Hawkeye and Black Widow have one of the strongest bonds in the entire Marvel Universe. Their affection for each other is obvious, both in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel Comics. Hence, many fans wonder what is Hawkeye and Black Widow’s relationship?
Hawkeye and Black Widow never dated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The love they have for each other is very strong but purely platonic. On the other hand, it grew to something bigger in the comics, where they did eventually date before splitting.
Still, some fans believe that their relationship wasn’t platonic at all, but they rather knew they could never be together because of their jobs and different personalities. Let’s dive into their relationship in both the MCU and the comics to get a better answer.
Hawkeye and Black Widow’s Relationship in the MCU
Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, and Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, are both members of the Avengers team of Earth’s mightiest heroes. Instantly, you can see that the two have known each other for a long time, and they share an affection towards one another.
It seems to many that their relationship is romantic, or at least they want it to become romantic, but it’s not true, at least in the MCU, and several indicators point to that.
First, when Nat speaks to Loki in the first Avengers movie, trying to get him to reveal his intentions, they get to the topic of Hawkeye and hers relationship. Loki suggests that she’s in love when she answers: “Love is for children. I owe him a debt.”
Later, we learn what debt she talked about. When she was still a Widow under Dreykov’s influence, Hawkeye was sent to kill her. However, he saw that all the undoings weren’t really hers, so he spared her life and broke her free of Dreykov’s control. He saved her life as she joined the Avengers after that.
They fought countless battles together, and their friendship goes way beyond any other we see in the MCU. Before the Avengers, Clint was the closest thing that Natasha had to a family, and although they love each other immensely, it’s not a romantic type of love.
That’s corroborated even further in the Avengers: Age of Ultron when Barton takes the whole team to hide in his family home. Nobody even knew he had a wife and kids – except for Natasha, who not only knew but was extremely close to all of them, especially the kids who call her Auntie Nat.
I doubt Barton’s wife would enjoy her company if she ever sensed that the relationship between Clint was anything else than a relationship so strong it became just like family. I mean, they’d name a child after Nat.
The final reason fans believe that, although they never go beyond their friendship and turn it into a romance, Natasha secretly loved Hawkeye. They believe that’s the reason why she sacrificed herself on Vormir to get the Mind Stone instead of Clint, but that’s not really the case.
First of all, they both wanted to sacrifice themselves in place of the other, as none of them wanted to watch the other die. They literally fought a fight where the winner gets to die, and while it was a heartbreaking moment in the movie, it was far from a romantic gesture.
Remember what Natasha said to Loki: “Love is for children. I owe him a debt.” Well, she repaid her debt on Vormir, where she sacrificed her life to save Barton, as he had more to live for (wife & children). It was Nat repaying her debt, not expressing her secret romantic love for Clint.
Therefore, in the MCU, Hawkeye and Black Widow are the closest friends turned to family, and they share a deep affection for one another. But, the relationship is purely platonic and never becomes romantic.
Hawkeye and Black Widow’s Relationship in the Comics
In the comics, things are a bit different. The premise of their relationship is the same – Hawkeye saves Natasha’s life, turns her to the good side, and they fight together as SHIELD’s agents and alter the Avengers. But, unlike the MCU, their relationship did turn romantic at one point, and they became intimate.
Clint fell for Natasha in the comics, and she fell in love with him, too, but the relationship was short-lived for several reasons. They had completely different personalities, and they realized at some point that their relationship could hurt a lot of people, including both of them.
As Ultron once said to Barton, he’s a pure Iowa’s poster boy; he wanted nothing more than to settle down with a wife, kids, a big farmhouse, and a normal, quiet life after he retires from being one of the Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Natasha could never give him that because she’s made for action. She doesn’t want the same life, and sooner or later, things between them would start to break.
Eventually, they did break up for good but remained extremely close friends, and we’re always there for each other when any one of them needed it the most. It’s been hinted that both still had romantic feelings for one another but never acted on them again, realizing that being friends is better for everybody involved.
So, while Hawkeye and Black Widow did develop a romantic relationship at some point in the comics, they ended it rather quickly and went back to be closest friends.
Whether they still had romantic feelings towards one another remains in question, but one thing is for certain – they love each other immensely and would do anything for each other. If it’s romantic or purely platonic is irrelevant.