Hawkeye Age Of Ultron
Marvel Studios

With Avengers: Infinity War set for release in a matter of months, Marvel have dialled-up the pre-release marketing campaign by teasing the release of the prelude comic that will hit shelves soon.

The comic included a number of revelations – including the underground Avengers working in Syria, Shuri working on Bucky’s reprogramming and Iron Man’s new armour – but the most interesting was the revelation that Hawkeye has officially retired from superheroism. He’s back on his family farm looking after his three kids with wife Laura, despite the fact that he’s literally a war criminal and fugitive.

Anyway, that explains why he wasn’t spotted in the Infinity War trailer and seems a simple enough resolution to Hawkeye’s arc. Or it would be if we didn’t know for a fact that he’s going to be drawn back into the action.

So, you have to wonder, what is it that not only makes Clint turn his back on retirement (after already once breaking his promise to his wife that he was done) but also to reinvent himself as the darker, edgier Ronin as has been widely rumoured?

The simple, alarming fact for Hawkeye is that only personal trauma of the worst kind could make him join the fight again and taking up the Ronin mantle (complete with radical new hairstyle) would only be preceded by something like the murder of his family. With them gone, he would have no reason to stay in retirement, and if they were collateral damage in Thanos’ invasion (somehow), that would definitely be enough to inspire a dramatic change in his demeanour.

There has already been talk of how much good Infinity War does for Hawkeye as a character, and this all seems to be stacking up to suggest his arc is going to be a particularly tragic one. Even if killing off someone’s entire family to motivate them is a curiously un-MCU thing to do…

Also, how could Hawkeye retire so young? Do the Avengers have that good a pension? Does SHIELD? Wouldn’t he forfeit both by being a fugitive on the run? Why are none of these important questions being answered?

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