With Hawkeye left out of Infinity War altogether, fans will be happy to hear that in the world of Marvel Comics, Clint Barton is leading his very own team of Avengers. Ironically, taking them to Hollywood, of all places.
Yes, Marvel is finally bringing back the West Coast Avengers of yesterday, a collection of younger heroes in need of a new start, a new book, and the leadership of not one, but TWO Hawkeyes. Is it a coincidence that it comes along as Hawkeye's role in the MCU future has never been foggiest?
Because if Marvel Studios is looking to do Clint justice, and inject more diversity into their universe... the West Coast Avengers comic seems to have figured it out for them.
After giving completely vague dismissals of where Hawkeye is during Avengers: Infinity War, fans have rightfully begun to wonder if it isn't a case of Hawkeye having an off-screen role, but the studio (and the Russo Brothers) simply not thinking one up for him. Even during the height of San Diego Comic-Con, it's hard to know if Jeremy Renner's tease if Hawkeye in Avengers 4 is meannt to get fans excited, or remind Marvel Studios that he's ready to be put back into the game.
Enter: the brand new West Coast Avengers, with Clint Barton leading the pack. A team of heroes that would, in theory, address plenty of the concerns and requests of Marvel movie fans. And one that gives Hawkeye a starring role. Imagine that...
We're not suggesting that following the lead of the comics is something Marvel is likely to do any time soon, especially given their feelings on not needing to faithfully adapt the Infinity War comic. But if the studio isn't planning to put Hawkeye in a starring role for the foreseeable future, then it's nice to see his past description as "the heart of the Avengers" put to use somewhere. And with writer Kelly Thompson and artist Stefano Castelli taking Clint and Kate Bishop out west, and bringing young heroes along for the ride, both archers are in good hands.
For many of the same reasons that Clint Barton stands apart in the MCU, as well. Hawkeye has seen it all, lost friends and loved ones, and is not what first comes to mind when picturing a fearless, unflappable leader (like your Steve Rogerses, for example). But if anything, that seems to make him more deserving if a team and family to care for, not less.
So consider this some insurance, Marvel fans. If Avengers 4 breaks Hawkeye's heart the way we expect, just turn to the comics to see him surrounded by new heroic friends! And with West Coast Avengers arriving in August, you can even get a head start.
West Coast Avengers #1 releases on August 22 from Marvel Comics.