Avengers: Infinity War features practically every iconic hero from Marvel Studios’ decade of groundbreaking superhero blockbusters coming together in one film. It also has Hawkeye! But alas, we’ve not seen a second of Hawkeye in any of the footage so far. So to honor our absent archer, here are his best movie moments so far.
Up until this moment, the dream of a #itsallconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe was still just a pipe dream—a post-credits scene here, a Phil Coulson appearance there. But here we had an honest-to-God Marvel hero showing up in a movie with another Marvel hero. Sure, it’s maybe for 30 seconds at most and he’s fairly obscured by it being a dark, stormy night, but still.
Also, it requires you to you ignore that Black Widow actually showed up a year prior, with proper screentime and lines and everything, in Iron Man 2. But still in a pre-Avengers world, this was exciting! Sort of!
That Time His Heroism Got the Actual Most Boring Hero in the Movies Killed Off (Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2015)
Sure, we can—and absolutely will—joke about how Hawkeye has been dealt a crappy hand by these movies, but hey, at least he wasn’t Quicksilver. You barely get to know the speedy Maximoff sibling, let alone care about him (he does that “you didn’t see that coming?” joke like, three times in Age of Ultron, and that’s it, that’s his entire personality) before he decides that the lives of Hawkeye and a small child are infinitely more important than his own, speeding them to safety in the final battle so that it’s he that gets riddled with bullets. And he was right, thank god.
That Time He Was Actually Pretty Polite to Black Panther, All Things Considered (Captain America: Civil War, 2016)
Both good manners and he helped make T’Challa look aloof and badass. Good support there, Hawkeye.
Not only is it actually relatively inspiring—and a smart move to get one of the most powerful heroes the Avengers had in Sokovia back on the board—he also takes time to self-deprecate about how he’s literally just a dude with a bow in the middle of a ridiculous battle atop a flying city filled with evil robots. If you can’t crack a joke at your own expense, then what can you joke about?
Like, for real. Poor dude’s in a big Marvel team-up movie and most of his presence in the first half is as a brainwashed mook, because when you want your audience to vaguely care about the villain’s brainwashing powers but you don’t wanna brainwash anyone too important, you brainwash Hawkeye.
What? It was surprising! Hawkeye has a life beyond being a guy who shoots arrows!
Also, if Hawkeye hadn’t had a secret life involving a completely ordinary wife and kids he never speaks about ever, the Avengers wouldn’t have had anywhere to hide out from Ultron and we would never have gotten to see Steve Rogers rip a log clean in half with his manly, manly arms. So thank you, Hawkeye, for facilitating that moment, as a gift to us all.
Pretty fly for a Hawkguy. (Sorry not sorry.) But seriously, this is maybe the coolest Hawkeye has gotten to be in any action sequence in any one of the Marvel movies. Fun bonus: here is a video of literally every fight sequence Hawkeye directly participates in his seven years of movie appearances from Thor to Civil War. It is only four minutes long. A similar one for Captain America of just his fight moves—not scenes, just the punches and kicks and shield-throwing—is three times that.
Let’s be honest, Ant-Man owns this moment. But it wouldn’t have happened if Hawkeye wasn’t there to shoot his bow, just like he was on the cover of Avengers #223! Hawkeye, once again proving himself vital to helping the other stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe look cool.
Okay, so maybe Clint Barton hasn’t exactly been treated well since he first appeared in that rainy Thor cameo seven years ago. But there is still a charm in the most normal of men (who just happens to also be really bloody good with a bow) being swept up into this world of super-soldiers and metal-covered tech billionaires and alien invasions, and managing to stick it out as a worthy member of Earth’s mightiest super-team. There’s a reason why people have been asking “Where’s Hawkeye!?” every time more Infinity War footage comes out. People care about our good bow boy.
And surely, if the Russo brothers are so intent on keeping Hawkeye’s role in Avengers: Infinity War so completely secret, he has to be up to something huge and cool and important in the movie, right?