Marvel Studios’ line of Disney + shows have been responsible for adding a lot to the franchise this year. “Agatha All Along”, a new Captain America, a crocodile Loki, Captain Carter and now Hawk eyes here to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve only seen the first two episodes, but we’ve already seen the arrival of our new favorite, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and a hungry dog (note: don’t give your dogs pizza). Even Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), a guy we’ve seen onscreen for a decade now, has something new going on. He has a hearing aid.
The first mention of the hearing aid occurs in Clint Barton’s first scene in the series. He’s on vacation in New York City with his kids, taking them on a marathon of the greatest Christmas experiences of all time in an effort to make up for the 5 years kids weren’t there (thank you, Thanos). When we first see them they watch the Avengers themed musical Rogers at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. It’s… well, it doesn’t sound like the kind of show that is going to win any Tony, and Clint has every right to want to ignore what’s going on in front of him. Besides, he was there and he doesn’t need to remember Natasha, his best friend who died right in front of him. So Clint does the sane thing of turning off his hearing aid.
So when did Hawkeye get a hearing aid?
The real question is, how has he been without it for so long? We actually find out why he has a hearing aid in Episode 2, and that’s pretty good. Instead of revisiting a seismic event that permanently impaired his hearing, we see a quick edit of all the insanely dangerous things we’ve seen Hawkeye do over half a dozen movies. And unlike other human Avengers, like Tony Stark and Scott Lang, Hawkeye runs without a helmet or protection. So yes, Hawkeye has a hearing aid because it makes perfect sense that he needs a hearing aid now.
“Clint is a regular guy,” Hawkeye executive producer Trinh Tran told Decider in an interview. “He has no superpowers and he gets injured. All of these experiences and events that he has had as an Avenger over the past 10 years have affected him. We want to show that, and we haven’t really had a chance to explore that in the other movies, where you show our heroes bandaged up and affected by certain events.
Hawkeye also has a hearing aid now because Clint Barton has one in the comics!
Does Hawkeye have a hearing aid in the comics?
Clint’s hearing was not a problem when he debuted, and it only became a problem about 20 years after his publishing history began. The time has come in the 1983s Hawk Eye flight. 1 # 4, when Clint’s hearing was permanently damaged after a battle with the Crossfire sniper. From that point on, Hawkeye had a hearing aid … as long as the writers actually remembered he had a hearing aid.
After more than 15 years of inconsistency regarding Hawkeye’s hearing aid, writer Kurt Busiek explained in 2001 Avengers Annual that Clint’s hearing was restored after he (and a ton of other heroes) went through death and resurrection. Fast forward 15 years and writer Matt Fraction, whose work inspired the mainstream Hawk Eye TV show, regretted that Marvel lost a major performance for the hearing-impaired community. So in 2014 Hawk Eye # 15, Fraction and artist David Aja once again suffered permanent hearing loss for Hawkeye due to an attack from the villain called The Clown. Following this, Fraction and Aja even built an entire act – the 2014s. Hawk Eye # 19 — around American Sign Language.
“We love these details in the [Hawkeye comic book] run, “Tran said,” especially since he’s hard of hearing. So those are the details that we found interesting… One of my favorite images in the race is, I think, Kate bandaged up and taped up and all with a silly smile. And I think that was part of how we can bring this to life with Clint and Kate, in particular. [because] they don’t have super healing powers. They have no armor. All they have is their bow and arrows and they’re super talented.
And now that the MCU’s Hawkeye has a hearing aid, seen in an incredibly popular Disney + series, there’s a good chance he’ll stay in the comics as well.