To the casual Marvel fan, Thor and Hawkeye seem to make strange bedfellows. One is literally a god and the other is “the guy who shoots arrows.” It’s easy to forget that in the MCU, Hawkeye actually made his first appearance in the first Thor movie.
Thor: The Dark World is a movie fans keep trying to relitigate, as often happens with Marvel movies thought of as below par. Now, it has been suggested that Hawkeye might have improved it.
What was Hawkeye’s arc?
Because the first Avengers movie was such a phenomenon, what tends to stick in the memory, as far as Hawkeye goes, was that he spent half the movie as a zombie doing Loki’s bidding before he snapped out of it and proved to be more than just a skilled archer.
However, he actually first appeared in Thor, having been assigned to watch over Thor’s hammer, which had fallen to earth and was stuck in the ground.
Hawkeye watches as Thor attempts to retrieve the hammer but fails, having proved himself unworthy for earlier misdeeds. He also later witnesses Thor regaining his powers, so he comes full circle with the character at that point. However, that’s about as deep as the connection with Thor goes. The events of The Avengers pick up from there, with Hawkeye being briefly turned before rejoining the fight.
After that, Hawkeye tended not to be central to the action. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was revealed that he had retired to live on a farm with his family. He does join the action in that movie, but then does not appear in Avengers: Infinity War at all. The next time we see him, he loses his family to The Snap, prompting him to go on a revenge mission until Black Widow pulls him from the brink.
They go on a mission to retrieve the Soul Stone, and Hawkeye is shattered again when Natasha sacrifices herself even though he went in willing and even wanting to die.
Would Hawkeye have improved ‘The Dark World?’
The second Thor movie doesn’t get much love even from Marvel fans, who tend to place it at or near the bottom of their rankings of the 23 MCU movies so far. Even so, fans explore ways it either wasn’t so bad or could have been made better. One of those is Hawkeye.
In a Reddit thread about Hawkeye being the most underutilized Avenger, a fan suggests he could have helped The Dark World, writing:
“As unusual as this one sounds Hawkeye could’ve been in this movie. Agents of Shield already showed that they were dealing with the fallout of the dark elves but the convergence was too large of an anomaly for Shield to arrive AFTER everything. Clint could’ve been investigating the convergence and find Jane instead of the cops. He could’ve gone to Asgard or not. He would’ve been the one to throw those spears at Malekith with deadly accuracy (his entire shtick) for Thor to deliver the finishing blow.”
Fans agreed that for a character that had a lot of potential, Hawkeye wasn’t used very well. One fan even noted he was originally supposed to be in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but wasn’t because Jeremy Renner was scheduled to shoot a different movie.
What about the ‘Hawkeye’ TV show?
When Marvel announced last year that one of their new TV series for Disney+ would center around Hawkeye, fans were delighted and/or confused, wondering what else could happen with a character who had gotten such short shrift.
It will reportedly center around the character of Kate Bishop, whom Hawkeye trains to become the new skilled archer of the MCU.
Fans have their idea about that series too, with one writing, “So while I do like Kate Bishop, my ideal Hawkeye series would be a sort of anthology where he’s a drifter between cities and towns, who gets wrapped up in conflicts with local criminals and supervillains, and finds ways of absolutely demolishing them.”
The series was originally supposed to come out in 2021 before the pandemic slowed or halted Hollywood production schedules. It is now expected to arrive in 2022.
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