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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has, as we know, an incredible array of characters, both with and without powers or superhuman abilities. However, there is one Avenger who is seemingly overlooked, and we’re not sure why. Today (May 14th, 2022) is National Archery Day, which is the perfect time to lend some appreciation for Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
He has made two MCU characters who they are
While Hawkeye may not be many fans’ favourite superhero, he has had a huge impact on two of the MCU’s most interesting and beloved characters. He is a shoulder to lean on, and a genuine role model to look up to.
Clint Barton, in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), convinced Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) that she can be much more than she thinks. While in the heat of battle and experiencing confusion and anger, Wanda isn’t sure she’s Avenger material.
However, Clint gives her a short but modest speech about being an Avenger, and what that really means. This prompts Wanda to stand up and fight, leading to an incredible scene which would not have happened without Clint.
In the Disney+ series Hawkeye, Clint serves as a standout hero for newcomer to the MCU, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). After seeing him kick alien butt at the Battle of New York in 2012, Kate became an archer and wanted nothing more than to follow in Clint’s footsteps.
His range of skills
Hawkeye is a very talented member of the Avengers, and the one character we see the least of onscreen.
Clint is obviously a skilled archer, prompting Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) to call him ‘Legolas’ in The Avengers (2012), but he is so much more than that.
He is a skilled negotiator, seen in Age of Ultron when speaking to Wanda, he is proficient at martial arts, and his ability to be unheard in many scenarios allows him to remain unnoticed when he wishes to be invisible.
While other MCU characters can fly, have superhuman strength, or other amazing abilities, the fact that Clint is simply human, but runs with the best of them, shows just how significant and powerful he really is.
He has relatable flaws
Clint Barton being human as opposed to part alien or a superhuman is paramount to the MCU. While many characters and their stories are relatable despite their abilities, Clint remains one of the few characters whose humanity is a grounded part of his character.
Clint is a family man, with a wife and three kids. This alone makes him likeable (if not lovable), as it causes you to feel a little deeper for him, be more interested in his future, and appreciate the love he has for his family.
This love turns into harsh hatred between Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), as the loss of his family due to Thanos (Josh Brolin) wiping out half the universe turned him into Ronin.
While we’re sure you wouldn’t turn to over-the-top violence in a situation like this, it does show that Clint, one of the purest characters, lost his way due to grief; something many of us may be familiar with.
His outlook on life
Despite many of Marvel’s characters turning to humour in almost any situation, something about Clint’s perspective hits a little different.
Clint, albeit like many other MCU characters, simply does not give up. The fact he has a family is always a part of his character, as his attitude towards those he saves and even other Avengers is admirable, to say the least.
His family-man trait makes him a better character, and it gives him a hopeful outlook, even in the worst situations, making him even more lovable.
His impact on the MCU, despite minimal screen time
Unlike other members of the Avengers (the original six), Clint has never had his own solo movie. He did get a Disney+ series titled Hawkeye, but that was slightly more focused on Kate Bishop than himself.
Despite being one of the few characters with a small amount of screen time, Clint Barton still made a notable impact on the MCU.
His words helped shape Wanda into the hero she became (before her villainous role in Doctor Strange 2), his heroism and sacrifice made Kate Bishop want to be a hero, and his love for his dearest friend, Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), allowed her legacy to live on through him after her death in Avengers: Endgame.
Despite being labelled the weakest MCU character by many, it is clear that Clint Barton has always had heart, determination, and skills that make him a genuinely brilliant character. He is stronger and more relevant than he is given credit for.
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
MORE: Every trick arrow used by Clint Barton and Kate Bishop in Hawkeye