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Know Your Heroic Age Avengers: Hawkeye

I am an (Heroic Age) Avenger…Hawkeye

Hawkeye - Heroic Age Avenger

Hawkeye - Heroic Age Avenger

Orphaned at an early age, Clint Barton was sent to a children’s home with his brother Bernard. Running away to join a traveling circus, the pair worked as roustabouts. While a member of the circus, Clint was trained by the original Swordsman and by Trick Shot. Witnessing Iron Man in action, Barton attempted to emulate him by donning a colorful costume and employing his archery skills to fight crime. However, during his first public appearance, Hawkeye was mistaken for a thief by police and found himself actually fighting Iron Man.

Soon, the Black Widow enlisted him as her partner. Although he became romantically involved with her, he was unhappy being a criminal. When he approached the Avengers and told them of his desire to reform, Iron Man sponsored his membership on the team.

Hawkeye was an active member of the Avengers for years, with his archery skills and inventive trick arrows augmenting the superhuman powers of his associates. His carefree and rebellious personality meant that he sometimes argued with Captain America, but their teamwork never faltered when faced by outside threats. For a short time, Barton abandoned his Hawkeye identity, and taking Hank Pym’s growth serum, operated under the name Goliath. He resumed his Hawkeye identity after briefly being the Golden Archer soon after. He has taken several extended leaves of absence from the Avengers, trying to establish a career for himself outside of the group.

Hawkeye and Black Widow

Hawkeye and Black Widow

Upon his return to the Avengers, Barton was appointed to chair a new second team of Avengers based on the West Coast by then-chairman, the Vision. The team Hawkeye chose consisted of Mockingbird, his original inspiration Iron Man, Wonder Man, and Tigra.

On the AWC’s last mission, the team began an otherworldly trek to rescue the captured Mockingbird from the hands of Satannish The Supreme and Mephisto. During their escape, Mockingbird was tragically killed by Mephisto. Shortly thereafter, Vision began the vote that disbanded the West Coast team.

After years of fighting alongside the Avengers, Hawkeye offered to lead the Thunderbolts. Sympathetic to their plight as criminals trying to redeem their past actions, he decided to help them become a legitimate superhero team. They briefly assumed new identities to try and start over, with Hawkeye calling himself the new Dreadknight. He also became romantically involved with Moonstone. As leader, Hawkeye led the Thunderbolts both alongside and sometimes against his former teammates in the Avengers.

Eventually rejoining the Avengers, Clint began a dallying affair with The Wasp, causing tension with her sometime lover, Hank Pym. When the Scarlet Witch had her breakdown that resulted in the breakup of the Avengers, Barton perished on an exploding Kree ship created by her crazed state. The Scarlet Witch did not act again until a year later when she altered time and space on a universal level changing the Earth’s history to where mutants were the rulers while human beings were a minority. Barton was was very much alive after these changes, and affiliated with an underground human resistance who opposed the mutant laws and supremacy. Like all of the other inhabitants on the planet, Clint retained no memory of his previous life. This changed however, after the X-Man Emma Frost restored his memories in hopes of recruiting him and the resistance to oppose Magneto and the Scarlet Witch. While his new teammates joined them and recruited more of his original Avenger teammates, Barton grew more reluctant in joining their cause and left them to deal with his returned memories. Through unknown circumstances, he eventually caught up to them and opposed the Wanda Maximoff. Failing to kill her with one of his arrows, he brought up their history as teammates as well as his former romantic feelings for her, angrily demanding to know why she ended his life. His confrontation with her did not last for very long. Clint’s tensions eventually renewed Wanda’s mental instability causing her to once again erase him from existence. She then restored reality to it’s original state, only to remove mutant genomes from millions of mutants on Earth making them human and without any powers. Clint awoke inside Avengers Mansion confused by the recent events. Leaving his “Hawkeye” wardrobe and equipment at the mansion, he set out to relocate the Scarlet Witch. He went to Doctor Strange for assistance in locating her. Doctor Strange was the only person in the world to know of his revival at the time. Clint found Wanda in a small European village located in the mountains living her life as a gypsy. Spending the night with her, Barton learned she had no memory of her previous life and was supposedly depowered. He left at dawn the next morning heeding the warning of Doctor Strange not to attempt to revive her memories and possibly worsen her mental condition.

After the assassination of Captain America, Iron Man approached Clint about taking up the shield. Barton proved himself to be one of the few who could wield it effectively, and considered taking up the mantle. He and Iron Man encountered the Young Avengers called Patriot and Hawkeye. They convinced him that wearing Steve Rogers’ costume and wielding his shield would be wrong, and he allowed the unregistered young heroes to go free. Later, when Clint learned that Stark had given the shield to “Bucky” Barnes (Cap’s WWII sidekick and the reformed Winter Soldier), he payed this new Captain America a visit to express his disapproval.

Clinton Barton - Ronin

Clinton Barton - Ronin

During the Skrull Invasion, Barton headed to the Savage Land with the New Avengers to investigate a crashed Skrull ship. There, both they and the Mighty Avengers came across many heroes from years past including a “Hawkeye” and a “Mockingbird”. This “Hawkeye” was discovered to be a Skrull, but after Clint questioned “Mockingbird” of her miscarriage, he truly believed her to be his late wife. Teammates Luke Cage and Wolverine were more suspicious. This was justified later, when Clint was proven wrong by Mr. Fantastic, whose technology forced the Skrulls to revert to their true structures. Clint did not hesitate in shooting the Skrull Mockingbird impostor dead with one of Black Widow’s firearms. Enraged by such deception, Barton became more dedicated to opposing the invading Skrulls without any second thoughts on killing them. During the final battle with the Skrulls alongside dozens of superheroes, he used his old bow and quiver of trick arrows (dropped by the wounded Kate Bishop) to kill several Super-Skrulls and to severely wound Queen Veranke, the orchestrator of the entire invasion, who had been posing as Spider-Woman. After the fighting, it was discovered that the people replaced by the Skrulls were alive and well, including Bobbi.

Skilled Archer

Skilled Archer

He was later unanimously voted as leader of the New Avengers in which he appointed Ms. Marvel as his deputy leader. He coordinated the team in aiding Doctor Strange in locating the next Sorcerer Supreme in New Orleans opposing Dormammu, the Hood and Madame Masque in the process, opposing Ymir alongside the Osborn’s Avengers, aiding Hank Pym (now the Wasp) and his Mighty Avengers in China with its superheroes against the powerful Inhuman extraterrestrial the Unspoken, and escaping capture from the Dark Avengers and the Hood’s Crime Syndicate now led by Doctor Jones Harrow. The aftermath of the New Avengers’ later activities however, placed Luke Cage in critical condition and confined Wolverine on the Utopia X island neighboring San Francisco’s bay which had been declared a prison by Norman Osborn. Wanting to end Osborn’s reign before the status of the superhero community worsened, Clint infiltrated Stark Tower incapacitating a majority of the Dark Avengers in attempt to assassinate Norman Osborn, but failed being imprisoned by Ares and Osborn as a bargaining chip towards his own team. Osborn, using Mentallo (Marvin Flumm), took the location of the New Avengers secret base from his mind. The others were able to clear out in time while using the Dark Avengers attack on their now empty hideout to free him from captivity. Once they are safe in their auxiliary safe house, Clint apologizes to his team for attempted assassination. Then, Steve Rogers turns up, saying that they, as the Avengers, will right the wrongs Osborn had caused.

AfghanAnt’s Take:

What can I say about Clint Barton that hasn’t been said in the profile above? He looks good in purple and he should stick to the bow and arrow instead of the katanna. I didn’t really like him as Ronin (I thought Echo was a far better choice for the role) but I did like him on the New Avengers (until he took over Luke Cage’s job as de facto leader). He’s a alright character who Bendis writes well and while I’m sad to know Hawkeye II will most likely be going by Kate Bishop (joining the list of female character without code names Jean Grey and Donna Troy), I guess it nice that he has his name and costume back…I guess…

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