Hawkeye Trailer Hints at a Comic-Accurate Deaf Clint Barton

Hawkeye and his protegee Kate Bishop (photo courtesy of Menshealth.com)

Hawkeye and his protegee Kate Bishop (photo courtesy of Menshealth.com)

By Jieun Paik

The Hawkeye trailer’s release threw the internet into a frenzy on September 14 . One especially sharp-eyed fan noticed a detail to Hawkeye’s appearance–specifically the hearing aid lodged in his ear. Rumors of a deaf Clint Barton were always floating around, but no one had expected that Marvel would incorporate the detail they had previously omitted.

Since the beginning of Hawkeye’s entrance in the 2011 “Thor” movie, fans have been upset about the inaccurate representation of his character. They argued that the exclusion of his disability was one of the movie representation’s biggest downfalls. Many were further disappointed by the seemingly random inclusion of a wife and children, as well as an off-screen retirement during the event of “Civil War”. 

Among the many outraged was even a petition to make Clint Barton canonically deaf. This petition, titled “We want a Hawkeye Netflix series and we want it done right!” has over 100 supporters. There is another petition to “Recast Hawkeye” which also has over 100 signatures. 

Jeremy Renner has also been under fire because of inappropriate behavior including transphobia, racism, and drug abuse. He was also open about his dislike for Clint’s characterization, saying that ¨I’m still not even sure who Hawkeye was at that point. So I’m a little frustrated because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was”. 

However, when the Hawkeye TV show was announced, Renner seemed excited for the future project. “Bravo to everyone @marvel @disneyplus, our entire crew, stunt team @heidimoneymaker and amazing cast for all the hard work out into this show!!!” he shared on Instagram along with a selfie. Fans, though skeptical about his sudden enthusiasm, were nevertheless excited to see the project’s trajectory. 

“It’s great that Marvel Studios is adhering to character history established in the comic books,” says Mr Summers. This sentiment is echoed by many of Hawkeye’s comic book fans, as well as movie fans who were grateful for the representation. 

The importance of representation shows the audience that having a disability doesn’t hinder their ability to perform as a superhero (or villain). Professor X from the X-Men franchise or Daredevil from his Netflix TV show come to mind, but all representations of disability are essential to normalization.

“I was impressed that the trailer was able to grab my attention, because Hawkeye isn’t usually very significant in the movies,” says Noor Rana, a sophomore at Hills. She, like many others, is excited to see the character development of a hero so undervalued in the MCU.

The “Hawkeye” TV show, set to come out November 24, features Clint Barton (played by Jeremy Renner) as he trains his successor Kate Bishop (played by Hailee Steinfield). Producer Trinh Trin said the series will be “grounded and funny, packed to the brim with Christmas spirit.”  It will run for 6 episodes, and will be set during the holiday season. 

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