This week’s What If…? episode is the biggest of the animated series so far, featuring the entire multiverse coming under threat from a variant of Ultron who won and got himself the Infinity Stones. By the end of episode 8, Ultron was victorious, the Watcher was sent into hiding and heroes had died (yet again). But there’s one other moment that’s causing fans to lose their minds more than any other: the revelation of Hawkeye’s middle name.
Black Widow and Hawkeye decide they need Armin Zola to help them combat Ultron and so track down a backup of his AI in a HYDRA base in Siberia. When they boot him up, Zola identifies the pair of them. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” he says. “Romanoff, Natalia Alianovna. Barton, Clinton Francis.” Yep, it’s official. Hawkeye’s middle name is Francis – as Clint explains to a surprised Nat, it’s a family name on the side of his “mee-maw”.
Fans don’t know what to make of this fact.
The Francis fandom is launching…
A peak at Steve Rogers’ reaction when he found out Hawkeye’s middle name.
Speaking of, the episode also revealed Cap’s middle name. Ultron and the Watcher’s fight scene sees them visit a universe where Steve Rogers appears to be being sworn in as president, with the hero revealing his full name in the process.
Sadly, things did not end well for Clint Francis Barton…
Hawkeye died after Ultron’s drones attacked the Siberian base, in a scene that echoed Clint and Natasha’s Avengers: Endgame scene, except with the deaths switched.
The revelation of Clint’s middle name comes just a couple of months before his very own Disney Plus series debuts. Jeremy Renner returns in the flesh in Hawkeye, opposite Hailee Steinfeld, which premieres on November 24th. In the meantime, What If…? reaches its season finale next Wednesday.