A Beginner’s Guide to Hawkeye
Updated: Jan 20
Get a refresher on Hawkeye’s MCU story before his series hits Disney+ on November 24.
Marvel’s Phase Four release has been a smashing success so far. Black Widow and Shang Chi were huge box office success stories amidst the pandemic and Marvel’s Disney+ shows have had extremely high viewership. Loki had the most-watched season premiere on Disney+ beating out The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which held the spot before Loki.
So it’s safe to say Hawkeye has some pretty big shoes to fill. Hawkeye’s release is not as anticipated as the Disney+ shows before it, but it will be an exciting addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe nonetheless — especially since Clint Barton’s backstory hasn’t been explored too much. So let’s start with an easy one:
Who is Hawkeye?
Hawkeye, a.k.a. Clint Barton, is an expert marksman known for his skills with a bow and arrow. Little is known about Clint’s history other than he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent before becoming a founding member of the Avengers.
He is first introduced in Avengers, but, unfortunately, spends most of the movie being mind-controlled by Loki as he attempts to steal the Tesseract — so Clint is working against his team. After Loki's control is broken, he joins forces with the rest of the Avengers to take down the God of Mischief. During Avengers, we also learn that Clint was responsible for bringing Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, to S.H.I.E.L.D. when he spared her life. This also sparked a very close friendship between the two of them.
Although Natasha is his closest friend, Clint has tight alliances with other members of the Avengers, including the Maximoff twins. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Clint mentors Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, and Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver, gives his life to protect Clint.
After the events of Age of Ultron, Clint retires from the Avengers and returns home to his wife and three kids. That is until Captain America shows up at his door asking him to help fight against Iron Man and everyone that agreed with the Sokovia Accords (including Natasha). However, in Captain America: Civil War Clint is caught and arrested — alongside Wanda, Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, and Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon — for violating the Sokovia Accords. Clint eventually signs the Accords and is placed under house arrest.
Because of this, Clint is not in Avengers: Infinity War. But he does come back in Avengers: Endgame where, in a post-Snap world, he is on a grief-fueled killing spree under the alias Ronin. He is the only member of his family to survive Thanos’ Snap that wiped out half of the world’s population, so to cope, he is killing criminals around the world.
Natasha eventually brings Clint back to the Avengers team in order to reverse the Snap by getting the Infinity Stones and he joins their time travel mission. He is teamed up with Natasha, and is there when she sacrifices her life so Clint can retrieve the Soul Stone for the Avengers — which leads them to defeating Thanos. After the Avengers win, Clint returns home to his family.
What are Hawkeye’s Powers?
Hawkeye doesn’t have any supernatural powers, instead, he is the world’s greatest marksman and his precision with a bow and arrow is unmatched. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he is trained in combat and as a field commander. He also has specialized equipment including a recurve bow, compound bow, specialized arrow quiver, and speed loader.
What is Hawkeye About?
Hawkeye takes place in a post-Endgame world when the Avengers are seemingly disbanded after many of the teams’ deaths — including Natasha, Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, and Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America. In true Marvel fashion, there is not much information out there about the premise of the show and the trailer doesn’t provide much more (see for yourself below). But what we do know is the series will follow Hawkeye as he teams up with another archer, Kate Bishop (Hailee Seinfeld). The show is set in New York where Clint has to deal with his past actions — including his stint as murderous Ronin — and he is trying to get back to his family before Christmas.
And you can, finally, expect some Phase Four crossover because there will be a familiar Black Widow character in the show — Florence Pugh’s Yelena. Black Widow’s post-credits scene showed Yelena being recruited by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus) to kill Hawkeye, so we should see the consequences of that.
What About the Comics?
While Hawkeye is supposedly based on the 22-issue comic Hawkeye there shouldn’t be too many surprises if you’ve never read them. After all, Marvel never adapts anything to the letter.
Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ on November 24.