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Marvel's Avengers: PS4's Hawkeye Is Different From the MCU in 4 Crucial Ways
Thomas McNulty
2021-07-06T08:34:49
To craft the playable heroes in Marvel's AvengersCrystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal have pulled from a variety of sources. There's over 80 years of Marvel Comics history to look when adapting the iconic Avengers team for its upcoming action game. However, there's also the massively popular Marvel Cinematic Universe at its disposal, allowing the team to incorporate fan-favorite aspects of each characters' live-action adaptations. This allows the game's version of the Avengers to be a wholly unique combination of old concepts and new ideas.
In the July War Table, the game's developers revealed that Clint Barton, known as the superheroic archer Hawkeye, will be the first new hero added to the game post-launch. The character's cinematic reveal trailer didn't show off much, but it did give a glimpse at Marvel's Avengers' unique take on the iconic Avenger. While the character Hawkeye is immediately recognizable to MCU fans due to Jeremy Renner's portrayal, there are also a number of key differences between the character in the game and the films.

Hearing Aids

Fans of Clint Barton's comic history will know that, in the pages of Marvel Comics, the character is actually deaf. At the end of his own self-titled miniseries Hawkeye, published in 1983, Clint activates a sonic arrowhead in his own mouth to overcome a villainous brainwashing scheme. The act allowed him to save the day, but also blew out his eardrums and left him deaf. Since then, the character often wears hearing aids.
In the reveal trailer for Hawkeyethe character is seen wearing earpieces. While it is possible that these are simply communication devices, the fact that he wears one in each ear seems to suggest that they are actually hearing aids like the ones that Hawkeye wears in the comics. If this is the case, then this is a major aspect of the character that has never been touched upon on the big screen. It will be interesting to see if, and how, Clint's deafness plays into his story in the game. With Crystal Dynamics already discussing its commitment to diversity, even mentioning Hawkeye and his hearing aids while discussing the importance of disability representation, this would be a great way to follow through.

Lucky the Pizza Dog

During the War Table, the developers suggested that their version of Hawkeye will be heavily inspired by the Hawkeye run written by Matt Fraction and drawn by David Aja. This series was known for humanizing Clint, placing him in situations where he was on his own without his powerful Avenger friends to help him. This comic run also heavily featured Kate Bishop, a young hero who also adopted the mantle of Hawkeye.
An iconic aspect of Matt Fraction's Hawkeye series is referenced at the very end of Hawkeye's reveal trailer. As the character's purple logo fades to black, a barking dog can briefly be heard. This is likely a reference to Lucky the Pizza Dog, an animal companion introduced in the series who is adopted by Clint. The dog became a key part of Fraction and Aja's Hawkeye run, and has since reappeared throughout the pages of Marvel Comics. Given the short tease, it's possible that Lucky will appear in Marvel's Avengers in some capacity, either as an easter egg or something more significant.

Chest Logo

Hawkeye's design as seen in the teaser is reminiscent of the MCU's adaptation of the character. He is clad in black tactical gear and wielding a seemingly high-tech composite bow. However, one distinct aspect of Hawkeye's classic design that never appeared in the movies is the character's iconic logo. Looking like an upside-down purple arrow, this logo has featured on many artists' designs of the character over the years.
Marvel's Avengers' Hawkeye utilizes this iconic aspect of the character's costume, making it stand out from the MCU version's darker uniforms. The logo adds a nice splash of color to the otherwise monochrome costume and makes Clint Barton instantly recognizable as the Avenging Archer.

Matt Fraction Skin

Outside of the character's default appearance, Hawkeye in Marvel's Avengers will also have a number of alternate skins available for players to choose from. Several of these are likely to separate Clint even more drastically from his MCU-inspired tactical uniform. In fact, it has already been revealed that Hawkeye's appearance from Matt Fraction's Hawkeye series will be available as an in-game skin. The skin depicts a bruised and bandaged Clint in casual attire, including a pair of jeans and a t-shirt adorned with a bullseye.
Marvel's Avengers is doing a fine job of making its playable heroes recognizable, while also giving them unique twists. The most interesting aspects of each hero have been put together to create something new and iconic. As the game's first post-launch hero, it appears that Hawkeye will continue to follow this trend, creating a new version of Clint Barton that draws from the MCU and the character's long history in the comics.
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