Ah, you didn’t think Jack was just future step-father to Kate Bishop, did you? As with all Marvel projects, there’s always more than meets the eye, and Mr. Jack Duquesne is our hidden find of the Hawkeye series thus far.
In the comics, Clint Barton is a runaway who joined a traveling circus as a boy after being orphaned and learned all of his skills during his time there. Originally, he began training with the circus’ expert blades expert, Swordsman a.k.a Jacques Duquesne.
The story goes that Barton discovered Duquesne stealing money from the circus and the two end up at odds. Barton and Duquesne fight, then another circus performer, Trickshot, saves Barton in the knick of time, and Duquesne flees and becomes a supervillain. As a result, Barton continues training with Trickshot, the circus’ master archer, and it’s then revealed he’s quite a master with a bow and arrow. Later, he becomes known as Hawkeye, and the rest is history. (Trickshot and Clint had a similar falling out, but not as bad.)
Hawkeye has been planting clues of Jack being Swordsman long before we even know his name. Kate points out the bizarre number of swords in her mother’s house even before we know Jack exists. Later, he has a noted piqued interest in Ronin’s sword, stealing it after the Tracksuit Mafia break-in, which leads me to believe he may have recognized his protégé’s work and knows exactly who it was beneath that mask. Or maybe he just really likes swords, but I doubt it.
Not much is known about MCU Barton’s early days, so a backstory involving the circus may still be in the cards. However, it leaves out an important aspect that’s important to the series. Why the interest in Eleanor Bishop?
Well, following Swordsman’s original story, it could be as simple as money. In the first episode, during the Black Market auction at the Gala, Jack’s uncle Armand (RIP) notes that Jack doesn’t have $300,000 to pay for Ronin’s sword as the two enter a bidding war. This was strange since from all appearances thus far, Jack is seemingly wealthy. We know that Eleanor Bishop is extremely well off, always has been, and is the owner of what we assume is a very large security company. So, he may just be utilizing Eleanor as a cash flow and will soon find out his fianceé’s daughter is trapezing around with his former student in due time.
It would seem that there’s more to Clint’s past rearing its ugly head again than just his time as Ronin as we originally thought …
Be sure to keep up with our continuing coverage of Hawkeye including episodic recaps, reviews, deep dives, and more! Episode 3 of the series will premiere exclusively on Disney+ Wednesday, December 1.