Hawkeye's Origin Could Have A Major Detail Changed In The MCU

The casting of Tony Dalton in Hawkeye points toward Marvel making at least one big change to Clint Barton’s origin story. When several cast members for the upcoming Disney+ show were revealed in December 2020, among them was Better Call Saul actor Tony Dalton. It’s been officially confirmed that Dalton will play Jack Duquesne, who is clearly the MCU’s take on Swordsman aka Jacques Duquesne, a Marvel Comics villain-turned Avenger and an important character from Hawkeye’s past.

Even though Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has been around the MCU for a decade, there’s still several unanswered questions about his backstory. His roles in The Avengers movies have never offered explanations for how he became associated with SHIELD, how he got to know Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), or he became such a proficient archer. Barton getting his own show creates an opportunity to explore these missing elements of Hawkeye’s character. The inclusion of Swordsman indicates that Marvel is indeed moving in that direction. In his comic book origin, Hawkeye grew up in a carnival under Swordsman’s tutelage.

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Marvel specifically casting Dalton for its Swordsman is a sign that he may not have the same history with Barton in the comics. Dalton is 46, which is four years younger than the 50-year-old Renner. In the comic books, Barton was an orphan living on the streets who found a father figure in Swordsman. Duquesne raised him and made him his protégé at the carnival where he worked. Hawkeye being older than the Swordsman in the MCU means that Marvel will have to make some adjustments to this story. Unless Dalton’s Jack Duquesne only appears in flashbacks with a teenage Barton, his character having a fatherly role in Hawkeye’s life won’t really work.

It’s worth wondering what this change means for Swordsman and his connection to Barton. He’s too young for them to share their comic relationship, but it’s still at least possible that he’ll play a part in the development of his skills. Or, it may lean more heavily on Solo Avengers’ Hawkeye retcon from 1987, which revealed that while Swordsman was Hawkeye’s mentor, he wasn’t actually the person who transformed him into a master archer. When Barton was a child, Duquesne recognized that his talents were with bows (and not swords) and convinced his friend, Trick Shot, to teach him archery.

Instead of splitting the responsibility for the Avenger’s skills between Swordsman and Trick Shot like the comics did, Hawkeye could focus on just one and give the other something else to do. If so, Trick Shot could be Barton’s sole mentor in the MCU, and Swordsman may receive a different role. As for what that could be, it could be that he’ll be a former partner from Barton’s early SHIELD days or a close friend that he knew from the carnival (if this period of his life translates to the MCU).

More: MCU Theory: Hawkeye Will Introduce Marvel's Biggest Criminal Empire



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