Hawkeye’s hearing aid is key to the story and a poignant Marvel tribute

Hawkeye pertains to Disney Plus today, and Clint Barton brought some additional equipment with him. It’s not deceive arrows, or an elegant bow, or a modern quiver, however it’s still something that Hawkeye comic fans have actually been waiting to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for almost a years.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Hawkeye episodes 1 and 2 on Disney Plus.]

Hawkeye wearing a hearing aid down low to watch Steve Rogers: the Musical

Image: Marvel Studios

In the extremely first episode of Hawkeye, the program exposes that Clint Barton has actually begun using a listening devices — and utilizing it to ignore undesirable acoustic experiences, like Rogers: The Musical, the Broadway program based upon the life of Captain America.

Why Hawkeye’s using the listening devices now

This doesn’t appear to have much of a result on Clint’s efficiency as a bowman or fighter, though he does prefer his left ear in discussion. And when vigilante-in-training Kate Bishop discuss his brand-new special needs help, Hawkeye describes the modification in an abrupt, concise, and humorous method. The episode smash cuts to a montage of every minute in every previous Marvel Cinematic Universe film in which Clint — who is simply a regular, un-enhanced human, with no superpowers, and not even secret Russian spy training — took place to be best beside a surge.

To Marvel Studios manufacturer Trinh Tran, Clint’s hearing special needs simply highlights the most crucial aspect of Hawkeye as an Avenger. Regardless of all the time he invests adventuring with gods, geniuses, and extremely soldiers, he’s extremely human and susceptible.

“[Clint and Kate] are human beings who have no superpowers. They’re just skilled at what they do,” Tran informed Polygon. “[We wanted] to really hit at the idea that they can get injured, and they can get hurt during these missions that they go through, and to showcase that, to see him being taped up because he is feeling that pain, and he’s feeling that injury. And the hearing aid is a nod to the idea that, through his experience, this can happen. And I think that’s one of the most relatable elements of the story that we tried to tell here.”

However Clint’s listening devices isn’t simply a practical result of the wild Avenger way of life. It’s likewise got a history in Marvel Comics. And an excellent one.


“Hey, so, uh. I’m deaf. They deafened me,” Clint Barton (Hawkeye) explains to a crowd on a rooftop in Hawkeye #19 (2014). “So I’m gonna sign what I have to say. I need the practice and I’m not gonna hide anymore.”

Image: Matt Portion, David Aja/Marvel Comics

Clint Barton’s stints with momentary hearing loss started in 1983’s Hawkeye #4, the last concern of the character’s extremely first solo miniseries. In the concern, composed and drawn by Marvel legend Mark Gruenwald, Clint purposefully deafened himself to avert supervillain’s sonic brainwashing gadget — and got a listening devices just a couple of pages later on, totally “restoring” his hearing.

His hearing special needs was an element of Clint’s character that was delegated be utilized or neglected, kept in mind or forgotten by subsequent authors and artists, up until 2001. That year’s Avengers Yearly utilized the occasions of the Attack crossover (which we will not unload for your own well being) to state definitively that the truth warping powers of young Franklin Richards (boy of Mister Fantastic and the Unnoticeable Female) had actually brought back Hawkeye’s hearing.

Hawkeye signs with his brother, Barney, in american sign language in Hawkeye #19, Marvel Comics (2014).

Barney indications to Clint in Hawkeye.
Image: Matt Portion, David Aja/Marvel Comics

It wasn’t up until much later on, in the 2012 Hawkeye series composed by Matt Portion and drawn by a number of artists (however most especially and typically by David Aja), that living with hearing loss ended up being a more deep-rooted part of Hawkeye’s mythos. That series (typically described by the name of its very first collection, Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon) premiered just 2 months after The Avengers had actually struck theaters and sparked an interest in the bow-toting Avenger beyond comics for the very first time. It’s likewise a story — embeded in New york city City, with Clint Barton and Kate Bishop embracing a one-eyed yellow pet and taking on versus a lot of accented jerks in similar tracksuits — that has most straight motivated the makers of Hawkeye on Disney Plus.

In their Hawkeye, Portion and Aja turned Clint’s experience with deafness into a modern-day plot point, and a substantial part of the style of the series. Their Hawkeye was well-known for its experiments in storytelling type, consisting of a problem in which as much discussion is “heard” from Clint’s deafened viewpoint as possible, rendered on the page in Sign language or only-mostly-accurate lip reading. In the exact same concern, the 2 likewise developed hearing loss as something that Clint experienced early in life, at the hands of his daddy, who routinely beat him and his bro Barney.

A young, bruised Clint Barton (Hawkeye) signs to his brother in American Sign Language. He reads Barney’s lips as he says “(Then we OUTLAST him) (UNDERSTAND?)” in Hawkeye #19 (2014).

Clint indications to Barney and after that reads his lips in Hawkeye.
Image: Matt Portion, David Aja/Marvel Comics

Clint isn’t the only Deaf or tough of hearing character in Hawkeye, nevertheless. Echo/Maya Lopez, who appears at the end of the Disney Plus series’ second episode, is a superhero with a supernatural quirk (she can perform any skill she can see demonstrated, much like Taskmaster), and she is Deaf. Created by Joe Quesada and David Mack for the pages of Daredevil in 1999, she is played by Alaqua Cox, a deaf actress, in Hawkeye.

“We had a Deaf consultant that we did work with on the on the Disney team,” Tran told Polygon. “Because we also have Maya Lopez, who is coming into the fold, and she’s part of the Deaf community, and we wanted to make sure that that was going to be represented in the correct way.”

Fans — including deaf fans — have waited patiently for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Hawkeye to catch up to Portion and Aja’s. With Hawkeye on Disney Plus, it finally does, both with incorporating Clint Barton’s history with hearing loss, and casting a Deaf starlet in the function of among the vanishingly couple of Deaf superheroes.

The very first 2 episodes of Hawkeye are out now.

| Marvel Studios


Rates taken sometimes of publishing.

The brand-new series premieres on Disney Plus on Nov. 24

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.