Tuesday, 29 April 2014

For a Guy Called Hawkeye, You Do Keep Your Feet on the Ground

Cars shuffled along, chugging on gas, letting loose the occasional, frustrated, blast of a horn. The bustle on the street was so ubiquitous it became inaudible background as people thumped their way to and fro. A muffler of snow softened the groan of the pavement as the gentle squish of crushed ice underfoot took the place of the familiar heavy stomp of shoes on concrete. But even muffled, the unceasing hustle of lives getting to places and coming back from places remained. A police siren or two wailed in the distance. Or was it only just down the block? In the swirl of city noises, it was hard to tell.

Unless you're Daredevil, that is.

Unfortunately, he's not Daredevil.

Falling from the sky was fine. He even fell with style. It was the landing that sucked- shattering his pelvis, breaking his ribs, and spraining his neck. The crash reverberated throughout his body as the roof bent in resistance and the windows cracked with a snap from the impact. An alarm might or might not have been going off, shrieking in defense at the unwanted collision. He was a little too preoccupied to notice. While he often hangs with the Avengers, Hawkeye probably should have remembered that he is a street-level superhero and that flying isn't one of his strong points.

Case in point.

Lacking powers, of any kind whatsoever, Hawkeye is often seen as the runt of the litter when Thor and Iron Man fly off into the sunset. True, Iron Man technically doesn't have powers either. But he has his suit and that makes all the difference.

And when the Hulk leaps a building in a single bound after punching an alien mother-ship the length of several blocks, your getaway by bow and arrow off a rooftop seems slightly less impressive in comparison.

Only the Hulk could make this seem not cool.

Hawkeye uses a bow and some arrows to fight crime in a world where energy blasts and lightning wielding gods are a thing. Oh, and guns. They have guns too. That should be a signal to maybe, possibly, at least consider, updating his tech.

But he can't. Because that bow is the thing that defines him. That makes him stand out. The thing that he is best at. That he is the best at. Shooting a bow.

And looking cool as hell while doing it.
Even in an instruction pamphlet.

Having lost his parents in a car accident, raised as a carny in a circus, betrayed by his father figure, and abandoned by his brother, it's safe to say that Hawkeye had a rough childhood. Carny food is really terrible.

Inspired by Iron Man to become a costumed hero, he was at first mistaken for a criminal because it's a crime to look so badass while using a weapon so obsolete, that to make a joke about it belonging in museum is effectively a redundant exercise. It knows it's old. No need to rub it in its face. That's just mean.

So old it's still in 8-bit graphics. I'm sorry, I'll stop.

Eventually proving he was in fact a good guy drawn to fighting crime in that most extravagant fashion- by putting on a costume and punching bad guys in the face- Hawkeye became a member of the Avengers.

Never quite a household name, Hawkeye lacked the profile of his more well-known teammates such as Captain America. He therefore often gets confused for Iron Fist, aside from those rare occasions when people actually remember his name has 'hawk' in it somewhere.

Well, that was hawkward... I am so sorry.
So very sorry.

"He surveyed the city, the wind stinging his eyes, the updraft punishing his wings as he flew gracefully and seemingly without effort towards his unsuspecting prey. The slight rustle of feathers and gentle scuffle of feet as he landed was enough to warn the hoodlum that he was not alone on the moonlit rooftop. But it was not enough warning to react. No. It was just enough of a warning to know he was caught. Caught in the talons of that avian hero of the skies, Hawkguy..."

If only Falcon would hang up his wings. Then Hawkeye could be promoted to Hawkguy and have hawk powers or something. But you can't have two bird-theme superheroes flying around. Air Traffic Control and the American Birding Association wouldn't stand for it.

Lacking those aforementioned hawk powers, Hawkeye knew that he might need more than a thin stick of wood to shoot at bad guys, so he developed various trick arrows. Like his grappling hook arrow to grapple onto things for when he jumped off buildings. Or his rocket arrow for blowing up stuff. Or his boomerang arrow which always came back to him... somehow.

And who could forget his putty arrow? For when he needed bad guys to stay put.

Despite his trick arrows, Hawkeye is a down-to-earth hero. He fights street thugs and ninjas when not helping the Avengers stop an alien invasion. He faces gangsters in the streets and, like most people, is woken up in the morning by hired goons using machine guns for alarm clocks.

I'm just gonna end with this. No more can be said.


Note: I used Matt Fraction and David Aja's run of Hawkeye as the inspiration for this blog post. If you haven't read their work, do it now. Seriously. What are you waiting for? That wasn't a suggestion. Read it.


References:

Hawkeye Wikipedia page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawkeye_(comics)

Hawkeye Marvel Wiki page
http://marvel.wikia.com/Clinton_Barton_(Earth-616)

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