Monday, 22 August 2011

Characters That Are Awesome - Hawkeye

From time to time I am going to discuss some of my favourite characters and what it is I love about them.  To start this featre off, I thought I'd get the ball rolling with a post about Mr. Clint Barton, Hawkeye.

Watch out for the Dentabone Arrow

Clint Barton and his brother Barney, orphaned at a young age, ran away from the orphanage to join the circus.  One of the show's star performers, the Swordsman, took Hawkeye on as an apprentice, and along with another performer named Trickshot, trained him in archery.  Upon discovering that the Swordsman was embezzling money from the circus, Clint confronted him and was badly beaten, allowing the Swordsman time to escape.

Perhaps not the usual
approach to a job interview.
Years later, after stints with several traveling circuses, Clint caught sight of one of the new heroes on the block, Iron Man, and decided he wanted to be a costumed adventurer as well.  Unfortunately, his first outing did not go smoothly and he ended up mistakenly wanted as a criminal.  Taken in by the then-Soviet spy the Black Widow, Clint embarked on several criminal outings as a nemesis to Iron Man.  However, after a battle in which the injured Widow abandons him, he decides to turn his life around.

Long story short, Hawkeye is given a chance to join the Avengers by Iron Man and the team's butler, Edwin Jarvis, and he takes it.  Starting out as a real pain in the stars-and-stripes to Captain America, Hawkeye would grow and mature into an excellent team leader, of the West Coast Avengers, the Great Lakes Avengers, and the villains-turned-heroes the Thunderbolts.

It's wing night at Smitty's.

Hawkeye does not have any superpowers, other than one or two stints utilizing Pym Particles to become Goliath.  In fact, for quite a time he actually had a disability, a hearing loss suffered by one of his own sonic arrowheads while overcoming a mind control trap set by the villain Crossfire.  Hawkeye would need to wear hearing aids until he was "reborn" following the events of Onslaught.

Hawkeye is cocky, brash, and has a temper.  He doesn't like taking orders without having his say.  But he is also arguably the hardest working Avenger there is.  He can't rely on a super soldier serum to stay in shape, he doesn't have enhanced durability or superspeed to help him out in a jam.  What he has is a work ethic, constantly maintaining and improving his archery skills and physical fitness.

Sporting the
T-Bolts bling.

With nothing more than a bow and some tricked-out arrows, Hawkeye has faced down some of the toughest villains (and heroes!) out there and hasn't flinched.  He does it with a smile on his face and an insult on his lips. In a more powerful hero his cockiness would be insufferable; for a non-powered human fighting alongside mutants, gods, and aliens, it is endearing.

Being an Avenger is extremely important to Hawkeye; upon discovering he might have to give up his roster spot on the team for new recruits Justice and Firestar, he was outraged.  However, he had promised the young New Warriors a spot on the team, and therefore was willing to give up his place on the team.  Fortunately for all the young heroes were made reserve members instead, allowing Hawkeye to stay with the team.

Hawkeye in the animated
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Hawkeye cares more for what is right than what is necessarily legal.  At one point Hawkeye left the Avengers to lead the Thunderbolts, who used to be members of the Masters of Evil.  Hawkeye had started his costumed career on the wrong side of the tracks, but being a part of the Avengers helped him turn things around.  Hawkeye felt a kinship with the fledgling heroes, and even though they were fugitives he broke all ties with the Avengers to help them through it.

The character has certainly had his share of ups and downs, but through it all he continues to fight the good fight.  Hawkeye was picked by Iron Man as a potential successor to Steve Rogers as Captain America after his "death", and honestly, with the exception of Bucky, nobody else would have been worthy of slinging Cap's shield. 

If you missed it, Hawkeye had a cameo role in the Thor movie, and will be a member of the team in the Avengers movie coming out next summer.  I cannot wait!

Yeah, I ranted about changing superhero costumes in film
yesterday, but even I didn't expect the purple.