If you are a Hawkeye fan you may have heard of Kate Bishop, one of three Marvel characters to hold the name. Many know of Hawkeye from movies such as Avengers Endgame when the character was better known as Clint Barton. Kate later embraces Clint as a father figure who mentors her for the role. But how did this all start? We have to go back to Kate Bishop’s first appearance in comics.
We can take a look at Young Avengers 1 from 2005. The team members are teenagers who seem to imitate older heroes like Captain America or Iron Man. So I guess they are Marvel’s answer to DC’s Teen Titans? They are being discussed in the Daily Bugle building by Jessica Jones and journalist Katherine Ferrell. They are trying to figure out what is going on with this team of young heroes. Since Jessica Jones used to be a super hero known as Jewel she is given the task to investigate by using old contacts. Meanwhile Jones mentions that she is pregnant, and her boyfriend is Luke Cage. But where the hell is Kate Bishop in this story?
She actually makes a rather odd first appearance. She happens to be a bridesmaid at a wedding in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Gunmen hold the wedding attendant’s hostage after robbing them of their money and jewelry. While the Young Avengers fly into the cathedral’s window while attempting a rescue, the place accidentally catches on fire. Kate Bishop tries to remedy the situation by picking up a throwing star and reaching for a gun dropped by one of the criminals. She just ends up getting held at gunpoint but manages to escape by stabbing her victim with the throwing star she had palmed. So yeah, Kate Bishop’s first appearance doesn’t have her as a super hero per se, but she definitely shows that she takes no shenanigans from anybody.
But the funniest thing of all about Kate Bishop’s first appearance is also the saddest. Apparently artist and penciller Jim Cheung, who created some beautiful layouts in this comic, seems to have been unable to draw tiny faces well. Or in the case of Kate, there’s no face at all. Yes I am saying the very first panel and the very first picture of Kate is literally void of expression as her face is nonexistent. Life is funny like that and is worth a little chuckle. If you are able to get a copy you would be wise to add it to your collection.