Ok, so if you know me, I am extremely passionate about all things Marvel. I’m a Marvel Comics buff and one of my all time favorite characters has been the infamous Clint Barton, aka: Hawkeye.
So here’s my problem. As soon as Clint was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) all that was left of him was his name, and his bow and arrows.
For those of you who don’t know, one of the most important parts of Clint’s characteristics is that he is deaf!!! He has hearing aids. I don’t care if the MCU just wants to make him a comedic sidekick, his self-depricating humor when it comes to his lack of hearing is in itself hilarious – why couldn’t they include that much? Erasing that disability also takes away connection for young kids and people of all ages who can find a relationship with a superhero. Diversity in comics isn’t just about race: if a character has mental or physical disabilities those cannot be ignored.
The next issue I have is with his overall backstory. Clint Barton’s parents died in a car-crash, he was orphaned, and ran away to the circus with his brother. When he was there, he was offered a chance to join a life of crime, rejected it, and was abandoned by his
brother. So keeping that in mind, the MCU gave him a family. Believe me, no one thinks Clint Barton deserves a family more than me, but it’s just not done right.
He had an abusive childhood in addition to having no family, from this we learn that he has attachment issues. But nope, MCU gives him a family that he’s secretly hidden away for their safety; fantastic but so far from who he is as a character.
As I said earlier, he is a funny and goofy character, but he’s also self-destructive, covered head to toe in band-aids most times, and there’s jokes about his caffeine addiction, but he drinks that coffee just to give him enough energy to live sometimes. I wish this was the Clint Barton that everyone got to see. I was hesitant to read the comics because all I had known about him was what the MCU showed me.
Oh, and want to know the total amount of screen time over four movies for Clint Barton?? 32 minutes and 30 seconds.
It’s not unreasonable, I’m not expecting anything incomprehensible. 32 minutes is a long time, despite only being an average of 10 minutes per Avengers movie, it’s enough time to give him some development. Personally, that’s what I’m drawn to throughout books, comics, and movies: development. That’s why I don’t always like action movies, sometimes you get too much fighting and no story. Clint Barton has been embodying that concept and he deserves a lot better.
Other members of the team don’t get the time or story they deserve, but Clint sticks out like a sore thumb! Not only because of his background. I did some research, and experts say that the strongest men wield bows with a 75 pound draw weight (the amount of weight that holds the string in place). Clint Barton’s bow has a draw weight of 250 pounds. Would it be too much to ask of the MCU to just show Thor or Captain America trying to use his bow?? Is that too much?? If Cap gets time to break logs with his bare hands and budge Mjolnir then there’s time to pull on a bow.
There are a thousand other characters I could write about that deserve a movie, or more development. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken a physically disabled, unsteady, dorky, mentally challenged, self destructive orphan who loves his dog more than anything and reduced him to the guy with the bow and arrow.
And sometimes, that just hits me like a pile of bricks and makes me hope that this next phase has a brighter future.