WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Old Man Hawkeye #5 by Ethan Sacks and Marco Checchetto, in stores now.
In Old Man Hawkeye, Clint Barton has been running on a desperate last mission to avenge his fallen Avenger friends before his eyesight is gone forever. So far, he's taken out two of his targets, and Clint already has a third in his sights -- but Songbird will have to wait.
Back in the first issue of the series, Clint had taken an odd job that ended with him killing a whole bunch of Mutliple Man clones. The lone Madrox survivor of the attack later became a host for the Venom symbiote, and together they went after Clint. Issue #5 finally sees the Multiple Venom close in on Hawkeye while he is regrouping, and it doesn't take long before a whole army of Venoms attack him. That's right, thanks to the powers of Mutiple Man, Venom can now duplicate himself as much as he wants -- meaning that there aren't enough arrows in Clint's quiver to take them all out.
Naturally, it doesn't take long for him to realize that he's fighting a losing battle and, thanks to a little bit of help, Clint manages to get away. Now on the run and badly beaten, Hawkeye has no choice but to ask for help and shelter from an old, old friend: Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye.
The first woman to don the mantle of Hawkeye, Kate was a member of the Young Avengers before becoming a sidekick/partner of Clint's. Together, they starred in Matt Fraction and David Aja's beloved Hawkeye comic series, as well as Jeff Lemire and Ramon Pérez's All-New Hawkeye. The two archers have a fun and complicated relationship that depicts them as close friends who rely on each other, but who also have many arguments and disputes.
It's no surprise, then, that when a weakened Old Man Hawkeye first contemplates asking for Kate's help, he mutters "She's... not going to be... happy to see me..." to himself. But still, there is no other way. Given the current state of this dystopian world, there is no telling how long it's been since these two last saw each other. It could have been years. It could also be decades. All we know is that now, Kate is the mayor of a gated community deep in the wastelands.
Even after all this time, the old bond they once shared still proves to be there, seeing as how Kate allows Clint to come into her refuge. However, judging by her dialogue, it appears that killing him isn't exactly out of the question either. Is she being honest, or is this just the trademark Hawkeye wit shining through in a dusty, desolate world? Whatever the case, Clint's safety isn't Kate's priority. She has people to protect now, people who depend on her, and her former partner comes knocking with an army of alien monsters hot on his trail.
KEEP READING: Will Old Man Hawkeye Show Up in Avengers: Infinity War?