Okay, you can finally start panicking: the long-awaited teaser trailer for Avengers 4, now officially titled Avengers: Endgame, has been released. While the first footage doesn't reveal too much about the Infinity War sequel, it does provide a few answers about what's to come, including the much-anticipated return of Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, who has -- as expected -- assumed a new identity: Ronin.
After being conspicuously absent from Avengers: Infinity War, this teaser brings Clint back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The brief scene depicts the Avenger in what appears to be a city in Japan, clad in a hooded, ninja-inspired costume, elegantly wiping the blood from his katana. Clearly, this isn't the Hawkeye we last saw in Captain America: Civil War. He's deadlier, and perhaps even darker.
We don't yet know what will lead Clint to assume this new identity, but given the event of Infinity War, we might assume that his wife Laura and their three children were victims of Thanos' devastating finger-snap.
The rumors about Hawkeye taking on the Ronin identity first surfaced when Avengers 4 was still filming Renner was spotted on set wearing a new costume, most of which was hidden by the actor's coat. However, enough of his pants and boots revealed gold accents, which fueled speculation about the big, comics-inspired change. Add to that Renner's new, Mohawk-style haircut, which debuted during a visit to The Late Late Show with James Corden. All of that combined to make the introduction of Roin in Avengers 4 a virtual certainty.
In the Marvel comics, Clint Barton first assumed masked identity of Ronin in 2007's New Avengers #30, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Leinil Francis Yu. After being killed and brought back to life, Clint joined the New Avengers -- a team comprised of such characters as Doctor Strange, Luke Cage and Spider-Man -- to help the team during a rescue operation in Japan. But instead of putting on his old Hawkeye costume, the Clint instead opted for a new start under the Ronin guise.
Given that Clint first became Ronin for a mission in Japan, it might not be a coincidence that we find the character in that same county in Avengers: Endgame. However, that's more than likely where the similarities end, because the circumstances appear to be quite different. Clint doesn't look to be working with any Avenger; instead, he may be a lone fighter who has lost everything.
Avengers: Endgame will release on April 26, 2019. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers 4 stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.