Amidst all of the press tours and promotions and trailers and posters surrounding Avengers: Infinity War, I & many others couldn’t help but notice there seemed to be one character noticeably absent from all the action: Hawkeye.
I understand that Infinity War will bring together over 75 characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and of them Hawkeye is far from the most powerful or menacing, but seeing as this is an Avengers film and was a member of the original Avengers, this seems like a very bizarre omission. And don’t tell me they couldn’t fit him on the posters when they managed to squeeze Mantis in there, who was a great character but not an original Avenger.
This omission seems too glaring to be an accident, so I’m hoping this means that Hawkeye gets to play some influential in either this film or the next. But regardless they could have easily avoided this if they would have just put him in the promos. I am a really quite bitter about this.
Hawkeye has always gotten the short end of the Marvel stick, and though Jeremy Rener very graciously seems just happy to be a part of the franchise, I have long believed that he has deserved better. Hawkeye has been — somewhat inexplicably — my favorite Avenger since the first film. Perhaps it’s time I try and explain it.
I have always been very drawn to the character of Hawkeye. My friends used to make fun of me because whenever asked who my favorite Avenger was, I said Hawkeye. That told me he was lame and didn’t do anything and that he wasn’t interesting. This response always shocked me because it felt so unnecessarily harsh. His character is more subdued than the others, sure, but not lame. And his bow and arrow tricks are sweet!
But this reaction was not entirely unfamiliar. I had felt it before when I told people that my Hogwarts house was Hufflepuff. And really, this is an apt comparison. Hawkeye is like the human embodiment of Hufflepuff. This is probably why I’ve always been defensive of Hawkeye — because I’ve always been defensive of Hufflepuff. Like Hufflepuffs, Hawkeye is kindhearted and loyal (except when he was brainwashed by Loki), and wants what’s best for all people. He is righteous and brave without being boastful. He’s levelheaded and calm in the face of chaos. He just wants to do what’s right.
While some people think that Hawkeye is boring, I like him because he is stripped of gimmicks. Sure, in a 2 hour movie you’re going to give the screentime to the more dynamic characters, but his quiet nature doesn’t make him weak. It makes him human. I like Hawkeye because he feels like the most real superhero. Capitan America is noble because he was marketed to be that way as the face of the war. Iron Man is a condescending smartass because he needs to be as powerful without his suit as with is. Black Widow is a force of physical combat because she needs to be more than “Just a Pretty Face.” Thor is a literal GOD. While all of these characters are great, they were all given their “fun” personality traits as a means to explain why they became heroes. To me, Hawkeye doesn’t feel the need to explain why he wants to do good in the world. It’s just because it’s the right thing to do.
And we shouldn’t forget that not only is he incredibly skilled as an archer, but also as an agent. So he’s strong, smart, but also incredibly caring. He was the one that helped Wanda Maximoff discover her true power. And of course we know he’s brave — he was self-sacrificing in Age of Ultron when he decided to take a bullet (or 20) to save a child (but then Pietro took the bullets for him, RIP), and he stood up to Iron Man after the events of Civil War lead Tony to lock up his own friends. Hmm… I seem to remember a certain headmaster making a comment about how it makes a great deal more bravery to stand up to your friends than it does your enemies…
I really do think that the Russo brothers have big plans for Hawkeye despite (or maybe because of) their decision to leave him out of the Infinity War promos. I certainly hope so, because I think he deserves a proper conclusion to his story — after they jipped him of a really good romance between him and Black Widow. #Clintasha forever!
I love Hawkeye and I’ve always believed there was something really special about him. He stands out to me in the MCU because he doesn’t bother with flashy effects or snappy punchlines. Those are all great and fun, but sometimes it’s nice to feel that you have someone watching over you just because they care about you, and that to me is what a superhero is supposed to do — protect people.
Tell Us: Do you think Hawkeye is underrated?