Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Ant-Man and the Wasp
Will we ever see the (probably) tragic fate of Hawkeye's family? The cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos snap his fingers and succeed in his insane goal to wipe out half the life in the universe. Viewers watched in horror as beloved heroes like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange crumbled to dust before their eyes. That pattern was continued in Ant-Man & the Wasp, which saw key heroes erased from existence in the mid-credits scene. But there are some key characters whose deaths we still haven't seen.
Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye was entirely absent from Avengers: Infinity War, apparently still under house arrest. We know he's destined to return in Avengers 4, though, and apparently will be donning a new, darker costume. It's one that's reminiscent of a comic book outfit Hawkeye wore when he went under the identity of "Ronin." Disturbingly, in Marvel's Ultimate universe Hawkeye adopted that identity after his family were murdered.
Given that that's the case, most viewers are assuming Hawkeye's family are among the people who died when Thanos snapped his fingers. That would explain why Hawkeye has returned to the vigilante lifestyle, but under a darker, more dangerous persona. Assuming this popular theory is correct, will we ever get to see what's surely one of the most horrific moments in Hawkeye's life?
Marvel Keeps Holding Back on Hawkeye
Avengers: Infinity War was a tightly-focused, character-driven story. As a result, when Thanos snapped his fingers, the film only showed us a handful of superheroes disintegrating before our eyes, and the impact on the rest of the world wasn't explored until the post-credits scene. Given that Hawkeye wasn't even in the film, it wasn't really surprising that Infinity War avoided visiting the Barton homestead. But Ant-Man & the Wasp is another missed opportunity. For months, there had been rumors that Hawkeye would actually cameo in this film, and some viewers had assumed that meant we'd have a post-credits scene in which Hawkeye watched his family disappear. Instead, not only did Hawkeye not crop up in the film at all, we watched other characters vanish in the mid-credits scene instead.
It's doubtful we'll see this happen in Captain Marvel, either. That film actually has a lot to accomplish; it has to introduce a character Kevin Feige has teased as Marvel's "strongest" hero, it has to explain where she's been between the '90s and the present day, and it has to tie her into the narrative that's building up for Avengers 4. While it's still conceivable we could get a loosely-connected mid- or post-credits scene showing Hawkeye's family dusted by the "snap," it seems unlikely.
That only leaves Avengers 4 itself, and even there the chances don't seem good. Most viewers are expecting a time-jump of some kind between Avengers: Infinity War and next year's sequel; that's supported by the fact Marvel has cast Emma Fuhrmann as an older Cassie Lang, suggesting a number of years will have passed. If that's the case, the odds are good that we'll actually never see what happened to Hawkeye's family.
It's a strange decision on Marvel's part. Hawkeye's absence in Avengers: Infinity War took viewers by surprise, but now this suggested that one of the defining moments of Hawkeye's life will never be seen on the big screen at all. Could it be that his family actually survives the finger snap? Or will Anthony and Joe Russo choose the tragic loss of the Barton family as a way to open Avengers 4?
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019