Hawkeye’s Major Moments in the MCU

Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye will shoot onto the Disney+ streaming platform on November 24, 2021. Original Avenger Clinton Francis “Clint” Barton is living the family life following Iron Man’s sacrifice, but things, as they often do for heroes, go awry.

See for yourself in the first official Hawkeye trailer, which also introduces future Young Avenger Kate Bishop:

In the Black Widow end credits scene, it’s revealed that master assassin Yelena Belova, beloved sister of Natasha Romanoff, is on the hunt for the man responsible for her sister’s death โ€” and the target is Clint Barton. But how did Clint get here, and what has been his role in the MCU before his solo series? Let’s break down Hawkeye’s best Marvel movie moments below.

Thor (2011)

Clint Barton is first introduced in the MCU as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and archer under the command of Phil Coulson and Nick Fury. When Thor’s hammer Mjolnir crashed in the desert, Hawkeye was part of the main team guarding the site. He sets up as a sniper on the rainy night the Asgardian prince Thor crashes into their encampment.

Hawkeye’s best moment in this film is a fun quip he makes while watching Thor barrel through a bunch of beefy S.H.I.E.L.D. bodyguards. “I’m starting to root for this guy,” Hawkeye admits as he’s waiting for an order whether or not to fire. This appearance, while brief, succinctly introduces us to Clint’s personality as well as his power set. He’s calm during the conflict, unfazed by the downpour, and understandably, charmingly in awe of the godly display before him.

The Avengers (2012)

Hawkeye’s arrows are more than simple arrows. He carries a unique, collapsable recurve bow and matching high-tech quiver which carries an arsenal of trick arrows. These include arrows that explode, electrocute, emit sonic blasts, and more. As an archer without any superhuman abilities, this guy has to be well-trained and well-equipped to fight a Chitauri invasion and you can never say Hawkeye isn’t prepared.

Clint really gets to shine in The Avengers. Pretty absent from the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he gets way more screen time … although it’s under mind control by the Tesseract. As soon as he’s freed โ€” thanks, cognitive recalibration โ€” he joins Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the Battle of New York. His best moment during this battle is with Loki, his captor and tormentor.

Hawkeye fires an arrow, which is immediately caught by the smug-looking Loki for whom Hawkeye was aiming. Loki appears to think, Did you think that could stop me?, right before he’s blasted out of the sky by a trick arrow. Take that, Reindeer Games!

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hawkeye is up against multiple antagonists: HYDRA remnants, murderous artificial intelligence, and the personal pull toward retirement and a quiet life with his wife, Laura Barton, and their children on a well-hidden rural farm. He’s got his trusty bow-and-arrow by his side. He’s a valuable member of his team. But he’s also mortal, fighting flying robots with a weapon that has a set range.

Hawkeye, then, is aware of his limits. He also knows how to inspire himself and others. Leaning into the fatherly nature of his character, Hawkeye takes the young, orphaned Maximoff twins under his wing. He jokes around with and tries to protect Quicksilver and, in Hawkeye’s best scene of the film, he recruits Scarlet Witch to a far more righteous cause.

“If you step out that door, you are an Avenger,” he tells Wanda. It’s a powerful moment, and a pivotal decision in MCU history. Plus, Clint gets bonus points for being the best recruiter โ€” if you recall, he brought Natasha in to S.H.I.E.L.D., too.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

This Marvel movie divides the Avengers into two warring factions. Team Captain America and Team Iron Man disagree about the Sokovia Accords, a document that would make all super heroes bound to a governmental contract. Their service would be completely dictated by political boundaries. More of a spy than a soldier, and unwilling to put his family at risk by revealing his identity to the public, Hawkeye stands by Steve Rogers’ side along with the Winter Soldier, Ant-Man (another Hawkeye recruit), Falcon, Sharon Carter, and Scarlet Witch. They oppose Tony Stark, Vision, Spider-Man, War Machine, and Clint’s best friend, Black Widow.

Just like in Age of Ultron, Clint’s best moment in Civil War is shared with Wanda Maximoff. When Wanda is placed under house arrest, Clint rescues her. Again, however, the archer is aware of his limits and doesn’t push Wanda, only gives her the option. He delivers the motivational speech and is ultimately a strong presence by Wanda’s side that encourages her as she rescues herself.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

After breaking the law in Civil War, Clint Barton is placed under house arrest, and thus absent from Infinity War. In the opening of Avengers: Endgame, though, we watch as his wife and children fall victim to Thanos’ successful population cull. By the time we catch up to him in the present, Clint Barton has fallen from grace. He acts as the mercenary Ronin, a vengeful vigilante who assassinates any criminals who survived the Snap.

Clint clearly doesn’t value his life in Endgame. He misses his family, and finds only temporary solace when reuniting with his teammates. He’s practical about collecting the Infinity Stones during the team’s Time Heist, but he’s not too hopeful. Therefore his best scene is with Black Widow on Vormir โ€” yes, the one where Natasha dies, and an event that makes Yelena mistrust her sister’s most trusted companion.

On Vormir, Black Widow and Hawkeye compete for who gets to be the sacrifice needed to acquire the Soul Stone. Clint’s heroic selflessness is shown, so we can appreciate that aspect. And by forcing Clint to survive, Natasha reminds him what he has to live for. He weeps for his lost friend, yet finds his path toward goodness again. The question is โ€” will Yelena see that scene the same way?

What’s your favorite MCU Hawkeye moment? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!