Is Hawkeye deaf? Clint Barton hearing aids, explained

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One exciting thing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that actions and events have consequences. There is never a return to the status quo. An example: when James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) fell from the sky in Captain America: Civil War, he lost the use of his legs. It wasn’t just written in the middle of the next movie – he could never walk again without the help of Tony Stark’s tech, creating a loving moment three years later with Karen Gillan’s nebula in Avengers: Endgame. Marvel likes to do this sort of thing, and still does in the new limited series Hawk Eye, when Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) paid the price for his Avenging years.

In the first act of the first episode of Hawk Eye, it is clear that something has changed with Clint Barton: he now wears hearing aids. As he and his children attend a performance of a Captain America-themed, Avengers-themed Broadway show titled “Rogers: The Musical,“It’s clear that Clint is still a bit troubled by all of his years in the hero game (and the relatively recent loss of his close friends Tony Stark and, in particular, Natasha Romanoff). So he drowns while turning his hearing helps , still present as a father to his children, but no longer having to endure what was clearly causing him problems.

His daughter, Lila, notices. And a natural conversation takes place. The show doesn’t buzz to that beat, or doesn’t a thing. Clint just wears a hearing aid now. This is the second time in the past month that Marvel Studios has acknowledged that a character is hearing impaired, after Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) in Eternal, with Echo (Alaqua Cox) following shortly after.

But in case you were wondering if Hawkeye has always had hearing loss and you just haven’t noticed, well you haven’t missed a thing, this is a new development. But there are plenty of good reasons behind this.

Marvel studios

So why does Clint Barton wear a hearing aid in Hawk Eye?

Hawk Eye gives a perfectly reasonable answer as to when and how, exactly, Clint had the hearing loss: he doesn’t really know. But he’s spent years and years in the hero game, and, uh, well, an ordinary guy (Clint is, you know, just a human) being around for all these explosions, and battles, and fights, don’t may not be particularly good for someone’s hearing.

Hawkeye from Fraction & Aja: The Barton and Bishop Saga

The show has a brief flashback when Clint imagines some of his memorable MCU moments: flying through windows during the Battle of New York in The Avengers, a huge explosion during Avengers: Age of Ultron, and help protect the glove during the decisive battle in Avengers: Endgame among others. And, I’m just going to say it: that’s a pretty good reason. Honestly, it’s a little shocking that more “just human” Avengers aren’t reporting longer term health issues. Maybe we’ll start to hear about Scott Lang’s arthritic knees or something in the next one. The ant Man movie.

Hearing loss is a key part of Clint Barton’s story in Marvel Comics.

At various points in his Marvel Comic history, Clint Barton either had partial hearing loss, lost around 80% of his hearing, or lost his hearing completely.

At one point in his comic book history, Hawkeye was 80% deaf following a big battle. He was held captive by a villain named Crossfire, and while fighting another villain named Mockingbird, he bit a sonic arrow, which stopped the fight but permanently damaged his hearing.

hawkeye hearing loss
By Matt Fraction Hawk Eye Course.

Marvel comics

Hawkeye’s audience was re-established during Marvel’s “Heroes Reborn” period, but she was made history in the beloved run of Matt Fraction and David Aja (as the Hawk Eye series is largely based on). In this race, it is explained that Clint Barton suffered partial hearing loss as a result of abuse by his father during his childhood.

It’s not clear if he regained his hearing or just covered it up, but Hawkeye goes completely deaf in this race after a villain called “The Clown” shoves Clint’s arrows in his ears. . At first, Clint won’t accept the reality of what’s going on, but ends up identifying as completely deaf in an emotional moment with his crippled (and in a wheelchair) brother, Barney.

It is clear that Clint’s hearing loss will also play a key role in Hawk Eye.

In case you thought the allusions to hearing Clint in the first two episodes of Hawk Eye were too subtle, Episode 3, titled “Echoes”, makes it clear that this will be a key part of this character and the Hawk Eye series in general as we go along.

As the episode takes its entire opening streak to properly introduce and establish Maya Lopez / Echo, a character who has been deaf her entire life, he clearly draws on the parallel between her and Clint when the two meet later in the episode.

The two face off in an exciting battle, but Maya – having been deaf her entire life, communicating via American Sign Language – and Clint – newly hard of hearing – are clearly not on the same wavelength. Maya first tells Clint that he would be better off without the hearing aid, then, during their fight, knocks it out of his ear with a kick to the head and crushes him with her foot. Clint and Kate escape, but without his hearing aid, Clint is forced to operate with hearing loss.

It helps any character to be the center of their own affairs, and Clint Barton was no different at the start of Hawk Eye. But with his hearing loss and this new exploration of how he deals with this new normal, the character feels imbued with a whole new energy. The scene at the end of the episode where Clint answers the phone and his son, Nathaniel is online was perhaps the most compelling character work Jeremy Renner has done in the MCU; her reactions to Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) relaying her son’s messages were really well done. It was a great scene for both of you.

Clint Barton’s hearing loss has become closely associated with the character; Marvel Studios is making the move to make the character match its comedic counterpart (regardless of origin) in this way already goes a long way.

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