Hawkeye, the origins of a superhero in search of the front row

Hawkeye, the origins of a superhero in search of the front row


Hawkeye is preparing to (finally) become the protagonist of a series dedicated to him and there is no better time to discover the history and peculiarities of a very important character who so far has not enjoyed the popularity he deserves.

Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is a narratively interesting character, perhaps among the funniest and most multifaceted to develop, but so far he hasn't enjoyed a frontline place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There could be many reasons: Jeremy Renner, although an excellent actor and performer does not enjoy the visibility and popularity of his other colleagues, it should also be noted that our dear good old Clint is a "simple" human with an extraordinary training and talent. In short, Clint is not a god of thunder or a super soldier. He is not even rich and cannot afford multifunctional metallic costumes.

But, cinematically speaking, he is a loving family man and a faithful husband, a man of honor, reliable. A man with a terrible past who not only managed to redeem himself and redeem himself but who today struggles side by side with embodied semi deities. This alone should make him our favorite character ever, since it is easier to identify with Hawkeye than with any of his colleagues with an extraordinary curriculum.

And it's not a question of "pea-ruler" (cit . A. Danesi) but to feel at ease with themselves to the point of being a cog in a machine that works in an indisputable way. But it is also interesting to discover the origins of this character, who was delivered to us already beautifully packaged in Joss Whedon's first Avengers but of which, to date, we still know little, in relation to his other distinguished colleagues.

Hawkeye: the origins of Clint Barton

Clint Barton was born editorially in 1964, from the creative genius of Stan Lee and the pencils of Don Heck. A lot had already been done with superpowers and the ground seemed fertile to be able to introduce some more human hero, credible and with multiple possibilities.

In the same year, in fact, Stan Lee (with Don Heck) gives birth to Natasha Romanoff , or Black Widow, a beautiful spy of the KGB intent on sabotaging the plans of the SHIELD and super Americans, before redeeming himself and abandoning the precepts of the damned Red Room.

The father, alcoholic and violent, prevents the young Clinton Francis from living a normal childhood and adolescence, thus coming to embrace delinquency after the disappearance of the same. But the nature of the future Hawkeye is decidedly different from that of the criminal, in fact his career as a robber is really short-lived and will serve above all as a narrative device to justify his restlessness and his not always burning desire to follow the rules.

Meanwhile (but in the comics we will find out only twenty years later) Hawkeye is trained in combat and especially in the art of archery by Trick Shot, aka Buck Chilshom, a member of the Carson traveling circus with a outstanding ability as an archer.

A game of deceit and betrayal between Swordsman (the Swordsman, aka Jacques Duquesne) and the Trick Shot himself will lead to a clash and the definitive training for Clint that will transform him into the best archer on the planet , endowed with infallible aim and out of the ordinary tactical sense.

Later it will be Captain America who will train him in martial arts and offer a place in the Avenger to Clint Barton , who will then be able to focus on his career as a full-time hero, between more or less stormy flirtations (and you guessed it, Black Widow has to do with it in the beginning and then move on to what will become his wife - and then ex wife - or Bobbi Morse aka Mimo).

Hawkeye has always played major roles in Marvel plots.

First of all because in the midst of so many superhumans it is important to have some character that maintains a certain verisimilitude and with which we can identify more easily. Let's think about it: Wolverine can afford to take a burst of assault machine guns in the stomach, as much as his regenerating factor will think about it. Captain America or Spider-Man also have incredibly accelerated healing powers compared to normal humans. If the same happens to Clint, well, that's it. So Hawkeye is bound to always be perfect, fit and strategically one step ahead, his life is at stake.

This makes his fallible being very "human". Clint Barton is short-tempered, impetuous, often unfamiliar with the rules and there is nothing more understandable given the pressure he is subjected to.

Secondly Hawkeye, along with Black Widow and a few others, is the character who is best suited to stealth and black-ops operations. Clint Barton is not the man who has to be at the center of the battle (even if he systematically ends up there, often if we look at his early years of publishing history).

He is the attempt to create a "romantic sniper", certainly more positively connoted by replacing a sniper rifle with an elegant bow and variegated multi-function arrows. And since - let's face it - not all Marvel characters from the Silver Age are so original, it was also a way to make the model created many years earlier with DC's Green Arrow (which, however, will become really popular only at late sixties).

Clint Barton is a character who is often easy to blame for something. Narratively he has such a strong personality and an ability to stand up so effective that he has often been the focus of numerous operations that have also put him in a bad light.

Recently, during Civil War II he is just a resigned Hawkeye to ending Bruce Banner's life before he can become the Hulk and “potentially” kill his fellow heroes. He has died and risen several times, also abandoning the secret identity of Hawkeye and becoming Ronin, after refusing Captain America's shield upon his death (exactly after the conclusion of Civil War). Although Clint is the most suitable candidate to take up that shield, he refuses to wear the flag that does not belong to him, as well as - we will talk about it in a while in reference to a very important comic series - he is no longer so comfortable with super swimsuits.

He founded and directed the West Coast Vendicators and the Secret Avengers, but has always favored a role other than that of the leader, aware of how unsuitable his character is.

Hawkeye: between comic and screen

In short, there are many differences between the Hawkeye character of the comics and the one we saw on the big screen, but certainly the spirit of the same has remained intact.

And it is appreciable that this new series that will arrive on the Disney + platform on November 24th apparently gives us a character who has not yet stopped fighting but who is approaching a more human dimension.

Why let's face it , or rather let's repeat it o: a very good archer who shoots explosive arrows at creatures like Thanos or the Chitauri or who goes to a planet out of creation like Vormir is quite absurd.

And so we find a Clint Barton, who in the meantime has reunited with his family after losing her in the blip, attempting to lead a normal life as much as possible.

Until a new masked vigilante appears who both remembers his former secret Ronin identity ( we refer to the chapter "when Hawkeye was a convict") and that is terrorizing the criminal world of New York and beyond. Clint would have liked to enjoy his pre-retirement, maybe even get fat, but no, it's not possible, because when he was Ronin some big mess he sowed here and there and the consequences of the work of this new vigilante could be very serious. >
And here we are introduced to Kate Bishop, destined to become a disciple of Clint and the new Hawkeye, in an action with elements (again) from buddy comedy, unlikely gangsters and mobsters, criminals of all kinds and Christmas trees in the Big Apple. And Lucky, aka Pizza Dog.

In short, it seems that the multi-acclaimed comic series by Matt Fraction and David Aja, together with the series on the Californian Kate Bishop have provided a narrative basis to develop this live action series, going to fish from that mood and that intent type.

And that would be a great good, because there are not so many superhero comics that we remember with particular affection as the aforementioned series, which I absolutely recommend if you want to approach the character (you can buy it here).

With a graphic style by the Spanish Aja that is nothing short of surprising and perhaps a bit avant-garde (at least by Marvel standards) and a great tale of Fraction, this series that started in 2012 did what was right to do with our Hawkeye: put a suit on him, take him out of the clashes on a cosmic-galactic-larger than life scale and bring him back to the streets, to lead an absolutely human life even if strewn with troubles, criminals and massive amounts of patches on the face (again for the speech above, which is that fists hurt Clint Barton more than Steve Rogers).

The Marvel formula for TV series and movies is now quite clear: yes take one or more comic series and one-shots of particular importance and success, from these the juice is extrapolated to be inserted in a shaker together with what is more functional for the public and the moment of exit (social themes, narrative genres in vogue etc.) and then mixes, always with that bit of pop given by the filmic past of the characters.

So, even if we saw the good old Pizza Dog (the dog rescued by Hawkeye right in the Fraction series and Aja is the protagonist of a brilliant comic episode where everything is narrated from his point of view) it is not certain that we will find exactly that content on the small screen.

In short, WandaVision has taken many elements from many different series, he extracted what was most functional to the the purpose and gave birth to something new. But seeing Clint Barton and Kate Bishop collaborate, just as mentor and pupil, makes us feel good, because we clearly remember the great results obtained in those years with those stories.

Hawkeye: waiting for November

In conclusion of our journey to the (re) discovery of the character of Hawkeye I can only be thrilled for the arrival of this TV series (now I'm thrilled for almost everything that is presented to us by Marvel Studios, but oh well) and for the possible source of inspiration. First of all because Hawkeye deserves it as a character, by virtue of what was previously written and his central role even without superpowers, and also because I have always had a good feeling with Jeremy Renner and his acting performances.

But secondly - most importantly - I really feel the need to revisit the Marvel adventures in a more urban way. Having reached a really huge pinnacle with Avengers: Endgame and not having achieved full and total satisfaction with Falcon and The Winter Soldier, I really want to bet on this new proposition.

Kate Bishop, if the Marvel Studios path is that. we have been talking about for over a year now (say "Avengers 5" out loud with your eyes closed and tell me what images have appeared there), is destined to have an important place in the ranks of the New Avengers.

E then I'm an old school romantic: New York + Christmas + Musical + wild couple of superheroes against criminals = total comfort zone, with panettone in hand and mulled wine. We feel in view of November 24th, or maybe sooner, I still have a few things to tell you about Hawkeye by Fraction and Aja.

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