Kazi From Hawkeye Is Basically Marvel’s Version Of The Joker
He’s known as The Clown in the Marvel comics.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe may have introduced its version of the Joker: Kazimierz “Kazi” Kazimierczak, aka The Clown, who appeared in Episode 1 of the new Disney+ series Hawkeye.
Slightly less maniacal but just as brutal as his DC counterpart, Kazi is a prominent member of the Tracksuit Mafia, the gang of tracksuit-clad mercenaries currently antagonizing Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) on the show. When viewers first meet Kazi, he’s leading the Tracksuit Mafia on a raid of the Avengers compound. The heist is thwarted by Kate, who’s wearing Clint’s old Ronin outfit from Avengers: Endgame. Notably, members of the Tracksuit Mafia were among those slain during Clint’s days massacring criminal organizations as Ronin, so it makes sense that Kazi would be rattled by the sight of someone wearing the suit.
As we learn in the show, the Tracksuit Mafia is headed up by Echo (Alaqua Cox), to whom Kazi is second in command. The two bonded as children at a Brooklyn karate studio before rising through the ranks of the underworld together.
In the Hawkeye comic series, Kazi grew up in a traveling circus but was forced to flee to America and fend for himself after his family was killed. Later in life, his friend Janek died in a subway explosion, driving Kazi down a dark path. He adopted the identity of the Clown, wearing minimalistic clown makeup with a single tear under his right eye as an homage to Janek.
Beyond his work with the Tracksuit Mafia (whose name has been changed from the Tracksuit Draculas in the comics), Kazi has been contracted by multiple mob bosses — most notably Kingpin, who may appear in Hawkeye if Echo’s many references to her mysterious “uncle” are any indication. Though Kazi is an effective assailant armed or unarmed, he typically uses handheld guns and rifles to complete his jobs.
Kazi is also a known harasser and assailant of Clint, going as far as to kill Clint’s neighbor to get to him. Throughout the comics, Clint and Kate have multiple run-ins with Kazi as well as his accomplice Ivan Banionis.
It’s unclear how Kazi’s story will unfold on Hawkeye, though executive producer Trihn Tran recently teased the character’s potential in the MCU. “I can't say much about how his character unfolds in this series, but what I can say is that part of the interesting thing about bringing these characters to life from the comics is that we wanted to give it a fresh spin," she told Murphy’s Multiverse. "I think part of Kazi's story in the comics is a little bit tied to how Kate's world is in the Matt Fraction run [of the Hawkeye comics]. But that's not necessarily true in the MCU because once we bring that character in and explore them in the story that we have, it can go in any and all kind[s] of direction[s]."