Hawkeye is one of two Avengers left standing after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow died sacrificing herself to get the Soul Stone, Iron Man met his demise after wielding Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet, and Captain America returned to the past to live out the rest of his life.
Clint Barton is set to return in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, potentially training Kate Bishop to carry on the moniker. Hawkeye will premiere long before we get another Avengers movie, but a recent leak suggests a masked villain for the upcoming series could eventually play a crucial role in Avengers 5.
It’ll be a while before the Avengers reassemble, but Disney+ has fans covered with new MCU content in the interim. A leak from The Direct suggests that Madame Masque will appear in Hawkeye. The villain has a history with Iron Man and the two were once lovers, but she also has deep connections to Hawkeye and his protégé Kate Bishop.
In the comics, Madame Masque’s real name is Whitney Frost. First introduced in 1968’s Tales of Suspense, Whitney was born Giuletta Nefaria and is a skilled markswoman, martial artist, and an expert in hand-to-hand combat. The biological daughter of Count Luchino Nefaria, Whitney was adopted and raised as a socialite before being asked to take over leading the Maggia, an international crime syndicate made up of several families. After a plane crash left her face damaged, she began wearing a gold mask and took on the alias Madame Masque.
In 2012’s Hawkeye Vol. 4, Madame Masque heads to Madripoor to retrieve a tape of Hawkeye killing an Asian dictator. However, the tape was only fabricated to make it look like Hawkeye was the murderer and, looking to get it first, he’s kidnapped by Madame Masque’s men and later rescued by Kate Bishop. The tape is ultimately destroyed and Madame Masque vows to get her revenge on both Hawkeyes.
Kate is expected to make her debut in the Disney+ series and her and Clint’s entanglement with Madame Masque may be the stepping stone towards the Avengers’ next big battle. The villain has been affiliated with Masters of Evil, which is led by Baron Helmut Zemo. At one point, Madame Masque was Zemo’s right-hand woman. We theorized the Masters of Evil could be coming together to take on Earth’s mightiest heroes in Avengers 5 and Madame Masque may play a crucial role in bringing the team of villains together.
Separately, she has gone up against the Avengers on several occasions and has been defeated by Doctor Strange and others. In live-action, Madame Masque appeared as a villain in Season 2 of Agent Carter. That said, Madame Masque isn’t always on the wrong side of justice. During the Secret Invasion storyline, in which the Skrulls infiltrate the Earth and attempt to take over, Madame Masque joins up with the Avengers to stop them.
It’s possible she'll play the villain in Hawkeye before temporarily switching sides to take down an even bigger threat in Avengers 5. Whatever the case, Madame Masque’s potential appearance in the MCU proves that villains don’t always have to be of the galactic variety to be threatening.