Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Clint's going to a whole new level in Avengers: Endgame. The somber feel of the trailer gives the impression that Clint is far from his jovial self. Speculation is rife and it's assumed his entire family or at least some of them perished in Thanos' snap. We learned that in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Barton was something of a family man, hoping to retire soon. Though he turned up in Captain America: Civil War for one last hurrah, following a deal with the government, he was said to have been with his family. However, if they were taken by Thanos' plot, he's got no reason to rest idly on his farm. We've been shown he's taken up a costume familiar to comic readers, that of the Ronin.
The transformation into Ronin sends a message, it tells us that Clint believes he's alone now. From his use of more close combat weaponry, we can only assume he's trying to find catharsis through more brutal means. Unfortunately, the change also means we no longer have a traditional Hawkeye. Hawkeye was the distinctly human element of the Avengers, alongside Black Widow. His ability to keep up with his comrades with a fraction of the power, leveraging his skill with a bow instead is very impressive. While he will likely not lose a step in his skill with weaponry, his jovial nature and self aware morale he brings to the proceedings are gone. CBR looks at the personas of Clint Barton and explores how Ronin could be the way forward and how there's also merit to remaining Earth's Hawkeye.
20 RONIN: WIDER RANGE OF WEAPONRY
One of the benefits of Clint moving to his Ronin persona is the extra weaponry he'll use. While his accuracy is extremely impressive, a lot of viewers are yet to see his aptitude for weapons outside of his famous bow. Clint is an extremely talented hand-to-hand combatant, with mastery of all kinds of equipment.
Though he definitely favors range, he's able to get into close combat when necessary. We saw glimpses of it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he squared off with Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. Expect to see Clint using things like blades, nunchucks, staffs and perhaps throwing weapons like daggers, too!
19 HAWKEYE: PLAYS TO CLINT'S ACCURACY BETTER
While Clint Barton is more than just a bowman, it is what he has made his name using as a superhero. Clint's carnival background, incredible accuracy and S.H.I.E.L.D. training all lend themselves to building the perfect ranges Avenger. Fire support is just as important for super heroes as it is for other combatants.
Not only can he hit just about any target, he is able to utilize that accuracy in all kinds of situations. He can hit moving targets, targets while he himself is moving and all while under duress. There's a lot of pressure on Clint to get the job done, considering how vulnerable he is compared to his fellow Avengers, but he always hits the target.
18 RONIN: POSSIBLE LINK TO BLADE
One of the exciting aspects of putting Clint into the Ronin costume is that it could give way to a Blade appearance. While it may not be for a while, the very existence of the Ronin costume opens up several possibilities. One of those possibilities is having Marvel's resident vampire hunter take up the mantle of Ronin.
During Luke Cage's stint as leader of the Mighty Avengers, someone joins his team anonymously. Initially, they wear a Halloween store Spider-Man costume, but are later given the Ronin costume, which was sitting in Clint's storage. Operating as Ronin while on the team, the anonymous member is revealed to be Eric Brooks, aka Blade.
17 HAWKEYE: MORE TRICK ARROWS
In the comics, Hawkeye has used a lot of trick arrows. Part of Clint's charm is that he has several types of arrow at his disposable, some being completely ludicrous. His protege, Kate Bishop, often comments on his reliance on these variants of projectile, making fun of him for it.
However, whether used often or not, Clint has an arrow for just about every situation, even situations he hasn't been in yet. We've seen a few specialized arrows in the MCU, but there is a plethora of weird and wonderful ones yet to make the move to the MCU. The issue with this, however, is that he sometimes forgets which is which and even forgets to bring the correct arrows sometimes!
16 RONIN: HINTS AT SECRET INVASION
Possibly among the most anticipated stories to be adapted into an Marvel Cinematic Universe outing is Secret Invasion. A great arc where the alien shapeshifter race known as the Skrulls infiltrate and destabilize Earth's super-teams and infrastructure, it would be great to see in live action.
We've seen hints at the Skrulls, with their language appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy films. We've also seen that they are to appear in Captain Marvel's first outing, confirming they're active in the MCU. Finally, Clint was operating as Ronin when Secret Invasion occurred, so his move to Ronin could be another hint at the arc's formation in the MCU.
15 HAWKEYE: LINKS TO KATE BISHOP
A hero we have yet to see make an appearance in the MCU is Kate Bishop. In the comics, she is Clint's protege and a member of the Young Avengers, operating under the code name Hawkeye. She took this up, believing that Clint had perished, though she would find out this was not the case later on.
Clint recognized her skill with a bow and allowed her to keep the alias, working alongside her on several missions, too. If Clint were to remain Hawkeye, he could pass the mantle on to Kate, should she appear. However, as he's moved to Ronin before Kate has shown up, we may never see a passing of the torch.
14 RONIN: POSSIBLE LINK TO ECHO
Though Avengers: Endgame will be the first appearance of a hero operating as Ronin in the MCU, it wont be the first appearance of Ronin ever. This honor belongs to a hero in the Marvel Comics Universe who goes by the moniker Echo. She was the first to take the title and wear the costume, inspiring Clint later on.
In the comics, when Barton wanted to return to being Hawkeye, he even offered the Ronin mantle back to Echo. She appreciated the gesture, but turned it down, as she, like Clint, felt her time as Ronin had passed. We could get a reference to Echo in the MCU when Clint explains what has happened in the time since he last saw the Avengers.
13 HAWKEYE: SYMBOLIZES A REINFORCEMENT OF CLINT'S ORIGINAL MENTALITY
Although it may not seem like it, the choice of Clint's alter ego is very symbolic of his mindset. If Clint returns to Hawkeye at some point, it would show a return to form, at least in terms of mentality. As Hawkeye, he was a jovial family man, dependent and willing to help his friends despite not being as super as them.
If he were to return from the darker, more desperate Ronin persona, it would show he no longer needs to turn to drastic measures. Hawkeye is also the name he made for himself before joining the Avengers, so it would indicate he's confident in his abilities once more.
12 RONIN: SYMBOLIZES A CHANGE IN CLINT'S MENTALITY
Traditionally, a Ronin is a master-less Samurai or a lone warrior. This has heavy implications on Clint's mindset going into Avengers: Endgame. Ronin's appearance implies Clint is on his own, possibly due to the likely disappearance of his family after Thanos' snap.
The fact that Ronin uses more up-close and personal weaponry also indicates a more violent turn for the archer. Barton may be in a desperate, aggressive state, looking for vengeance or answers surrounding his family's disappearance. He may even blame the Avengers for not being able to stop Thanos, hence the Ronin persona distancing himself from everyone.
11 HAWKEYE: THE CHANCE TO SEE THE CLASSIC SUIT
One of the aspects of Hawkeye that we are yet to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is his classic suit. While it may look a little goofy, as it is bright purple and has a large face mask portion, it is synonymous with Clint. It may even have been better to have him wear it before his transition to Ronin, as it is so bright in comparison.
Much like fans who wanted to see Wolverine don his classic costume in the X-Men cinematic outings, they may appreciate seeing Clint in his classic archer garb. As silly as it may look, they could put it in as a joke if they wanted, similar to the way Jessica Jones' original costume made a brief appearance in her Netflix series as a humorous afterthought.
10 RONIN: POSSIBLE LINK TO RED GUARDIAN
The third hero to take up the mantle of Ronin, the appearance of the costume opens up the possibility of seeing Red Guardian in the MCU. Not only does Red Guardian have links to Clint through the Ronin mantle, he also has tied to Black Widow. This is because Red Guardian, aka Alexei Shoskatov, is Black Widow's ex husband.
Not only could this allow appearances of the Russian hero in new MCU adventures, but it could help flesh out Widow's past. Perhaps he could make an appearance in Nat's solo movie. This might explain why Clint has the costume, he could have taken in from Alexei in the past as it is confirmed he and Widow have ran together years prior to the Avengers.
9 HAWKEYE: LINKS TO SECRET AVENGERS
With Clint's transition into his Ronin persona, he's less likely to lead a team. The taking up of this title sends a message that he wants to work alone. With that in mind, he's going to be distancing himself from other heroes, which is why Nat has to go looking for him in the trailer.
In the Marvel Comics Universe, Clint is tapped by Captain America to lead a contingent of the Avengers. The outfit of Avengers that Clint is given control of is the Secret Avengers, although he leads them as Hawkeye. If he does end up leading them, we may get to see the likes of Captain Britain in the MCU.
8 RONIN: CLINT CAN SHOW OFF MORE OF HIS ATHLETICS
So far, Clint has only shown limited flashes of his great physical ability. Not just in combat, though, Clint's training and acrobatics have been underplayed so far. In the comics, Clint's background is with the circus, so both his accuracy and athletics were started there. His training as a spy refined these abilities, rounding out his skill set.
So far, he's had a more ranged role owing to his affinity for the bow. As Ronin, Barton will be using a lot more weapons that require close combat. With that, hell need to get closer to his enemies as well as be nimble in actual conflict.
7 HAWKEYE: BETTER POTENTIAL FOR A SOLO MOVIE
In the comics, Ronin is something Clint only takes up temporarily. Though the mantle remains, the time Clint himself spends as Ronin is limited. Even if Ronin revitalizes Barton to get him a solo movie, there aren't many directions he can go in as Ronin alone. The established history for Hawkeye provides a lot more depth for a film.
As Hawkeye, Barton has worked with nearly every hero in the Marvel Universe. He has also traveled across most of Earth and even space in stories like Infinity. This makes Hawkeye a much more expansive base and allows more movement for the character overall.
6 RONIN: POSSIBLE LINK TO MOON KNIGHT
Similar to other heroes, even Moon Knight has spent some time under the Ronin's mask. Marc Spector's time as the Ronin is something vastly different, however. In the Ultimate Comics Universe, Ronin is one of Marc's personalities and he works for the Kingpin. He eventually turns on Kingpin and helps orchestrate events to have him arrested.
We've seen the MCU mirror aspects of the Ultimate Comics Universe, so Moon Knight could take the costume when Clint's done. With Kevin Feige hinting that Moon Knight is in the MCU's future plans, the Ronin mantle could be a tool for his introduction.
5 HAWKEYE: LINKS TO WEST COAST AVENGERS
As we've come to understand, the Ronin persona hints to Clint wanting to work alone. At the very least, he likely believes there's no one left to help him following the snap. With that, he is unlikely to start up the West Coast Avengers any time soon.
There is a chance we'll see the West Coast Avengers in the future, but that would require a return to the Hawkeye mantle. It's likely that after his time as Ronin, Clint will need a fresh start. A change of coasts and some fresh faces may be just what the fatigued archer needs!
4 RONIN: MIRRORS COMIC TIMELINE
If nothing else, Clint's turning into Ronin mirrors his transformation in the comic timeline quite well. Like his comics counterpart, Clint chose to take up his Ronin persona after Civil War. While the circumstances will likely be different, the events are in the same order.
With the rumors of Secret Invasion and the sequential nature of events mirroring the comics, we might have a better idea, as the audience, as to what events are coming up in the MCU. At the risk of being too speculative, this may be an indication of the structure of future stories after Avengers 4.
3 HAWKEYE: POTENTIAL EXPLORATION OF OLD MAN HAWKEYE
In 2018, Marvel published Old Man Hawkeye, a run that explored what Hawkeye would do in the bleaker future. Taking place in the same universe as Old Man Logan, with Hawkeye even appearing in Logan's own title, Clint goes on a compelling journey for revenge.
We've seen a cinematic adaption of Old Man Logan's exploits in Fox's Logan, which was received quite well. This could mean there's a similar film for Clint in the future. The issue is, Barton will need to return to being Hawkeye for it to happen. It's Old Man Hawkeye after all, not Old Man Ronin!
2 RONIN: LOOKS COOLER
One of the more aesthetic reasons that Clint has for remaining Ronin, is the suit's look. The Black suit with the yellow trim is a much more understated and sleek look. The costume also has a theme to it, whereas Clint's current MCU costume doesn't have any particular theme.
The Ronin garb better reflects Barton's mindset and changes since we last saw him. Clint's Hawkeye costume is toned down from his comic counterpart and it comes without a mask. However, the Ronin costume shown in the trailer does have a mask, which is something Clint traditionally uses in the 616 Universe.
1 HAWKEYE: MEETING ROCKET RACCOON WOULD BE HILARIOUS
We know Rocket loves weapons, he seeks them out wherever he goes. Whether it's tech to supplement his own or something that already exist, he's always amassing extra weapons. His want for new toys has taken him to the birthplace of Mjolnir before.
If he were to encounter Clint under his Hawkeye mantle, he may be confused by Clint opting to use a bow. The potential for hilarious situations between the two is high, whether rocket makes fun of him or offers to upgrade his bow. The possibilities for interstellar trick arrows also opens up, and who knows what the pair could concoct?