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The Tracksuit Mafia From Hawkeye Explained

Contains spoilers for "Hawkeye" episodes 1 and 2

"Hawkeye" is finally here, and if the first two episodes are any indication, fans are in for a pretty wild ride. The Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe show immediately establishes how the cynical former Avenger and current family man, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), is spending his semi-retired days — and immediately throws several spanners in the works when Hawkeye superfan Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) enters his life, and his bloody past as Ronin returns to haunt him. 

The first two episodes are full of musicals, murder, shady dealings, and danger — but comparatively light on outright villainy, despite the glimpses of smug secrecy Kate's stepfather-to-be, Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), expresses. The main danger comes from a curious group of tracksuit-wearing mobsters called the Tracksuit Mafia, who seem oddly personable for being run-in-the-mill goons. This is because the group is firmly rooted in the Marvel lore, and has a history of animosity with Hawkeye in particular. Here's the Tracksuit Mafia from "Hawkeye" explained.

The Tracksuit Mafia are bros with a cause

The comics version of the Tracksuit Mafia is known by the even more endearing Barton-issued nickname, Tracksuit Draculas. They come in conflict with Hawkeye when one of their members attempt to gain control of the apartment building the Avenger lives in for a real estate plot. 

Despite their somewhat comical demeanor and vast overuse of the word "bro," members of this group are fairly dangerous, as their ruthlessness, sheer numbers, and access to competent assassins readily proves. They're the most frequent villainous force in the esteemed "Hawkeye" comic by Matt Fraction and David Aja, and since the Disney+ show seems to lift quite a few plot elements from this particular run, it's only natural that this red-tinted horde of bros makes an appearance. 

The version of the Tracksuit Mafia in "Hawkeye" the show seems to be rather faithful to the comic book incarnation, even though the fact that the MCU Hawkeye doesn't live in a ratty apartment complex means that their motivations and allegiances are quite different. Future episodes will show just how ruthless they turn out to be, but if the comic version is any indication, they're not above murdering people ... or even beating up poor, helpless animals.

Notable members of the Tracksuit Mafia

The most famous former acquaintance of the Tracksuit Mafia is, perhaps surprisingly, not exactly known for wearing a tracksuit. He's none other than Lucky the Pizza Dog, the pizza pie-loving canine whose original name was Arrow. The dog initially belongs to the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, Ivan Banionis. The dog befriends Clint Barton and saves his life from the gang, but is beaten halfway to oblivion before Clint rescues and ultimately adopts him. Though he loses an eye, Arrow fortunately survives. This, along with his favorite food, accounts for his famous new name. 

Speaking of Ivan, he's also in the show. Namely, he's the big, black-clad Tracksuit Mafia leader who's played by the hulking Canadian actor Aleks Paunovic. So, even though Lucky seems to be free from him by the time of the series premiere, don't be surprised if some version of the dog's tragic backstory features in the upcoming episodes. 

Curiously, the show's version of the gang appears to be in cahoots with Echo (Alaqua Cox), who isn't affiliated with them in the comics. It's probably safe to say that whatever her relationship with them is, she's easily the deadliest member of the group ... at least, for now. The most lethal member of the comic book version of Tracksuit Mafia is Kazi, the deadly hired assassin known as the Clown. Interestingly enough, a version of this character is also set to appear in the show, played by Fra Fee.