Marvel Studios’ lineup of Disney+ shows have been responsible for adding a whole lot to the franchise this year. “Agatha All Along,” a new Captain America, a crocodile Loki, Captain Carter—and now Hawkeye’s 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 fave, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), and one hungry dog (note: don’t feed your dogs pizza). Even Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), a guy we’ve seen on screen for a decade now, has something new going on. He has a hearing aid.

The first mention of the hearing aid happens in Clint Barton’s first scene in the series. He’s on holiday in New York City with his kids, taking them on a marathon of the most Christmas-y experiences ever in an attempt to make up for the 5 years that the kids didn’t exist (thanks, Thanos). When we first see them, they’re watching the Avengers-themed musical Rogers at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It’s… well, it doesn’t look like the kinda show that’s gonna win any Tonys, and Clint has every right to want to tune out what’s happening in front of him. Plus, he was there—and he doesn’t need to be reminded of Natasha, his BFF who died right in front of him. So Clint does the sensible thing of turning off his hearing aid.

So, when did Hawkeye get a hearing aid?

The real question is, how has he gone this long without one? We actually find out why he has a hearing aid in Episode 2, and it’s pretty great. Instead of flashing back to one seismic event that permanently impaired his hearing, we see a quick montage of all of the incredibly dangerous stuff that we’ve watched Hawkeye do over a half dozen movies. And unlike other human Avengers, like Tony Stark and Scott Lang, Hawkeye’s running around without a helmet and no protection. So yeah—Hawkeye has a hearing aid because it makes total sense for him to need a hearing aid now.

“Clint is a regular guy,” Hawkeye executive producer Trinh Tran told Decider in an interview. “He doesn’t have superpowers and he gets injured. All those experiences and events that he has gone through as an Avenger in the last 10 years has 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 being bandaged up and being affected by certain events.”

Hawkeye also has a hearing aid now because Clint Barton has one in the comics!

Photo: Disney+

Does Hawkeye have a hearing aid in the comics?

Clint’s hearing wasn’t an issue when he debuted, and it didn’t become an issue until about 20 years into his publication history. The moment came in 1983’s Hawkeye vol. 1 #4, when Clint’s hearing was permanently damaged after a battle with the marksman Crossfire. From that point on, Hawkeye had a hearing aid… as long as writers actually remembered that he had a hearing aid.

After 15+ years of inconsistency re: Hawkeye’s hearing aid, writer Kurt Busiek explained in 2001’s Avengers Annual that Clint’s hearing was restored after he (and a ton of other heroes) went through a death and resurrection. Fast-forward another 15-ish years and writer Matt Fraction, whose work inspired the current Hawkeye TV show, regretted that Marvel lost major representation for hearing-impaired community. So in 2014’s Hawkeye #15, Fraction and artist David Aja had Hawkeye endure permanent hearing loss again due to an attack by the villain called The Clown. Following that, Fraction and Aja even built a whole issue—2014’s Hawkeye #19—around American Sign Language.

“We love those details in the [Hawkeye comic book] run,” said Tran, “especially his being hard of hearing. So those are the details that we found interesting… One of my favorite frames in the run is, I believe it’s of Kate being bandaged up and taped up and everything with a silly grin. And I think that was a part of how we can bring that to life with Clint and Kate, especially [because] they don’t have super healing powers. They don’t have a suit of armor. All they have is their bow and arrow and they’re super skilled.”

And now that the MCU’s Hawkeye has a hearing aid, seen in an incredibly popular Disney+ series, odds are it’ll stick around in the comics, too.

Stream Hawkeye on Disney+

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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