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Who is the villain in Hawkeye? Complete trailer breakdown, Yelena Belova theories and more

Kate and Clint in the trailer, and Hawkeye poster (Image via Marvel Studios)
Kate and Clint in the trailer, and Hawkeye poster (Image via Marvel Studios)
ANALYST

Marvel fans were eagerly waiting for Jeremy Renner’s return as Hawkeye (Clint Barton) in the live-action MCU project more than two years after his last appearance in Avengers: Endgame.

The studio released its first official trailer for Hawkeye, featuring Kate Bishop earning the mantle of the titular character from Clint Barton.

The Hawkeye series, starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld (portraying Kate Bishop), will be released on Disney+ on November 24.

Note: The article is subjective and reflects the views of the writer.


Here are the main theories and Easter eggs that the Hawkeye trailer spawned

Who is the main villain in Hawkeye?

Ivan in the trailer with Tracksuit Mafia (Image via Marvel Studios)
Ivan in the trailer with Tracksuit Mafia (Image via Marvel Studios)

The series is reportedly based heavily on the “Hawkeye Volume 4 comic series (2012-2015)” written by Matt Fraction. The comic series heavily featured a mafia group called “Tracksuit Mafia (or Tracksuit Draculas)”, led by Ivan Banionis. The Tracksuit Mafia is showcased in the trailer in multiple shots and even features Ivan briefly.

During the car chase scene shown in the trailer, a van for the mafia’s “front” business, “Trust a Bro, moving company,” also establishes Tracksuit Mafia’s connection.

The "front" business for the Tracksuit mafia (Image via Marvel Studios)
The "front" business for the Tracksuit mafia (Image via Marvel Studios)

In the comics, the group was known to use “bro” in their catchphrase frequently.

The trailer also briefly showcases Hawkeye’s 1970 Dodge Challenger, which in the comics he brought from Ivan’s wife, Cherry. The woman, known as Darlene Wright, used the alias “Cherry” to sell the car to Clint Barton to enlist his help to escape from her husband, Ivan.

The "Cherry" Dodge Challenger in the trailer and comics (Image via Marvel)
The "Cherry" Dodge Challenger in the trailer and comics (Image via Marvel)

This makes it plausible that the main villain of the show will be The Tracksuit Mafia. It is possible that during Clint’s stint as Ronin during the five years after Thanos’ snap, he had some conflict with the mafia. The other theory is that some other individual or group hired the Tracksuit Mafia to hunt “Ronin” down. This is likely as Kate Bishop moonlighting as the vigilante brought the persona back onto the radar.


Why is Kate Bishop imitating Ronin?

Kate Bishop as the Ronin in the trailer (Image via Marvel Studios)
Kate Bishop as the Ronin in the trailer (Image via Marvel Studios)

Kate is inspired by Hawkeye (Clint Barton) when he rescues her from her abduction by the mobs who had ties to her father in the comics.

While Clint Barton’s period as Ronin was not public knowledge. Kate might have used the persona to lure Hawkeye (Clint) into meeting her once she learned that Barton was in New York.

The Captain America Musical (Image via Marvel Studios)
The Captain America Musical (Image via Marvel Studios)

Why Clint would be in New York with his family could be due to the Captain America Broadway musical teased at the beginning of the trailer. The Bartons might be there to attend the musical’s premiere with their dear old Avenger dad.


How will Yelena Belova fit into the Hawkeye series?

Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (or Val) giving Yelena Belova an assignment to kill Barton in "Black Widow (2021)" (Image via Marvel Studios)
Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (or Val) giving Yelena Belova an assignment to kill Barton in "Black Widow (2021)" (Image via Marvel Studios)

The post-credit scene in Black Widow (2021) showcased Yelena Belova (played by Florence Pugh) accepting the assignment to kill Clint Barton. This hints at Pugh’s Yelena Belova showing up in the Hawkeye series as an initial antagonist, likely to have a change of heart later. Thus, Yelena could help Clint and Kate in their issue with the mafia and the mob.


A new superhero, Echo? Kingpin’s return?

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez (Echo) in Hawkeye (Image via Marvel Studios)
Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez (Echo) in Hawkeye (Image via Marvel Studios)

Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez (known as Echo) briefly appears in a glimpse of the trailer. In the comics, Maya was deaf but had photographic reflexes, just like Taskmaster. Echo is expected to be a potential candidate for the Young Avengers and is confirmed to get her own Disney+ series.

Maya’s father worked for Kingpin in the comics, who orchestrated his murder and framed it on Daredevil. Kingpin also takes Maya under his care and becomes her new father figure.

Maya Lopez in comics (Image via: Marvel Comics)
Maya Lopez in comics (Image via: Marvel Comics)

This falls with rumors about Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) actor Vincent D’Onofrio’s cameo in the Hawkeye series. In July, Vincent liked a tweet talking about his return as Wilson Fisk in Hawkeye. The actor later disliked the tweet.

It has also been alleged by industry tipster Mikey Sutton that Charlie Cox’s Daredevil (Matt Murdock) is likely to appear in the upcoming Echo series. Daredevil is also expected to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home.


Kate Bishop’s mother - Eleanor as Madame Masque?

Vera Farmiga in the trailer (Image via Marvel Studios)
Vera Farmiga in the trailer (Image via Marvel Studios)

The Hawkeye series will have Vera Farmiga potentially playing Kate’s mother, who was assumed dead when Kate was very young in the comics. However, fans have also theorized that Vera Farmiga might have a hidden role as Madame Masque. It is plausible that the show will have a twist near its last episodes that sets up Farmiga’s character as the antagonist.

Eleanor could be an alias for Giuletta Nefaria, who was also the leader of the Maggia crime syndicate from the comics. The 2008 video game based on the Iron Man film featured the Maggia family, which could have some callbacks in the series.

Furthermore, other antagonists in the series could also show up, including the assassin called the Clown. Kazimierz Kazimierczak (aka The Clown) might be hired by the antagonist groups or the Tracksuit Mafia. Most importantly, the trailer also showcased glimpses of the iconic "Lucky, the Pizza Dog," from the Hawkeye comics.

Edited by R. Elahi
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