Hawk Eye is ready to show a new side of Clint Barton, and that includes unearthing his past. As the new Marvel series follows Clint’s journey through the traumatic events of Avengers: Endgame, he also resurrects an unexpected figure from that movie: Ronin.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Hawkeye Episodes 1 and 2.
Hawk Eye Episode 1 reintroduces Ronin at a secret auction, where Clint Barton’s character mask, outfit, and weapon are sold to the highest bidder. Jack Duquesne’s uncle, Armand, wins Ronin’s sword before the auction is attacked. In the chaos, Jack steals the blade, while Kate Bishop slips on Ronin’s outfit and uses it as a disguise to fight off attackers and escape unnoticed.
As Kate soon learns, wearing Ronin’s outfit puts a target on her back, as the same men who attacked the auction are chasing her. When Clint sees Ronin on TV, it’s a flash from the past. He hurries to find Ronin to find out that it is Kate, a young woman who clearly doesn’t know what she has just triggered.
Ronin is an important figure in both Clint’s past in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in the comics. Here is a little reminder about Ronin and the key characters who assumed the identity of the vigilante.
Hawk Eye and Ronin by Clint Barton
Avengers: Endgame introduced Clint Barton’s Ronin onscreen. After losing his family in the Blip, Clint assumes the identity of a masked vigilante who hunts down and slaughters criminals. While the film does not directly refer to Clint as “Ronin,” it does take on the character’s outfit in the film. Hawk Eye confirms that Clint was, in fact, Ronin for an indefinite period between the Snap and End of Game.
With its first two episodes, Hawk Eye appears to explore Clint’s past as Ronin by making him face the consequences of his actions. He feels guilty for the crimes he committed and wants to make sure Kate doesn’t get hurt by all the enemies he’s made.
While this lines up with the story set up by End of Game, the comics reveal that Clint was actually the second person to assume Ronin’s identity. In a twist, Ronin was first adopted by none other than Maya Lopez (aka, Echo).
Hawk Eye and Echo’s Ronin
Kingpin’s daughter, the Native American deaf heroine Echo (played by Alaqua Cox), could be a major character in Marvel’s Phase Four with her own Disney + spin-off already confirmed. We first meet her in the dying moments of Hawk Eye Episode 2, when she is revealed to be the antagonist of the series. Given Echo’s comic book history as Ronin, it makes sense for her to pursue the vigilante, but to what end?
Echo made his debut as Ronin in New Avengers # 11, released in 2005. She assumed identity after feeling unworthy of joining the New Avengers because of her criminal past. She chose Ronin because it means “Masterless Samurai” in Japanese. After battling with and against the Avengers, she finally handed Ronin’s identity over to Clint Barton.
It’s unclear if Echo’s version of the MCU was also Ronin before Clint donned the costume and sword, or if she plans to take over the secret identity in the future. Either way, the comics confirm that Echo has a strong connection to Ronin, and it will be interesting to see if this is the first time that Clint and Echo have met or if the two have a shared history to uncover. on the screen.
Hawk Eye Episodes 1 and 2 are now airing on Disney +.