Hawkeye is my favorite Avenger. This is an article listing a few of the reasons why.
Most people that I know have seen at least one of the prequels to “The Avengers”. Despite this, nobody that I spoke with seemed to care that while Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Iron Man got their own movies, the two completely non-“super” human heroes didn’t star in title pictures of their own. Granted- Black Widow was featured as an important secondary character in “Iron Man 2” (complete with carefully disordered red curls and studied girl-menace), but at least she got her own fight scenes and witty repartee. Hawkeye was relegated to standing in a non-camouflaged High Hide with weapon drawn, watching a gigantic blond man who may or may not be a mercenary go to pieces after failing (like everyone else) to pick up a mysterious celestial hammer. What gives?
Luckily the comic book industry didn’t forget about Clint Barton. “Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon” is a witty, tightly written tribute to one of the most popular new Avengers: the downplayed, self-deprecating archer Hawkeye.
- “My Life as a Weapon” begins with four sentences informing you of exactly what you do and don’t need to know about this man. Then the action starts and you’re thrown into a world where broken pelvises heal in 6 weeks, Russian mobsters are uniformed in tracksuits, and dream cars can be bought right off the street for a song from an attractive, troubled redhead.
- David Aja and Javier Pulido work their art really well. While each has his own style and flair, I didn’t feel disrupted after I finished reading #3, illustrated by Aja, and found that Pulido was the artist for #4 and eventually 5. Both mens’ illustrations were minimally finished without looking incomplete. While I favor Aja more for his slightly more realistic renderings, Pulido brought a kind of vintage world-weariness to the pages that meshed extremely well with writer Matt Fraction’s storylines and character development. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors were wonderfully suited to the tone of whichever story line was being written.
- Hawkeye is funny. As he is diving across a room naked, leaning out a window screaming for the right arrow, cataloguing and “organizing” said arrows into supposed order, and trading banter with his protégé/partner Kate Bishop, he remains witty and cheerfully sarcastic enough to keep a reader’s attention without letting negativity become the rule of thumb.
- Clint Barton wasn’t dumped in radioactive sludge, bitten by an animal, gifted with abilities by an otherworldly being, or his own science experiment. Clint is the totally human hero of a mostly-human world who needs him just as he is.
These are the main reasons why Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, is my favorite Avenger. I may write more later about his underdog qualities, surprising self-sacrifice, or reluctant chivalry. For now, content yourself with “My Life as a Weapon”, and preorder “Little Hits”, available 7/2/13!
~ Shiera Carter ~