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The Fun Way Hawkeye's Fan-Fave Writer Was Supposed To Appear On The Disney+ Series

Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) aim their bow-and-arrows in Hawkeye
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

So far, it would appear that most viewers are digging Marvel Studios’ latest small-screen venture, Hawkeye. The creative team has done an effective job of highlighting Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton while also bringing Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop into the action. Comic book fans more than likely know, though, that the holiday-infused series owes a great deal to Matt Fraction and David Aja’s comic book run of the same name. From the logo to the banter between the two lead characters, Fraction and Aja really set the tone for the project with their work. So it’s understandable that the studio originally planned for Fraction to make a cameo, and the fan-favorite writer recently revealed the fun way in which he would’ve appeared.

Plenty of comic book scribes have shown up in comic book adaptations over the years, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular, has offered up a few cameos from notable names. Thor writer J. Michael Straczynski appeared as a truck driver who tried to lift the God of Thunder’s hammer in the original 2011 film. Captain America’s Ed Brubaker appeared as a HYDRA scientist in 2014’s The Winter Soldier. And of course, Stan Lee essentially became the King of Cameos over the course of the Infinity Saga. So in regard to his own role, Matt Fraction revealed to The Ringer that the producers tapped him to play one of Hawkeye’s delightful villains: 

I was supposed to be a tracksuit. It was gonna fit, but between COVID, [this] was before shots were really happening and my immunocompromised mother lives with us and traveling was kind of a thing. And we got a pandemic puppy. So between quite feeling cool to travel and a puppy, I didn’t get to be a tracksuit. So I was this close to being a tracksuit. Other than that, consultant producer.

COVID has unfortunately changed a lot of plans for major studio productions over the past year and a half. It’s honestly disappointing that the writer wasn’t able to film the role, especially since it was so perfect. Still, given the circumstances, it was indeed the right call in order to ensure his safety. It’s also cool that he was still able to remain on the show as a consultant producer, which was definitely an advantage for the project. 

Matt Fraction and David Aja’s celebrated Hawkeye run originally began in 2012 and saw Clint Barton and Kate Bishop teaming up to fight street-level crime in Brooklyn. The series is most notable for fleshing out the relationship between the two archers, which hadn’t truly been explored up to that point. It also utilized notable characters like the sinister Tracksuit Mafia and the lovable Lucky the Pizza Dog. Fraction’s writing was lauded by critics and fans, while Aja’s art received similar praise. 

Though the show draws heavily from the source material, a few changes have been made, some of which help to further ground this version of the story in the MCU. The link between Kate Bishop’s origins and the Battle of New York is a perfect example of this. And let’s not forget the delightfully cheesy Rogers: The Musical, which pays (in-universe) tribute to the Avengers. 

As a whole, the Kevin Feige-produced TV show manages to deftly balance the elements from the comic and the material spawned by the MCU. It’s a fun ride filled with crazy action sequences and great humor, and it’s made that much sweeter by the fact that Matt Fraction was involved in the process.

New episodes of Hawkeye premiere on Disney+ on Wednesdays.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.