Clint Barton has been part of Marvel Comics since 1964 when he debuted in Tales of Suspense #57 as Hawkeye and quickly became part of the notable superhero group Avengers. In his debut, Hawkeye was actually presented as a villain who has a change of heart, and the fans know him as a “quirky and fun” archer who becomes much more jaded in his later years. Clint Barton has been an essential part of many big events in Marvel Comics, meaning he had instances where his character was left for dead. In this article, we will discuss Hawkeye’s death in the comics and explain what happened.
Hawkeye canonically died once in Marvel Comics, during the Avengers Disassembled comic book story when Scarlet Witch loses memories of her children, and Janet Van Dyne accidentally causes Wanda to have a mental breakdown. Wanda’s instability causes her to summon Kree ships above Manhattan when a Kree soldier hits Hawkeye’s arrows. Knowing he will die, Clint Barton uses a Kree soldier’s flight suit and sacrifices himself by hitting the Kree ship, saving everyone and heroically dying. He dies again after being resurrected in the House of M storyline, and this time, Clint Barton is killed by one of the Scarlet Witch’s children, presumably wiped from existence.
We will discuss Hawkeye’s death more, the circumstances around it, and investigate if Hawkeye’s character returned. If you are interested, stay with us until the end.
How Hawkeye died in Marvel Comics?
As we already mentioned, Hawkeye has been an essential part of Marvel Comics for decades. His impact is always noticeable in the big events because he is part of the Marvel characters who are “ordinary.” One of the most unfortunate things about comics is that a new superhero is always vastly stronger than individuals like Hawkeye. Still, Marvel writers insisted on keeping Clint Barton relevant in Marvel Comics. Thankfully, they did a really good job by sticking with his character, who was more than comic relief and one of the Earth’s Mightiest heroes.
Of course, Hawkeye’s journey through the comics was interesting, and in 2012, in Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, we even got the confirmation that Clint Barton is a deaf superhero and one of the last breeds of true “street superheroes.” Clint helped introduce us to the character of Kate Bishop, considered one of the best new additions to Marvel Comics in the last two decades. The original Hawkeye himself became part of popular culture.
However, Fraction’s Hawkeye from 2012 didn’t do what Avengers Disassembled did in 2004 – Hawkeye was dead, and this time for real. In the Avengers Disassembled, we see the destruction of the previous cast of Avengers and new members slotting in.
The lead-up to Hawkeye’s death is important, and it all starts with zombified Jack of Hearts coming to Avengers Mansion and exploding, killing Scott Lang. In the meantime, Vision is controlling a damaged Quinjet with which he crashes into the already destroyed Avengers Mansion. Across the world, we see Wanda Maximoff and Steve Rogers ending their brief relationship at the United Nations.
Suddenly, Tony Stark arrives completely drunk, despite not drinking any alcohol, and barges into the middle of an important meeting, where the UN decides to revoke the Avengers’ UN charter. This moment was crucial for Avengers after the events of the Secret War.
Nevertheless, Tony Stark’s unusual behavior ruined things for his fellow superheroes and left Hank Pym to deal with the aftermath of his mistake. Simultaneously, Vision exits the destroyed Quijet to warn the Avengers of imminent danger that will destroy them. However, his arrival makes everything even more complicated, and it’s revealed that he accidentally brought Ultron robots to the Mansion. The robots attack the survivors, who fight for their lives. Furthermore, the problem increases tenfold when She-Hulk goes insane out of nowhere and absolutely murders Vision on the spot.
Unhinged She-Hulk continues to wreak havoc and almost kills Captain Britain, Captain America, and Wasp, who end up in the hospital. Iron Man finally arrives to help subdue She-Hulk, and the surviving Avengers members gather to see what they are doing next. But in true Marvel Comics nature, the danger isn’t over, and Kree battleship emerges above Manhattan. The battle is vicious and bloody, and the superheroes try their best to protect New York from a surprise attack.
However, everything gets from bad to worse when Hawkeye’s quiver of arrows gets on fire. We know that Hawkeye has a lot of trick arrows, including the explosive ones, and at that moment, Hawkeye knows that he won’t be able to take off his quiver on time. After making a fast decision, Hawkeye hops on the Kree soldier, launches them on the Kree battleship, and sacrifices his life to destroy the imminent threat, saving everyone in the vicinity.
Hawkeye’s teammates are in shock, and his death prompts Dr. Strange to appear for the first time after the events of the Dark Dimension. He announces to everyone that Wanda Maximoff is responsible for everything going on. Iron Man’s sudden inebriation, She-Hulk’s frenzy, Vision’s loss of control, Jack of Hearts explosion at the Mansion, and the appearance of enemies were all magical.
Scarlet Witch went insane because she discovered that she had lost her children (magical constructs), William and Thomas, and her mentor, Agatha Harkness, ensured that Wanda had no memories of events. When Janet Van Dyne mentioned children, the word triggered Wanda’s memory, and she immediately snapped and blamed Avengers for letting other people “mingle with her head.”
At the end of the comic book story, Dr. Strange saves the day and defeats unhinged Wanda with the Eye of Agamotto, which puts her into a coma. Eventually, Magneto arrives and takes away unconscious Wanda to an undisclosed location. A comic book storyline, Avengers Disassembled, marked the moment when multiple Avengers members died, most notably Hawkeye, Vision, and Scott Lang.
This comic book story is a prologue of one of the fascinating stories Marvel Comics produced in the last two decades, The House of M storyline. We know that Hawkeye really died, but did he come back? Let’s find out.
When does Hawkeye come back in Marvel Comic?
Superheroes in Marvel Comics never stay dead forever because of multiple realities and events that spark magical and supernatural happenings. One is the House of M storyline, which is important in Marvel Comics in many ways.
We know that Scarlet Witch was defeated and put in a coma by Dr. Strange, but she was taken away by Magneto and hidden in a secret location. Professor Xavier and Magneto care for subdued Wanda and realize they must speak with the heroes to see what to do with her. Magneto blames himself for twisting his children through his ambitions and greed, and Professor X agrees he will speak with his fellow heroes.
Of course, Avengers and other heroes are absolutely livid with Wanda, and her actions – their fellow Vision, Scott Lang, and Hawkeye are dead, and her mingling with other people’s minds makes her even worse in their eyes.
Despite Captain America trying to reason with the rest of the heroes to spare Wanda, X-Men insists that Wanda must die. Disrought Quicksilver goes to his father Magneto and tells him the news of possible Wanda’s demise. Afterward, when Xavier comes to Genosha, he realizes something is wrong, and the light envelopes him and his fellow superheroes.
The light disappears, and the world is changed – superheroes’ lives are vastly different, and no one remembers what happened. Wolverine remembers everything that happened and goes on a journey to bring back the world to how it was.
Logan meets Luke Cage and his Resistance Movement against the House of M, a mutant organization/family that rules humans and the world. In this reality, mutants rule the humans, with Magneto and Wanda at the helm. However, Wolverine lives through the shock of his life when he sees Clint Barton in the Resistance Movement, all alive and well.
Wanda changed reality, and with that, she resurrected dead superheroes, including Hawkeye. Another mutant, Layla Miller, known as Butterfly, can restore everyone’s memories, and Clint, with the rest of the heroes, is livid about what Wanda did.
Hawkeye dies again in the epic fight between the superheroes and the House of M. That’s right, Hawkeye launches his arrow at Scarlet Witch’s back and dies again at the hands of one of Wanda’s children. Hawkeye’s allegedly wiped out of existence, but when Wanda warps the reality once again and whispers, “No more mutants,” New Avengers find Hawkeye’s uniform attached to the wall of the Avengers Mansion, confirming he is alive.
The story goes on, and frankly, we could spend thousands of words discussing this event, but we will leave for the next time. In the end, Hawkeye dies in Avengers Disassembled and House of M storylines, but he is confirmed alive after Wanda manipulates reality once again.