'Avengers: Infinity War' - Is Hawkeye on a Quest for the Soul Stone?

There are two big questions hanging over the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now:

  1. Where is the Soul Infinity Stone?
  2. Why haven't we seen any traces of Hawkeye in Avengers: Infinity War promo materials?

There have been extensive fan theories and discussions about both subjects, but what if they're not mutually exclusive? What if they're actually connected?

In other words: could Hawkeye be on a secret mission to acquire the Soul Stone during Avengers: Infinity War?

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(Mild Spoiler) The Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comic book has already revealed that Clint Barton retires after being freed from The Raft prison by Captain America. Barton wants to simply return home with his wife and three kids, under Cap's advisement that he enjoy the time he has with his loved ones - and that Ant-Man do the same with his daughter. However, we know that Ant-Man will be called back into the fight for Ant-Man and the Wasp and Infinity War - and we also know that Hawkeye will adopt the darker new persona of Ronin in Avengers 4.

Back when mention of Hawkeye's story in Avengers 3 & 4 first surfaced, we heard that it would be tragic loss that pushes Clint Barton down the path of becoming Ronin - a change which has clearly been seen in Jeremy Renner's Avengers 4 costume. If Thanos' attack causes the tragic loss of Clint's family, that seems like valid reason for him to come out of retirement in a more violent role as Ronin, looking for revenge in Avengers 4. However, it's not the only scenario.

Soul Seeker

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Several production photos of Infinity War revealed a sequence set in Japan - a perfect backdrop to inspire Hawkeye's new Ronin persona. It was hinted that the Yakuza could be involved in the sequence, as casting for "Japanese gangster" characters was also reported. Based on the clues, it's not hard to speculate that Hawkeye could come out of retirement for a special clandestine mission (his specialty): securing the most important object in the universe.

There are any number of cool ways the Soul Stone could be tied to the history of Japan, and once Iron Man, Cap, and the other MCU heroes all become aware of Thanos' plans, the race could be on to secure the Soul Stone first.

Based on the ending of Avengers: Infinity War Trailer #2, it looks like Captain America, Black Panther, and Co. could fall during the final "Battle of Wakanda" sequence - if so, Hawkeye could go from obscurity into the limelight, if he ends up with the final Infinity Stone Thanos needs in his possession.

What do you think Hawkeye's Avengers: Infinity War storyline will be? Let us know in the comments!

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Marvel Studios' Black Panther is now playing in theaters. Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018. It is followed by Ant-Man and The Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.

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