Why Hawkeye The Best Character In The MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become known for knocking every film in its collection out of the park. Even its lesser-acclaimed films, like Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3, still garnered 'Fresh' ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and performed well in the box office. It is a studio built on success, and a large contributor to that success is the brilliant development of their characters.

Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, and the rest of the gang have become some of the most recognizable heroes on the planet, thanks to these films. Cap and Iron Man in particular are the most popular characters in schools and malls around the country.

It's understandable that audiences are so in love with these two leaders, but is there another character out there who is just as important, and possibly more well-written?

Spoiler alert: there totally is.

Hulk is strong, Vision is smart, the Scarlett Witch can do almost anything; but none of these can quite hold a candle to the best overall character in the MCU.

We're talking of course, about Hawkeye.

Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, debuted in the MCU as a shield operative in the first Thor film. When it came time for Avengers in 2012, Hawkeye, and his old partner Black Widow, joined the team as the average joes. They may not have had the powers of the other members, but they provided an equal impact for the final fight, as well as the overall story.

In Age Of Ultron, Hawkeye claims he is going to retire. We see the team travel out to his secluded home and meet his wife and children. Out here, away from the world, Clint is nothing but a family man. To be completely honest, the guy seems like a kick-ass dad.

The Civil War between Captain America and Iron Man brought Hawkeye out of retirement to fight alongside Cap's team. After being arrested by Tony, Barton once again delivered the lines that would change the scope of the entire film.

So, we have to ask, is Hawkeye the best character in the MCU? Let's break it down.

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First of all, he's had one of the most personal stories in the universe with significantly less screen time. We've been up and down through Tony Stark's journey over the years, and seen many moving scenes, but he's starred in five feature films to this point. The same goes for Captain America.

With Clint Barton, you feel equally as pulled by his story. His family-man status makes you care about his future, and his desire to always help up his fellow man melts your heart time after time. You know, with just a few minutes of screen time, exactly how big Clint's heart truly is.

What's crazy about all this? He's never had a starring role in the MCU. With minimal screen time, Clint has been given just as much arc and as the biggest characters in the franchise.

Now, that awesome material would have meant nothing without a talented actor performing it. Jeremy Renner has been praised, time and time again, for his depth when portraying action heroes. He was nominated for an Academy Award for this kind of role in The Hurt Locker, and remains one of just three Avengers to be nominated for the award -- Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo have also been nominated.

Renner is able to kick-ass in high velocity, while still managing his emotions and drawing audiences into the soft moments. He strikes a balance that's difficult for an actor to find in most scenarios, and never has a moment where he shows a lack of this ability. Renner is truly a magnificent actor and brings that prowess to each Marvel film he's in.

On top of everything, Hawkeye still finds time to steal the show in the bigger team up films of Marvel. In Avengers: Age Of Ultron, one of the most memorable scenes came from Hawkeye giving Scarlett Witch a pep talk. In the midst of all the super powers, fight scenes, and falling cities, Clint Barton grabbed the spotlight by empowering a young woman to do what no one else thought she could. Scarlett was in a broken state, and Clint was the only one who could bring her out of it.

In Civil War, he influenced the film by doing the opposite. After being thrown in prison, Barton called out Tony Stark. He made the man remember who his friends were, and how wrong he was in that moment. The dialogue was incredibly profound, and it changed Tony's character heading into the final act of the film. None of the other Avengers could reach Tony's soul like Clint Barton did.

How does Hawkeye have the ability to reach the other characters in such a capacity? It's simple: Clint Barton represents the humanity of us all.

Tony is arrogant, Steve Rogers is patriotic to a fault, and Bruce Banner is a mad scientist. The other characters are either mystical, alien, or both. Hawkeye is the only one who represents the good in mankind, while still being true to our faults. He is good despite his human flaws.

In other words, Hawkeye brings out the best in us, as well as The Avengers. Hawkeye represents the reason the heroes fight for us in the first place. Sure, the world might be a terrible place at times. And yes, that terrible world may rub off on us every now and then. In spite of all that, we can still discover the good hidden within ourselves. Humanity is always worth saving, and Clint Barton is the proof that we can never stop fighting.

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So, does all this make Hawkeye the best character in the MCU?

You're damn right it does.