Marvel Comics is abandoning Hawkeye's movie-inspired costume in favor of the hero's original costume. Earth's Mightiest Marksman is going back to purple-and-blue for "Avengers: No Surrender." Clint Barton hasn't worn his iconic costume since he was redesigned to resemble Jeremy Renner's version of the character.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe took Hawkeye in a new direction in The Avengers by making him more like the Ultimate version of the character. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Hawkeye was given a less colorful costume to give him a more grounded look. The change carried over to the comics as Hawkeye's costume was redesigned for Cullen Bunn's Captain America and Hawkeye series. Though the purple on on his chest was more noticeable than his MCU counterpart, the resemblance was clear. The change was consistent with other adjustments Marvel made to keep their characters closer to the heroes of the MCU.
After six years, Hawkeye is finally back in his classic costume. In the cliffhanger for Avengers #681, Hawkeye and Red Wolf arrived in the nick of time to take down a member of the Lethal Legion. All of the Avengers present turned around in shock to see him. For fans, the biggest shock was that Hawkeye is no longer sporting his MCU-inspired costume. Instead, the Avenger is wearing his fan-favorite purple tights and mask. The character can also be seen wearing the costume on the cover of Avengers #690. However, Hawkeye is still wearing a variation of his modern outfit in the recently rebooted Tales of Suspense series, a title he's currently starring in alongside Winter Soldier, since the storyline started prior to "Avengers: No Surrender."
What this means for Marvel Comics is that this time, the company isn't catering to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The idea also stays true to the original promise of Marvel Legacy, the relaunch that was created with the intention of restoring characters to the status quo. The return of Hawkeye's classic look will likely be welcomed by longtime fans of the character, who feel that that costume is more in line with Hawkeye's campy personality, while the black outfit is often considered to be a better fit for Renner's more serious take on the character.
With Marvel Comics heading for another relaunch in May, fans will have to wait and see what the company has planned for Earth's Mightiest Marksman, and if he will gain a spot on the new Avengers roster.
Avengers #681 is on sale now from Marvel.