Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye has been a source of jokes and anger since entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its earliest stages. Hawkeye has a bow and arrow, while other heroes have godly superpowers and super suits. His skillset may have expanded in the movies since the first Avengers film, but the bow remains. However, many believe that Hawkeye is going the way of another famous action hero after seeing his dark side in Endgame.
Clint Barton’s Hawkeye may be the most human of the bunch. Although he may not be the only hero without explicit superpowers, he’s also the most disconnected. While Clint has worked with SHIELD and several other military organizations, he’s something of a lone wolf who works on his terms to protect his family.
Fandom notes how Clint was never the most significant part of the Avengers, but his passion and skills made him a valuable ally for Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the rest of the superfriends. He’s also gone through the wringer. Loki brainwashed Hawkeye in the first Avengers film, and he had a front-row seat to everything from the Marvel Civil War to the Blip, where his family disappeared with half the universe’s population.
By the time Endgame got here, Hawkeye was no longer Hawkeye, but a rogue assassin called Ronin who traveled the world to brutally take down anyone who made it a worse place. Hawkeye’s place was secured when Black Widow sacrificed her soul for the greater good while he was allowed to reunite with his family.
With a Hawkeye solo series on the horizon, some fans see the character going a different way altogether.
Igniting the ‘Wick’
Positing a theory about what will happen next, Reddit user u/thedkexperience sees Hawkeye having an anti-hero arc similar to Keanu Reeves’ John Wick. In John Wick, Reeves plays an assassin who seeks vengeance after his wife, who died of natural causes, gives him a dog that Russian gangsters then murder. Wick has forged a path of vengeance for three films that are still going strong today.
In the MCU, Hawkeye’s backstory already has some similarities. He’s a highly-trained and deadly assassin who has lost and found his family multiple times. While his family is back, the Ronin era could come back to haunt him. This is where their theory starts.
“My theory is that one of the gangsters that Ronin murdered will have 50% of his gang blipped back into existence, and the fallout from that will lead Barton down a path of revenge/redemption to save his family from the gangsters. It also wouldn’t shock me to see the story wrap up with Barton as an unwilling participant in the Shang Chi fighting tournament after passing his Hawkeye mantle onto Kate Bishop,” they wrote.
While it’s easy to write off fan theories about the naive delusions of people who have seen too many movies, all of this makes sense. It lets Clint keep his family, explores the fallout of previous actions, and fits right into the upcoming Shang Chi movie. Like John Wick, which fans praised for impeccable world-building on top of phenomenal action, Hawkeye would have to guide the consequences of his previous life while protecting his current one.
Now, fans have to wait and see where the series goes from here.
What comes next Hawkeye?
Hawkeye premieres later this year. With CNET noting how eight movies are due in 2021 and 2022, as well as several TV series, fans will have plenty of opportunities to catch up on their favorite heroes and forge new theories about their place inside the historically successful franchise. However, it’s likely that Black Widow and Shang-Chi either feed or put these theories to rest before its release.
Whether Hawkeye is the next John Wick or the next Black Widow, fans are going to have a field day figuring out what happens between now and the series premiere. While this exact theory is not likely, the crumbs of it are very much in play.