[Article] Marvel’s Hawkeye Seen from The Perspective of a Comic Noob

Kintan Siera Anggita Putri

I’m not that much of a comic geek. I mean, there is even a point of my life where I can’t distinguish the differences between Marvel and DC, which superheroes belong to Marvel and which ones belong to DC. However, as time goes by, I meet many interesting fictional characters from various comics that become my favorite. One of them is Marvel’s Hawkeye.

My discovery of Hawkeye is quite cheesy, though. No, I’m not a special snowflake who noticed him long long before millions of people in this planet watch The Avengers movie back in 2012. Actually, I began to notice him because of my fondness to the actor who portrayed him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jeremy Renner, who, by the way, is an amazing actor. His portrayal of Hawkeye is convincing enough to pique my interest, urging me to dig deeper on who Hawkeye really is as a fictional character.

So, who the hell is Hawkeye? Considering not everyone know, care, or obliged to care about the Marvel Universe, let alone Hawkeye, please allow me to introduce him from the very basic in order to, hopefully, enlighten the readers of this piece of writings. Basically, he is a fictional superhero created by one of the biggest comic publishers, Marvel. His real name is Clint Barton. He uses Hawkeye as his pseudonym, persona, code name, stage name, or whatever in the world of crime-fighting superheroes. He is also a former agent and one of the members of the renowned fictional superhero club called the Avengers. His first appearance is in Stan Lee’s Tales of Suspense #57 back in September 1964. He then joined the Avengers in 1965. According to Marvel, he is the earth’s mightiest marksman, often utilizing his tactical, hand-to-hand combat, and outstanding archery skill in order to defeat his enemies.

 

Sadly, he is a very underrated character. Honestly, Hawkeye is not the kind of name that crosses people’s minds whenever you mention the word superhero. People are more familiar with household names such as Superman, Iron Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and Hulk. You barely see Hawkeye in the Avenger movies. In the comic world, he’s only ranked at #44 on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes list. In Indonesia especially, it is very hard to find a Hawkeye action figure, which is a shame. Compared to others, Hawkeye doesn’t have the most outstanding presence in the Marvel universe. However, actually there are aspects of Hawkeye or Clint Barton that makes him such a compelling, non-two-dimensional character that people should love more.

The first one is his sense of humor. It’s always a pleasure watching his scenes or reading his comic series, because he is hilarious and highly sarcastic. In the cinematic universe, Hawkeye often produces witty one-liners and dialogues. In the comic universe, he’s even funnier. Even in grave situations, Hawkeye never forget to crack some jokes while still being highly focused. He also frequently pulls pranks on his friends, team members, and even his enemies. Such character traits are what distinguish him from other superheroes.

 

Hawkeye doesn’t become a hero for nothing, albeit a reluctant one. He cares a lot about people and other living creatures around him. He does not think twice in saving his neighbors or even mere strangers. In the movie The Avengers, his first and main concern after being hypnotized was the amount of people he has killed under Loki’s spell. That guilt dwelled on him for a long time. He’s also an animal lover, dogs, particularly. He basically wants to pet every single dog he encounters, which adds some extra points for his adorableness. He is even willing to beat anyone who ever hurt dogs just like in Hawkeye Vol. 4 #1.

Beneath his hotheaded, arrogant, devil-may-care attitude, Barton also often displays his insecurity. He often refers himself as “the normal guy” in The Avengers team. Hawkeye, along with Black Widow, is the most “human” avengers on the club. He’s not a god like fellow team member, Thor, for example. He doesn’t own a superpower acquired from some space rocks, gamma radiations or special serums. He’s not rich enough to build an iron suit or other fancy technologies. He’s just a normal human, acquiring his superpower “only” by rigorous training and years of experience.

 

On top of that, due to an injury, Clint Barton lost 80 percent of his hearing and has to rely on hearing aids and his ability to read people’s lips, making him one of the very few characters with disabilities portrayed in comics. In the comic, word balloons which indicate dialogues are often left empty to depict the world from Hawkeye’s perspective, the silence that he experienced. The comic artists also often incorporate the use of American Sign Language in the Hawkeye comics, which is very interesting to me.

 

Amidst all of those, the superhero title belongs to him. He belongs to the Avengers. This is my favorite thing about him. His limitations do not hold him back from being a hero. It is the ordinary, humane qualities of him that make him special. It inspires a lot of people, including me. Sometimes, you don’t have to be born as a superhero in order to be one. Sometimes all you need is a huge amount of tenacity. Sometimes all you need is a set of bow and arrow. Clint Barton has proved that.

References:

· Young Avengers Presents #6

· Hawkeye Vol.1 #1–4

  • Hawkeye Vol. 4 #1-5

· Thor (2011 film)

· The Avengers (2012 film)

· Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015 film)

· Captain America: Civil War (2016 film)

· http://marvel.com/universe/Hawkeye_(Clint_Barton)

· https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawkeye_(comics)

· http://www.ew.com/article/2012/04/29/avengers-files-hawkeye

· http://www.avclub.com/article/hawkeye-19-uses-deafness-help-broken-clint-barton–207612

· https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-heroes-and-villains/201208/the-avengers-teach-psychology-class-assemble

Word count: 895 words

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