For Hawkeye, Avengers Endgame is a complicated final chapter to his role in the MCU thus far.
We’ve been looking at some of the ways in which Avengers: Endgame wraps up storylines from the previous adventures in the MCU. Next up we’re looking at Hawkeye and how the film closes out his time as an Avenger. Be warned as we’re getting into some MAJOR SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.
Endgame takes some very interesting turns for Hawkeye, one of the most underutilized characters in the Avengers films. The film begins with us seeing his family dust away after Thanos decimates half of all life in the universe. After the five year time jump we learn that he has taken on the title of Ronin and is working to wipe out major bad guys around the world. Rhodey tells Black Widow that he took out cartel members in Mexico. When Black Widow finds him he’s wiping out Yakuza in Japan, telling them that Thanos got everyone else so they get him.
There’s been some backlash over this because it can be viewed as Hawkeye taking out people of color around the world. I understand that feeling, and it’s not necessarily wrong, but I think the storyline for Hawkeye during those five years could be up to interpretation. There’s always a chance that he started in the US, wiping out white supremacists and such and moved on to other evil people. There’s also the fact that no matter how big the film is, it is still being released by Disney. Given the current climate in the US, and the extreme rise in white supremacists, it’s hard to touch on that subject in a major film release like this. And that’s something Disney would never do here.
Moving past that element of Hawkeye’s story, he does get a bit more to work with this go around. When you look at the dark depths that he’s gone to, and the ways in which he begins to redeem himself, there’s a lot more here than some of the previous films. His desire to sacrifice himself at Vormir for the Soul Stone says a lot. In a way it may have been a more satisfying ending to his arc here. But overall, his story works a little better with him getting a happy ending.
We see him go to some really dark places this film – something that is very different for a character who has always been more lighthearted and full of quips. It’s an interesting change and makes the desire to see his family return that much more powerful. As for where he goes from here, we have a bit of an idea thanks to news of an upcoming Disney+ series. Variety broke the news earlier this year that Clint Barton would be getting his own series on the upcoming streaming service, where he passes on the Hawkeye mantle to Kate Bishop.
In the comics Kate Bishop works as a protégé to Clint Barton and takes on the Hawkeye mantle herself. She becomes a part of the Young Avengers, and the team ends up using an old warehouse from her father’s company as their headquarters. While it’s unclear what elements of the character will be used in the upcoming TV series, Marvel president Kevin Feige has stressed that the TV series on Disney+ will be part of the MCU proper, and the stories will interweave with the films. This means that while Kate Bishop may be getting her introduction on the streaming service, she will undoubtedly be appearing in future MCU films.
It’s a little disheartening that Clint Barton never got his chance to truly shine in the limelight. There’s also some elements of his character from the comics that would have been fun to see on screen. One of which being the fact that the character is deaf in the comics. Hopefully Marvel will learn from some of the actions they took with Hawkeye and apply them to future heroes – be it clearer adaptations to the big screen, reassessing the choices characters make in terms of violence, or how to fully utilize a character so that they’re not always playing second fiddle to everyone else.
For now you can catch Clint Barton – aka Hawkeye aka Ronin – in Avengers: Endgame, which is currently playing in theaters everywhere.