With the release of the Avengers: Endgame teaser trailer, we finally got our first official look at Clint Barton as Ronin. Although we already saw a glimpse of the suit in a leaked set photo a few months ago, this is our best look yet.
But who exactly is Ronin and what does this change mean?
In the comics, Ronin isn’t a single character, but a title that multiple people have gone by. First appearing in New Avengers #11 (2005), the character’s true identity wasn’t revealed until New Avengers #13. There we learned that the first person to don the costume was Maya Lopez, aka Echo. Co-creator Brian Michael Bendis later revealed that his original plan included making Daredevil the true identity of Ronin. However, he ultimately wasn’t able to do that because Marvel had different plans for the man without fear at that time. Maya only uses the Ronin persona for a short time while investigating the Silver Samurai.
After Marvel’s Civil War and Kate Bishop being the new Hawkeye, Clint uses the Ronin costume to protect his identity from the government. He later tries to give it back to Maya, but she refuses and tells him to keep it. Clint continues to go by Ronin for a few years until ultimately going back to Hawkeye again. After him there were 2 more characters who used the Ronin persona, Alexei Shostakov and Eric Brooks.
What does this mean for the MCU version?
Not a lot is known about the MCU version of Ronin, but since we know the comic origin and the current situation of the MCU, we can speculate. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Clint retired as Hawkeye to protect his family and live a normal life. After the snap Clint might feel the need to help his fellow Avengers without risking the government knowing who he is. This is under the assumption that the Sokovia Accords are still active. Another possibility, is that Clint’s family was affected by the snap and vanished before his eyes. That could leave him in a dark place where he doesn’t want to put on his old Hawkeye costume and rather chooses a new approach, perhaps a more brutal one.
But those are just some theories. Let me know what you think!
Avengers: Endgame will be in theaters April 26, 2019.