The Hawkeye trailer went online today, and already fans have spotted what looks to be a hearing aid in Clinton Barton’s left ear – is deaf Hawkeye canon, or is he just wearing a communication device?

Fans spot Hawkeye wearing what appears to be a hearing aid

In the trailer for Hawkeye, released today, Clint Barton, the eponymous hero, is wearing a device some have identified as a hearing aid.

For those who didn’t spot it first time round, watch the trailer below and stop at 25 seconds. The device is visible for two shots, or about three seconds.

Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye | Official Trailer | Disney+

Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye | Official Trailer | Disney+

One particularly observant Twitter user even spotted the device in an on-set photo of Jeremy Renner, who plays Clint/Hawkeye.

Understanding Hawkeye’s history of deafness

There is a sense of relief, among those discussing the trailer on Twitter, regarding what they perceive as canonical recognition of Hawkeye’s deafness. There is the feeling that it has been a long time coming.

Screenrant reported rumours that Hawkeye fans would see a deaf version of the character in the upcoming Disney+ show in November last year.

He first appeared in the comics in 1964. His history of hearing loss dates back to 1983, in a comic series involving a sonic arrowhead Hawkeye holds in his mouth in order to disrupt a brainwashing device. It causes him to lose his hearing – Clint Barton went deaf in 1983.

hawkeye hearing aids
Source: YouTube [Marvel Entertainment]

However, since then, different depictions of the character have dealt with his deafness differently – some, apparently, by erasing it.

How have fans reacted to Hawkeye’s hearing aids, if that’s what they are?

Many have celebrated the inclusion of Hawkeye’s hearing aids in the new series. 

However, there are those who are sceptical – not regarding the value of including hearing aids, but about whether they have been included in the first place.

One user concedes that the device in Clint’s ear “COULD be the hearing aid”, but reckons it’s by no means certain. The device so many people are calling Hawkeye’s hearing aid is apparently too small.

According to this interpretation, giving the character such a small hearing aid downplays the significance of the character’s deafness; or, audiences haven’t yet seen Hawkeye’s hearing aid at all.

Incidentally, Jeremy Renner is not deaf. Alaqua Cox, however – who plays Maya Lopez, aka Echo, opposite Renner – has been deaf since birth.

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