Avengers: Infinity War featured nearly every character who’s appeared in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie with just a few notable exceptions. We never saw Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, and we never saw Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye. Now both return in the new trailer foAvengers: Endgame. But Renner’s character is wearing a very different costume this time out. What’s going on there?

Well I will tell you, hypothetical person I just made up in my head because I couldn’t think of a smoother transition into the hardcore geekspeak. Renner’s Clint Barton is wearing the costume of a Marvel character called Ronin, who was first introduced in the pages of New Avengers #11 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch. In that storyline, Ronin was a mysterious warrior who joins the Avengers for a special mission to Japan.

Eventually, Ronin was revealed to be a woman known as Echo, a supporting character from Daredevil (who’s never appeared in the Daredevil movies or TV shows but is a really fascinating character, but let’s not get too off course here). Supposedly Brian Bendis wanted Ronin to be Daredevil when he first conceived the character, but stuff going on in Daredevil’s book at the time made it impossible, so he made Echo into Ronin instead.

Ronin was basically a disguise that Echo donned for that one particular adventure to protect her identity (yep, even though it looks like a dude wearing the Ronin costume in that picture, it was not). The next time we saw “Ronin,” it was a different man under the mask — and this Ronin was Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye.

Barton ditched the Hawkeye gimmick in favor of the Ronin costume in the aftermath of Marvel Comics’ version of Civil War. As in the movies, Hawkeye sides with Captain America’s team, which ultimately “loses” the battle with Iron Man’s pro-registration forces. So Cap and his allies have to go underground — which is why Barton becomes “Ronin” instead of Hawkeye to hide his identity. It’s actually a very clever and cool storyline.

Why Renner’s Hawkeye is dressed as Ronin in Endgame remains to be seen. Cap busted Hawkeye and the rest of his buddies out of jail at the end of Captain America: Civil War. With half the world blinked out of existence by Thanos, you would assume that people have bigger problems to worry about than a fugitive with a bow and arrow, but perhaps he’s just being particularly careful disguising himself.

Or maybe he has darker motivations; Cap’s voiceover in the Endgame trailer playing during Renner’s appearance refers to losing “family” and “a part of ourselves.” in the last movie. MCU Hawkeye has a whole family, who we met in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps Thanos killing his loved ones drove him over the edge, and he’s turned to the dark side in some way. (Running around with giant swords is definitely a little more intense than shooting trick arrows.)

All will be revealed when Avengers: Endgame opens in theaters on April 26, 2019. And I’ll be you we see Renner back in his Hawkeye costume at least one more time before all is said and done.

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