Clint Barton/Natasha Romanova

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Pairing
Pairing: Clint Barton/Natasha Romanova
Alternative name(s): Hawkeye/Black Widow, Blackeye, Blackhawk, Clintasha [1]
Gender category: Het
Fandom: The Avengers (comics), Marvel Comics, The Avengers Movieverse (MCU)
Canonical?: The pairing is canonical in the Marvel Comics 616 universe, but not in the MCU.
Prevalence: popular in MCU
Archives: AO3 works, The Budapest Archives (fanart)
Other:
Avengers Origins
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Clint/Natasha is a het pairing in the Marvel Comics 'verse and related Marvel Cinematic Universe, which pairs Clint Barton (Hawkeye) with the Natasha Romanova (Black Widow).

Canon

Marvel Comics

Natasha, originally a villain in early comics canon, convinced a young, impressionable Clint to join her and help her further her plans.[2] Clint quickly fell for her and followed her lead, and while she was only manipulating him at first, she eventually developed feelings for him too. She was a major inspiration for his joining the Avengers to "make amends" for his villanious past.[3] Natasha remained a Soviet spy for a while, becoming Clint's enemy, but unlike against the rest of the Avengers, she refused to fight him. Clint was the one who eventually broke through her brainwashing, though Natasha didn't join the good guys for a while yet.[4]

The pairing was broken up in the 1970s but they remained friends for decades. Marvel made them canon again in 2017, presumably due to the growing interest in the pairing thanks to the success of the MCU.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

This article or section needs expansion.

S.H.I.E.L.D. sent Clint to kill Natasha who at the time presumably still worked as a spy for the KGB. Clint made a different call and the two developed a lasting partnership after Natasha joined S.H.I.E.L.D. The movies make a point of showing the two of them worrying about each other and villains such as Loki using their connection to manipulate and threaten them, but they are only friends in this version of the canon. They end up on opposite sides in Captain America: Civil War but reaffirm their friendship even while fighting each other.

Other Media

They are canon in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Iron Man: Armored Adventures, and heavily shipteased in Avengers Assemble. The cartoons are closer to their 616 interpretations than to the MCU versions.

Fandom

Marvel Comics

The pairing hasn't been canon in the comics since the 1970s so Clint/Natasha was considered a rarepair for decades. While most people were only invested in their MCU versions, the movies brought in a new wave of fans who transitioned to the comics and continue shipping them in the 616 verse. There were only a few Clint/Natasha fics hosted on AO3 before the MCU brought their relationship to prominence; that number rose to over 500 comics-verse fics by 2018.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

The pairing particularly became popular after The Avengers film which referenced their past history and indicated that Clint was the reason Natasha ended up joining S.H.I.E.L.D.. Fans interpreted their shared scenes as well as several background details (Natasha's arrow necklace in The Winter Soldier or her wearing Clint's hoodie) as romantic and many claimed the pairing would become canon in future movies.

The pairing was confirmed to be only friendship in Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 and no actual romance between them happened since Clint is married. Due to this and other canon established, the movie got a lot of backlash. Some fans continued to ship them, some started pairing up Clint & Natasha together in a threesome with Laura Barton, while others left the fandom entirely.

Well, Clintasha was really pretty strongly derailed in Age of Ultron. Many fans were upset with the reveal that Clint has been married all along. To them, it seemed to come out of the blue and didn’t make sense with the strong Clintasha vibes in The Avengers. While I have nothing against Laura Barton, I do agree that it seems a bit out of place. Clint and Natasha, though, will both be returning in Infinity War and its sequel, though Clint’s role may be minor. Marketing materials have so far shown Natasha once again working with Steve Rogers. Clint’s absence in the marketing has become such a big deal that people are speculating that his role in Infinity War and its sequel will be pivotal.[5]

Statistics

The pairing is the most tagged het pairing in the MCU fandom, though they only appear as a background ship in a significant portion of those fics. For this reason, they were the most tagged het pairing on all of AO3 in 2015 and 2016, making them the only het pairing to reach the Overall Top 20 list on the site. They fell off the list by 2017:

  • 24th in 2013[6]
  • 25th in 2014[7]
  • 18th in 2015[8]
  • 17th in 2016[9]
  • 24th in 2017[10]

Common Tropes and Fanon

  • Arrow Necklace: Fanworks inspired by the arrow necklace Natasha was wearing during CA:TWS.
  • Budapest: Several fanworks have attempts to explore an exchange between Natasha and Clint in The Avengers film in which Natasha says "Just like Budapest all over again!" and Clint responds "You and I remember Budapest very differently."
  • Backstory: Fanworks exploring either or both characters' backstory, often taking cues from the comics, other times starting from scratch.
  • First Meeting: The first time Natasha and Clint meet. MCU fic most often doesn't follow comics canon, though the fact that Nat and Clint started off as villains sometimes inspires unique takes on the trope.
  • Hurt/comfort: The h/c roles switch fairly often.
  • Mission fic: A subset of the trope focuses on Natasha's first missions after joining SHIELD, usually partnered with Clint.
  • Secret Marriage: They either get married in secret or have a long-established marriage the rest of the team doesn't know about.
  • Partners/Buddycops: Working as partners before or during their time with S.H.I.E.L.D., whether they're romantically involved or not.[11]

Terminology

  • Blackeye, Blackhawk and Clintasha are all common pairing names for the ship.

Fanworks

Meta

Fanfiction

  • Every Night A Hopeless Lie by geckoholic, He never even tried to resist, and now he's reveling in his love for her, enjoying an illusion that can’t ever become truth. Natasha can faintly remember what that feels like; the memory stings, like a needle lodged just beneath her skin, and it makes her want to be a little cruel, to see how far she can push him, to see when they'll finally reach the point at which he will tell her no more. (Marvel 616)

Fanvids

Fanmixes

Other

Edits and gifsets

Fanart

Fests and Exchanges

Archives and Communities

Resources

References

  1. The Avengers Ships: Master List
  2. Boyfriend Files: Hawkeye, the Marksman!, by Fuck Yeah Black Widow. 19th August 2011, (accessed 1st August 2017)
  3. "Natasha’s fate was a large part of what motivated him to join up in the first place.", by Fuck Yeah Black Widow. 24th October 2012, (accessed 26th November 2017)
  4. "Can you or someone you know explain me why are Clint and Natasha soulmates?", by the-feels-assassin. 22nd February, 2015, (accessed 12th March 2018)
  5. OTP Tuesday: Clintasha on The Daily Fandom
  6. AO3 Ship Stats 2013 by centrumlumina
  7. AO3 Ship Stats 2014 by centrumlumina
  8. AO3 Ship Stats 2015 by centrumlumina
  9. AO3 Ship Stats 2016 by centrumlumina
  10. AO3 Ship Stats 2017 by centrumlumina
  11. A Guide To Tags And Tagging on be-compromised