Who is Ronin? Hawkeye alter-ego explained

The new Marvel series resurrects an unexpected figure from Clint Barton's past. **CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR HAWKEYE EPISODES ONE AND TWO**

avengers hawkeye

The makers of Hawkeye have teased that the series shows a new side to Clint Barton – and that means digging up his past.

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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.”

Hawkeye
Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye
Disney+ / Marvel Studios

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 Hawkeye’s alter-ego Ronin?

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.

Jeremy Renner Ronin
Instagram/ Jeremy Renner

Hawkeye’s transformation into Ronin is one part of Avengers: Endgame that fans accused Marvel of underdelivering on.

Is Barton the first character to adopt the Ronin identity?

The much-loved Matt Fraction comic book run, upon which Hawkeye is based, reveals that Barton was actually the second person to adopt Ronin’s identity.

Ronin’s persona was first adopted by none other than Maya Lopez (aka Echo), who’s actually in line for a spin-off Disney Plus show of her own at the moment.

Echo is revealed as Hawkeye’s antagonist at the end of episode two (in one of the best entrances of a new character so far in the MCU).

With episode two ending with her heavy theme music, viewers may soon get to see her in action against Barton or Bishop.

Who is Ronin in Marvel Comics?

While most famously used by Hawkeye in the MCU, Ronin is an alias adopted by multiple characters in the Marvel Comics.

Several Marvel heroes and villains, who’ve had an affinity for weaponry, fantastic fighting skills and a need for a disguise, have taken up the Ronin identity and lived to tell the tale.

In addition to Hawkeye and Echo, the mask has also been picked up by Red Guardian, Blade, Bullseye, Moon Knight and Black Panther in the Comics.

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Hawkeye premiered on Disney Plus on Wednesday 24th November 2021.  Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year.

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our guide to the best series on Disney Plus, or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.