Marvel’s Avengers Teaser Reveals Hawkeye With Hearing Aids

Marvel’s Avengers is an upcoming action game from Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, and due to launch later this year in September. Yesterday, Hawkeye was revealed through a reveal trailer, and fans are noticing a small detail.

The character reveal trailer for Marvel’s Avengers shows off Hawkeye looking back to the camera toward the end after battling some robots, but it’s revealed that he’s wearing hearing aids. You can watch the trailer below. It doesn’t have subtitles at current unless you like using auto-generated craptions.

Those who are fans of the Marvel comic books will know that Hawkeye, one of the Avengers, was deaf after an incident shattered his eardrums. However, in the movies, Hawkeye is shown to be a hearing character. There’s a reason for that.

In 2018, MCUCosmic wrote an article detailing the comic book timeline in which Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton lost his hearing in 1983 when Crossfire used a machine that caused Mockingbird and Hawkeye fight one another. In an attempt to stop the machine from affecting him, Hawkeye placed a sonic arrowhead in his mouth, but it ended up damaging his eardrums.

Franklin Richards then created a pocket universe, “Franklinverse” where dead heroes were reborn and with his hearing back. This is apparently when the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was created, and as such Hawkeye wasn’t deaf. However, he did lose his hearing again when Matt Fraction brought Hawkeye back in 2012. A villain called Clown stabbed him in the ears making him deaf once again. This resulted in Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark creating some hearing aids for him.

Marvel's Avengers in-game model of Hawkeye, covered in bandages and plasters, holding a bow, arrows strapped to his back, and a purple shirt with a target on. A comic book excerpt to the left shows the same style and a close up of the hearing aid.

In fact, there’s a Twitter account that echoes all of this in a Twitter thread. Additionally, above you’ll see an in-game version of Hawkeye that was revealed over on Sony’s blog post next to the version of the comic book Hawkeye that has hearing aids — I nabbed the comic book image from the Let’s Talk Clint Barton Twitter thread I just mentioned. The outfits match and so the timelines detailed above match.

The blog post from Sony explains, “Hawkeye has his own in-depth story mission chain, and it’s unique from the main campaign because it can be played either co-op or solo,” and that “He’ll also bring a new villain with him, which you’ll learn about in the future along with other surprises!” It was also detailed that the team revisited the comic arc from Matt Fraction, which is where Hawkeye gets his hearing aids.

This isn’t the first for disability representation in Marvel’s Avengers as Crystal Dynamics openly detailed disability representation back in May. During this post the studio showed how it plans to help normalize representation by having Cherry Thompson, an accessibility specialist provide “baseline motion capture” in their wheelchair for an in-game NPC.

Marvel’s Avengers will be launching in September 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia. It’ll also be heading to next-generation consoles Xbox Series X and PS5.

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Ben Bayliss

Deaf Editor at Can I Play That? - British and enjoys games with good subtitles and will complain about bad subtitles.

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