What’s the Deal With Hawkeye in Infinity War?

“Where’s Hawkeye” is quickly becoming Avengers: Infinity War‘s version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ pre-release “Where’s Luke” hysteria. And if you dig into things, it seems like Marvel has a reason why we haven’t seen the archer in any of the marketing yet.

I’ve talked to people I’ve worked with and known for nearly two decades who have done some tie-in work for Infinity War, and according to them Marvel has requested people not mention or do anything related to Hawkeye in regards to the movie right now.

This is probably because he likely isn’t “Hawkeye” in these two Avengers movies. If you remember the last time we saw Hawkeye in Civil War he was being broken out of the Raft by Cap. Since then the official movie prelude comic establishes that Clint is officially and permanently retired, and he is not with Cap, Nat, and Sam when they are seen on a mission in the comic. Yet we know he’s in these movies and the Russo’s have said he has his own mission.

If you look for set photos of the filming you can see some that reveal his costume peeking out from under the robe that’s meant to conceal it. And that costume is a very close match to Clint Barton’s other comic book identity…Ronin. That means if Clint is wearing his “Ronin” costume in these movies and is using that identity to hide from the Sokovia Accords and protect his family, it likely means that Marvel is treating that as a “new” character and something they want to surprise fans with.

Thus you don’t see Hawkeye in any of the marketing…yet.

This also seems like something they’ve were toying with for a while as well. For Civil War they did concepts of Hawkeye with his masked “Ultimates” look, so they’ve been thinking of doing a masked Hawkeye, and Ronin would be that chance:

There is also precedent for Marvel hiding an Avenger in the marketing like this. Back when Avengers: Age of Ultron released they released posters for each character, like they did yesterday for Infinity War, however they did not release the Vision character poster until well after all of the other posters were out. It’s possible we will see a Hawkeye/Ronin poster but not until much closer to release or even after the movie has been seen.