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So There Is a Plot-Based Reason Why Hawkeye Is Missing From Infinity War Promotions


Clint Barton Hawkeye

Hawkeye fans have been grumbling for months about the omission of their favorite from Infinity War‘s marketing blitz. But the Russo brothers apparently have plans for him.

The other day a friend who doesn’t follow Marvel at all referred to Hawkeye as “Where’s Waldo?” and I couldn’t stop laughing because it was so unintentionally on the nose. After a brief glimpse of our resident Legolas in the first teaser trailer, Hawkeye totally disappeared from the Infinity War radar. He hasn’t been in any of the new trailers or TV spots, has been absent from magazine covers and all-cast posters, and didn’t get a solo poster of his own—an original Avenger! Fans haven’t been taking this lying down.

As the Washington Post laid out, this has led to Hawkeye fans doing everything from creating petitions in his honor to generating memes and fanworks that insert Hawkeye into the Infinity War narrative. Jeremy Renner got in on the fanart action by reposting a photoshopped Hawkeye cover on his Instagram:

Fan art…@marvel #infinitywar #hawkeye #🏹 #excited #blackpanther🤘🏻🤜🏿 #fanart #fansrock👍🏻

A post shared by Jeremy Renner (@renner4real) on

In speculating that Hawkeye was going to die earlier this week, I wrote that my theory is that Clint Barton’s family gets wiped out by the big purple grape guy, “and that this will launch him down a Drax-type path of seeking revenge against Thanos—perhaps by taking up an alternate identity from the comics.” The current popular theory is that he might adopt the comics identity of Ronin, since a picture emerged of Jeremy Renner in a costume strikingly close to that of the lone Samurai-style associated with the Ronin character. Reporters visiting the Infinity War set saw him rocking a mohawk.

Total Film spoke with one-half of the Russo brothers to get to the bottom of the missing Barton:

“All will be explained when people see the movie,” says Anthony Russo, when asked about Hawkeye’s continued absence, in a quote that feels me with dread. “It’s all tied into the story.” Seriously? That’s not helping.

While the interviewer is frustrated at Russo’s vagueness, “it’s all tied to the story” at least affirms for me that there really is a Big Important Plot Reason why Hawkeye is missing, and it’s not some case of Renner running afoul of the studio, or that Hawkeye dies immediately (as I pointed out before, excluding him from the marketing in that case would be too obvious, but fans have been worried).

As CBR points out:

Russo previously stated the marksman is in a “special spot” in the film, but only time will reveal Hawkeye’s role and how he can possibly help Earth’s Mightiest against the cosmic powerhouse that is Thanos and the Black Order.

All of this really just reinforces for me how little we actually know about the plot of Infinity War. Aside from a battle for New York and for Wakanda, and Thor hanging out with a talking raccoon in space, we still have a whole lot of ground to cover. Anyway, I’m going to be over here writing some fanfiction about how Hawkeye, Loki, and Ant-Man—everyone who’s vanished from Infinity War promotional materials—are really just on a roadtrip together and everything’s fine.

(via GamesRadar, image: Marvel Studios)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.