Before we know the story, themes, characterizations and larger implications of each new film emerging as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first thing we often end up discussing is the costumes worn by the heroes and their resemblance (or lack thereof) to their iconic comic-book counterparts. One of the most focused-upon has been Hawkeye, whose uniform has received an overhaul in each of his film appearances to date – including, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War.

Every one of Jeremy Renner’s MCU Hawkeye outfits to date has nevertheless maintained a significant divergence from the character’s more flamboyant four-color look in the world of Marvel Comics. Civil War concept artist Andy Park has now revealed that an unused design from the film would have given The Avengers’ resident archer a mask for the first time.

Originally a minor-league villain when he first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics, Hawkeye has always been associated with outlandish costume designs. His original (and best known) look resembled nothing so much as a purple and black medieval archer’s tunic with an elaborate accompanying mask. His appearances in Thor and the first Avengers chose to follow in the tradition of his Ultimate Marvel counterpart (i.e. tactical-look gear that looked decidedly un-costume-like). And while his look has grown more superhero-esque in subsequent MCU films, this newly-revealed concept art (see below) reveals that this most radical shift yet would have again focused on the Ultimate version.

While Park’s (who also created the alternate Scarlet Witch designs revealed recently) Hawkeye design is overall extremely close to what ended up in the finished Civil War film and represents his most comic-like look yet, the accompanying mask (a full-face purple fabric covering with exposed hair and goggles) is clearly inspired by the mask at one point worn by the so-called “Ultimate Hawkeye”.

The reason for ultimately not featuring Hawkeye’s mask in the final film has not been confirmed. It’s believed that the tendency of many superhero films to find excuses for masked characters to either frequently removed their disguises or wear more facially-revelatory versions in order to maximize the “face time” of various popular stars. However, Civil War featured several characters (including Spider-Man, Ant-Man and Black Panther) whose face-concealing masks remained on for the majority of their fight scenes. It’s possible that Hawkeye went unmasked to avoid confusion during the film’s setpiece airport battle, for related reasons.

Given the continued evolution of the various Marvel characters’ looks from film to film (occurring, in part, to necessitate the selling of new merchandise) it’s entirely possible that Hawkeye may yet get to wear his mask in the future; though where he’ll be seen next hasn’t been confirmed. He’s expected to turn up in the next two Avengers movies, but given the nature of the MCU he could very well be seen sooner than that.

NEXT: Josh Brolin Talks Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War

Doctor Strange opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.

Source: Andy Park

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