Hawkeye was absent from nearly all the promotional material for Avengers: Infinity War, and we have to admit that one of the big questions we wanted answered when we saw the movie was how Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) would fit into the enormous superhero bust-up.
Spoiler alert: he didn't! Characters mentioned him, but the Avengers' sharpshooting member was otherwise completely absent from the movie.
But what could Avengers 4 hold for him?
Where is Hawkeye?
We know that Hawkeye will be in Avengers 4. He was photographed on the set of the two movies – which shot back-to-back, contributing to our confusion – and as he wasn't in Infinity War, he's going to have to appear in the sequel.
What we do know is that he made a deal with the authorities (along with his fellow AWOL superhero, Ant-Man) in order to be reunited with his wife Laura (Linda Cardellini) and their children. But before Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) vanish in the post-credits scene, they were planning to call Clint up to help deal with the unfolding catastrophe – so he might not be as retired as we were led to believe.
Some of the set photos revealed that Clint might not be back as Hawkeye at all. The pictures showed him dressed as the superhero Ronin.
Ronin (the Japanese name for a freelance samurai) is a masked identity that various characters have taken on in the comics, including Clint after he came back to life one time (comics, folks!). Whether he'll be swapping his bow for a pair of samurai swords remains to be seen, but we expect he'll show up in Avengers 4 incognito before revealing his true identity.
There's a grim theory about how Hawkeye will find himself thrown back into the fray after Infinity War. As you know, at the end of the previous movie Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to erase half of the population of the universe.
The odds are against the Barton family coming out without at least a few losses. Will Clint re-enter the fray having lost his entire family to Thanos' actions – sending Ronin on a rip-roaring rampage of revenge?
The aforementioned Infinity War post-credits scene ended with Fury sending out a distress call on his pager(?!) – with the star logo on its screen indicating that Brie Larson's Captain Marvel is on the other end.
The implication is that she might be able to help solve the Avengers' considerable problems, and Captain Marvel (aka Carol Danvers) has been promised to appear in Avengers 4 too after her solo film debut earlier in 2019.
The Captain Marvel movie is set in the '90s, and will reveal how she met Fury for the first time. As Fury's oldest ally in the Avengers, could Clint know about Carol already? With Fury gone, it might fall to him to bring Captain Marvel into the fold and set her on the path to undoing the damage Thanos caused.
Avengers 4 will be released in the UK on April 26, 2019, and in the US on May 3, 2019.
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