"Look, we're fighting an army of robots trying to stop them from building a giant earthquake machine to shake the planet in half or something...and I have a bow and arrow. But we have a job to do whether it makes sense or not, so get out there and do it."Born in 1975 in a small, rural, Idaho town, Clinton Francis Barton did not seem destined for anything all that spectacular. Both his father and his mother were less than desirable parents, frequently beating Clint and his younger brother Barney. Thankfully Clint was spared from a life of abuse when his father died at the age of six (though unfortunately this same accident caused the death of his beloved brother). Clint was adopted by his uncle on his mother's side, who worked in a traveling circus. It was here that Clint first nurtured his natural ability as a marksman, becoming part of the carnival act during the summer when he wasn't homeschooled.
By the 1990s Clint left the circus and joined the US Army, eventually joining the elite Army Rangers. He became highly decorated in this capacity, striking up a friendship (and later on in life a romance) with fellow Ranger Barbara Morse. Unfortunately Barton's desire to save lives at the expense of the mission got him into trouble with his superiors, as he and Morse were court-martialed for failing to follow a direct order (though their actions saved the lives of several soldiers in the process). He was spared time in jail, though, due to the interference of SHIELD, which recruited him and Morse to be agents. Before long, Barton had graduated from the SHIELD academy with top marks, taking his old stage name of Hawkeye as a nickname.
In his first mission for SHIELD, however, his propensity for not following orders would come to the forefront once again. Barton and Morse were instructed to escort a group of weapons experts to a cache of biological weapons in the old Soviet Union for disposal, and specifically ordered to kill the Black Widow if she interfered by SHIELD director Wolfgang von Strucker. In the course of the mission, though, Barton decided that Natasha Romanoff would be a more valuable asset for intelligence alive. This after his partner and the objective of the mission had already been lost and taken by the Taskmaster, whom Widow was working for at the time. Read the riot act in Istanbul, Barton nonetheless watches from afar as Fury and then Strucker debrief Widow. During this, he discovers that Strucker is working with Taskmaster, something Widow had evidence on. Using his gut Barton breaks Widow out of custody and the two go after Taskmaster together. Along the way, the two become something approaching friends.
In Volgogard, where the weapons shipment had been taken, the two set Morse free and then set out to take out Taskmaster. They are initially overwhelmed by Taskmaster and his eidetic fighting style, but the intervention of Nick Fury allowed them to eventually take out the criminal mastermind. SHIELD agent Jasper Sitwell, though, acting on orders from Strucker himself, threatens to kill Barton and Romanoff. Fury defends them, revealing Strucker's duplicity. Though Strucker gets away, Taskmaster is taken in. As Barbara Morse retires to more of a desk job, Clint becomes partners (and friends) with the Black Widow as they take out much of the remainder of Taskmaster's criminal enterprise.
In the next following years, the relationship between Barton and Morse grew to the point of their eventual marriage. Of SHIELD members, it is speculated that only SHIELD director Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Agent Phil Coulson knew of the marriage between the two. Barton demanded and Fury accommodated with a safehouse in rural New York before the Barton's first child, Cooper, was born. A daughter, Lita, would be born a few years later.
Many years later, Barton was assigned to the southwest region (when Black Widow is on assignment in Calcutta on a deep cover mission) and observed the Asgardian Thor attempt to retrieve his hammer from Tucumcari. The attempt failed, and Barton was not ordered to engage the "hostile." Later on, he would be assigned to security detail at the Dark Energy Research Facility, under the direction of Dr. Erik Selvig, who was researching the Tesseract. He often sat from afar, watching things as they happened, but missed the arrival of his old nemesis Taskmaster, who used the cube to bring Loki of Asgard back to Earth. Barton escaped the destroyed facility, and was later brought into the Avengers Initiative with several other of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Barton flew the plane that brought Capt. Steve Rogers and the Black Widow to Stuggart to apprehend Loki. After this mission was successful, and with a slight detour that involved Thor, the team was brought back to the SHIELD Helicarrier.
Eventually there an argument broke out, as the team tried to control Dr. Banner and prevent Loki from turning him into the Hulk, and also over SHIELD's planned reverse engineering of old HYDRA weapons in a protocol called Phase 2. This argument was ended when Taskmaster and a group of escaped supervillians boarded the Helicarrier to free Loki. Clint held his own against the invading forces, helping to prevent the bridge from being taken over by Whiplash, who was eventually killed by Nick Fury himself. Afterwards Barton was a participant in the Battle of New York, playing scout and taking out many of the invading Chitauri sentinel chariots with his accuracy. Afterwards Barton was granted leave by SHIELD and he opted to spend it with his family. It was during this time that Barbara found out she was pregnant again, this time with another son (though she initially thought it was a daughter).
Barton was drafted back into service though when Captain America and the Avengers began taking out the various HYDRA bases around the world in an effort to track down both Wolfgang von Strucker and the resurrected Red Skull. In Sokovia, at the final base, Barton was in the field handling several of the HYDRA soldiers when he encountered Pietro Maximoff for the first time. The speed of Quicksilver caught Barton by surprise and exposed him long enough to be shot by HYDRA forces, though not fatally so. He was quickly taken back to the Quinjet and, upon his return to Avengers Tower in New York, was healed in Dr. Helen Cho's regeneration cradle. A few days later Barton instigated the contest among the Avengers to attempt to lift Thor's hammer Mjolnir, though all of them failed. He later fought against the Legionnaires controlled by the rogue AI program Ultron. Barton and the Avengers eventually tracked Ultron to Johannesburg, as he was trying to by Vibranium from arms dealer Ulysses Klaue. Barton avoided being affected by the mental powers of Wanda Maximoff, and was able to help his afflicted teammates back to the Quinjet while Iron Man tried to recapture the out of control Hulk. Barton, being the only Avenger not severely hurt, then flew the team to his safe house in New York, revealing to all of them his marriage to Barbara Morse and his children. When they were called back into service by Nick Fury and, of all people, the Red Skull, Barton promised his wife that this would be his last mission.
Barton flew Black Widow and Captain America to Seoul South Korea in an attempt to catch Ultron before he used Dr. Cho for some kind of purpose. Arriving just as Ultron was attempting to leave with the regeneration cradle which was building him a new body, Cap and Widow intercepted Ultron and stopped him, with Barton getting his hands on the cradle in the process. Despite Natasha's capture, Cap considered the mission a success and flew back to Avengers Tower with Barton, the cradle and the Maximoff twins (who had seemingly turned against Ultron.) Clint then used old school spy tech, namely morse code, to track Natasha's whereabouts back to Sokovia. He informed the Avengers of this, just after the birth of The Vision from the Cradle. Barton then participated in the Battle of Sokovia, bravely saving several civilians from Ultron's drones and helping shut down the Earthquake Machine he had built to destroy the world. True to his word, Barton then retired as an Avenger, shortly before the birth of his third child, Nathaniel.
His retirement would be short-lived however, as the signing of the Avengers Protocol caused a split within the team with Cap leading one side and Iron Man leading the other. Answering Captain America's call to duty again, Barton teamed with Nick Fury to retrieve Scott Lang from San Francisco and took them to Budapest, where Cap was assembling a team to take out Helmut Zemo before he could launch several new Winter Soldier's onto the world. Barton fought in the Battle of the Budapest Airport, forced to side against his longtime friend Black Widow once more. In the end, Barton sacrificed himself along with several of his teammates to allow Rogers and Bucky Barnes to escape from the fight and make their way to Siberia. Arrested and locked up on the Raft, Barton chastized his former teammate Tony Stark when he attempted to gain information of Rogers' whereabouts, calling him "The Great Futurist" in a condescending fashion. Thought Barton was later broken out of the Raft by Steve Rogers and recruited into his Secret Avengers, life away from his family wasn't an option for Barton. Without selling out his friends, Barton turned himself in to Stark and accepted a plea deal for house arrest, where he could be with his family once again.
After spending a good amount of time teaching his daughter Lita to shoot a bow and arrow with some degree of accuracy, Clint was called into action along with his wife to deal with the looming threat of Thanos and the Chitauri. After successfully doing so, fighting on Thanos' orbital platform, Clint returned to retirement with his house arrest lifted. However, he also began a search for the real Black Widow, as the one who was present in the Infinity War was actually a Skrull infiltrator.
In the alternate timeline of Infinity War, Clint was killed on the orbital platform while fighting Thanos, leading to the Decimation of Earth's population. However, his daughter would go on to inherit his mantle and use the Hawkeye name eventually as a member of the New Avengers.
- Master Archer: Barton's accuracy with a bow and arrow (and most ranged weapons) is virtually unparalleled. Barton is able to hit a moving target from nearly a hundred yards away, while adjusting for wind velocity and speed of the target. It is likely he is the best known marksman in the world.
- Trick Arrows: Barton has a variety of trick arrows that he has utilized in the past, most notably an explosive charge arrow that has a delayed charge grenade on the end as well as a freeze arrow that has a small canister of liquid nitrogen on the end, causing instant freezing. He also has a grappling arrow for crossing long distances.
- Hand to Hand Combat: Receiving training from the Army Rangers and SHIELD (as well as Captain America), Barton has strong abilities in most forms of close quarters combat, though he definitely prefers a ranged style. Barton can convert his bow into a weapon not unlike a bo staff and use it for added attack leverage. He is also known to carry a few knives on hand, just in case.
- Expert Pilot: Barton is a licensed pilot and capable of tricks of high degree of difficulty, as evidenced by usually being the person who flies the Avenger's Quinjets when not injured.
Barton is often considered one of the "weak" Avengers, given his lack of super powers and his tendency to hang back from the rest of the back. As such in a fight, he will often be swarmed by large numbers of enemies. Likewise, as his primary method of fighting involves shooting arrows, there's limited space in his quill.
He also has a blind spot regarding his family, as evidenced by the fact that he kept them out of SHIELD's files specifically (despite his wife also being a trained SHIELD agent, codenamed Mockingbird) and more obviously his cutting of a deal with Thaddeus Ross to avoid jail time in the Raft, accepting house arrest as opposed to continued life on the run as a vigilante and fugitive.
Hawkeye appears in the following films within the Earth-11584 continuity of the MCU. In all cases he is portrayed by actor Jeremy Renner.
- Black Widow (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- The Avengers (2012)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity (2019) [mentioned only]
- Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet (2019)