Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is finally getting his chance to shine in the upcoming Hawkeye series coming to Disney+ on November 24, 2021. Since Clint Barton’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have cried that the Marvel movies have not done the character justice. Marvel Comics fans have sworn that he is better in the comic books while MCU fans have wondered how he ever even became an Avenger.
The divide only grew larger as some fans have said that he should have died on Vormir in Avengers: Endgame (2019) instead of Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). In the new Hawkeye series, Marvel Studios will try to prove they were right to spare him. And so, it is time for fans to catch up with Clint Barton before his solo show.
Clint Barton’s MCU Origin
Clint Barton first appeared in the MCU in Thor (2011). Hawkeye was already a fully-fledged member of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.). Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assigned Clint to guard Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) hammer Mjolnir. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) had banished his son to Earth and Mjolnir was stuck in a crater outside of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico.
Clint Barton’s History in the MCU?
He does not get much screen time in Thor before his return in The Avengers (2012). That film began with Clint Barton guarding the Tesseract (Space Stone) for SHIELD when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) opens a portal and attacks them. Loki then uses the Mind Stone in his scepter to brainwash Clint into working for him for the first half of The Avengers (2012).
Clint learns from that experience and avoids being brainwashed again in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), this time at the hands of Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). The Avengers then meet Clint’s family for the first time in Ultron.
Clint later tries to take a break from the Avengers but returns to help Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) in Captain America: Civil War (2016). He breaks the Sokovia Accords and ends up in the Raft and later house arrest like Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).
Clint was missing for Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and his story picks up at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame (2019) where his family has been turned to dust by Thanos (Josh Brolin). In his grief, Clint takes on the mantle of Ronin and begins to kill criminals around the world that he did not believe should have been spared in the Snap.
What is the story behind Hawkeye?
The MCU has revealed next to nothing about Clint’s past. By the time he debuted in Thor, he was already a trained SHIELD agent and married to Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini). From Black Widow (2021), it was revealed the incident in Budapest between him and Natasha was the last step for her joining SHIELD alongside him.
The Hawkeye series on Disney+ is expected to bring in Clint Barton’s comic book origin. Tony Dalton (Better Call Saul) has been cast as Jack Duquesne. In the comics, his name is Jacques Duquesne aka Swordsman.
In Marvel Comics, Clint’s father Harold was an abusive alcoholic who died in a car crash with his wife Edith. Leaving Clint and his brother Barney orphans, they eventually ran away and joined a traveling circus. The circus was run by Swordsman and Trick Shot aka Buck Chisholm.
Swordsman and Trick Shot trained Clint in his sword and archery skills. But Clint would later learn that the circus was a cover for Swordsman to embezzle money. He tried to turn his mentor in but was beaten and left for dead.
When Hawkeye decided to use his archery skills outside of the circus, he was originally mistaken for a thief and recruited by Black Widow, who was still a Russian spy at the time. They worked as villains together before eventually switching sides and becoming Avengers.
Why did Hawkeye join SHIELD?
In Age of Ultron, it was revealed that in the MCU it was Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who recruited Clint for SHIELD. Fury also helped Clint set up the farm for his family to live on and kept it off SHIELD files. He worked for SHIELD for some time before becoming an Avenger.
This is different from his comic book origin in which he was an Avenger before joining SHIELD. He first begins working with SHIELD after meeting Barbara “Bobbi” Morse aka Mockingbird. Mockingbird was seen in ABC’s Agents of SHIELD played by Adrianne Palicki but whether that is MCU canon is up for debate.
Mockingbird was a SHIELD agent who teamed up with Clint to stop Crossfire. The two would later marry. In Marvel Comics, Hawkeye often worked with SHIELD but never officially joined the secret organization.
Clint Barton’s Strengths and Weaknesses in the MCU
Hawkeye is often ridiculed for being the weakest Avenger in the MCU. Compared to characters with super strength like Captain America or the ability to control thunder like Thor, Hawkeye does not seem to be on the same level as the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
However, one criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that the Avengers seen in the films do not feel like they are friends. One of the few exceptions to this is Clint’s friendship with Natasha and later his mentorship of Wanda. He comes out of retirement to help her in Civil War.
Does Hawkeye Have Any Superpowers?
Clint Barton does not have any superpowers. But having superpowers does not mean he cannot be a superhero. Hawkeye gets overlooked partially because the MCU has done a poor job of showcasing his skills. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) aka Captain America had his time to shine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so he is not called out in the same way.
In the MCU, Clint is mostly using his master marksmanship. He is known as the world’s greatest marksman. But he is more than a talented bowman. His keen eyesight gives him amazing hand-eye coordination which can be translated into traditional firearms and hand-to-hand combat.
It is only through his nearly superhuman accuracy that Clint can use his trick arrows. His accuracy is sometimes considered a power in the comics as it effected by the Power Drainer. The MCU has not shown many of his trick arrows like his putty arrow or boomerang arrow. Luckily based on the trailer for Hawkeye, it looks like Marvel Studios is finally ready to introduce them.
Clint is also a master martial artist and is briefly seen using a staff against T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). In Marvel Comics, he is known for being able to turn any object into a weapon. He has wielded objects as small as a coin against his opponents with success. He is also a skilled acrobat and his skill with a sword was briefly hinted at in Endgame.
How did Clint Barton become deaf?
In the comics, Clint Barton suffered some deafness as a child due to abuse from his father. It was not clear if it was temporary, or he was able to hide it. He was lost 80% of his hearing when he first met Mockingbird. He used a sonic arrow against William Cross aka Crossfire.
His hearing was later restored during his rebirth on Franklin Richards’ Counter-Earth. But then he lost his hearing again by the Clown, who stabbed in the ears with his own arrows. Tony Stark created special hearing aids for him, but Clint does sometimes use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate.
Jeremy Renner’s Clint has hearing aids in the trailer for Hawkeye but the cause of his hearing loss in the MCU has not been confirmed. He has never used hearing aids before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has led fans to accuse Marvel Studios of ableism by erasing his deafness.
Alternate Versions of Hawkeye in the MCU
In Marvel Phase Four, Marvel Studios has been playing around with new versions of the characters fans have met over the last decade. Many major actors like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlet Johannsson have left the Marvel Universe. While Jeremy Renner has not said he has any plans to leave the MCU, the hashtag #RIPJeremyRenner trended for a small time in March after claims he abused his ex-wife Sonni Pacheco surfaced.
Hawkeye in What If…?
Jeremy Renner did reprise his role as Clint Barton in the Marvel animated show What If…?. Many actors were recast for the series. He appeared in three episodes of the Disney+ series including a cameo at the end of “What If…Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?” to meet Captain Carter after her time jump.
Clint died in his other two appearances in “What if…The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes” and “What If…Ultron Won?”. None of his appearances in What If…? were significantly different than the version from the Sacred Timeline. Although fans did finally get to see his net arrow in the penultimate episode.
What other names has Clint Barton used?
Clint Barton has gone by more than Hawkeye in Marvel Comics. After the assassination of Captain America, he took up the shield until the Young Avengers convinced him it was wrong. Captain America’s Shield would then pass to Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier. Clint also used Hank Pym’s growth serum and worked as Goliath for a short time. Then later claimed the name the Golden Archer before returning to the mantle of Hawkeye.
But his other main alter ego was Ronin. Using his sword skills, he takes the name of Maya Lopez aka Echo. When operating as Ronin, Clint Barton was able to work covertly. Clint used his Ronin identity during the Blip to assassinate criminals and will most likely pass the name to Echo in the Hawkeye series.
Hawkeye’s Future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
While Jeremy Renner has not said he is leaving Marvel, fans have been speculating this will be his swan song. Phase Four has been working with themes of legacy. With Black Widow, Captain America, and Iron Man all gone it is time for new characters to step up. The Hawkeye series is already setting up new characters to replace Clint Barton in the MCU.
Will Hailee Steinfeld become the new ‘Hawkeye’ in MCU movies?
Hailee Steinfeld is bringing Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye to the MCU in Hawkeye. Since Clint keeps trying to retire it feels like this time it will finally stick and he will pass the name of Hawkeye to the Young Avenger. It is clear we will be getting the team of young superheroes soon and Kate Bishop as Hawkeye was their leader
Marvel has introduced Billy/ Wiccan (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy/ Speed (Jett Klyne) in WandaVision, Kathryn Newton’s recast of Cassie Lang/ Stature in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Eli Bradley/ Patriot (Elijah Richardson) in The Falcon in the Winter Solider and Xochitl Gomez arriving as America Chavez/ Miss America in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
However, adding Kate as Hawkeye does not guarantee that Clint is leaving. They have shared the mantle of Hawkeye for a long period in Marvel Comics. This includes the Matt Fraction comic book that the series is based on.
Why do fans say Hawkeye is the next character to die?
Marvel fans have expected Clint Barton to bite the dust since Age of Ultron. Director Joss Whedon hinted that an Avenger would die. That Marvel movie strongly set up his demise by introducing his family but it was a red herring and Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) died instead.
When Natasha died instead of Clint in Endgame, many marvel fans said it should have gone the other way. They have been ready for Clint to die ever since. And he will be facing mortal danger as Yelena Belova, Natasha’s sister is set to appear in the series to get revenge for her death.
How much of Black Widow’s sister will we get in Hawkeye?
Florence Pugh is returning to the MCU in Hawkeye. Fans last saw her get the mission to kill the Avenging Archer in the post-credit scene of Black Widow. Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) reveals that Hawkeye is to blame for Natasha’s death.
It has not been confirmed how many of the six episodes Florence Pugh will appear in or if she will get her revenge. Perhaps Clint can persuade her to change sides like he did Natasha. Although it does currently feel like Marvel is setting up to put her on a team of Dark Avengers or Thunderbolts alongside John Walker aka US Agent (Wyatt Russell).
The Hawkeye series is quickly approaching. And many fans are hopeful that some of his rich comic book history will finally get its due in the MCU. The series will only last six episodes, but it will be the most time Marvel Studios has spent with Clint Barton, and fans are excited about this Christmas present.
Let us know in the comments if there is anything else you want to know about Clint Barton.