Is Clint Barton Deaf in Hawkeye? How did He Become Deaf?

Is Clint Barton Deaf in Hawkeye? How did He Become Deaf?

The latest MCU miniseries, Hawkeye, has a lot of stuff to unpack. Within the first few minutes, we see Hawkeye not only go through trauma but also tune it all out. At least the sound part of it. That’s right, Hawkeye is wearing a hearing aid, and now we can’t wait to know if he is actually deaf and, if so, how?

We see Clint and his kids in the Rogers musical, which neither he nor his daughter enjoy. Their borderline cringe faces say it all. *No! It’s not all glory and superhero vibes when you are fighting battles.* Then comes the PTSD, as he sees the woman dressed as Natasha.

I can’t get into that now, though, because PTSD for each Avenger has to be a separate article altogether. For now, let’s focus on Hawkeye’s hearing or the lack of it.

Clint Barton is deaf in the Hawkeye series and hence uses a hearing aid. He can switch it off to tune out any and every kind of sound. During his time with the Avengers, he fought numerous battles and was close to explosions and loud sounds. Due to this, his hearing has deteriorated over time.

Is Clint Barton deaf in Hawkeye? How did he become deaf?
Clint Barton using Hearing Aid Machine | Source: IMDb

When Kate Bishop asks him, there’s a montage of his battles that includes crashing through the glass during the New York 2012 fight, Thanos raining down missiles on the Avengers facility, etc.

The writers very evidently are showing how Hawkeye is slowly turning to Clint. Be it with the way he wants to lead the life of a family man, or his PTSD, or his hearing. They are making him look more human and in many ways, it is essential to address it. The MCU is bringing out his personality through all this, and although I feel it is a decade late for that, at least it makes up for a good send-off.

In the comics, too, Hawkeye has hearing issues. However, it’s in no way similar to the events we see in the MCU. According to comics, he became partially deaf due to his father, who beat him and his brother up during their childhood. His brother Barney, as a result, is completely deaf. That’s right! Hawkeye has a brother.

The second significant event that led to his hearing loss is when he himself uses sonic boom arrows to win a critical battle. This makes him 80% deaf, and the last straw in this is his encounter with The Clown.

Is Clint Barton deaf in Hawkeye? How did he become deaf?
Hawkeye | Source: Fandom

The Clown is an infamous character in the comics who got hired by the Tracksuit Mafia to take down Hawkeye. He uses two arrows and pierces Hawkeye’s both ears, which leads to a complete loss of hearing.

While none of this has happened in the MCU, it’s not a surprise seeing him lose hearing after all these battles. Having said that, I just have one minor issue with this plot point. Why now and why not before?

We’ve seen Hawkeye in so many films, and he should have shown signs of hearing loss before itself. The MCU chose to bring this now and not build it up gradually through films, which seems a bit impractical. I mean, we’re watching a universe that can be split into multiverses. There’s an iron suit that can basically do anything and a superhero who doesn’t age. So I don’t know what’s practical and impractical anymore.

The Tracksuit Mafia

Nevertheless, I wonder if it has got to do anything with Echo’s disability. Echo, aka Maya Lopez, who seems to be behind the Tracksuit Mafia, is also deaf.

Now I know Hawkeye and Echo won’t exactly bond over their disability over Shawarma, would it still have some significance to the larger story. I guess I’ll just have to wait and find out in the next episode.

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About Hawkeye

Hawkeye is an upcoming television miniseries for the Disney+ streaming service. Created by Jonathan Igla, it is based on the Marvel comic character of the same name. The show will feature Clint Barton aka. Hawkeye and newcomer Kate Bishop who will eventually become the next Hawkeye.

Cast members include Jeremy Renner who will be reprising his role as Barton, and Hailee Steinfeld will be playing Kate Bishop. Additional cast includes Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, and Florence Pugh, who too will reprise her role from the unreleased “Black Widow”. Hawkeye is scheduled to be released in November 2021.