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Hawkeye’s bizarre comic book origin should have been in the MCU

We know that Hawkeye isn't the favorite of many Avengers fans, but his backstory in the comic books would make for an excellent Marvel movie, in our opinion.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye

During his tenure in the MCU, Hawkeye hasn’t exactly been anyone’s favorite. It’s hard out there for a man who only has a bow and arrow to his name. After all, the other members of his MCU crew known as the Avengers are made up of a god, a millionaire, and a time-traveling World War II hero. But he’s appeared in some of the best superhero movies around all the same.

Criticism of Hawkeye usually consists of laments such as: “Well, he’s boring,” or “He doesn’t do anything”. Wrong! Hawkeye is an integral member of the Avengers crew and has played an important part in some of the best action movies in the MCU. And though he may not appear on many people’s lists of the best MCU characters, we’ll always think fondly of him.

And besides, when you hear about his unexpected backstory, you might change your mind. In fact, Hawkeye’s origin is so intriguing that, like us, you may find yourself thinking that a solo movie for this Avenger may not be such a bad idea.

As the comic book story goes, Clint Barton (AKA: Hawkeye) was born in Iowa. His parents died in a car crash when he was young, and after spending six years in an orphanage, he ran away with his brother, Barney, to join the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders.

It was here that Clint found himself under the tutelage of the Swordsman, who was a star attraction in the carnival for his swordsmanship. He took Clint under his wing as an assistant and taught him how to become a master archer, setting Clint up for what would eventually become his superhero future.

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Later on, Clint found out that the Swordsman was embezzling money from the carnival. When the Swordsman discovered that Clint was planning on alerting the authorities, he escaped, leaving Clint beaten and almost dead. Clint’s relationship with his brother Barney would soon fade, and Clint would rise to fame and become the new star attraction.

It was here that he found his moniker ‘Hawkeye’. He then moved around to different circuses. After seeing Iron Man in action one day, Clint was inspired to become a hero himself. He would actually be accused of thievery after a misunderstanding, and would end up running away.

His travels would eventually take him from a life on the run to joining the Avengers. This aligns with the Hawkeye we know from the Marvel movies, wherein he’s already a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Although the movies never study Hawkeye’s background closely, aside from a few passing comments, we would actually be very interested to see what a Hawkeye movie would look like.

Hawkeye's origin story from the comic book

Think about it: a family tragedy, a carnival setting, a betrayal from a mentor…these are all the beats that could form a very entertaining superhero origin flick, especially for a character who we’ve already come to know. (Yes, he did get his own namesake Marvel series, but that didn’t exactly touch on his backstory, either. Wasted opportunity!)

Of course, it would likely not be Jeremy Renner playing the lead role, since the Avengers cast member would have out-aged the role of a younger Clint Barton, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done with a new actor.

But maybe beyond Marvel’s Phase 5, we might be able to keep our fingers crossed for a Hawkeye solo outing. We’ll keep our eye on the skies for now.

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Get to know all the Marvel movies in order for your next marathon, and check out our list of all the best thriller movies and best Marvel villains. You can also remind yourself of all the new movies to come with the upcoming Marvel movies list, and check out our list of the best movies of all time.

We’ve also got breakdowns of The Marvels release date and Captain America 4 release date. There’s also an Avengers 5 release date in the works, too. Don’t forget to find out why we think Marvel needs to learn that killing characters isn’t everything.