In 'Hawkeye,' Clint Barton Has a Hearing Aid — How Did He Lose His Hearing?

Leila Kozma - Author

Nov. 25 2021, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

Starring Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, and others, the six-episode-long Hawkeye on Disney+ revolves around the fight two exceptionally skilled archers, Kate Bishop and Clint Barton, put up against the so-called Tracksuit Mafia.

In Hawkeye, Clint is portrayed as a busy dad who would rather switch off his hearing aid during a Captain America musical. But how did he lose his hearing? Here's what you should know.

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How did Hawkeye lose his hearing?

Hawkeye tells the unlikely tale of two superheroes with the same name. Kate adopted the moniker out of respect for the Hawkeye, whom she saw in action during the Battle of New York, the apocalyptic event portrayed in The Avengers.

The series revisits the early days of their collaboration, showing how Kate picks up new skills from her longtime idol. Unlike in the comic books, here Clint is shown as a more experienced superhero who sacrified his physical health while on the job.

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In Season 1, Episode 1 of Hawkeye, Clint takes his kids to see Rogers: The Musical, which touches on his rare deeds as a master-level marksman. During the show, he switches off his hearing aid. The scene suggests that Clint isn't necessarily fond of watching his adventures play out on the stage.

In another scene, Kate briefly asks about Clint's hearing aid — which is swiftly followed by a montage capturing some of the super-loud explosions he witnessed firsthand. As Season 1, Episode 2 of Hawkeye suggests, Clint lost his hearing because of the missions he had gone on over the years.

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The comic books reference Clint's struggles with hearing loss. According to Men's Health, his story is punctucated by battles that end with him having to deal with issues related to his hearing.

In one of the comic books, Clint bites down on a sonic arrow to put an abrupt end to a fight against the Mockingbird. The trick works, and he certainly manages to get rid of the Mockingbird — but he permanently damages his hearing in the process.

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In the cult-classic book by Matt Fraction and David Aja Omnibus, Clint develops partial hearing loss as a result of the abuse his father inflicts on him.

But it's the encounter with The Clown that has the longest-lasting and most disastrous consequences. According to Men's Health, Clint loses his hearing once and for all after the vile antagonist shoves arrows into his ears.

Source: YouTube
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'Hawkeye' on Disney+ looks at the qualities that make superheroes part human, part champion.

By focusing on a duo historically applauded for their grit, determination, and ability to master practical skills — such as swordsmanship or archery — Hawkeye marks a slight stylistic departure from the Marvel movies and series to come out in recent years.

Unlike some of Marvel's other offerings, Hawkeye revolves around flawed characters eager to do good and improve their environment while also dealing with personal challenges.

The first two episodes of Hawkeye are available on Disney+ now.

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