Marvel’s Deaf Superhero, Hawkeye, Can Now Hear!
In the Marvel comics, superhero Hawkeye, is actually deaf after having his eardrums blown out. However, in the new Avengers movies, Hawkeye, played by Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner, has normal hearing. This has caused a stir with deaf activist and model Nyle DiMarco who has argued that the character should not only be portrayed as having a hearing loss but be played by a deaf actor.
In an interview with media group Mic, DiMarco stated:
“So many times people forget the disability conversation in diversity. They think diversity has to do with race and gender, but there’s so much more to it. We are part of diversity as people with disabilities and the danger is that we get excluded.
“There are a couple of issues where specifically Hawkeye is deaf. And so they brought in an actor who can hear instead. I think it would have made better movies if they brought a deaf person in to play a deaf Hawkeye.
“I mean, no offence, but Hawkeye in the Avengers is boring. A lot of people don’t even like him… Let’s have a deaf actor in there instead, why not?”
Hawkeye has been portrayed as deaf in the past. Writer Mark Gruenwald had the character made deaf in a story in 1983 where he is captured by a villain named Crossfire and subjected to a new weapon. This weapon would cause anyone exposed to it to go into a violent rage. To stop the effects of this, Hawkeye placed a sonic arrowhead in his mouth and set it off. This worked, but also blew out his eardrums, leaving the archer hearing impaired and requiring him to wear a hearing aid. While his hearing was restored in a subsequent comic, Hawkeye was rendered deaf again after an encounter with another villain, The Clown!
Marvel have stated they will look into this but it is unlikely they will change the movie character.
So, even if not in the movie version, hearing loss and deafness exists in the Marvel Universe just as it does here in the real world!