Hawkeye’s Pizza Dog Doesn’t Make Sense Without His Origin Story
Pizza Dog is an iconic part of the MCU Hawkeye show but if its comic book origin is overlooked, the character loses meaningful meaning.
Lucky, aka pizza dog, is a beloved character in both wonder comics and on screen in the Disney+ series, Hawk Eye. In the MCU show, Kate Bishop meets Lucky while battling the Tracksuit Mafia. He does his best to help her stop the Tracksuits from stealing an important item from the Avengers compound. After the dog is pushed into oncoming traffic, Kate saves his life and chooses to adopt him. He quickly becomes a beloved pet for both Hawkeyes. However, in the comics, Pizza Dog proves he’s more than just a furry companion.
First introduced in Fraction and Aja’s Hawk Eye Launched in 2014, Pizza Dog was called Arrow and belonged to the Tracksuit Mafia. He was abused by the group and treated more like a weapon than a pet. Arrow’s first encounter with love is when Clint Barton offers him a slice of pizza. When the tracksuits come after Clint, Arrow jumps in front of the gunfire to protect his new friend. Arrow takes a hell of a jab from the tracksuit, which injures his leg and leaves him blind in his left eye. After being taken to the vet, Clint renames him Lucky – although the Pizza Dog nickname also fits – and he becomes a valuable companion to a lone crime-fighting man in New York City.
In Hawkeye #11, Pizza Dog gets an entire issue devoted to his point of view as he solves a murder case. After one of Clint’s tenants, Grills, is tragically killed, Lucky goes to sniff out the mugger. He finds The Clown and a member of the Tracksuits on the roof, the crime scene, and avenges Grills by pushing the Tracksuit out of the building. The tracksuits create several problems for Clint throughout the series, but the clown poses an even greater threat. As the deceased Tracksuit member survives – albeit badly injured – he loses a shoe. Clint picks up the shoe on his way home and pats Lucky on the head saying “Good boy”.
Little is known about what Lucky went through when he belonged to the Tracksuits, but his skills seem to surpass those of the average dog. In this issue, Lucky displays the characteristic traits of a detective and a vigilante. Like its owner, Lucky is not super powerful. He is not particularly “special”, nor is the average Retriever. He also prefers to work alone. Lucky navigates the building by scent, piecing together the clues that lead him to the tracksuits. Despite his violent past, not even guns deter him.
Lucky is much more than an adorable Pizza Dog. He is much more than a pet cared for by two archers trying to live together in New York. He is an important hero in his own right. While the Disney+ series draws heavily from Eisner’s award-winning series of Fraction and Aja, it lacks what makes Lucky such an integral part of the Hawkeye mythos. Without his origin and comic book background, Lucky’s story seems hollow. Hopefully in the future Hawk Eye appearances, LuckYou will also have the chance to shine on screen.
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