Hawkeye was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.
In his past, Clint Barton was enlisted by Nick Fury into S.H.I.E.L.D. for his archery, combat skills, and moral compass. While employed by the agency, Clint gained the codename "Hawkeye." During one mission, Hawkeye was deployed to assassinate a Russian assassin named Natasha Romanoff, codenamed the Black Widow, when she was deemed a threat to national security. After tracking down and confronting her in Russia, Hawkeye recognized potential and goodness in Black Widow and instead offered her a position in S.H.I.E.L.D. in exchange for him sparing her life. Touched by his compassion towards her, Natasha agreed to this, and she became Clint's partner on missions, which soon developed into a close friendship.
- Master Archer: Barton has trained himself to become a master archer specializing in the use of regular bows, longbows, compound bows, and crossbows with near-perfect accuracy. He is capable of firing multiple arrows at a single target in a few seconds, hitting multiple targets in a few quick strokes, and directly hit small targets in the greatest of distances. He has been known to hit an apple in the center of it. As Hawkeye, he practiced a minimum of two hours per day to keep his skills honed. His skill was such that he could even fire arrows at targets without even needing to turn and look at the targets.
- Expert Marksman: He possesses very keen eyesight, and his accuracy is virtually unerring; he was trained in his youth by Trick Shot with throwing blades, balls, bolas, and boomerangs. He now has near-perfect precision with any aimed or thrown weapon. He can hurl objects with extreme speed and accuracy, both in direct aim and complicated rebounds/interactions.
- Expert Acrobat: Barton possesses exceptional human strength, endurance, and stamina. He is athletic, with very good reflexes and agility. This, combined with training as an aerialist and acrobat, makes him capable of numerous complex acrobatic maneuvers.
- Expert Martial Arts: Barton is an excellent martial artist, having been trained in various forms by Captain America, who was arguably the world's greatest hand-to-hand combatant. On his first mission with Luke Cage's band of renegade New Avengers, Ronin proved to have come a long way from his old days of rarely ever using his martial arts skills. Throughout the battle against Elektra and The Hand, he demonstrated great skill in his overall martial ability, holding his own against nearly endless hordes of ninjas. This earned him a very respecting compliment from his teammate Iron Fist, one of the world's top martial artists.
- Skilled Tactician: As shown in his leadership of the West Coast Avengers and the Thunderbolts, Barton is a highly competent strategist, tactician, and field commander.
- Weapon Proficiency: Although he is not known to use melee weapons, Barton's incredible reflexes and hand-eye coordination allow him to easily master most weapons. He also received training in swordsmanship during his youth from the original Swordsman, who was considered one of the greatest experts in sword-fighting the world has ever known. Barton is skilled with swords, knives, nunchukus, staffs and is one of the few people to be able to properly handle Captain America's shield.
- Trick arrow quiver: Hawkeye's quiver is supplied with a multitude of different arrow heads in the bottom. By dialing up an armament setting from a control on his bow, Hawkeye can cause the quiver to affix these special arrowheads. This effectively increases the capabilities from conventional arrows, to explosive arrows, a grapple line, and more.
- Collapsible Recurve bow: The bow is capable of folding on itself (most likely for either easier transport, concealing it, or both), and has a selector and transmitter that allows Hawkeye to control his mechanical quiver. It also has a laser sight.
Hawkeye makes a brief appearance at the base where Mjolnir is being held by S.H.I.E.L.D., stationed on a watchtower. When a powerless yet determined Thor made his way to the base to retrieve it, fighting his way through multiple agents, Hawkeye was instructed by Phil Coulson to dispatch Thor with his bow. While holding fire, Clint sardonically remarked that due to Thor's impressive strength and determination, he was starting to root for him. When Thor was unable to lift Mjolnir, Coulson ordered Barton stand down as they took the Thunder God into custody.
With his mission in New Mexico complete, Barton was assigned to guard the Tesseract at a S.H.I.E.L.D. research facility. When it began emitting increased levels of gamma radiation the entire facility was placed on high alert and most staff were evacuated. Barton and a few others remained as the rearguard for as long as they could. The emissions proved to be a precursor to the unexpected appearance of Loki, who had used it to reach Earth. Barton and the other guards were quickly overpowered and Barton was promptly enslaved into Loki's service.
For a time, Barton served Loki as a guard, enforcer, and assassin, completely without volition. When Loki was incarcerated in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Barton led a commando raid against the vessel to free him. They were also directed to add to the chaos that Loki was seeding within his enemies. The attack drew him into direct conflict with the beautiful Black Widow, his closest ally. She bested him in close combat and scored a blow to his head that helped to dislodge Loki's hold over him.
Upon recovering from the ordeal, Barton vowed to put Loki down, going so far as to propose an arrow to the Asgardian's eye socket. To that end, he willingly grabbed his equipment and offered to pilot Captain America and the Black Widow to Loki's location, which had been determined as New York City. Once there, the trio formed up with Thor Odinson, Dr. Bruce Banner (the Hulk), and Tony Stark (Iron Man), to fight Loki together.
The group quickly found themselves embroiled in a battle for New York City against a huge invasion force of Chitauri that Loki had summoned using the Tesseract. Barton, now operating under the pseudonym of "Hawkeye" and serving as Corporal of the team, initially fought the alien warriors on the streets before switching to a higher vantage point atop a high-rise building to snipe at the alien air support. At one point, he even took a shot at Loki, and although the aim was true, Loki simply snatched the arrow from the air just before it struck. Hawkeye had planned in advance, however, and had rigged the arrow with an explosive head that knocked Loki's transport out of the sky.
When the battle was over, Hawkeye and the others parted company. He and Agent Romanoff returned to the service of S.H.I.E.L.D. until the next time the world would call on the Avengers.
After the destruction of Project Insight, the Avengers were officially reassembled with Iron Man's financing and Captain America's leadership. The Avengers arrived in Sokovia to take down the last known base of HYDRA and retrieve Loki's scepter. Hawkeye confronted Quicksilver, who mocked him for being too slow. This caused his distraction, which allowed HYDRA soldiers shoot him. Black Widow found him and protected him from the soldiers, only to take him back to Quinjet. He and his companions returned to Avengers Tower, where Helen Cho managed to cure him. Hawkeye attended the Avengers party in honor of the victory over HYDRA. When the party ended, he was one of the Avengers who unsuccessfully tried to lift Thor's Mjolnir.
Suddenly, a damaged robot arrived and described the Avengers as killers and then proceeded to attack them by Iron Legion. Hawkeye then fought against Iron Legion and also helped Captain America to destroy the last Legionary. The next day, the group met and discussed the events of the night before. Later, Thor returned from pursuing a drone and informed the group that the robot is heading to the north towards an unknown location. After locating the next destination of Ultron, the Avengers went to Salvage Yard to destroy it and defeat the Maximoff twins. This encounter led to a fight between Ultron, the Maximoff twins and the Avengers. As Scarlet Witch had defeated his companions, Hawkeye attacked her with an electric arrow saying he was not a fan of mind control. Quicksilver then attacked him taking his sister away from danger.
Later, Iron Man called Black Widow for help and so calm Hulk, but Hawkeye informed him that all had been defeated by Scarlet Witch. With his friends saddened by defeat Hawkeye took them to a place where they could relax and then out to fight. Upon arrival, he introduces his wife and children to his friends; Hawkeye explained that he asked Fury not to disclose this information to protect his family from possible threats. Later, he learned by Laura of a possible relationship between Natasha and Banner. Having recovered, he promised Laura that this would be the last mission, then he and the other Avengers went to Seoul to face Ultron.
Hawkeye was responsible for piloting the Quinjet while Captain America and Black Widow fought against Ultron and stole the cradle respectively. He told Cap that he was no match for Ultron, which Rogers thanked the trust in him for. When Romanoff fell prisoner of Ultron he was very worried about her, but finally had to leave due to an order of Cap. Back at Avengers Tower, Stark asked Barton if he could contact Natasha without using the Internet, he said he would try. While his comrades argued, he attacked Quicksilver before telling "You didn't see that coming". Later, Hawkeye witnessed the birth of Vision. As everyone prepared for the final battle, he decided to see the picture of his family before leaving.
When they arrived in Sokovia, he helped evacuate civilians and take them to a safe place where they were collateral damage. During the battle, Hawkeye fought bravely against the Ultron Sentries. He saved and encouraged Scarlet Witch after she felt responsible for what happened. He said no matter what she did or was in the past, she should fight and win, and if she went out that door she would be an Avenger. This encouraged Scarlet Witch, who came out of hiding to fight. Then he and the other Avengers fought the Sentinels after Thor challenged Ultron. When the fight seemed over, he saw a child trapped in a store; Hawkeye then went to rescue. Suddenly, Ultron began shooting and it seemed that this would be his final, Quicksilver used his body like a shield to protect Hawkeye and the child. Hawkeye helped to carry Quicksilver's body to one of the ships before Sokovia exploded.
After Ultron's defeat, Hawkeye returned to his home, where he was reunited with his wife and children, showing that he could keep his promises. He and his wife named their newborn son Nathaniel Pietro Barton, in honor of his fallen fellow Avenger.
Hawkeye comes out of retirement and sides with Captain America when the Avengers split into two groups over the Sokovia Accords and the bombing of the United Nations. He arrives at the New Avengers Facility to retrieve Scarlet Witch from Vision by creating a diversion outside. Vision gets the upper hand on him, but he's able to convince Scarlet Witch to incapacitate Vision and join him.
After recruiting Scott Lang AKA Ant Man to assist them, he joins Captain America, Falcon, and Winter Soldier in Europe where they fight against the pro-registration side led by Iron Man. Hawkeye primarily fights against Iron Man (in which he's used as a distraction for Ant Man and Scarlet Witch), Black Widow, and Black Panther. He is taken down by Black Panther and arrested by the opposing side and placed in the Raft along with Scarlet Witch, Ant Man, and Falcon. When Tony Stark visits to find out where Steve went, Hawkeye berates him for his decisions. He and the rest of the heroes are eventually freed by Captain America. Before leaving, Clint thanked Steve for this, but made it clear he was returning to retirement, which Steve eagerly encouraged him to do. He thankfully later returned home to his family.
Hawkeye doesn't appear in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War but is mentioned.
Having lost his family by Thanos' actions, Clint takes on a new persona as the samurai vigilante Ronin. Later, at Natasha's urging, he resumes his Hawkeye persona and joins the other heroes in travelling back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet. They succeed, and after Hulk/Bruce Banner uses the Infinity Gauntlet to undo the snap and bring everyone back to life, Clint joins the fight against Thanos and his army of Chitauri, Outriders and the Black Order. After Thanos and his army are killed, Clint joyfully reunites with his resurrected family.
Marvel Animated Universe
Hawkeye appears as one of the main characters of the series. He first appears to capture the Hulk in Las Vegas with Black Widow for S.H.I.E.L.D. Hawkeye's assorted arrows and Black Widow's shots seemed harmless against the Hulk. When Thunderbolt Ross fired an unauthorized missile at the Hulk, without regard for the two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, the Hulk took the damage of the missile and got thrown against a butte. As it toppled over, it fell towards a S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft, Hawkeye tried to warn the pilot but she got hit. Before the aircraft crashed into the ground, the Hulk managed to catch it. Despite his heroic act, Black Widow took the opportunity to neutralize him and he reverted back into Bruce Banner.
Curious as to the reason why the Hulk saved the aircraft, Hawkeye visited The Cube to talk to Bruce Banner. Hawkeye expressed his confusion towards the Hulk's actions, saying that the Hulk could have escaped, but he chose to save the ship. Banner urged Hawkeye to see that the Cube isn't so much of a prison, as they have no interest in helping him, and that S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Hulkbusters wanted the Hulk so that they can make more like him.
On his way out of the Cube, Hawkeye noticed Black Widow enter and then leave a room and wondered what she could be doing. In the S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft, he logged into S.H.I.E.L.D. computer systems and found her latest report and deduced that Black Widow has organized a meeting between herself and HYDRA.
Hawkeye followed Black Widow to the rendezvous point on his Sky Cycle. He surprised both parties when he shot an arrow at the canister that was being exchanged. He aimed an explosive arrow at the Black Widow and demanded that Black Widow tell him why she was betraying him, only to reveal she set him up to look like the traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D. and he got fired upon. Hawkeye was forced to fight back in order to protect himself until Black Widow shot him in the back, which caused him to pass out. He was then transported to The Vault.
During the breakout at the Vault, Hawkeye escaped with the other prisoners. But instead of making a break for it, he stayed to help contain the escapees. While he tried to stop Whiplash, Iron Man mistook Hawkeye for a villain, and fired at him. Hawkeye was able to avoid getting hit. When Iron Man was cornered by a group of villains, Hawkeye fired explosive arrows at Crimson Dynamo, which allowed Iron Man to get free.
Hawkeye was then pursued by Captain America, Black Panther, Wasp, and Iron Man over the city rooftops. When he ducked out of sight and Wasp came after him, he was easily able to point a sharp-tipped arrow at her. Despite this, the group managed to get Hawkeye cornered in an alley. An unintended distraction from S.H.I.E.L.D. allowed him to get away.
Tracking the Black Widow’s whereabouts, Hawkeye spied on her from a distance with his monocular as she entered a HYDRA hideout. To gain entry, he shot a gas arrow, which caused the guard to pass out. An electric shock from the arrow was directed at the control panel by the door, giving Hawkeye entry. He shot an explosive at a piece of HYDRA machinery and began shooting HYDRA goons.
Black Widow soon showed up to stop Hawkeye. She managed to get him on the ground with her wrist-blasters pointed at him. He shot off her wrist-blasters and shot a net around her. Black Widow remarked that he couldn't take her to S.H.I.E.L.D. because he was still a traitor. Hawkeye, unfazed, said that he’s taking her to the Avengers.
Hawkeye traveled towards the Avengers on his Sky Cycle with Black Widow tied up in the back. Then he saw the gamma dome expanding toward them and wondered what it was. Black Widow urged him to turn around and he did. In his hurry, he crashed the Sky Cycle into the ground. No one was injured and the vehicle wasn’t broken. Both Black Widow and Hawkeye darted toward their weapons and pointed them at each other. They’re interrupted by a hologram that projected from the Sky Cycle. While she was distracted, Hawkeye shot her unconscious.
With Black Widow tied up, she informed him that the Avengers were in that dome and could no longer help him. He tells her that he’s going to find the Hulk. Hawkeye leaves her there, tied up, after calling her a traitor, but gets information of the Hulk's whereabouts in Northern Canada.
Upon arrival, Hawkeye shot at the Hulkbusters from his Sky Cycle. With a few careful shots, Hawkeye was able to shut down the operation, earning the Hulk’s ear. When he asked for the Hulk’s help, the Hulk himself refused. Hawkeye then demanded that he speak to Banner or he’ll take the Hulk down. This made the Hulk laugh and revert back into Banner.
Banner took Hawkeye to a shack where he kept his research, where Banner analyzed the information gathered by the Sky Cycle about the energy dome. Banner also injected Hawkeye with a vaccine for the gamma energy to make him immune. He informed him that the Leader will be at the epicenter of the gamma dome and that they have to destroy the gamma energy generator.
When the Hulk and Hawkeye arrived, the Leader tried to convince Hulk to see it his way. Hulk refused, so Leader ordered Abomination to attack him. Hawkeye took a shot at Leader, only to have it snatched away by a gamma-mutated Black Panther. Hawkeye shot mutated Wasp and Captain America with arrows that cured them. Seeing his warriors falling, the Leader donned a robot suit that shot blasts at Hawkeye, which he easily dodged. Hawkeye was able to retreat to the roof, where the Hulk and Abomination were going hand-to-hand. He helped out the Hulk by causing Abomination to power down with the curing arrow. Leader was then swiftly taken out by Thor, while the Hulk destroyed the gamma generator and threw it into space.
Hawkeye was proved to be innocent by the footage from his Sky Cycle, confirming Black Widow to be the traitor. Though Hawkeye could now be reinstated at S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawkeye decided against that because they locked him up in the first place and he wanted to go after Black Widow on his own. Iron Man then approached him with the invitation to join the Avengers. Hawkeye turned it down, bringing up how easily the Leader took them out. Thor asked Hulk to come back and he replies that he’ll stay if ‘Cupid’ stays. Hawkeye got annoyed by that and immediately challenged Hulk, but then joined the Avengers.
When the Masters of Evil captured all the Avengers, but not Hawkeye and Black Panther either because they were forgotten or underestimated, the two heroes agreed that it was up to them to save their teammates. Hawkeye and Black Panther, however, slyly gained entry into the Avenger’s Mansion and snuck past different members of the Masters of Evil. Hawkeye managed to reach the meeting room, where the captured Avengers were being held and he began shooting at the villains, which were all avoided. Baron Zemo pointed his sword at both Black Panther and Hawkeye and told them that they should have walked away from the Avengers while they still could. After Black Panther said that he is an Avenger and he will meet his end with pride, Hawkeye said that he will meet his end while kicking and screaming. Black Panther and Hawkeye revealed that they were buying time for Ant-Man to arrive. While Ant-Man attacked, Hawkeye took out Enchantress, which allowed the team to escape. Iron Man ordered the team to take the Masters of Evil out of the Avenger’s Mansion. While fighting the Executioner, Hawkeye lost his bow, but continued to stab him with arrows. However, the Masters of Evil were able to escape thanks to the Enchantress.
Hawkeye's name can be seen on one of the news tickers, mentioning him cutting the ribbon to the bald eagle exhibit.
Hawkeye makes a full appearance when he was summoned by Nick Fury to protect Spider-Man from the revenge-hungry Beetle and help him to take him down if necessary, much to the web-head's annoyance. Despite their arguments and differences in their battle, they managed to stop Beetle.
Hawkeye appears in the series as a member of the new team of Avengers. He still retains his confident attitude, but sports an attire resembling his film counterpart, as well as purple shades. He is first contacted by Iron Man right after he stopped Trapster and two other villains from committing a robbery.
Marvel vs. Capcom series
Hawkeye appears as a playable character in the Ultimate re-release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, and was also recently confirmed to be playable in the upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
Hawkeye, along with Black Widow, made their first appearances at the Disney Parks in the 2014 Avengers Super Heroes 5K and Half Marathon RunDisney event at Disneyland, which was from November 15 to November 16, 2014. Both Hawkeye and Black Widow currently appear annually at the renamed Super Heroes Half Marathon runDisney event as meet-and-greet characters.
In addition, Hawkeye and Black Widow hosted the Avengers Training Initiative show during the limited-time Summer of Heroes event at Disney California Adventure, which ran from March 27 to September 10, 2017. He also did meet-and-greets in Disney California Adventure during the Summer of Heroes event. There are currently no plans for Hawkeye to make further appearances at the Disney Parks since Disney wishes to honor the fact that Universal Studios Florida has the right to the Marvel Comics characters for the Marvel Superhero Island in the Islands of Adventure.
- The idea of Hawkeye's family in Age of Ultron came from the Ultimate incarnation of Hawkeye. In the comics, they were killed by Ultimate Black Widow, whom Hawkeye killed in revenge. The canon version of Hawkeye married the heroine Mockingbird, but they eventually divorced. His main outfit was inspired by the Ultimate version as well.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is left-handed, but in the comics, animated universe, and video games, he is right-handed. In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, he is right-handed in story mode cut scenes, as well as when facing right in gameplay, but when facing left, he is left-handed (in Capcom fighting games, all characters switch stances and dexterities accordingly depending on whether they are facing right or left).
- Hawkeye was originally supposed to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, as Jeremy Renner was originally signed on, but was cut out due to the nature of the story and will instead appear in Avengers: Endgame, briefly under the moniker Ronin, before resuming his usual alias of Hawkeye.