Since Clint Barton doesn't technically have superpowers, many fans instantly assume that he's the weakest member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. However, the fact that the only Marvel Cinematic Universe film which ended in the Avengers' defeat was the one that didn't include Clint Barton suggest he may be more important to the team than some fans realize.
Clint has never seen a target that he couldn't hit, and that pinpoint precision has helped Hawkeye take down armies of aliens, legions of Ultron drones and countless other formidable Marvel adversaries. He definitely deserves more credit than some comic book readers and MCU viewers seem to give him, but there's also no denying that some of the credit for his impressive feats of heroism does belong to his high-tech assortment of arrows.
Clint's arrow arsenal is absolutely incredible, and allows him to be ready to fight anyone who crosses his path, no matter what superpowers or skillsets they have. Unfortunately, since Hawkeye isn't as popular as some of his fellow Avengers, fans still don't know everything there is to know about him and his weapons.
15 HAWKEYE STARTED SHOOTING THEM IN THE CIRCUS
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes it seem like Hawkeye's career as an expert marksman began when he started working for Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., in the comics, his archery expertise was developed while working for the circus.
Clint showed off his nearly-superhuman aim to circus attendees as a sideshow act, but unfortunately as this comic panel proves, people weren't always appropriately impressed by the future Avengers' remarkable skills.
14 THEY TAKE INCREDIBLE STRENGTH TO SHOOT
Even though Hawkeye doesn't technically have super strength like his teammates Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Spider-Man do, he is still significantly stronger than the average human. There likely isn't an archer on the planet who could operate Clint's bow as effectively as he can in the comics.
His bow supposedly has a 250-pound draw weight, which is three times the average draw weight of the strongest real-world archers. Even Thor couldn't figure out how to operate it.
13 HAWKEYE'S QUIVER IS LIKE BATMAN'S UTILITY BELT
Comic book fans frequently praise Batman's effectiveness as a superpower-less hero because he has a plan for everything and the variety of weapons he keeps in his utility belt allow him to be prepared for any type of conflict. Hawkeye bizarrely doesn't get that same level of credit, even though his arrow quiver is just as impressive as the Dark Knight's utility belt.
Clint has grappling arrows, explosive arrows, arrows which release gas, freezing arrows, arrows that can hack into electronics... the list goes on and on.
12 HAWKEYE CAN USE BASICALLY ANYTHING AS AN "ARROW"
When debating Hawkeye's value as a hero, critics always bring up the fact that he's eventually going to run out of arrows in battle. This is in fact an issue that comes up in the comics, films and Avengers cartoons, but Clint doesn't suddenly become useless once his quiver is empty.
He's figured out how to make a projectile out of basically anything, and has shot people with playing cards, throwing knives, coins, tin plates and a variety of other items he found laying around.
11 THEY WERE ONCE USED TO AID THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
During the JLA/Avengers comic book crossover event which briefly united DC and Marvel's greatest heroes, several fun team-ups took place. However, only one character can actually claim they held a spot on the roster of both the Avengers and the Justice League—Hawkeye.
Clint got fed up with the Avengers, and opted to join up with DC's super-team. There, he awkwardly fell for and stole fellow archer Green Arrow's girlfriend, Black Canary.
10 HAWKEYE CAN ONLY KEEP 32 ARROWS ON HIM AT ONCE
Even though Hawkeye knows how to fight and remain relevant after his quiver is empty, it is still frustrating for the marksman when he runs out of arrows. Top comic book investigators have concluded that Hawkeye’s quiver can only hold 32 arrows at once, a statistic confirmed by the number of empty arrow slots in this image of Clint's quiver in Avengers.
9 HIS QUIVER IS MECHANIZED FOR EASY ACCESS
When Hawkeye is fighting supervillains, he doesn't really have time to take off his quiver, search for the perfect arrow for the particular situation, pull it out and shoot it.
Clint needs to react in just a few seconds, so he created a mechanized quiver which instantly pops out his desired arrow once he presses a particular button located along the grip of his bow. This keeps Hawkeye from ever having to take his eyes off his target.
8 CLIFF BRIEFLY TRADED THEM IN TO BECOME GOLIATH
Clint has always been associated with his arrows and mastery over them, but one of his superhero personas actually didn't use his iconic weapons at all.
To continue to aid the Avengers after he ran out of arrows, Hawkeye went into Hank Pym's wardrobe and threw on the scientist's old Goliath uniform, downed some Pym Particles to become a giant, and relied solely on his massive fists and newfound strength in combat.
7 HAWKEYE'S ARROWS WERE ONCE USED FOR EVIL
Hawkeye's arrows are typically used in feats of heroism, but when Clint first showed up in Marvel Comics, he actually used them to commit crimes. He was initially trained by villains Trick Shot and Swordsman, and accidentally became a Soviet spy at the start of his friendship with Black Widow.
The MCU also briefly experimented with a villainous Hawkeye. In Avengers, Loki used the Mind Gem to turn Clint into his obedient servant and weapon against Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
6 THE MCU'S HAWKEYE DOESN'T SHOOT HIS ARROWS PROPERLY
To try to prepare for the role of Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, actor Jeremy Renner trained with Olympic archers. Unfortunately, this didn't really help with his form.
In an article for Wired, archery coach Jim MacQuarrie called Renner's Hawkeye “the world’s worst archer." MacQuarrie stated that there were flaws in the star's grip, equipment set-up and draw technique, and added that Hawkeye wouldn’t need to wear arm guards on both of his arms if he were shooting properly.
5 THEY WERE INHERITED BY CLINT'S PROTEGE, KATE BISHOP
For some fans, Hawkeye will always be Clint Barton. In the comics, however, Clint eventually realized that he wouldn't always be able to perform as the Avengers' top marksman, so he trained up a protege named Kate Bishop.
Kate eventually took on the moniker of her mentor, becoming Marvel's new Hawkeye. According to Marvel Studios, the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ television series will revolve around Jeremy Renner showing the Young Avenger the ropes.
4 HIS BOOMERANG ARROWS CAN KEEP HIM FROM RUNNING OUT OF AMMO
During Matt Fraction's incredibly successful Hawkeye comic series, fans learned that Clint doesn't technically ever have to run out of arrows. One of his many weapon options is a boomerang arrow, which comes right back to him after it's used to eliminate his target.
Kate Bishop made fun of Clint for designing something so seemingly ridiculous, but it makes sense for Hawkeye to want to avoid emptying his quiver completely.
3 CLINT FIRST USED AN ARROW TO LAUNCH ANT-MAN INTO BATTLE IN THE COMICS
When Clint Barton used an arrow to shoot Ant-Man into battle in Captain America: Civil War, fans absolutely lost their minds over how cool of a team-up moment that was. If they read the comics, however, that scene wouldn't have been nearly as surprising.
Hawkeye and Ant-Man have used this clever trick in the comics on several occasions, and DC actually used it first with Green Arrow and the microscopic hero The Atom.
2 CLINT REALLY DOESN'T NEED PROJECTILES AT ALL
While Hawkeye's ability to turn basically anything into a projectile is undoubtedly useful, he doesn't actually have to rely on his marksmanship at all in combat.
When Clint abandoned his Hawkeye moniker and went by Ronin, he traded in his bow and arrows for a sword. He knows how to use several other close-combat weapons as well, and was trained in hand-to-hand combat by Captain America himself.
1 HAWKEYE ACTUALLY DESIGNS MANY OF HIS OWN ARROWS
Many fans wrongly assume that Clint's arsenal of high-tech arrows was created by S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Avengers' resident technology genius, Tony Stark. While Tony does in fact help Clint fill his quiver with cool gadgets in the comics every now and then, Clint is actually incredibly adept at making his arrows and the majority of them are of his own design.