’t even have a wife – only Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird, who also (kind of) dies.
In Secret Invasion #2, Barton is unsure if the Mockingbird is really herself from the past or just a Skrull pretending to be her. He asks her what happened on October 12th – something that only he and his former wife knew.
She readily answers that October 12th was the date when they would’ve gotten a baby if she didn’t have a miscarriage. That’s when Barton realizes that Mockingbird is really herself because nobody else in the world knew that except for him and his wife. That’s also the only child he would’ve ever had in the Earth-616 universe.
There are alternative storylines where Clint has children in the comics, but it doesn’t end well. One storyline sees him and Black Widow being the closest friends like they usually are until she reveals that she had been a double agent the entire time, killing his wife and kids.
As for Kate Bishop, Hawkeye does train her to become the next Hawkeye, just like he does in the series. He doesn’t have a daughter in this case, though, so there’s no need to explain why he chose Kate as his apprentice.
A couple more important characters appeared in the comics, which we’ll likely see in the show as well. For instance, Echo is an amazing character who shares one of Clint’s conditions from the comics – deafness. She was first a villain, being the stepdaughter of the notorious Kingpin of Crime, but later, she and Hawkeye worked together for quite some time.
Seeing that Hawkeye wears earpieces in the trailer, it seems that he’d somehow go deaf (or start going deaf) in the show or off-screen during the time between the end of Avengers: Endgame and the beginning of the story depicted in the TV series.
It would be amazing to see them communicate with sign language. The actress who’ll portray Echo, Alaqua Cox, is also a deaf Native American, just like the character in the comics. I feel like Marvel took a big step in the right direction with that casting, as it will be much more inclusive and a much better representation of minorities and people with disabilities.