Avengers: Endgame largely wasted Clint Barton’s Ronin arc, but Hawkeye’s spin-off Echo can really develop the concept as a Punisher figure.
Marvel Hawkeye spinoff may tell the Ronin story Avengers Endgame did not comply. When Thanos snapped his fingers Avengers: Infinity War, instantly erased half the life in the universe. No superhero suffered more than Clint Barton, whose family was reduced to dust. In the wake of Thanos’ snap, Hawkeye went rogue, adopting the Ronin identity and killing those he believed did not deserve to have survived.
Unfortunately, Avengers Endgame Ronin largely wasted. Clint’s actions were first mentioned in a team holographic briefing, with War Machine reluctantly telling Black Widow what his old friend had been up to in Mexico. Natasha then managed to trace him back to Japan, where she was shocked to see him kill a Japanese crime lord. Unfortunately, even though Clint had essentially transformed into the MCU’s version of the Punisher, that whole angle was largely forgotten. You would have at least expected War Machine to glance at him, having visited the site of one of Hawkeye’s Ronin massacres, but that didn’t happen. The resolution of the film gave Clint his “happily ever after” moment with his family, seeming to ignore the fact that he had basically become a serial killer over a period of five years. Everything was forgiven and forgotten too easily. Marvel is working on a Hawkeye TV show, and it looks like he’s going to correct this problem by forcing Clint to confront his legacy, both as Hawkeye and Ronin. The series will feature two inherited heroes, with Hailee Steinfeld as the next Hawkeye and Alaqua Cox as Echo, a woman who became the next Ronin in the comics.
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Marvel Studios is currently developing a Hawkeye spin-off starring Echo, with Etan Cohen and his wife Emily Cohen writing the scripts. This is a brilliant opportunity to really develop Ronin’s legacy by making Echo a very different character, one who chooses to embrace the most brutal kind of vigilantism that Clint himself adopted during the Blip. This is on Disney + so it won’t be R-rated, but it’s worth noting. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has already shown that Marvel’s PG-13 content can explore surprisingly mature themes. With proper handling, Echo could become the Punisher figure of the MCU, taking down criminals with ruthless efficiency and being hunted by heroes and villains alike.
This would make Echo a unique figure within the MCU, because, with the brief but understated exception of Clint Barton himself, no hero has ever held this role. The key point would be to use Echo to explore the morality of superheroism by contrasting it with more typical heroes and indeed, with clever writing, the antagonist could be a more traditional hero who is just as understanding as the Echo herself. This would be the kind of approach Marvel usually takes in stories where Captain America and the Punisher team up; Strained and awkward relationships that shed light on Captain America’s heroism and the brutal methods typically employed by Frank Castle. The dynamic between these two contrasting moralities is one that writers have enjoyed exploring over and over again.
Marvel would be smart if it used Echo to tell these kinds of stories. The Punisher brand is a bit tarnished lately, to the extent that Marvel Comics came under pressure to remove the Punisher character and his logo. By changing these themes to such an appropriate character, they explore the same ideas without any controversy. Meanwhile, the thematic connection between Echo’s Ronin and Clint Barton’s Hawkeye means the story feels like an organic development in the MCU. Hopefully this will be the approach Marvel will take, finally doing justice to the Ronin concept they so effectively teased. Avengers Endgame.
More: How The MCU’s Hawkeye Spinoff May Bring Daredevil’s Kingpin Back
- Black Widow (2021)Release Date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release Date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release Date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release Date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: March 25, 2022
- Thor: love and thunder (2022)Release Date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: Jul 08, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release Date: Nov 11, 2022
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