Among comic book fans, Hawkeye is arguably one of the most popular Avengers. So it made complete sense when it was announced that he would be appearing in the film version of The Avengers (2012). Hawkeye made a brief cameo in Thor (2011), played by Jeremy Renner, to set up his full introduction in the later film. Obviously, no one expected him to play as big of a part as Iron Man, Captain America or Thor, but audiences seemed to connect with the character despite his relatively small amount of screen time. So, it seemed a little strange when Hawkeye essentially disappeared from the Marvel Cinematic Universe until Age of Ultron.
Even though he had a slightly larger role, he still seemed like a minor character. He made an appearance in Civil War (2016), but he was surprisingly absent from Infinity War (2018). At this point, it became clear that the MCU wasn't treating Hawkeye with respect. It's not just his lack of screen time, either. In the comics, Clint Barton is one of the most interesting Avengers. He's a complicated character, who often clashes with other heroes. Clint Barton in the MCU, however, has had almost everything interesting about him wiped away. He may be one of the Avengers, but the MCU treats him worse than the villains.
15 HE'S BARELY AROUND
The biggest and most obvious slight against Hawkeye in the MCU is that he's barely around. In the comics, he's one of the most prominent Avengers. He first joined the Avengers all the way back in The Avengers #16 (1965) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Since then, he's been a nearly constant presence on the team.
In the movies, however, he's only made a handful of appearances. He showed up in the first two Avengers films and briefly helped out in Civil War (2016). There was also a small cameo in Thor (2011), but that barely counts. He was completely MIA in Infinity War (2018), making him the only Avenger not to appear in that movie.
14 NO EGO
One of Hawkeye's main characteristics is his ego. While he's a hero and always willing to lay it all on the line, he's also very full of himself. Clint isn't exactly the easiest Avenger to get along with, but he's definitely good to have by your side in a fight. Part of his ego comes from the fact that he isn't as powerful as many of the other Avengers, which leads him to overcompensate.
Jeremy Renner's take on Hawkeye completely lacks this quality. He's made a few snarky comments, but for the most part, he seems like a good team player. Aside from a small feud with Quicksilver, he seems to get along with everyone.
13 JUST HAWKEYE
It's rumored that in Avengers 4 (2019), Clint will drop the Hawkeye identity for a new one. The most likely possibility is Ronin, based on the outfits he's been shown wearing in the set photos. In the comics, Clint Barton adopted the Ronin identity after returning from the dead in New Avengers #27 (2007) by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Yu.
While this may seem to be a nice nod to the comics, Marvel is missing out on a huge opportunity if this is the route they choose. In the comics, Barton's most famous alternate persona is Goliath. Since Hank Pym exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this would have been easy enough to pull off. As of yet, there's no indication that this will ever happen, however.
12 NOT A LEADER
It makes sense that Hawkeye likes to take charge, considering his ego. That being said, he's actually a strong leader. He's held a senior position in the Avengers, along with founding the West Coast Avengers and even takes charge of the Thunderbolts while they were still fugitives. He helped guide them towards reforming themselves, and once he was convinced they were on the right path, he relented control of the team.
Of course, nothing like this has ever happened in the movies. In the MCU, he comes across as a good soldier. In fact, the closest he's come to taking charge was giving Wanda a pep talk in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
11 POWERED DOWN
Hawkeye never misses. In the comics, he's such a skilled marksman that he's capable of turning any object into a weapon. Even in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, that version of Hawkeye was so skilled that he was once able to take down an entire room full of henchmen while tied to a chair by flinging his fingernails at them.
Clint makes a comment in Civil War (2016) about being bored playing golf because he just can't seem to miss. Aside from a few shots in Avengers (2012), he never really makes any shots that are all that impressive. He's good, sure, but he never comes across as being any more accurate with an arrow than Cap is with his shield.
10 NO SKY-CYCLE
What's surprising about the MCU is how many times it's brought crazier elements from the comics to the big screen. From the Celestials, Cosmo the talking dog, Arnim Zola and even Howard the Duck, the movies have embraced the silliness of the comics. Of course, some things are adapted to make them more realistic, but Captain America still used a triangular shield, even if only for one mission.
So, where's Hawkeye's Sky-Cycle? In a world full of Iron Man suits, vibranium shields, and helicarriers, Hawkeye can't have a flying motorcycle? He's never even driven a regular motorcycle. Sure, he's flown a quinjet, but that's just not the same.
9 HAWKEYE THE BAD GUY
Marvel Comics has a history of having characters switch sides. It's not uncommon for someone to start off as a hero and then become a villain, and vice versa. Hawkeye falls into the latter category. When he debuted in Tales of Suspense #57 (1964) by Stan Lee and Don Heck, he faced off against Iron Man. He was actually being manipulated by Black Widow, who was also a villain at the time.
The movies have alluded to Widow's dark history, but completely ignored Hawkeye's past. According to the films, Hawkeye was only ever a loyal SHIELD agent that was briefly brainwashed by Loki, but that isn't really the same thing.
It might seem obvious, with both of them being expert archers, but Hawkeye has a lot in common with Robin Hood. While Hawkeye isn't totally "anti-establishment," he does believe in looking out for the little guy. In the comics, he lives in New York City and when he's not working with the Avengers, he watches over his neighborhood. It's nice to see heroes remembering what it's actually supposed to be about.
Unfortunately, the cinematic Hawkeye lives on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. This is because he's a family man, and he needs to keep his wife and kids safe. The problem is that it completely removes the whole "looking out for the little guy" angle from his entire story.
7 WEST COAST AVENGERS
So, it turns out that not every threat to humanity is centered around New York City. In 1984, Marvel released The West Coast Avengers #1 by Roger Stern and Bob Hall. In the comic, Hawkeye forms a team of heroes that are located on the west coast of the United States to help expand the Avengers' influence.
Nothing like this has come close to happening in the MCU. This isn't to say that Hawkeye had to go off and form a cinematic West Coast Avengers, but the film version hasn't really shown any initiative at all. He just does what the Avengers tell him to do. He doesn't seem to have the drive to go out and build his own thing at all.
6 GIVING HIM A FAMILY
One of the biggest surprises in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) was the inclusion of Hawkeye's family. During the early scenes of the film, Hawkeye pretends to be single, only to take the Avengers to his farmhouse when they need somewhere to recover. He reveals that Fury helped keep his family a secret, even from SHIELD, so that they'd be safe.
This is a huge change from the comics. In these stories, he's had relationships with several Avengers. By marrying him off and giving him a family, it limits the stories that he can be involved with. There's no tension between him and Vision over Scarlet Witch, for example.
5 SUNGLASSES AREN'T A COSTUME
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has generally done a fantastic job with the costumes. Characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man look like they jumped right off the comic book page. Others, like Cap and Thor, took very outlandish designs and adapted them into something that could exist in the real world.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye doesn't wear sleeves, and sometimes he has purple sunglasses. His comic book costume is a fan favorite, and it seems like Marvel decided not to even attempt it. Yes, it's a pretty silly looking costume, but it's got a lot of charm to it. While the mask might be too weird for the real world, the rest of it seems doable.
4 HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH CAP
Clint has a weird relationship with Steve Rogers. On one hand, he doesn't respect authority, and that's what Rogers is all about. On the other, Steve Rogers is Captain America and that's a pretty big deal. Barton has a history of trying to one-up Rogers, but only because Captain America means so much to him.
In Civil War (2016), Clint did come out of retirement to help Cap out, but that's really the only time he showed any sort of reverence to him. He's never really mouthed off to Cap in the films. Once again, Hawkeye is presented as a fairly reliable teammate for Cap, and nothing deeper is ever even hinted at.
3 THE RETIREMENT
While Barton appeared in Civil War (2016), it still wasn't a great showing for him. The movie opens with the Avengers on a mission to capture Crossbones, which results in an explosion taking out several innocent people. Of course, Hawkeye was absent from this mission. He isn't present during any of the follow-up discussions about the disaster and the resulting Sokovian Accords.
When the Accords go into effect, it's mentioned that Clint took the retirement option. He doesn't appear until later in the film, when he frees Wanda from Avengers compound. Basically, Hawkeye retired offscreen, which should have been a huge moment for his character. Once again, the Marvel Cinematic Universe loves to talk about Hawkeye but doesn't like to show him.
2 HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING ALL THAT IMPRESSIVE
Throughout the MCU, almost every hero has had at least one amazing moment. Spider-Man lifted the rubble. Cap single-handedly caught a helicopter. Thor dropped the biggest lightning bolt ever on Hela, and Hulk tossed Loki around like a rag doll. The list could go on and on, but guess who would be missing from it?
Of course, it's Hawkeye. Yes, he made a couple of impressive shots in Avengers (2012), but none of those moments were awe-inspiring or all that memorable. He hasn't had any moments that audiences walk out of the theater talking about. Clint is just shooting arrows at stuff and sometimes makes a snarky comment about it.
1 HE'S NOT DEAF
It might be surprising to some readers, but Hawkeye has been deaf for most of his superhero career. His hearing was originally damaged in the 1983 Hawkeye mini-series by Mark Gruenwald. Clint hid his hearing problems from his teammates for the next several years. After "dying" and being reborn during the Heroes Reborn event in 1996, his hearing was restored. He recently lost it again when he was stabbed in both ears.
In all honesty, Hawkeye could've been a positive portrayal of somebody with a disability in the MCU. It not only would've made the character more interesting, but also would have been a positive addition to the film universe in general.