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Marvel's Avengers confirms post-launch DLC treat

Marvel's Avengers releases September 4 for the PlayStation 4, so anticipation for the new superhero game from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics has reached a fever pitch. However, it looks like fans of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have something else to look forward to when the game launches. 

At some point in the near future, a post-launch DLC will make the character of Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, available for the game. The news was announced on the official Marvel Comics website, along with a teaser that showed a bit of the bow and arrow-wielding Avenger in action. 

The story of Marvel's Avengers takes place years after a disastrous mission seemingly killed Captain America and drove the Avengers underground. It's fitting, then, that the teaser trailer begins with a narrator calling out to any Avengers who may have survived. As the voiceover continues, we see a figure shrouded in shadow battling it out with a group of humanoid robots.

A giant door opens, flooding the battleground with light and showing the viewer that the robots have all been felled by purple arrows. Hawkeyes turns to the camera and smiles before the screen cuts to an image of Hawkeye's insignia. In the background, players can hear a dog barking, which seems to indicate that Hawkeye's beloved from the comics, Lucky the Pizza Dog, may be appearing in some fashion.

The announcement on Marvel.com explained a little bit more about what to expect from this new DLC. It read, "In an original story-arc inspired by some of the best-known Hawkeye moments in the comics, players wield Clint Barton's iconic high-tech bow and trick arrows in missions either solo or co-op online with friends. Hawkeye's story will continue to move the entire Marvel's Avengers narrative world forward, and all-new missions are accessible with the entire roster of playable heroes."

Another exciting detail of this announcement is the fact that a new villain will be introduced to the game as part of Hawkeye's storyline. We already know that the bizarre creature known as MODOK will serve as the primary antagonist of Marvel's Avengers. However, according to the announcement, the game still has plenty of surprises in store for fans.

The announcement continues, "More information about this [Hawkeye DLC] and additional post-launch content, including the new villain and other content debuting with Hawkeye's story, will be available soon."

In other words, this is much more than just a new playable character. We're getting a full-on expansion built around Hawkeye's experiences during the main storyline of the game. Oh, and the best part about this DLC for fans is that it's going to be an absolutely free download. According to the announcement, the character will offered as part of the game's post-launch content "at no additional cost." This is especially exciting for fans who may have been disappointed to see that Hawkeye wasn't part of the game's core roster from the start. Hopefully the character design won't disappoint fans like some of the others have.

Hawkeyes is already well-known to moviegoers as one of the founding members of the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he is portrayed by Jeremy Renner. Hawkeye made his film debut in the movie Thor before becoming a major part of the ongoing Marvel movie saga in The Avengers. In other words, he's the only founding Avenger from the MCU not to have a major presence in the upcoming video game — that is, until now.

Aside from his role in the film world, Hawkeye is a pretty popular character in the Marvel Comics universe, so it's no surprise that he'd make the jump to the video game world as well. Hawkeye was first created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, making his first appearance in 1964's Tales of Suspense #57. He was originally portrayed as a villain in the comics before eventually becoming more of an anti-hero and then outright joining the Avengers as a full-time superhero. The character received something of a revitalization among fans in Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye series, which Gizmodo once referred to as "one of Marvel's greatest comics."

That comic book series is forming the basis for much of what viewers can expect to see in the upcoming Hawkeye TV series from Disney+. Jeremy Renner is expected to reprise his role from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where Clint Barton will be seen training an up and coming hero named Kate Bishop. 

Between the upcoming television series and the Hawkeye-centric DLC for Marvel's Avengers, it's clear that Marvel is putting a big marketing push behind the superhero archer. In other words, it's a good time to be a Hawkeye fan.