With the impending blockbuster and life changing Avengers movie coming out, there are a few team members that haven’t had their own movies done…yet. I’m speaking of course about Hawkeye and Black Widow, a.k.a. Clint Barton and Natasha Romanova respectively. These two aren’t members of the Marvel big three nor a particularly successful comic series, and often have played second string to other super heroes (as they did in Marvel movies). However, each have been great and inspiring heroes in their own right; thus, I want to pay a little homage to Clint Barton as he, and one of his many super identities, drew me into comics even deeper than before.
Hawkeye is yet another of Stan Lee’s great creations, who first appeared in an Iron Man comic as a villain (a fact that no Avenger has ever really let him live down). As with all Avengers having tragedy as a major source of their development, Hawkeye is no different. The first being the death of both his parents and he and his brother, Barney, growing up for some time as orphans. That is until Swordsman and Trickshot took Clint under their wings and trained him to be the greatest archers in the history of man. Clint was a carnival act until he found out that Swordsman and Trickshot were embezzling from the carnival, causing him to leave and find another carnival to join. That is, until he runs across Iron Man’s path.
After a misunderstanding resulting with Hawkeye being viewed as a villain, and being pursued by the authorities. Hawkeye later runs into another patron of the Avenger’s mansion, and through a series of events is initiated into the Avengers with Iron Man’s full support. Hawkeye enjoys many adventures as the cocky upstart kid, that is taken under the wing of Capt. America gaining more skills and a better fighting prowess that aids him later. But when Hank Pym “dies” he takes on the guise of Goliath, until he gets in a fight with fellow Avengers Vision and Scarlet Witch which causes him to leave the Avengers for some time. That is until he meets a beautiful S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, draws him once again back to Avenger’s Mansion.
Only the Mansion is on the west coast, thus creating the West Coast Avengers team that dealt with, as you can guess, the west coast. With an action filled romance the two marry and lead the West Coast Avengers on many action packed adventures that include fighting foes such as Mephisto and Satannish. It is this particular battle that Hawkeye suffers his second and greatest loss, the “death” of Mockingbird and the loss of their unborn child. This throws him into a deep depression and causes the dissolving of the West Coast Avengers team.
After his return to action and assisting in the battle versus Onslaught, his death and recreation at the hands of Franklin Richards because of it, Hawkeye leaves to lead the first incarnation of the Thunderbolts. Surronded by reformed and reforming super criminals, Hawkeye helps them to change for a short period of time, until he leaves handing over the reigns to one of the most promising and joining the Avengers once more. Where he promptly “dies” once more. Until the House of M.
In the psychotic state of Scarlet Witch and her idea of a Utopian world where mutants are the high classed citizens of the world and everyone is enjoying their perfect realities, she brings many heroes back to life including Hawkeye. When the attack on Scarlet Witch by Avengers with restored memories, Hawkeye is once again “killed,” or at least everyone think so, until his death notice is pinned to the front door of the mansion by an arrow.
Upon his return to life once more, Hawkeye has trouble coming to terms with being alive once more has a small identity crisis. In the process of finding himself he sits out most of the Civil War, but upon the death of Capt. America confronts Iron Man. Iron Man offers the cap and shield of the fallen hero to Hawkeye who promptly refuses and leaves, instead donning the identity of Ronin (which in my opinion was a little of an homage to Capt. as he was the one to teach Hawkeye to fight hand to hand). Hawkeye leads the Secret Avengers into and during Secret Invasion, during which Mockingbird is returned to the world, though an awkward relationship between the two forms. Hawkeye continues his leadership role for much of Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign under the guise of Ronin. That is until the return of Capt. America, when he finally re-donned the purple and blue and became Hawkeye once more.
This leads us to recently, where Hawkeye split his time with the Avengers and duo-ing with Mockingbird until their recent split. he then changed into a more militant costume, entered a relationship with Spider-Woman, and took over leadership of the Secret Avengers. Despite the hardships, near death experiences, and actual death experiences; Hawkeye has proven himself to be a strong character, charismatic leader, and staple to the Avengers which make him an excellent candidate for his own film