Who is Ronin in Marvel? Ronin in the Marvel Comics? The makers of Hawkeye have teased that the series shows a new side to Clint Barton – and that means digging up his past. The new Marvel series centres around Barton’s attempts to move on from the traumatic events of Avengers: Endgame, bringing back an unexpected figure from that film in the process: Ronin.
Talking about how the TV series Hawkeye centres around Barton’s past and personal life, the show’s executive producer Trinh Tran recently told Den of Geek: “Every time we start developing a project, we are always talking about how we set it apart from everything else that we’ve done.
“With Falcon and Winter Soldier, with WandaVision and Loki, they’re all different,” she added. “In terms of Hawkeye, how can we set that apart from everything else? One way was that we didn’t want to do another world-ending catastrophe where the heroes are saving their universe. It made sense for Clint’s story to be more personal.”
The Hawkeye premiere reintroduces Ronin during a black-market auction, where his outfit, mask and weapon are being sold to the highest bidder. An attack ensues, enabling Jack to steal the sword, while Kate Bishop swipes Ronin’s outfit to disguise herself and escape. However, after spotting a Ronin copycat on TV, Barton tracks the mysterious figure down only to discover that Bishop is behind the mask.
But who is Ronin and why is he such a target? Here’s your guide to the Ronin identity in Hawkeye.
Who is Ronin in Marvel?
Ronin, a masked vigilante who tracks down and slaughters criminals, is the alias Hawkeye uses in Avengers: Endgame after he loses his family in Thanos’ universe-altering snap.
The film never actually outright refers to Barton as “Ronin”, but he wears the character’s outfit and mask in the movie.
Actor Renner shared an image of his Hawkeye character in the Ronin costume on his Instagram story ahead of the TV series’ release, confirming that Ronin will be seen again in Hawkeye.
Clint Barton Was Ronin in “Avengers: Endgame”
If you’ll recall, shortly after that jaw-dropping five-year time jump in the 2019 film “Avengers: Endgame,” Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) tracked her old pal Hawkeye down in the streets of Tokyo where he was slicing and dicing members of organized crime. Hawkeye had a different haircut and even a different costume, and had devoted his life to becoming a vigilante in the wake of his entire family’s disappearance when Thanos snapped half the universe out of existence.
Natasha was able to convince Hawkeye to lay down his sword and join her and the other surviving Avengers to try and go back in time and reverse Thanos’ snap — which they ultimately did, but at the cost of Natasha’s life.
What fans may not know is that Hawkeye’s little ninja sequence in “Avengers: Endgame” is a nod to a comics run that saw his character take on the alter ego of Ronin, and in “Hawkeye” it’s revealed that his time fighting criminals as Ronin has made some very serious enemies.
So despite the fact that the name Ronin is never uttered in “Avengers: Endgame,” Hawkeye was Ronin in that one scene. Think of it this way: If Hawkeye is an Avenger who helps save the day, Ronin is a vigilante who kills (mostly bad guys) at will.
Ronin in the Marvel Comics
In the Marvel Comics, Hawkeye was not the first character to take on the mantle of Ronin. That honor goes to Maya Lopez (aka Echo), who first assumed the Ronin identity in 2005’s “New Avengers #11.” In a twist of fate, Echo appears in “Hawkeye” and is getting her own spinoff Disney+ series. Coincidence? We think not.
Clint Barton was the second character to take on the Ronin identity in “New Avengers #27.”
How Does Ronin Fit Into “Hawkeye?”
The TV series “Hawkeye” doubles down on that small comics nod from “Avengers: Endgame,” and finds Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton revealing that during his time as the vigilante Ronin he made a lot of enemies. That puts him in contact with a young archer and Hawkeye superfan by the name of Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), who steals the Ronin costume from a private auction and is then spotted wearing the outfit while beating down assailants, thus leading those in the criminal underworld to believe that Ronin has come back.
And thus the plot of “Hawkeye” kicks into gear – Hawkeye must help Kate clear her name and get these baddies off their backs.
So, just when Clint Barton thought he was out, he’s pulled back in. Clearly he’s trying to live a quiet life out of the Hawkeye limelight when the events of “Hawkeye” begin, but he gets the added pressure of his murderous past coming back to bite him.
Black window’s past haunted the ronin name
In the 1990 graphic novel, The Coldest War (by Gerry Conway, George Freeman and a pile of inkers), Black Widow’s first husband, the original Red Guardian, was brought back as an advanced Life Model Decoy…
Years later, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev revealed that the Red Guardian was secretly still alive…
Now, was that the ACTUAL Red Guardian returned to life, or was it the L.M.D.? I think it makes more sense as being the L.M.D. (which was a particularly advanced one, like the Nick Fury one who was killed during the “Over the Edge” event), but whoever this Red Guardian was, he then became Ronin for a while, specifically during the “Widowmaker” crossover event between Black Widow and Hawkeye and Mockingbird (instead of having a traditional crossover, both books were canceled and their creative teams just split a Widowmaker miniseries together). It was specifically Jim McCann, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez and Nathan Fairbairn that made the reveal in Widowmaker #3…
My buddy Tom thinks it is the real Red Guardian, while I think it’s the L.M.D. Really, though, is there actually much of a difference between “returned from the the dead” and “returned from the dead in a fake body that is indecipherable from a real body?”
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