Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.
Jeremy Renner is a major star and Hawkeye/Clint Barton has been in the Avengers movies since the first one. And yet he was nowhere to be found on the marketing. So where’s Hawkeye? And for that matter, where’s Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who’s set to appear in his sequel alongside Wasp/Janet Van Dyne (Evangline Lilly) in a couple months?
In a scene where most of the old Avengers crew reunites at HQ, we get an explanation. While it appears that some Captain America: Civil War characters like Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) have been on the run and living underground for the past two years, deals were offered to the group to be on house arrest. Both Barton and Lang took the deals because they had families to consider.
As far as not having to deal with two more characters, this is a pretty savvy way to write out Hawkeye and Ant-Man. For starters, it remembers that in this whole universe of superheroes, families are a rarity (Hawkeye’s was a surprise in Avengers: Age of Ultron), and yet Barton and Lang are both fathers. They have kids to consider, and it’s easily believable for the audience that they would be more concerned with their family’s safety in this event.
Granted, that makes their Civil War inclusion a bit nonsensical (why is fighting Iron Man more important than fighting Thanos?), but I can see arguments for it. For example, the Civil War fight offered little chance of death and they disagreed with the Sokovia Accords. A direct fight against Thanos leads to a very likely chance of dying horribly, so better to let the other superheroes take this one.
The question now becomes whether or not Barton and Lang sit out Avengers 4. We’ve seen set photos of Renner in a new costume and new hairstyle for Avengers 4, so either it’s an alternate reality or we all just grieve in our own way. For Clint Barton, grief involves a makeover. In any event, next year I doubt we’ll be asking, “Where’s Hawkeye?” especially since writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely told Buzzfeed: “We like Hawkeye,” said Markus. “We like Hawkeye so much we gave him a really good story.”
For more of our Avengers: Infinity War coverage, click on the links below:
- Who Dies in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Post-Credit Scene, Explained
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending Explained: Where Does the MCU Go From Here?
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review: Marvel Gives Us Everything and Nothing