Avengers: Infinity War will be remembered for many reasons, but one of them will definitely be the crazy "controversy" over Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye being missing from the Infinity War marketing and promotional campaign.
Since Marvel Studios debuted the first trailers and posters for Infinity War, fans have been asking, "Where's Hawkeye?" As Renner continued to be missing from each and every new wave of marketing for Avengers: Infinity War, fans began to launch all sorts of memes, artwork dedicated to Hawkeye, while a slew of fan theories tried to predict where he might finally show up in the film. Now that Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters, we have the truth about Hawkeye we've been waiting for!
WARNING: Avengers: Infinity War Spoilers Follow!
So where has Hawkeye been when we finally get into the events of Avengers: Infinity War? In a word: retired.
Early on in the film, Captain America and his "Secret Avengers" squad (Falcon, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch) save The Vision from an ambush by "Children of Thanos" Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight. Afterward, the team and an injured Vision head for the Avengers stronghold, and we are given some updates about the members of Cap's squad in Civil War who are nowhere to be found, now.
Black Widow reveals that both Hawkeye and Ant-Man decided not to join up with Steve Rogers after being sprung from The Raft prison. Since both Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) are family men, they couldn't live as fugitives, and so they both cut a deal with the government. The extent of those deals is never explained, but given what we know about the upcoming plot of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott Lang takes house arrest in order to still have access to his daughter. The Infinity War prelude comic suggests that Barton has a similar arrangement - with the caveat that both men hang up their costumes.
Unfortunately, we never get to see Hawkeye onscreen during the events of Avengers: Infinity War, but we know from set photos that while he will definitely be in Avengers 4, he may not be "Hawkeye," anymore. Shots of Renner in a new costume suggest he takes up his "Ronin" persona from the 2000s Avengers comics, and we now understand why that might be so.
Given how Infinity War ends, Hawkeye's family may be among the victims of Thanos' cosmic genocide, leaving Clint Barton a broken and angrier man. Even if Hawkeye's family survived, a world of missing heroes may require Clint to step up and become a full-fledged crime-fighter, which is why he may embrace his Ronin persona to begin with.
How do you feel about Hawkeye not appearing in Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know in the comments!
Avengers: Infinity War releases on April 27. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengersmovie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.