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Avengers: Endgame
by yo go re

DC: "We're going to reboot Batman again!"

Marvel: "Your mom knows who Ronin is now."

Clint Barton is a master sharpshooter and skilled martial artist who fights alongside the Avengers.

As soon as it was revealed that Hawkeye would be becoming Ronin in Endgame, it was pretty clear what his motivation was going to be, but we almost got to see it earlier: the scenes on his farm were shot for Infinity War; we would have seen Thanos snap, then the movie would have jumped from Wakanda to the American midwest to show us the effects beginning, and then back to Wakanda to show the same thing happening to the heroes. According to Joe Russo, though, the shift was too jarring and took audiences out of the story while they tried to figure out what they were being shown, so the filmmakers removed that sequence from Infinity War and made it Endgame's prologue instead, where it could serve as a reminder of what had happened. Yeah, as if anybody could forget!

The movie takes quite a few liberties with the comicbook outfit, though it does keep the samurai-inspired armor on the arms and legs. Rather than the "cartoon ninja" pajamas he wears in the books, he has normal pants and a hooded jacket - something that could easily pass for real-world clothing. The knife sheath on the right boot might draw some attention, but not as much as the scabbard slung against his back. Anyway, the important thing is, the costume keeps the black-and-gold colorscheme, so it passes the squint test with flying colors. (Or lack thereof, as the case may be.)

The hood is removable. It's a separate piece that's not attached to the jacket in any way, just tucking under the collar to stay in place. The mask he wears beneath it has a single opening for the eyes, rather than two individual lenses, but the shape of the golden outline around the face is taken straight from the printed page.

Ronin doesn't include an alternate head, but you can swap on the unmasked one from the two-pack.

The coat can be removed, with some work, and the chest beneath it is fully molded with sculpted details, though there's no paint. Of course, there's none on his pants, either, so maybe that's what the costume actually looked like? Eh, it looks better with the coat on anyway. Though the strap for his scabbard is adjustable, so it'll fit even without the coat.

You may want to take it off at least once, if only to briefly take advantage of the full complement of articulation: the piece is big enough to keep the chest hinge from moving as far as it should. Ronin has all the typical ML joints, which worked out well for me, at least: the figure's left shin had been assembled backwards, so I had to boil it, pop the pin out of the knee joint, then turn it around and reassemble the pieces.

Ronin's accessories include two swords, one long and one short. They're not the same weird design as the ones he used in the movie - no cutouts along the blade - but they're close enough, and they both fit in the scabbard well enough. He also has an alternate left hand that's throwing three shuriken.

His piece of the Warrior Thanos Build-A-Figure is the left arm, a fairly important part to have!

By adopting a little bit of Hawkeye's Ultimate Comics story and a little bit of his 616 story, the MCU managed to create a logical and heartfelt reason for Clint to adopt a new costume and codename. And since multiple people have used the Ronin identity in the books, this design could theoretically stand in for one of them in a comic collection.

-- 06/12/19

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