AKA Kate Bishop
While a Marvel TV show called Hawkeye that didn’t star Jeremy Renner would be too confusing, Kate Bishop is the perfect candidate for a Jessica Jones-esque show. Though her story is less dark, her history as an Avenger and her past as the daughter of a criminal could offer similar shades while exploring a complicated, heroic, and snarky young woman. The series could even homage Jessica Jones with the title AKA Kate Bishop.
Originally, the ‘also known as’ abbreviation was attached to Jessica Jones to mirror her first comic book, Alias. Given the show of the same name—on ABC no less—that was a no-go. Eventually, the ‘AKA’ was dropped, but it could be revived. By avoiding ‘Hawkeye’ in the title, the new name could reference the character’s alter-ego and Jessica Jones while setting up a series about a woman living a double life.
Introduced in 2005’s Young Avengers #1, Bishop was soon given Hawkeye’s bow by Captain America following the temporary death of the archer. She really got the spotlight, however, in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s seminal Hawkeye run beginning in 2012. There, she and Clint Barton shared Hawkeye duties, with plenty of jokes and drama thrown into the working class superhero story.
Eventually, Kate would strike out on her own in LA, putting her skills to work to hunt down Madame Masque and serve as a private eye. By focusing on Kate in LA, the show could distance itself from the MCU while still existing within it. We could even see a modern Madame Masque arrive, as a villain paying tribute to the character from Agent Carter. Many of the elements from Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye that will never be in the movies could even appear, like Lucky the Pizza Dog.
Given all the hints Renner has made about appearing in a Marvel TV show, what better place for the actor to cameo and flesh out the put-upon humor he’s known for in the comics. Kate Bishop may not have the name recognition of some other Marvel heroes, but she has a devoted and growing fan base and is a character that’s tailor-made for a fun and thrilling series.
The Mysterious Spider-Woman
Like She-Hulk, Spider-Woman has a similar origin and is often a name brought up when new Marvel projects are mentioned. There's been some confusion over whether Spider-Woman is owned by Marvel, Sony, or if she falls into a gray area like Quicksilver does with Marvel and FOX. Either way, Marvel's recent deal with Sony of Spider-verse rights - and the fact that we're talking about television (not movies) - makes much of that confusion a moot point. While there have been rumors that Spider-Woman will appear in Sony’s Silver & Black, other character rumors have pointed towards Marvel-owned heroes and villains showing up as well. As such, it’s not clear how much of a barrier there is to a Spider-Woman TV show.
Introduced in 1977’s Marvel Spotlight #22, the character was soon retconned from her origin as a being evolved from a spider. Like with She-Hulk, Spider-Woman was created in an effort to avoid someone else trademarking the hero first—namely, DC Comics. Given that, however, she has virtually no connection to Spider-Man (which is the reason many have speculated that her ownership rests with Marvel).
When Marv Wolfman took over on the character, he developed her backstory as Jessica Drew, a HYDRA-trained operative given new abilities when her father used irradiated spider blood to save her life. Like Peter Parker, she gained super-strength, agility, and senses, along with wall-crawling powers. She also gained a powerful pheromone that can control those with male biology, along with an electricity-based discharge that can be used to great offensive effect. She even has the ability to fly, making her wall-crawling sort of inferior and redundant.
While Jessica Drew was popular during her initial run, she began to fade until Brian Michael Bendis revived her as part of his New Avengers team in the aughts. The latest Spider-Woman comic by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez, meanwhile, has given the character a bit of a reinvention. She becomes a private eye, working alongside Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich and D-List character Porcupine. This series finally redesigned Spider-Woman’s costume, giving her an outfit perfect for the MCU. It also features more irreverence and includes an arc where Jessica becomes pregnant—perfect fodder for a TV series.
The early incarnations of Spider-Woman even featured supernatural villains and a mystic atmosphere, with taglines like “To know her is to fear her!” If Marvel could throw some of these ideas in with the more character-driven humor and drama, they could craft something truly unique. Regardless of which iteration of the character is used, there's no shortage of great Spider-Woman stories to choose from for a potential TV show.
From Ms. Marvel to Moon Girl, there are dozens of other characters who ABC could be eyeing for a TV show. She-Hulk, Kate Bishop, and Spider-Woman, however, seem the most likely to mirror the success and style of Jessica Jones. All three shows would combine humor, pathos, and superheroics, and each would be able to offer plenty of winks and nods to their more well-known counterparts in the MCU. No matter what character ABC chooses to pursue, it’s sure to be a hit if it stays true to the hero’s roots the way Jessica Jones has so far.