The new Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comic reveals that Hawkeye is officially retired when Avengers: Infinity War begins. Things have been looking bad for Hawkeye for some time. The Avenging Archer has always been a little out of his depth during the various world-ending battles of the MCU, but a tussle with Thanos doesn’t bode well. Nor does the reveal of Hawkeye’s secret family in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which provides the hero with more to lose than most of his teammates. We’ve heard Avengers 3 does wondrous things for Hawkeye as a character, but there’s no guarantee his arc isn’t a tragic one.
Ever since set photos revealed a new suit and haircut for Hawkeye, it seemed safe to assume he was taking on a version of his Ronin persona from the comics. That only came after his death and resurrection, however, and many have theorized that Hawkeye’s family will die instead and facilitate his change. With Hawkeye missing from the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, it only added to the sense that Clint Barton would be undergoing something major in the new film.
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Marvel has released the official tie-in comic for Avengers: Infinity War that fills in some of the story following Captain America: Civil War. While Marvel’s canon comics are usually duds, the new book looks to provide some valuable insight into what happened after the 2016 film. And for Hawkeye, it looks like he officially retired from duty to be with his family.
Along with Scott Lang reuniting with his daughter Cassie, we can see Clint back with his wife and kids. Though he seemed to be retired following Avengers: Age of Ultron, it looks as if Clint’s resignation was more official this time—whatever that means in the world of superheroes. Of course, we know Hawkeye will not only be in Avengers 3, but he’ll have a new costume. As such, it seems the impending end of the world is enough for him to suit up once again.
There’s also the chance that Thanos’ invasion leads to the death of Hawkeye’s family, forcing him to confront the Mad Titan and his army. The MCU has mostly avoided tragedy, with only Yondu’s death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Peggy Carter’s off-screen death in Captain America: Civil War holding any real weight (sorry Quicksilver, we hardly knew you). If Avengers 3 and 4 are going to have any impact, some real stakes will be required. That said, fridging Clint’s wife and kids to motivate him is not a very good look for Marvel. Regardless of where things go, it’s safe to say Hawkeye will at least have some curmudgeonly things to say about being pulled out of retirement in Avengers: Infinity War.
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