The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a lot of things that have never been done before, from the intricacy of the world-building to the range of characters and types of stories. It’s also in contention for the longest-running movie franchise and has been of overall amazing quality. Spider-Man: No Way Home, continues both those trends.
One of the things I have been enjoying about Hawkeye is that they have spent time developing characters besides the lead. Clint and Kate, of course, get a lot of screen time, but so has Maya/Echo and now, Yelena Belova, Natasha Romanov’s kid sister from the Black Widow movie.
Hawkeye is one of my favorite Avengers, and I’m thrilled to see him getting more screen time and not being overshadowed by some of his flashier teammates. We’ve seen Kate Bishop, Maya Lopez, and had some hints at a few other characters so far. Now we get some interesting developments and the return of a plot point from episode one in “Partners, Am I Right?”
Last episode featured the surprising twist of Ultron not only winning the events of Age of Ultron, but becoming aware of other worlds and then the Watcher himself. That ended with the Watcher having no choice but to act, leading to the season finale “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?”
At the end of last episode, we met Echo, a character with a complicated history in the comics. Now we get to learn more about her, what her connection is to the MCU Ronin, and see a great car chase.
Now the two have met, and a few different mysteries are swirling around them. Kate is thrilled to have met her idol, and Clint just wants to get back home.
I’ve been commenting that, by and large, the writers on the first season of Marvel’s What If…? seem to be in a competition about who can write the darkest story. While last episode, featuring the hijinks of an only child version of Thor, was a lot lighter and funnier, it ended on a bleak note that gave a hint about the next episode, “What if Ultron Won?”
In 2012, Marvel Studios made history. Not only did the Avengers set all kinds of box office records at the time, but for the first time, characters that had headlined their own movies came together as a team for a major event. In the MCU, there were six founding Avengers, and five of them have had their own movie, or movies. Hawkeye, often overlooked and with arguably the smallest part in both his first appearance (Thor) and The Avengers, now gets the Disney+ treatment in his own six episode series.
Jack Kirby, one of the legendary creators at Marvel Comics as they started out, left behind a wealth of work, and now we get to see some obscure characters brought to the screen, as Marvel takes a look at The Eternals.
Finally, there’s a break in the darkness… mostly. Things take a turn for the comedic, and we sort of get an MCU/80’s Spring Break movie mash up as the Watcher looks into “What If… Thor Were An Only Child?”