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Hawkeye's lack of powers and screen time has made him an underestimated hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite this, he has proven time and time again that he is a vital member of the Avengers. He has provided guidance and support to the team and has become a father figure to some. It is also because of him being one of the few non-enhanced heroes that he has become relatable and likable to audiences. He is a constant reminder to fans that no matter how powerful a character is, they could be a source of guidance and support, even without powers. This is a role that Hawkeye has adopted in the MCU and one that can shape the future of the franchise.
The fate of the Avengers post-Avengers: Endgame is uncertain, even though some members are preoccupied with their own situations, like Thor and the Hulk. But the MCU is steadily introducing new and younger characters that could become important editions to the team, if not for one crucial flaw -- their inexperience. However, Hawkeye could remedy that by training the future generation of heroes, as he did with the Scarlet Witch and Kate Bishop.
What Makes Hawkeye Different From Other Avengers?
Hawkeye's first appearance in the MCU showed him aiming his arrow at Thor, the God of Thunder. Since then, Clint Barton has come into contact with characters that surpass him intellectually, physically and in power. Nevertheless, even after he was brainwashed by Loki in The Avengers, he was still an integral member of the group during the Chitauri invasion. Hawkeye proved that being a hero doesn't require superpowers but rather bravery and determination. Kate Bishop reiterated this in Hawkeye when she spoke of how he inspired her to be a hero. Even his wife Laura states in Avengers: Age of Ultron that even though his other teammates are "gods," they still need him.
Another aspect that differentiates Clint Barton from his fellow Avengers is his loving nature and his being a father. He was the first among the Avengers to have his own family, albeit in secret, much to the confusion of most of his friends. Because of his family, audiences get a glimpse of the humane side of being an Avenger and the risk that comes with it. The first sequence of Avengers: Endgame shows the decimation of Barton's family after Thanos' snap. It was a shocking moment when people understood the depth of Hawkeye's character and how easily they could relate to him. Hawkeye's role as a father figure and his loving nature differentiates him from his fellow Avengers, making him the perfect candidate to train and mentor the future generation of Marvel heroes.
Hawkeye Can Help Set Up the Young Avengers
The MCU has slowly been introducing new characters such as Kid Loki, Billy and Tommy Maximoff, America Chavez, Cassie Lang, Riri Williams, Kate Bishop, Eli Bradley and Kamala Khan. Some of these heroes were first introduced in the comics as the superhero team Young Avengers after the events of Avengers: Disassembled. This has led to the speculation that a Young Avengers team is set to appear soon enough. Some of these new superheroes are experienced fighters in their own right and are already being trained by other heroes or will be in the future. Such characters include America Chavez, who was last seen being taught how to control her powers at Kamar-Taj, Cassie Lang assuming her identity as Stature and Ms. Marvel teaming up with Carol Danvers in the upcoming The Marvels film. However, these new superheroes need a mentor to teach them how to work as a team to face any future threats that the MCU holds. Given his history as a mentor and father figure to both Wanda Maximoff and Kate Bishop, Hawkeye seems to be the right choice.
If not all, then most of these characters will inevitably team up in the future. What made these characters unite in the comics in the first place was their love for the Avengers. With most of the original team being deceased or otherwise engaged in other activities, Hawkeye seems to be the perfect character to teach the Young Avengers how to work together as a team. He has already trained one member, Kate Bishop, as well as the mother of Billy and Tommy Maximoff. Whether the Avengers are still operating or not is unknown, especially now when each member is facing their own opponents and problems. For this reason, a new team needs to step up and fill in the role of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Why Hawkeye Is the Best Choice to Become a Mentor
Making Barton a mentor and role model for the future generation of superheroes seems to fit a storyline that has accompanied his character ever since he gave courage to the Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron, thus inspiring one of the most powerful Avengers. Despite him being considered the weakest out of the original Avengers, he has proven that what makes an Avenger is not skill nor powers but the strength of one's determination and character. This was also shown in Avengers: Endgame when he fought Black Widow to sacrifice himself to acquire the Soul Stone on Vormir. As a member of the original Avengers, he is also well-equipped to train a new team to face any threat.
However, what makes Hawkeye the ideal candidate to set up the future Avengers team is not his experience but his innate ability to inspire others and his loving nature. He has shown to care for those who he takes under his wing, as he has done with Wanda when they shared a tender moment talking about their lost loved ones in Avengers: Endgame. Hawkeye's character, determination and ability to inspire others make him the ideal choice to set up the Young Avengers team, as he has the experience to face any future threats. Also, by taking into consideration Jeremy Renner's snowplow accident eight months ago, it is uncertain if he would be able to participate in physically demanding scenes. Even so, portraying a mentor allows him to not engage in any fighting scenes. This way, Renner's place in the MCU would be secured in the future.
Barton has always been utilized as a secondary character in the movies. Despite being part of the original six Avengers, he was never properly utilized until Phase 3 and his show on Disney+. By giving him such an important role, Marvel Studios can show how influential Hawkeye's character actually is while also setting up the future of the MCU. By incorporating the Young Avengers in the main MCU continuity, new narratives can be introduced while making the audience more accepting of this new team.
Hawkeye influencing the future generation of heroes, as he did with the Scarlet Witch, would also contribute to a storyline that audiences will be drawn to. The mentor-trainee plot is quite popular, with series incorporating it in their main storyline -- such as in The Witcher, The Mandalorian and The Last of Us. One of the most captivating aspects of Barton's character is his reliability and relatability, making him one of the best heroes in the MCU. He is indeed powerless, but he has an effect on others because of his humanity. It is because of this that he can become a metaphorical bridge between the MCU that audiences have grown to love and the MCU that they have yet to witness.