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Phase 4 Will Celebrate What Makes Hawkeye The Worst Avenger

The Disney+ Hawkeye series and the MCU Phase 4 will explore exactly what makes Clint Barton the worst Avenger and why it’s actually an asset.

Marvel’s Phase 4 is poised to finally celebrate Hawkeye as the terrible Avenger he is. After months of speculation, it was recently confirmed Hailee Steinfeld is indeed playing Kate Bishop in Marvel’s Disney+ series Hawkeye. The mentor-mentee relationship between Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton and Kate is set to be the focus of the series, which will pick up after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

For a long time, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton were the only two Phase 1 heroes who had been denied their own standalone property. Phase 4 is addressing that, first with Natasha’s Black Widow movie and now with the upcoming Disney+ series, Hawkeye. While there’s no preexisting story it’s closely sticking to and adapting, the series seems to be borrowing heavily from writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja’s Hawkeye: My Life As a Weapon comic book run. That comic book made Clint Barton cool precisely because he was so uncool.


Related: MCU In Order – How To Watch The Marvel Movie Timeline

With any luck, Fraction and Aja’s lowkey vibe will translate over to the Disney+ series. Hawkeye will celebrate exactly why Clint’s the worst Avenger – which is honestly what makes him great. Of course, it depends on how the word “worst” is interpreted here. If judging the Avengers by superpowers, unearthly skills, superhuman abilities, or magic, then, yes, Clint is by far the worst Avenger. He doesn’t have any major powers or abilities. He doesn’t have billion-dollar gadgets. He’s not even an enhanced human like Natasha. He’s just human – even if some fans want to argue otherwise – which is ultimately his strength.

Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner in Hawkeye Show

Clint knows it, too. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the only movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to offer a glimpse of Fraction and Aja’s iteration of Hawkeye so far, Clint is very much aware he’s all too human. On the surface, his skills are laughable when stacked up next to demigods, super soldiers, hi-tech billionaires, and a legion of unstoppable droids led by an insane robot. “The city is flying and we’re fighting an army of robots. And I have a bow and arrow,” he says with the unmistakable deadpan and self-deprecating humor of Fraction’s voice.

The trailer for the Hawkeye Disney+ series looks set to lean into that deadpan humor as Clint Barton quips his way through dangerous action sequences all juxtaposed to jaunty Christmas music. By exploring this side of the character, Marvel will finally be able to give Clint his due. More, it will embrace exactly that which makes him the worst Avenger but arguably the greatest hero: his humanity. Clint spends the comic book series banged up, bloody, and nursing some injury or another. Many of the panels show him with a bandage on some part of his body, along with his on-again, off-again hearing aid. It underscores what makes Hawkeye great. It’s easy to be heroic and run headlong into a fight when you’re near-indestructible or have super-strength or a flying suit of armor. But it’s beyond brave to run into that same fight when you’re a human whose bones can easily break and whose only protection is a recurve bow and some trick arrows. Hawkeye is set to explore the determination and bravery that drive Clint to do what he does despite the dangers.

The MCU Phase 4 may also show another side of Clint rarely seen with comic book heroes: their downtime. The Marvel movies have arguably dived deeper into character development and off-superhero hours better than any other franchise. The party scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron or the raw, grief-filled conversation between Natasha and Steve Rogers in Avengers: Endgame both spring to mind. Even for the MCU’s willingness to humanize its characters, however, the movies simply don’t spend a lot of time with them when they’re not in Avengers mode. The format of Hawkeye as a series on Disney+ will give Marvel more time to explore the character. The show seems particularly ready to lean into this as the Barton family is set to be a key element of the show, seeing Hawkeye juggle training Kate Bishop, dealing with international crime rings, and trying to get home to his family in time for Christmas. All of this offers the opportunity to see Clint not when he’s being a hero, but when he’s just being a human trying to get by. Finally, everyone’s favorite worst Avenger will be celebrated as he deserves.

Next: Hawkeye’s MCU Show Is Marvel’s Daredevil Replacement

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022

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