Orphaned at a young age, Clint Barton and his brother ran away and joined a nearby circus. There, he was raised and learned he had a natural talent for archery, his aim being one of the most precise in the world. Years later, after seeing Iron Man in action, Hawkeye tried to become a superhero himself, but was mistaken for a theif. Forced to fight against superheroes, Hawkeye became tired of this accidental life of crime, and told the Avengers he wished to reform. Despite common quarrels with Captain America, Hawkeye was recognized as an extremely valuable member of the superhero community.
Hawkeye would go on to join other teams such as the Defenders and the Thunderbolts, but his home was with the Avengers. This backfired on him, however, as it resulted in his death at the hands of the Scarlet Witch, whose powers were out of control due to a mental breakdown. Hawkeye was later revived, but took the new alias as Ronin, due to another hero with the Hawkeye name appearing. But after Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers team, which included the villain with a deadly aim Bullseye posing as Hawkeye, were defeated, Clint realized that he should retake his Hawkeye legacy.