Captain America, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man . Who could ever forget the genetically altered, divine, and technologically enhanced heroes of the Marvel universe? Even Black Widow has earned her keep as the group's beautiful, yet dangerously badass female assassin counterpart. Yet, there is one member of the Avengers initiative that often, and undeservedly gets the cold-shoulder: Clinton Barton, alias, Hawkeye.
Admittedly, much of the master archer's anonymity is likely due to the less than stellar way his character was handled in the original The Avengers film. In the first film, Barton quickly becomes hypnotized by Loki and does not reemerge again until the final fight sequence.
However, Barton's fellow allies are ironically what most likely makes him somewhat forgetful. Unlike his "super" counterparts, Hawkeye's assets consist of a bow, arrows (some of which blow up while others electrocute, it varies), and some old school spy skills. But never underestimate the value of a true underdog! *Warning Spoilers Ahead*
While Hawkeye's abilites may seem superficially mundane, the archer's humanity acts as the driving force for the Avenger's success against Ultron in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035).
1. He has something to fight for...
ln a surprise reveal that blind-sided even the crime-fighting Avengers, audiences discover that the deadly archer is in fact a loving family man! As a means of escaping Ultron's clutches and buying time for recovery, Barton flies his allies to his secluded peaceful farm and introduces them to his endearingly normal pregnant wife and adorable daughter and son. "What the heck does that have to do with Ultron", you may ask.
In the midst of arguing amongst themselves, the heroes lost sight of their original goal, and Barton's big reveal reminds the Avengers of what they are truly fighting for. No more fighting for abstract concepts of freedom or vengeance, but rather they fight to preserve the simple peace of life from Ultron's desolation. As Renner himself explained, "Don't we all just want to go home and have a life and be happy?"
2. He knows his limitations...
Hawkeye isn't naive. He doesn't claim to be able to physically compete with the superhuman allies and foes he's constantly surrounded by. He straight up admitted to Wanda Maximoff, alias, The Scarlet Witch, that he is just a guy with a bow. However, as the "grounding rod for the group," Barton doesn't allow his weaknesses to cripple him like his fellow Avengers do. In fact, he keeps the Ultron dopplegangers at bay and utilizes his old school spy skills to locate his best friend, Natasha Romanova. While, the others constantly focus on what the team doesn't have, Hawkeye does his best to make due with everyone's best assets.
3. He reveals the good in others...
In what must be the film's most epic speech scene, Hawkeye single-handedly convinces Wanda Maximoff to join the Avengers despite her and her brother Pietro's life long aim for vengeance against Tony Stark. The Maximoff twins gained their unique powers after volunteering themselves for secret Hydra experiments under the leadership of Baron Strucker (keep in mind this origin story is much different from their original one in the comic source material).
The two present themselves as formidable opponents who have allied themselves with Ultron against the Avengers. However, the siblings quickly discover Ultron's true goal of decimating the earth, and the two begin to doubt their loyalties. In Wanda's moment of weakness, Hawkeye views past her anguish and fury to see a tormented girl who simply wants to do the right thing. Barton did what no other Avenger was willing to do: simply talk to Wanda. The archer revealed to her the incredible potential she has to do good and converted one of the team's most threatening opponents into one of the Avengers' most powerful members: The Scarlet Witch.
While I'm sure many of you appreciate the humanity that Hawkeye brings to the film, others might believe that it might be a bit too much sap for the action packed superhero blockbuster (and that's ok). But before wrapping up, I just wanted to leave you all with something that Jeremy Renner himself commented about his character:
I think we'd all get pretty bored if it was just a bunch of killing of robots and slinging of arrows and slinging of hammers...If you don't know the plight of these flawed heroes, then what's the point of it all? I think the intimate moments and the character development is crucial to especially movies like this.
While the others may be super, Hawkeye will be my favorite Avenger any day...
P.S. It looks like Hawkeye has a couple of extra skills up his sleeve! Check out Jeremy Renner's beautiful (and hilarious) piano rendition of "Ode to Hawkeye" below! I promise you won't regret it!
Let me know about your thoughts on Hawkeye and his role in defeating Ultron by commenting below!