Since 2008, Marvel Studios has been building a long chain of characters and intertwined events, making its mark as the most extensive, detail-oriented cinematic universe in the game. While it’s been explained that the company’s most recent release, Moon Knight, will not follow in the steps of the classic MCU formula, one can’t help but take a look at the pieces and feel skeptical. After the premiere of Moon Knight, it’s easy to just take their word for it and assume that this story has nothing to do with the future of the MCU. However, it’s not unlike Marvel Studios to mislead their fans in an effort to protect sworn secrecy.
It’s slightly suspicious that Moon Knight’s arrival to the MCU comes a few months after the Hawkeye series on Disney+. While this may just seem like a run-of-the-mill release schedule to newer Marvel fans, it looks like two West Coast Avengers being set up to those who are more familiar with the lore.
Who are the West Coast Avengers?
What started as a 4-issue limited series published from September to December 1984 (written by Roger Stern and drawn by Bob Hall and Brett Breeding), became a 102-issue series of the same name that ran from October 1985 to January 1994.
Founded by Hawkeye and encouraged by Vision, the West Coast Avengers were brought together as an effort to expand the Avengers’ influence and reach. The original team consisted of Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man, and Iron Man (who was actually Jim Rhodes instead of Tony Stark—a fact initially unknown by the team). Over time, the West Coast team would either temporarily or permanently recruit members. This included Fantastic Four’s Thing, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mantis, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Vision, U.S. Agent, and lastly, Moon Knight.
—This is where the spoilers for Hawkeye begin, so if you ignored the subheading spoiler warning, consider this your last warning—
How does it tie into the MCU?
The ending of Hawkeye left us with Kate Bishop running a bunch of potential superhero names by her now-mentor Clint Barton. As she attempts to choose a name that honors and relates to her mentor, he simply suggests “Hawkeye.” In 2018, the new reincarnation of the West Coast Avengers keeps Clint Barton as the head of the group, and his apprentice, Kate Bishop, joins the team—alongside a group of newer heroes.
If the Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, chooses to satisfy the fans who miss the OG Avengers by bringing in the West Coast Avengers, it’s unlikely that we will see the newer heroes from the 2018 reboot. However, the fact that we have 5-6 of the original team existing in the MCU right now inspires a lot of hope that it could happen.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1 with Ali Plumb, Jeremy Renner was asked about his character and his opinions on how Hawkeye was being “underutilized.” Renner’s Hawkeye and his ability to contribute as much as his Avengers counterparts was always in question since Avengers: Age of Ultron. Renner followed up by saying that he would love to assume a leadership role similar to Captain America.
“I think where you mentioned the word ‘under utilized,’ well look, he was the leader of the West Coast Avengers,” Renner said. “I would personally love to see him be in that sort of Captain America leader role. Actually, which, I think he would succeed in. Calling the shots and doing these types of things, right? As a quarterback, instead of being more like a wide receiver, these types of things, right? That would be really interesting, I think, to see him do.”
Only time will tell if we’ll get the West Coast Avengers, but it sure looks like it.
You can watch Hawkeye and Moon Knight exclusively on Disney+. In related news, fans aren’t happy about how Ms. Marvel’s powers have changed.
Photos via Marvel Studios