Clint Barton is about to learn a very important lesson, and it might not come from the obvious villain of his spinoff Marvel show, Hawkeye. Episode 3 introduced Echo and teased the arrival of someone even scarier, but in the process, we also got our first look yet at one of the most interesting villains from the comic book that inspired the Disney+ series: Kazimierz “Kazi” Kazimierczak (aka, Clown).
Played by Fra Fee in Hawkeye, Kazi is Echo’s right-hand man. He’s a translator, enforcer, and driver all in one. But a closer look at the comics reveals he could play an even larger role in the MCU’s future as Marvel’s closest approximation to the inimitable DC supervillain, the Joker.
Who is Kazi in Marvel’s Hawkeye?
Created by Matt Fraction and David Aja for their popular Hawkeye comics run that inspired the show, Kazi is a murdered and a mercenary who takes on Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. He originally came from a “circus family” but moved to America after they were all murdered. Later, his friend Janek also perished in a subway explosion. This collective trauma transformed Kazi into a ruthless villain.
In the comics, Kazi (who also goes by the pseudonym “Clown”) teams up with the Tracksuit Draculas (renamed the Tracksuit Mafia in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) to take on Hawkeye. Kazi even murders Clint’s neighbor to get at him and then returns with the Tracksuits to get rid of any evidence.
Later, Kazi and the Tracksuits attack the building where Clint Barton lives, but Kate Bishop, Clint, and his neighbors are able to repel them. Clint deals with Kazi personally.
That’s the full extend of Kazi’s story in the comics for now, but it’s possible the MCU could take his Clown persona even further, offering a direct counterweight to DC’s most popular villain of all time.
Is Kazi the Joker of Marvel?
Short answer: Not really, but then again, who is?
Kazi does have a few things going for him. He’s driven to madness and murder. His main rival is also a superhero with no actual superpowers but lots of gadgets. Also, he literally goes by the name Clown.
Then again, if you’re looking for a better approximation of the Joker in Marvel, there are plenty of options. Both Carnage and the Green Goblin from the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel-verse feel more similar in spirit. (Carnage even meets the Joker in one crossover comic.) Meanwhile, Madcap is essentially Marvel’s attempt to copy the Joker, though the fact that no one remembers him proves how hard that really is.
The simple truth is: it’s impossible to copy the Joker because the Joker is a product of his environment and a direct response to the Batman. Then again, if that’s what Marvel is going for, Kazi the Clown isn’t a bad way to get there.
Hawkeye is streaming now on Disney+.