10 MCU Projects To Watch Before The Series Debuts

After a year without Marvel content on the big screen, Disney+ debuted their first batch of Marvel Cinematic Universe series for streaming. The shows provide for expansion of the universe and in-depth looks at characters who haven’t had much chance to be explored on the big screen. One series fans are eagerly anticipating is Hawkeye.

RELATED: Hawkeye: 10 Reasons To Be Excited For Kate Bishop’s MCU Introduction

The series is set to explore Clint Barton’s character, but also introduce his Hawkeye successor Kate Bishop to the MCU. Before the two team up for the series, there are quite a few MCU movies and shows to watch in preparation. Some people like to rewatch the entire MCU before a new project releases, but if not, these are a great primer before Hawkeye comes to Disney+.

10 Thor

Thor wielding mjolnir in battle in his first movie

Though he isn’t initially credited for appearing in the movie, Jeremy Renner does make his first MCU appearance in Thor. He’s present at the containment site guarding Thor’s hammer, up in his “nest” to keep an eye on things.

While Hawkeye doesn’t play a large role in the movie, Thor does provide a nice juxtaposition for who Hawkeye is. While Thor is essentially a god who has to regain his humanity (and humility), Hawkeye is just a regular guy with a specific skill set. Thor demonstrates the kind of MCU movie the audience won’t be getting in the Hawkeye series, while still giving a brief introduction to the character. It’s also a great starting point to see how much Clint has changed as the MCU expands.

9 The Avengers

The Avengers doesn’t give the audience a great look at Hawkeye’s character, but it’s a big stepping stone for the MCU. Clint spends most of the movie brainwashed by Loki’s scepter and fighting against his friends until the big conflict at the movie’s end.

It’s really the first time the audience sees that these super-powered people (and SHIELD agents) can be a cohesive team despite their differences. It sets Hawkeye on a superhero path instead of a secret agent path.

8 Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye's Farm

Clint Barton will be mentoring Kate Bishop in the Hawkeye series, so it’s only right there’s a rewatch of his first attempt at mentoring a young woman (in the MCU). Avengers: Age Of Ultron might not be a favorite for a lot of the MCU audience, but it does feature a lot of important moments, like the introduction of Wanda Maximoff to the team and the expansion of his backstory with the introduction of his family.

It’s Clint who manages to convince Wanda and her brother to help the Avengers, changing Wanda’s path in life. Even when her brother dies in the fight, she stays with Clint and the other Avengers, trying to find a way to make up for the damage she helped cause in Sokovia. 

7 Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Clint Barton only appears in a handful of MCU projects, so not everything recommended for viewing before the Hawkeye series debuts will feature the character. This one is recommended largely because it had huge repercussions for the MCU – including Clint’s life.

RELATED: The Captain America Trilogy: Which Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

SHIELD was revealed to have Hydra sleeper agents embedded in the organization for decades after Captain America came face to face with the Winter Soldier and someone tried to take out Nick Fury. SHIELD, for the purpose of the movies, no longer existed after this movie, meaning Clint Barton becomes a free agent. When he teams up with the Avengers, it’s because he’s helping out a friend, not because it’s his job.

6 Captain America: Civil War

Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)

The third movie in the Captain America trilogy pits avenger against avenger as a difference in opinion over the Sokovia Accords created a battle line right down the middle of the allies. Hawkeye doesn’t really have a stake in the battle initially. He only shows up because Steve Rogers asks him for help.

It’s Clint who brings Wanda out of confinement to take part in the fight. Bits and pieces of his friendship with Natasha Romanoff are fleshed out, just as they are in the earlier Avengers movies, giving the audience a look at the importance of his friendships to him.

5 Avengers: Endgame

Black Widow And Hawkeye In Avengers Endgame

Though Hawkeye doesn’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War, he does rejoin his teammates in its sequel. What little the audience sees of him once Black Widow tracks him down demonstrates that his life is a dark place while his family disappears during The Blip.

Hawkeye only commits to helping the Avengers because Black Widow assures him they can find a way to get his family – and everyone else missing – back. He plays an integral part in retrieving an infinity stone and loses one of his closest friends in the process. It’s an emotional movie from him, even if his character isn’t featured as much as some of the others.

4 WandaVision

Vision and Wanda fighting in Westview with their sons in WandaVision

One of the most recent additions to the MCU, WandaVision doesn’t feature Hawkeye, but it does feature his first protege in the Avengers. Wanda Maximoff is front and center in this series that is different from anything else in the MCU so far.

RELATED: Hawkeye: 10 Mistakes From The MCU The Disney+ Series Needs To Avoid

It demonstrates how someone with Wanda’s immense power deals with grief, but also gives the audience an idea of just what the world is like as missing people begin to reappear on Earth. The series highlights the idea of just what happens next after the Avengers have already defeated the bad guy that’s been causing all of their problems, much as the Hawkeye series will for Clint.

3 Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man Far From Home Peter Parker Tom Holland MJ Zendaya

Most of the MCU’s movie front has been devoted to adult heroes. With the teenage Kate Bishop entering the fray, it’s a good time to revisit some of the teens that are already heroes in the MCU.

If fans want a longer watch, shows like Cloak & Dagger or Runaways are the way to go, but those teens operate on their own without adult oversight. Peter Parker has a mentor in Tony Stark, and contacts with resources in Nick Fury and Happy Hogan. Kate has more in common with him, at least as her journey in the MCU begins, than she does with the teen teams that exist.

2 The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

While the two series will likely be very different, the characters in them are undergoing much of the same journey. Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes have to find their place in a superhero landscape without their usual teammate Steve Rogers. Clint will be operating without Natasha Romanoff or the might of SHIELD behind him as well.

It’s another way for the MCU to explore just how the heroes move on with their lives after their biggest fight is over. It provides another perspective on that before fans get to see Hawkeye’s path.

1 Black Widow

The first movie of Phase 4 is Black Widow, though it has faced many delays in getting to the big screen. The movie is set to feature Natasha’s “little sister” Yelena Belova. She’s already been confirmed to appear in Hawkeye as well.

Black Widow is set to expand on Natasha’s backstory, but it will also pave the way for a new Black Widow, and it will certainly be interesting to see how Clint Barton deals with that since Natasha was incredibly close with him and his family.

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