Read Hawkeye: Kate Bishop’s Full 'Women of Marvel' Podcast Episode
This episode of the 'Women of Marvel' podcast takes aim at Kate Bishop, AKA Hawkeye!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:
ASHLEY POSTON: I have loved Kate Bishop ever since she was first introduced with, like, the Young Avengers. I've just really loved, like, her snark.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: I love characters with powers, but I also really love characters who just are able to be the hero they are because of the decisions they make and because of their own wit and their own, like, courage and stubbornly never giving up.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Welcome to Women of Marvel. I'm Marvel writer Preeti Chhibber, and we are going to get right to the point.
ELLIE PYLE: Well, as an editor, I don't know that I can do anything about that line, Preeti. But I'm Ellie Pyle, and I am going to let you take your shot.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Hey! This week is all about the headstrong archer Kate Bishop Hawkeye.
ELLIE PYLE: Kate is the daughter of a wealthy crime boss. And she doesn't have any Super Powers, but she has trained in archery, swordsmanship, martial arts, and other forms of combat to a level that puts her on par with just about any other hero.
PREETI CHHIBBER: She first appeared in Young Avengers number 1 in 2005 when she joins the original Young Avengers team, alongside Stature, Patriot, Wiccan, Hulkling, and Speed.
ELLIE PYLE: So Preeti, one of our Marvel audio teammates is a huge Kate Bishop fan. We have producer Jasmine Estrada here to help us out.
JASMINE ESTRADA: Hello.
ELLIE PYLE: Jasmine, why don't you introduce yourself to our listeners?
JASMINE ESTRADA: I am Jasmine Estrada, and I'm an audio producer here at Marvel. I've worked on a handful of different podcasts but currently working on This Week in Marvel.
PREETI CHHIBBER: So if our listeners might need some convincing, although I don't know why they would because she's amazing--
JASMINE ESTRADA: Obviously.
PREETI CHHIBBER: --what are your top reasons that you would give them for why they should love Kate Bishop?
JASMINE ESTRADA: So to start things off, she is a leader. We know her as a founding member of the Young Avengers, but she's also had leadership roles in teams like West Coast Avengers, where she had to not only just build her own team from the ground up but like-- I mean, there's a legacy there, right?
Like, everybody remembers, like, the West Coast Avengers led by Hawkeye, Clint Barton. But this is her version. Rather than being like, “I'm going to get all these heavy hitters,” she's like, “I'm going to get my friends.” And like—
JASMINE ESTRADA: --that's it. And she does an excellent job at starting a private-eye detective organization. Number two is she has no powers. She has been on all these teams, like I said, and she's been on a team where she's always pretty much the only one without powers. Like, she doesn't fly. She doesn't have super speed, super strength, nothing.
Her only Super Power is arrows. And that is something that she trained for. It's easy to resonate with something like that, where it's like, it's a skill that you can learn and build and get better at. And she just happens to be the best at it.
And of course, she's best friends with America Chavez. She just surrounds herself with some of the best people, and her friendship with America Chavez is one of my favorite things in comics. They're pretty much like sisters, like the way that they act is very much like they like to pick on each other and tease each other but are there for like the hardest times. And it just goes to show the power of female friendship and how important it is, especially in the Marvel Universe.
And then of course, she has two famous animal pets. Obviously, most people know Lucky the Pizza Dog. But she also had Jeff the Landshark when she was on the West Coast Avengers. So I mean, animals love her. I love her. There's clearly something there.
PREETI CHHIBBER: I think those are perfect answers.
ELLIE PYLE: Jasmine, thank you so much for coming to talk to us today. Also, I heard a rumor that you were once Kate Bishop for Halloween. Any chance we might get a repeat of that at New York Comic Con this week?
JASMINE ESTRADA: No promises, but I'd say maybe keep an eye out.
ELLIE PYLE: All right, we definitely will. Thank you so much, and we hope you come back again in the future.
JASMINE ESTRADA: I will always come on the show whenever you need me.
PREETI CHHIBBER: So how does a writer bring all of that awesomeness to the page? We talked to Hawkeye: Kate Bishop writer Marieke Nijkamp to get the scoop.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Hi, my name is Marieke Nijkamp. My pronouns are she, they, whatever. I'm a writer of many things-- books, comics, graphic novels, and the 2021 Hawkeye: Kate Bishop series. Best Hawkeye.
PREETI CHHIBBER: No arguments.
ELLIE PYLE: Yeah, I'm not going to-- I'm not going to argue that.
PREETI CHHIBBER: What made you want to write Kate Bishop?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: I mean, I think a big part of it is that I used to be an archer when I was a teen. So I gravitate towards archer characters a lot. [CHUCKLES] I can't really do archery anymore on account of an injury, so I live vicariously through fictional archers. And Kate is just, she's lovely, and she's snarky, and she's fun, and she's the best.
ELLIE PYLE: Yeah, if you're going to write a Hawkeye, why not pick the best one?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Exactly.
ELLIE PYLE: So Kate isn't a new character, wasn't a new character when your series started, but you did a lot to build out who she is. How did you approach that, and what parts of her - beyond the archery - did you especially want to emphasize and explore?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: So when I got to write Kate, she was in this kind of weird in-between stage of finishing up her life in LA and all her experience there and being in the awkward situation of discovering your mom is a half-vampire and your dad is, like, evil-- and good times, honestly-- and then working with the West Coast Avengers.
And she was just at this sort of crossroads from having her life together in LA and needing to go back to New York because that life that she put together was slowly falling apart again. And I got to write her at that very interesting moment of, “where do we go from here, and how do we go from here?”
One of the things I love to do in stories is write found families in all sorts, all shapes and forms. And with Kate specifically, she has this amazing found family. She's made a lot of friends. She's learned to trust them, trust herself. But she's still struggling with her own family.
So I got to be in the fun position where I brought back this character from her past, a.k.a. her sister, and had this sort of transformational adventure that brought her from her new home back to her old home, which was now her new-new home, I guess, and find a way to connect with her blood relatives without it being as weird as previous tries. It was still slightly awkward, not necessarily great all the time, but far more of a ‘happily ever after’ than any of the attempts so far.
ELLIE PYLE: So walk us through the journey that you took her on in your series.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: We start off meeting Kate in LA when she is, like, wrapping up her time there, and planning to go back to New York, and honestly, not feeling particularly great about it. Like I said, she's very comfortable in LA. She made her friends there. She found a family there.
And New York doesn't necessarily hold many good memories. So she gets a letter in the mail inviting her to a fancy resort and spend some time there, and it sounds super dodgy because it obviously is. But Kate being Kate, she's also like, well, I could use a detour before going to New York. So I'm following up on this, and we'll see where it leads.
And if nothing else, it'll be a fun time in the Hamptons. And if it's going to be bad guys, well, I know how to deal with those as well. And so she ends up in a super fancy resort. She's there with Lucky, best dog ever, and as soon as she arrives, he basically runs away from her.
And she runs after him and discovers that he's fully-on betrayed her by paying attention to this other woman who's there, who happens to be her long-lost sister Susan. We haven't seen Susan since, like, Young Avengers 1, where she is getting married.
And Kate is super not excited about that. And it turns out that marriage failed for a whole lot of reasons but mostly because her husband was crap. And she went to this resort before. Had a really good time, fantastic time, missed a few memories, key items when she got back. She still had the best time, though.
So there was this fun tension between “this is not a good place to be, but also everyone says it's an amazing place to be.” And Susan is there to figure out what happened when she was there. What did they take from her? What are the plans of the people behind the resort?
And she realizes that she needs some help figuring that out. And so, she actually was the one to invite Kate there and find a way to help her, at the very least, get back jewelry that she found out was missing after going there the first time.
And so, the two of them together, in a very tense relationship, try to figure out what's actually happening in the resort and realize that nothing is quite as it seems and everyone is either there for nefarious reasons or being hypnotized to have the best time. And it only goes downhill from there.
PREETI CHHIBBER: What was it like to write a Super Hero character who doesn't have Super Powers?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Well, it's kind of my favorite thing.
I love characters with powers, but I also really love characters who just are able to be the hero they are because of the decisions they make and because of their own wits and their own, like, courage and stubbornly never giving up. And I think Kate is very much one of those heroes-- very recognizable, most of the time, character who can find her own way and who basically defeats most bad guys by just being absolutely incapable of giving up. And that's a pretty awesome trait.
ELLIE PYLE: So Kate's relationships are really important to her. Her mentor, Clint Barton. She also has a best friend, America Chavez. How did you kind of approach those relationships and the role they play in her life?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Yeah, I definitely wanted to include bits and pieces of that because obviously, so much is changing. I didn't want her to feel like she is on her own. So I included a lot of texts between her and America and also a few texts between her and Clint, just mostly her texting and Clint occasionally being like, “Why? What? What's happening?” Question mark, question mark, question mark, question mark.
PREETI CHHIBBER: [LAUGHS]
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: So I love playing with, like, social media, with text, with things like that in all kinds of stories, and especially in comics. It's just a fun, visual way of making those small connections between characters. And then obviously, America also shows up because she needed to, because I wanted her to.
I wanted to make sure I had not just Kate and her sister but wanted her to have access to friends and teammates at any point because I feel like those are the types of relationships she has, like, the people who will, when you ask them for help, will drop everything and show up immediately because she's that type of person too. Even if she'll be begrudging about it, at times and super snarky about it, she will drop everything to help her friends.
PREETI CHHIBBER: That's true, and that's part of why we love her so much.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Yeah.
PREETI CHHIBBER: You know, I don't know if I knew that you used to be an archer, which I am, like, stunned by. And so now I have to ask, one, what is the best archery story you can tell us? And two, how did you incorporate your archery knowledge into the writing?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: I think the best archery story might just be that we used to do Christmas-type shootouts at the club where I was shooting.
PREETI CHHIBBER: [LAUGHS]
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: And I--
ELLIE PYLE: That's amazing.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: I was there. Yeah. I mean, that was the best time anyway, but we had these Christmas shootouts. And there was one game in particular where instead of targets, they just put up balloons. And you'd have to hit them and, obviously, destroy them.
And that part was fine, but they were put up against, like, the back wall of a gym. And there were a few-- must be something like metal pipes along the wall.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Oh, no.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: And I didn't actually break any of the pipes. It's fine. But one of my arrows hit one of the pipes and just did a complete 180 and came directly back at me.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Oh my gosh.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: And it tumbled to the ground before it got to me, but it was like-- it came straight at me for at least, I think it must have been like 10, 20 meters, something like that. So it was just a very weird experience. I still have that arrow somewhere. It's completely--
PREETI CHHIBBER: Awesome.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: --bent and twisted out of shape, but it's like, this is such a weird situation. I have to keep it.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Yeah.
ELLIE PYLE: Amazing. So if you put points into archery, also put points into dodge is what you're saying.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Yes, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Make sure your duck skills are decent.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Would die immediately.
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: I mean, honestly, the most dangerous part about archery is just making sure you don't twist your elbow inwards too much because, like, the bowstring will continuously hit that side of your arm, and you will have bruises for days. And you would imagine you learn that the hard way, but you just keep making that same mistake over and over again for a while.
ELLIE PYLE: Do you think Kate's ever made that mistake?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: I mean, I feel like she has, but probably when she was, like, eight or something like that.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Kate seems like the person who it happened once, and she's like, “OK, never again.”
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Never-- never again, yeah, for sure.
PREETI CHHIBBER: But like, out of spite. Like--
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Oh, absolutely. Yes. But yeah, I'm definitely that person who watches movies with archers and goes like, you'd never-- holding a bow like that is just wrong. That would hurt so much. Oh my god.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Marieke live tweets Robin Hood.
ELLIE PYLE: I want your ranking of fictional archers now.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Yeah.
ELLIE PYLE: Just like, who actually knows what they're doing?
MARIEKE NIJKAMP: Oh. Wow. That's-- I mean, Kate definitely knows what she's doing. I guess Clint's OK too.
PREETI CHHIBBER: So begrudging.
ELLIE PYLE: You can follow Marieke @mariekeyn on Twitter and Instagram. And the best way to keep up to date with all their work writing fictional archers is by going to mariekenijkamp.com.
PREETI CHHIBBER: I know that sound. Brad wants to contribute again.
LOW VOICE: Brad.
BRAD BARTON: Hello.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Brad Barton is our senior development manager, and this time, we are giving you 10 seconds. You did such a good job last time that we gave you one more second.
BRAD BARTON: Ooh. Thank you so much.
ELLIE PYLE: That counts towards your 10. Don't miss your chance.
BRAD BARTON: OK. I'd love to pitch a sports segment. How hard is it to hit a bullseye, anyway? How powerful do Kate's archery skills make her?
PREETI CHHIBBER: I love that idea. Thanks for the suggestion, Brad.
BRAD BARTON: Wow, really?
ELLIE PYLE: Yeah. That's actually a good question.
BRAD BARTON: Oh, man Thank you. I do have the same last name as Clint Barton, the boy Hawkeye. Do you think I could host this segment?
PREETI CHHIBBER: Nope!
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Welcome to Women of Marvel, Casey. Could you please introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us what you do?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Hi. My name is Casey Kaufhold, and I am a member of the United States Archery Team and Olympic Team. And I have been competing professionally in archery for about five years now.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: And how long have you been doing archery generally? When did you first start, and what drew you to it?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: So my parents did archery, and my mom and dad started an archery business in the '80s. And so they had me start with archery when I was just three years old, just in the backyard for fun. My brother and I, we would just shoot arrows into the grass just to have fun, something to be outdoors. And then I started competing when I was around eight years old.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: So you've been doing this your whole life. How do you train to compete in archery?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: So I train every day. Most people, like high-level athletes, they take days off. Archery is a very repetitive sport, and it's not super physically strenuous. So I practice every day. I like to do at least two, maybe more hours a day, around 200 arrows a day.
Other than just shooting, I do a little bit of working out here and there. I recently was just in school this past year. So my schedule was a little busy, and I didn't get as much of a chance to work out. But I'm planning on doing a lot of swimming, other types of cardio, just to keep myself physically fit and keep up with my practice schedule as well.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: And I imagine also there's a lot of-- like you say, it's not particularly physically strenuous. But like, it takes a lot of muscle to pull that bow back. Is the arm that you pull the bow with, do you work on strengthening your muscles there? Is that part of your, like, training routine?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Definitely I have a lot more muscle structure, so to say, on my left side. I'm a left-handed archer. So I pull 40 pounds. That's how heavy my bow is to pull back, 40 pounds. So that side of my body gets a lot of work out. The front side, my right side, doesn't have that same pulling motion.
So a lot of times, like, archers are uneven, so to say, on one side. Like, my left side is definitely a lot stronger than my right side. But when I go to the gym, if I lift weights, I try to work both sides equally. And I do notice that my left side will be a little stronger. But even when I work out, I try to do so somewhat evenly.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: And I've seen also that your type of archery, it's called recurve. Can you explain what that is, and how that's different from other types of archery?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: So recurve archery is what's in the Olympics. It's also known as Olympic recurve. The bow is a little bit different than other types. There's recurve archery, and there's also compound archery. Recurve archery is a much simpler setup. It's kind of what you see in traditional archery, like anything sort of Renaissance related, what Hawkeye shoots.
That's her type of setup is a recurve. So on a compound, it's a little bit different. Compounds are made for more precision archery, so to say. They are able to pull a lot more poundage, which gives the arrow much more accuracy. And they have different aids to help-- like, compound has a mechanical release aid that they shoot with, whereas recurve archers shoot with just their fingers and a finger tap.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Oh, wow.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Compound archers also have magnification in their sight, whereas recurve there is no magnification. So you're just seeing that target from however far away it is, whereas compound has magnification so the target's going to look a lot bigger, and it's a lot easier to aim. And they also have a pulley system, like they have wheels on their bow, which you pull at a certain point. And it's really heavy, and then it has what's called a let-off.
So when they're actually all the way back fully drawn, the poundage is a lot less, whereas recurve, you're constantly increasing, increasing, increasing as you pull the bow back. So there's just a couple of little differences, and compound is much more seen as the accurate sort of setup, and recurve is seen as more the Olympic style.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: You mentioned the magnification that what you do, there is no magnification. You must have very good eyesight. How far away are you from the target?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: So in the outdoor season in the Olympics, we shoot at 70 meters, which is about, to put it in other terms, like 3/4 of a football field.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Wow.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: So it is really far. And it's at a 122-centimeter diameter target. So that sounds really big, but once you're so far away, it looks so tiny.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: That's way farther than I would have thought, like I can't even [LAUGHS] conceptualize.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: It's pretty far. I get my steps in every day, for sure, going back and forth to pull my arrows. Yeah. [LAUGHS]
ISABEL ROBERTSON: So this is going to sound like a very simplistic question, but like, how hard-- you're practicing every day over and over and over again. How hard is it to hit a bullseye? How often are you actually hitting that bullseye?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Yeah, so when you get to, like, a higher level, it's a lot easier, so to say, because you have so much practice. You get used to, like, having good form, having good mental technique, and you get very used to shooting good groups, shooting the bullseye, I guess you could call it, a lot.
At my competitions outdoors at the 70-meter distance, we shoot 72 arrows as a qualifying round. And usually for me, I'll hit the 10, which is the smallest string. It's about the size of, I don't know, I'd say a grapefruit around.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Oh, OK.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: My last competition I went to, I had 35 out of 72 tens. So almost half of my arrows were tens. And then depending on the conditions, it can be a little different. Like if it's windy, it's a lot harder because you have to aim off because the wind will carry the arrows. So like, instead of aiming in the ten all the time. If the wind is plowing to the left you might have to aim, like, right nine or right eight to compensate. So the amount of hitting the bullseye or how difficult it is can depend on the weather too and your experience level.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: So it sounds like a lot of it is-- I mean, there's the physical component of it, of course. But it sounds like a lot of it is mental, judging all these external factors, like the weather. Is that just a matter of repetition and practice? How do you train or prepare yourself for those things?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: The mental aspect is a big part of any sport. I think archery, it's really big because it's so repetitive, and you can fall into the kind of routine of, “oh, I'm just going through the motions.” But you really have to keep your mind there. I worked with a couple of different mental coaches, I guess you could say, that have helped me like create a process that I stick to.
And it helps me under pressure to just stick with my process and do what I know how to do. And as far as the different conditions and pressure and all that, I get excited when it's windy at a competition because I know everybody else is like, “oh, dang it, it's windy,” but I'm like, I like shooting the wind because I know I can shoot just as good of a score in the wind as I can when it's perfectly calm out. So I kind of use that to my advantage when I'm like, I hear people, like, “oh, it's windy out.” I'm like, “yeah, it's windy out!” So--
ISABEL ROBERTSON: You're like, I'm ready for this.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Yeah. So I just like to stay positive and turn what can be seen as like a bad situation into a good situation.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: That's awesome. And obviously, this is not a part of what you do. But if you could imagine if you were Kate Bishop Hawkeye, how hard would it be to do what you do, to hit that center X or the 10, while running and jumping and doing all this other stuff that she does? Can you imagine what that would be like?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: I can't imagine. It's difficult enough as it is just standing there and shooting archery. I can't imagine jumping out of a window and shooting something, or falling from a building, or running, or on top of a car. That blows my mind. But yeah, that-- I don't know if I'll ever be in the situation to do that. But I just-- I know it would be so difficult.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: I bet you could do it. You have--
CASEY KAUFHOLD: I appreciate the faith.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: You have the practice. You know what the deal is with the wind. I bet you could. You could get there.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Thank you. [LAUGHS]
ISABEL ROBERTSON: And have you seen any kind of change in, like, young girls, young women being interested in the sport since characters like Kate Bishop or Katniss in the Hunger Games? Are those kinds of characters making an impact in terms of who you're seeing being interested in the sport?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: They are for sure. My mom and dad's business, when I go over there, the instructors teach beginning-level classes. And sometimes the instructors ask the new students like, “hey, what made you get into archery? What made you think to come here and train?”
And a lot of them say, like, “oh, I saw it in a movie” or, “oh, I love the action figures and the Super Heroes that do archery.” So the whole Kate Bishop Hawkeye, Katniss, Merida from Brave, like all those big movies have been super influential on the youth side of archery, bringing kids in because it's something different.
It's not the usual soccer, football, whatever. It's something so different. And I think that's the beautiful part of it is like, that these movies are tapping into something so niche, and it's making kids think outside of the box. And I think that's really cool to see.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Is there anything when you're watching these movies that you're like, “oh, yeah, that is how we pull the bow back,” or “that looks realistic,” or is there anything that you're seeing in movies, even if it's sort of a fantastical scenario that you can point to and be like, “yes, I recognize that”?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Yeah, a lot of times the fictional archers have good technique or good form, so to say. Like, some things here and there, it's like, “OK, I don't know if that looked as good.” [LAUGHS] But a lot of times, a lot of times, from what I've seen of Kate Bishop in Hawkeye, the form looks really good. I think as the archery in movies has progressed, the form has gotten better.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: That's awesome. So where can people find you on social media if you want to be found? Can people see what you're up to online?
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Yeah. So I am on Instagram and Facebook. My Instagram is @crazycasey04, or just type in Casey Kaufhold. It'll pop up. And then my Facebook is also Casey Kaufhold.
And I just like to keep everybody updated on the competitions I'm going to, like I'll post, oh, where I'm going, how I did. And then I also post a little bit about my personal life just to keep everybody updated on stuff outside of archery. But yeah, I just like to share what's going on. And I appreciate when people follow along.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Cool, well, thank you so much for joining us, Casey. And good luck with everything.
CASEY KAUFHOLD: Thank you so much for having me. This has been great.
ELLIE PYLE: Our producer, Isabel, actually felt so empowered by that conversation that she decided to go try her own hand at archery. Let's see how that went for her.
[AMBIENT BACKGROUND NOISE]
ISABEL ROBERTSON: OK, I am trying archery at the Renaissance fair. I'm going to take off my fanny pack. OK, so Casey Kaufhold told us how to do this. I'm hooking it to the string. All right, I'm standing perpendicular. Ooh, it is-- it's hard to pull. Damn, she did say that one arm gets a lot stronger than the other one. OK, I'm pulling back.
I made it onto the straw bale, not into the target though. OK, try number two.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Oh-oh, I got a bullseye!
Let's see if we can repeat this.
ISABEL ROBERTSON: Nope. But it was still in the target. I might have peaked with that bullseye. That is hard. Can confirm!
PREETI CHHIBBER: She got a bull's eye! That's exciting!
ELLIE PYLE: Yeah, that's amazing.
ELLIE PYLE: So what's next for Kate Bishop? A brand-new young adult book starring Hawkeye just came out yesterday by YA and romance author Ashley Poston.
ASHLEY POSTON: It's, like, published fanfic. I'm so excited.
PREETI CHHIBBER: We live in a very good space. [LAUGHS]
ASHLEY POSTON: Oh, I'm so excited! My name is Ashley Poston, and I wrote Hawkeye: Bishop takes King, Kate Bishop's first YA novel. I have published half a dozen young adult novels, and I have two adult novels out as well. I'm a New York Times best seller. One of my books last year was named New York Times' Notable Books of 2022, which is going to be my only claim to fame for the rest of my life.
PREETI CHHIBBER: And writing Kate Bishop.
ELLIE PYLE: And writing Kate.
ASHLEY POSTON: And writing Kate Bishop.
ELLIE PYLE: Yeah.
ASHLEY POSTON: Yeah, so if you like my brand of humor, you're going to love the Kate Bishop novel because it's just full of puns.
PREETI CHHIBBER: What made you want to write Kate Bishop? What was so exciting about her?
ASHLEY POSTON: I have loved Kate Bishop-- OK, I'm going to be a nerd for a second. I have loved Kate Bishop ever since she was first introduced with, like, the Young Avengers. [LAUGHS] Way back when. And yeah, I've just-- I've just really loved, like, her snark and the fact that she always plays best against a kind of a stoic character, like a Clint or even an America.
Her and America's dynamic is one of my favorites of any friendship in the Marvel universe. And I just love her. She's great. She's just so snarky, and she's vulnerable, and she's funny. And she's really relatable too.
ELLIE PYLE: So your book just came out. So, we don't want to spoil too much for listeners who plan to read it. But what can you tell us, without spoilers, about where we kind of find Kate when the book begins?
ASHLEY POSTON: Ooh. We find Kate back in New York City, and she is looking for a birthday gift for her older sister. And instead of finding that, she finds a small crime taking place that she saves a guy from, and they get their bags switched. And that turns into kind of this hunt across New York City for these rare and valuable books that Kingpin is also after for nefarious reasons.
PREETI CHHIBBER: (SINGS) Dun, dun, dun.
ASHLEY POSTON: (SINGS) Dun, dun, dun. So it has a lot of fun cameos.
PREETI CHHIBBER: I think something that we really love about Kate and puts her apart in a Marvel universe in which there are so many Super Heroes with Super Powers is that Kate doesn't have Super Powers. So, what is it like to write a character like that, who exists in the universe she exists in, who has to excel and does excel without those Super Powers?
ASHLEY POSTON: Well, that is a little bit of what Bishop Takes King is about because she finds herself being without her extraordinary, like, self, right? She doesn't even have the talents that she fostered for . . . plot reasons. And so she has to come to terms with what makes her who she is and, like, why she is who she is. And yeah, I don't want to spoil too much!
PREETI CHHIBBER: Fair. Well, we love it. We love you. We're so happy that you were here. We hope our listeners know Hawkeye: Bishop Takes King is out right now so you should go pick it up.
ASHLEY POSTON: Right now. There's a really good dog in it. Of course there's a good dog in it. I mean, how could I not have Lucky in it? Lucky is the best Pizza Dog to ever pizza, to ever dog. And there is, like, a small kind of romance but not really because we all love Kate, and Kate just really loves her kisses and her kissing scenes. But they never pan out.
I love it, but mostly it's about the friendship between her and America. So if you ship Kate and America, don't worry.
ELLIE PYLE: And don't we all?
ASHLEY POSTON: I got you.
PREETI CHHIBBER: [LAUGHS] Well, thank you so much for being here. This was awesome.
ASHLEY POSTON: Of course. Thank you so much for having me.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Hawkeye: Bishop Takes King is out now wherever you get your books. So go check it out. And be sure to follow Ashley on Instagram @heyashposton so you can support her great work.
ELLIE PYLE: What about after you're done with Ashley's book? What if you need more Kate Bishop? Robyn, help us out!
ROBYN: I've got you. This is Robyn again with your Marvel Unlimited reading list, this time for Kate Bishop, one of my favorite Young Avengers. You can read all of these comics in chronological order. We're presenting them in chronological order here. But you can really start anywhere.
If any of these series jump out to you, all of them serve as an ideal entry point for people new to comics, and some of these series are self-contained as well. So great for new readers. I think we just start at her very first appearance, Young Avengers issue one from 2005.
We meet Kate at a wedding. It is specifically a ceremony for her older sister. And while she might not have super Super Powers, we see right off the bat exactly how kickass she is when the wedding is held hostage and Kate does not accept any of the assailants' demands. And she takes on all of them single-handedly until the Young Avengers crash the scene. So, we get to see just how strong her combat skills are when she takes out these guys in a cool five seconds.
PREETI CHHIBBER: That's so good.
ROBYN: She is remarkably skilled. Yes. And we'll follow that up with the Young Avengers special, also from 2005, also issue one. And I love this whole series because it's really the backstory of each young Avenger told in a single issue. So here, we get Kate Bishop's backstory when she's talking to Jessica Jones, who's running a story on the Young Avengers for The Daily Bugle.
And we see exactly why Kate became a Super Hero, her origin story. We learn more about her family. She comes from a very wealthy background and is actually quite uncomfortable with it. She doesn't know where she fits in. But she does know that she belongs with the Young Avengers. And we follow up next with Hawkeye from 2012, issue one.
PREETI CHHIBBER: [LAUGHS]
ROBYN: We love this one, right?
PREETI CHHIBBER: It's so good.
ROBYN: Yeah, I know. I know. This is Hawkeye: Clint Barton, street level, pulpy, gritty, but also really funny. And Kate Bishop is his Hawkeye team-up partner. And this is where she really comes into her own. She gets the Hawkeye training. She gets the full arsenal of really cool trick arrows.
And she learns all the tricks of the trade. This series introduces Lucky the Pizza Dog, Tracksuit Mafia. It is an Eisner-winning run by Matt Fraction and David Aha, and it's beautifully designed and told. I highly recommend reading this one in full.
ELLIE PYLE: I never got to work on this one, but it was so much fun sitting in the room with the editors who were working on this one, watching this get made. It was so much fun to watch this book come together.
ROBYN: Very different too, like lettering style, paneling. If you're new to comics, it's kind of untraditional in format. And it's a really good place to start, I think.
And we follow it up with another Hawkeye run, titular Hawkeye series from 2016. This is Kate Bishop in the starring role. She is the singular Hawkeye with a little bit of Clint Barton thrown into the mix. And this is the series where she goes to Los Angeles and she starts a detective agency, a private-eye agency that deals with superhuman and human mysteries. And I love this starter series too because there's a lot of guest stars. Jessica Jones is thrown into the mix. And we get the very bizarre and juicy backstory of Kate's mom, Eleanor. Her story is fleshed out. And it's got some very supernatural elements to it. And Madame Mask features heavily in this one too. So, she's an important antagonist in the life of Kate Bishop. Love this one. It's written by Kelly Thompson. Leonardo Romero is the artist, and Jordie Bellaire on colors.
ELLIE PYLE: And Kelly also brings us our next one, right?
ROBYN: She sure does. West Coast Avengers. So, this is a reboot of the West Coast Avengers team that Clint Barton started all those years ago with his partner Mockingbird. This is a 10-issue run, so it's a very digestible limited series.
And basically, Kate Bishop finds herself a crew, her West Coast Avengers team. We've got Quentin Quire, a guy named Fuse, Jeff the Landshark, Clint Barton. And it's a kind of kooky series with a lot of fun elements. Like I said, there are land sharks in the very first issue.
And it's a lot of fun. It's also told documentary style. So the catch is that this team is being funded by a film crew so they have to chronicle everything that happens. And the Quentin Quire interviews alone are just worth their weight in gold.
ELLIE PYLE: This series is a lot of fun. And as I recall, it also spotlights the friendship between Kate and America Chavez, which, any time the two of them are in a story together, I just love it.
ROBYN: Dynamic partnership, for sure. And Kate shows up in America's limited series too from 2017. So, if you like West Coast Avengers and you like America and Kate together, follow it up with America's solo series. It's also gorgeously illustrated and colored. We conclude our list with Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, issue 1, from 2021.
This is her solo series, a five-issue limited. And Kate is picking up from Los Angeles. She is going home to New York, where she has to solve a mysterious jewel heist at a resort. Her sister is implicated as well.
And this is Hawkeye: Kate Bishop at her most detective, sleuthy self. And of course, the resort is definitely a trap. But she knows that going in. And it's a really cool adventure to read. So I love this one if you're new to comics as well.
PREETI CHHIBBER: That's a really awesome one, and we actually just talked to author Marieke Nijkamp earlier in the episode. So that is a must-read in my book.
ROBYN: And you can read any of these issues in the Marvel Unlimited list in reading order, or really, start wherever it feels right. All of these are self-contained for the most part. So there you go.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Thank you for that wonderful reading list. I think there's a lot of good stuff. I mean, how could there not be? It's Kate Bishop, right?
ROBYN: Yeah, and I think she shows you don't need Super Powers in the traditional sense to really come into your own. And she's just so cool. I love the Young Avengers in general, but she really stands out.
ELLIE PYLE: Absolutely. And as much as I enjoy her adventures with Clint or her solo adventures, there is something great about Kate as part of a team or the leader of a team. Those are some of my favorites.
ROBYN: By the way, we are going to link out to this list. So if you didn't catch everything here, don't worry. We're going to break it down for you.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Thanks so much, Robyn.
Next week on Women of Marvel, we are meeting the ice queen herself, Emma Frost.
ELLIE PYLE: Until then, Women of Marvel is produced by Isabel Robertson, Zachary Goldberg, Ellie Pyle, and Preeti Chhibber.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Our senior manager of audio development is Brad Barton, production manager is Emily Godfrey, and our executive producer is Jill Duboff.
ELLIE PYLE: Special thanks to our comics correspondent Robyn Belt.
PREETI CHHIBBER: Listen weekly on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Preeti Chhibber.
ELLIE PYLE: I'm Ellie Pyle.
PREETI CHHIBBER: And this is Marvel.
ELLIE PYLE: Your universe.
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