Even before The Avengers movie came out on May 4, casual fans and hardcore nerds alike were jumping on the “let’s-bash-Hawkeye” bandwagon. There were a lot of obvious jokes made about how Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton (played by Jeremy Renner), had no superpowers and doesn’t even have a gun like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Then, others argued that Hawkeye didn’t need to be in The Avengers at all since it already had Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Nick Fury. You’d think by the way geeks and cinephiles were slandering him he was Jar Jar Binks. I’d like to go ahead and take the opposing viewpoint and say that while Hawkeye might not be as cool as Iron Man, he’s still cool (cooler than Thor if you ask me).
Hawkeye has an important dynamic of his own in the Avengers. All of the other team members we wish we could be, but unfortunately for us, we can’t gain outrageous muscles from gamma rays, nor can we inherit a cutting-edge technology company from our fathers. We can’t get simple strength injections that don’t cause our voices to go up, we can’t command a flying battleship, and we don’t have the privilege to be kidnapped as a child and rasied by a master spy like Natasha Romanoff, aka The Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson). So to reiterate, while most of the Avengers are superheroes we wish we could be, Hawkeye is the only one we could potentially become (by a wide stretch of the imagination).
Hawkeye is basically just a guy who’s good with a bow and arrow. If any of us were willing to sidestep our family/work obligations, we could go in our backyard and become pretty good with a bow and arrow too. It might take years and frighten the neighbors, but it’s doable. Then, if Loki and his goons invaded Earth, we could hop around slinging arrows and make ourselves useful too.
Aristotle theorized that every person should be like a tool made for a specific purpose. Instead of being mediocre at doing many things, he believed people should strive to be good at doing one thing. Isn’t that essentially the case with Hawkeye? He basically spent a large chunk of his life trying to learn everything there is to know about arrows, and he succeeded at doing it.
Hawkeye is the closest thing to an everyman you’re going to find in The Avengers, so before you jump in and start parodying him, just remember one simple formula:
Hawkeye= you + dedication.
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What is your opinion? Do you see Hawkeye in a different light or do you still think he’s the lamest Marvel movie character?