47 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

I’m often visually confused by Hawkeye and Batroc.

I think it’s also worth noting that I’ve never seen Hawkeye ever do any of that boxing glove arrow shit that Green Arrow pulled.

ReplyReply
mygif
Alegretto said on May 12th, 2012 at 5:39 am

All of this you have said, is also applicable to Batman. And Batman is also a relevant strategist (which makes sense for a baseline human) and less of an absolute douchebag (because Batman is a dick, but he’s not a glorified, childish, “brash and arrogant means manly” figure).

Basically, I mean to say that I have never seen you defend Batman in any way, John (and I follow you on fraggmented too) yet you have just made a very compelling argument for finding him awesome, except you made it for one of the most annoying, childish characters in the history of superhero comics.

ReplyReply
mygif

Hawkeye is one of my favourite characters ever and you pretty clearly delineated exactly why. Kudos, sir.

ReplyReply
mygif
Devichan said on May 12th, 2012 at 7:07 am

@Alegretto: He likes Batman too.

I’d say, though, that being a *illionaire gives someone a bit more of a starting point than a carnie.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Alegretto: Yeah, no one ever defends Batman. He is probably the most neglected character in all of comics, and never gets wins way above his pay grade because writers worship him so much. Poor, underrated Batman.

Sarcasm aside, Batman is not the same thing as Hawkeye at all. Batman, while he may not have any literal superpowers, is an expert in, off the top of my head, gymnastics, dozens of martial arts, computers, forensics, every field of science, escape artistry, business, driving, piloting, and sailing. I’m sure there are a few hundred more things he’s good at that I missed, but given all that, plus his vast wealth, lack of need for sleep, ability to outthink everyone in the DCU and endless arsenal, Batman, despite the fact that every individual thing he can do is possible, is just as much a superhero as Superman.

Hawkeye, on the other hand, is just a guy who is great with a bow. I’m sure if Batman needed to be for some reason, Batman would be as great with a bow as Hawkeye, but Hawkeye can’t do the numerous other things Batman can. The point Mr. Seavey is making here is that Hawkeye, unlike Batman, is definitely out of his element, yet still manages to thrive, possibly because of his abrasive personality and unwillingness to accept that he is outgunned by just about everyone.

ReplyReply
mygif
Travesty said on May 12th, 2012 at 9:30 am

@Alegretto: So… you’re kvetching at him because he wanted to talk about how much he likes a character who isn’t Batman? Because that’s what it sounds like.

I’m with John here. I love Hawkeye and I always have. He’s a living exemplar of audacity. And don’t get me wrong, I like Batman too, but my problem with him in comics is the tendency for writers to use his ‘prepared for everything’ schtick as a crutch to create whatever deus ex machina they want to happen, something which stems from his extreme popularity. Nobody’s ever really felt the need to do that with Hawkeye and I appreciate that.

ReplyReply
mygif

I think my favorite Hawkeye moment was during the original Secret Wars. He’s up against a bruiser (one of the Wrecking Crew, I believe) who laughs at Hawkeye drawing on him, bragging that he can shrug off .44 Magnum bullets. Hawkeye shoots him, and the arrow goes deep into his pectoral muscle. Bad guy staggers off, bleeding, while Hawkeye points out (Loudly!) that broadhead arrows can reliably take big game out of the league of a .44 Magnum.

As for the boxing glove arrow, that could actually work if it were a capsule designed to go off on impact. Imagine getting hit in the face by an airbag *designed* to knock you out!

ReplyReply
mygif
Alegretto said on May 12th, 2012 at 11:31 am

Whoops. I may have come off as way too scorned. Sorry about that. I just hate Hawkeye 😛

ReplyReply
mygif

Funny thing, then, that though we got some great Hawkeye moments in The Avengers, we still haven’t gotten to see any great Barton-isms. Ah well, that’s one reason to hope for a Widow/Hawkeye movie, I guess.

ReplyReply
mygif
Travesty said on May 12th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

My favorite Hawkeye moment was when the East and West coast Avengers were roped into fighting each other by the Grandmaster and in the end he tricks the guy into playing Find the Lady with him. Because even if he IS an immortal super-genius, the Grandmaster is exactly the sort of sucker who would hear the rules of a game and assume they’re actually being followed.

ReplyReply
mygif
Suleman said on May 12th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

The thing is, I never even found Hawkeye’s costume that over-the-top.
Granted, that was probably because the first time I saw him was in this groupshot http://i.imgur.com/shixY.jpg where even his gaudy outfit can’t really stand out that much. I mean, just look at Yellowjacket, right next to him.

Besides, for such a flashy guy, would a less flashy costume even be enough? Costumes should fit the character, and I personally can’t imagine Hawkeye wearing a more practical uniform. He’s a circus performer, after all.

ReplyReply
mygif

You make him sound like he’s from DC instead of Marvel, John :)

ReplyReply
mygif
American Hawkman said on May 12th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Well, there IS a reason that DC essentially stole his personality and grafted it onto Green Arrow after all. :)

ReplyReply
mygif
DistantFred said on May 12th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Aelgretto- A lot of Hawkeye bravado is a defense mechanism- He is aware of how ludicrous his shtick is, walking around next to gods and supersoldiers and world changing geniuses and being a guy who is good with a weapon that stopped being popular about a century before he was born. It’s why he quits the Avengers all the time. It’s why he stole Hank Pym’s gimmick TWICE. It’s why he bickered constantly with his wife.

ReplyReply
mygif

Dang it, my two favorite Hawkeye moments have already been taken. (I remember the sequence differently in “Secret Wars,” though — I think Hawkeye’s bravado came *before* he shot Piledriver, and it was more like, “From MY bow, at THIS range, an arrow hits harder than any bullet! Please…stay back!” And we can quibble about Captain America’s disbelief that Hawkeye would *cheat* against the Grandmaster to save the universe, but it made for a great scene.)

ReplyReply
mygif

Travesty, I think you’re thinking of Collector, who’s the Elder of the Universe that Hawkeye outwitted (by cheating, of course!).

Nice essay, John, and just makes the incredible damage Bendis did to the character all the more frustrating. (No, really, guys, he’s a suicidal, homicidal ninja! That’s kewl! Come on, it totally makes sense Hawkeye would try martial arts on a team full of far more skilled hand-to-hand combatants and no one with ranged weaponry. That’s totally what Hawkeye would do! Really!!!)

ReplyReply
mygif

Oh, not to mention raping Wanda (or a Doombot, thanks to a retcon that doesn’t really help all that much).

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 12th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

@Travesty – I also remember it being Grandmaster though. Pretty sure it was.

Hawkeye may not have superpowers but I always assumed his quiver was a magical pouch sort of like Shaman from Alpha Flight… he just concentrates on what kind of arrow he needs, and it appears!

ReplyReply
mygif

@Alegretto: The thing is, while Batman is arguably less likely to run his mouth off in a way that irritates someone, he’s also utterly incapable of ever admitting he’s wrong about anything. Tell Hawkeye, “Hey, that was a really asinine thing to say,” and he’ll respond with, “I’m sorry. Guess I was just blowing off some steam.” Whereas if you say to Batman, “Hey, that was a really asinine thing to say,” he’ll scowl at you for a long moment before saying something like, “It’s a harsh world. Deal with it.” Because ever since Frank Miller’s one-two punch of ‘Year One’ and ‘Dark Knight Returns’, having Batman express any other facets of his character besides “grim, joyless badass” appears to have been forbidden on pain of fire ants in the underwear.

@Jacob: Since it’s the comments, I can say it–Bendis is utterly inept. It’s as though he’s heard about the idea of characters who don’t think that murder is an appropriate way to deal with problems, but he can’t really wrap his head around it. Hawkeye’s first reaction to the Secret Avengers, quite frankly, would be to tell them all that they’re not worthy of the name ‘Avengers’ (“When I said a killer like Wolverine would join the team over my dead body, I didn’t actually intend for that to be a timetable!”) and to go found his own team. The thought of him going off to kill a supervillain, with Mockingbird the one to try to talk him out of it, is laughably stupid to anyone who is familiar with the history between the two characters.

ReplyReply
mygif

My trouble with Batman is that we’ve gone from the days when he’d take down guys out of his weight class and people would go “Shit, how’d you beat (whoever)?” Now it’s taken as expected, which makes it less impressive.
Plus, he can never be inadequate at anything. There was a conversation Atom and Flash had in the eighties (JLA) where one of them points out that while Batman is competent in a lab, he’s not up to their level. I don’t think they’d be allowed to say that now (but I haven’t read the Batbooks much in the past decade, so I may be wrong).

ReplyReply
mygif
American Hawkman said on May 12th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

It was Grandmaster Hawkeye tricked like that, in Avengers Annual #16. The Collector got owned by Hawkeye for underestimating him in Avengers #174, my very first Avengers backissue. Essentially, he’s the guy you want to have on hand when the Elders come calling.

Oh, and I totally agree about Bendis and Hawkeye. He totally misses the character’s entire moral backstory, which annoys me almost as much as it did when Austen had Hawkeye be the guy that could never forgive Hank Pym for hitting Jan, while in reality, he was the first one to push for Hank’s redemption and return to the Avengers, defending him against Thor’s rage in West Coast Avengers Annual #1. Gah! Does anyone Marvel’s hired currently actually have any respect for their characters’ history?

ReplyReply
mygif

I’ve always liked Hawkeye. Been one of my favorite Avengers for ages. In some ways, I’ve always kind of seen him as Cap, but without the need to speechify.

ReplyReply
mygif
bryan Rasmussen said on May 13th, 2012 at 12:56 am

“Oh, not to mention raping Wanda (or a Doombot, thanks to a retcon that doesn’t really help all that much).”

What? I remember he had sex with her when he woke up at her house, in her care, and the impression given in the scene was that it was consensual?

making cases for it being not good what he did:

1. He did not fully disclose to her that he was a superhero, that she used to be a superhero with magic powers and had killed him, and was hated by lots of mutants for having taken away nearly everyone’s powers and having caused the death of ant-man and whatever else blah blah blah – but really that seems to be an absurd level of full disclosure that he should go through before resolving his conflicted emotional status with her in one of the two ways one can resolve that status with a beautiful woman in a Bendis comic.

2. She was arguably not mentally stable, living in a world of her own creating and therefore what he did was taking advantage of her.

Anyway that will be retconned again in a year where it turns out that in fact she manipulated the whole thing because she wanted to have sex with Hawkeye and that really was her and not a doombot because the doombot came later.

ReplyReply
mygif
bryan Rasmussen said on May 13th, 2012 at 1:04 am

hmm, ok so I looked around and the argument seems to be that she has amnesia and that he had tried to sleep with her in the past and she didn’t want to? (what – when she was married to the Vision who she killed?)

I guess that falls under #2. Which I didn’t think of it as Amnesia. I figured that she had altered reality to give herself the life she always wanted, so that while the real world remembered a Wanda Maximoff that had been a hero etc. this was actually not her, this was one that had lived her whole life in that little village – the original Wanda Maximoff wiped herself away.

Of course as I understand it later storylines have invalidated that premise – unless somebody takes it up like that and adds a little retconning and voilà!

ReplyReply
mygif
malakim2099 said on May 13th, 2012 at 1:20 am

I did like the fact that in the JLAvengers crossover, Hawkeye was the one who actually foiled Krona’s plans. Heh.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 13th, 2012 at 4:37 am

If you want to see how Hawkeye should be written, you can’t go wrong with a Kurt Busiek story.

Well done, Mr. Seavey. I agree completely about Hawkeye.

As far as Batman goes… I could talk all day about why I hate “time to prepare” Batman.

Back when Batman “only” knew 12 martial arts and he actually had to do legwork to solve crimes, it was still sort of possible to argue that part of Batman’s appeal was that he was just a normal guy who was good at analyzing evidence he stole from crime scenes.

But even then… he was very pulpy and kind of like a more bad-ass version of Remington Steele. That doesn’t exactly say “everyman” to me.

The “with time to prepare” version of Batman can beat Darkseid and Superman, which completely destroys the “everyman” angle as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t know anything about current continuity, but by the time Batman knew 127 martial arts a lot of his awesomeness was chalked up to special meditation techniques and obscure martial arts moves that would be right at home in an old pulp novel.

The dude had more in common with Remo Williams or Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt than anybody who could be considered an ordinary human.

ReplyReply
mygif
bryan Rasmussen said on May 13th, 2012 at 8:49 am

“Back when Batman “only” knew 12 martial arts”

Was back when only 12 martial arts were known of.

ReplyReply
mygif

I knew I was not going to like Bendis on Avengers when he killed Hawkeye.

Okay, honestly, I knew I was not going to like Bendis on Avengers when I read that first page and everyone is sitting around a table talking about who would have sex with Madame Hydra, but his killing off Hawkeye later on just put a cap on it.

I loved the original Hawkeye limited series with Mockingbird and I remember that incident with Crossfire, it was awesome. I just wish they had kept Clint’s hearing loss. A hero with a hearing disability makes for an interesting character and it showed how normal people could suffer long term detrimental effects in the super hero business. I forget when they forgot he had to wear hearing aids.

ReplyReply
mygif

I just wish they had kept Clint’s hearing loss. A hero with a hearing disability makes for an interesting character and it showed how normal people could suffer long term detrimental effects in the super hero business. I forget when they forgot he had to wear hearing aids.

I think it might have been in the Heroes Return event, post-Onslaught. Also served to get rid of the teenaged Tony Stark.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 13th, 2012 at 11:26 am

@Bryan Rasmussen: IIRC, 12 was the number of martial arts he knew before Morrison’s JLA run started and writers like Morrison and Waid gave Batman ridiculous upgrades like “protocols” that could torture Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter to death and his own matter transporter.

That was just my long-winded way of saying “the 1980s.” Although it probably applies to everything from before that story where he made the training video for Batgirl where he demonstrated “the essential elements of more than 127 martial arts” in alphabetical order.

It’s not so much that DC writers could only think of 12 martial arts back in, say, 1992 as that Batman used to have a few semi-plausible limits.

Batman used to lose fights sometimes before that storyline where he trained with Lady Shiva. He was “only” a little better than Nightwing instead of being more or less unstoppable like he is now (unless they want to have some lame “drama” because he’s fighting a tougher than usual ninja or something).

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 13th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

To belabor my point a little, it used to be that if you wanted your action hero to seem really impressive it was enough to say that he was good at about four to six fighting styles.

Take Nick Fury, for example. They used to say he had two black belts, two brown belts and he was good at boxing and wrestling. That made him pretty awesome back when he still had his own series.

Up until some point in the Nineties, it was enough to say your guy had two to four black belts. Batman being good at 12 styles was a little over the top.

But somewhere along the line, it became company policy that he had to be just as good of a fighter as Captain America (who, officially, only learned three styles and then just figured out stuff on his own later). So, suddenly, being about twice as awesome as most action heroes in several different genres and media wasn’t good enough any more.

Twelve is plausible if we assume that Batman picks up new moves really quickly. Anything in triple digits is just silly. It would take decades (unless you’re counting every type of kung fu as one style), and then when would he have had time to become a race car driver, a master burglar, a forensics expert, a master of obscure meditation techniques, a jet pilot and “one of the best in the world” at all sorts of other things?

ReplyReply
mygif

I think you might be right, Cyrus. They used Heroes Return as a sort of quasi-reboot. Honestly, where Stark was concerned it was a thing to bring me a sigh of relief. Let us never speak of teen Tony ever again. :)

And Brian, I think you have a good point as well. It is not just Marvel who was guilty of that nonsense. One of the reasons I hated The Batman television series, the one that caused me to stop watching it in season one (I heard it got much better later on) was how every single Batman villain was some sort of martial arts expert able to hold his own. Rasta-Joker, The Penguin, it was a stoooopid.

ReplyReply
mygif

It’s really startling to read the Batman Chronicles and realize that in the thirties/forties, Batman was just an ordinary guy. Superbly trained, very tough, but two average thugs jumping him by surprise could take him down.

ReplyReply
mygif
malakim2099 said on May 13th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I admit, I took great pleasure in the scene where Zod, Ursa, and Non toss Batman through his own Bat-Signal.

Prepare for THAT, why don’t you? :)

ReplyReply
mygif

Thank you, John, for articulating so well why I also love Hawkeye.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 14th, 2012 at 3:27 am

Thank you, Tom.

@Fraser: Batman was still getting knocked unconscious and captured on a fairly regular basis well into the 1980s. Night-Slayer even managed it once, and that guy wouldn’t rate at all by contemporary standards.

Before Chuck Dixon (or whoever it was) introduced the idea of Batman’s armored cowl, all it used to take to defeat Batman was to hit him over the head with a wooden chair. That happened fairly often.

Somehow, Batman fans got the idea that the Caped Crusader can only be defeated by a small number of characters who can outwit him or use a fighting style that gives him a hard time or something.

It’s a good thing for them that continuity has been rebooted a few times since COIE, because all it used to take to defeat Batman from his very first appearance to about 1995 was sleeping gas. And if sleeping gas wasn’t available, bad guys could always just hit him in the head with a chair.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 14th, 2012 at 8:54 am

But if you give Batman time to prepare, he will switch out all the chairs in the room with foam rubber replica chairs.

ReplyReply
mygif

Current Batman ?= Timelord?

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 14th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Sorry. I was thinking of something I used to see all the time on message boards.

Batman fans would start talking about how nobody could possibly beat Batman except for Nightwing (he knows how he thinks), David Cain (weird fighting style) or maybe Ra’s al Ghul (cool old stories). Anybody else including Wonder Woman, Dr. Manhattan and the Celestials would fall before the awesome might of his time to prepare.

And then they would post something ridiculous about Batman defeating Thor by taking a weekend to master Asgardian magic and turning him into a frog, or beating Galactus by inventing a less lethal version of the Ultimate Nullifier or something about how kidnapping Lois Lane and threatening to kill her to blackmail Superman somehow counts as a win in a “fair fight.”

At that point, somebody would post scans of ordinary mooks beating up Batman (often by hitting him in the head with a chair, for some reason), or this one time when somebody knocked Batman out by hitting him in the head with a standard computer keyboard, or other examples that helped demonstrate that it’s a lot easier to beat Batman than his most avid supporters want to think it is.

Time and time again, they would say things like “that example doesn’t count because it was retconned out by Zero Hour.”

… which might not have been true, but it sounded good…

And anything from before Crisis On Infinite Earths obviously didn’t count (unless it made Batman look good).

So, DC’s continuity reboots help stack the deck in Batman’s favor whenever dumb arguments about who would win in a fight come up because somehow examples from the comics that shoot holes in the pro-Batman side’s logic are always conveniently out of continuity and therefor invalid.

ReplyReply
mygif
JP Cardier said on May 14th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Forgive for the rathole, but I really liked Ultimate Fantastic Four under Bendis and Millar. Loved it under Warren Ellis as well (admittedly one of my favorite comic authors). And Bendis doing Powers was very interesting. He’s capable of good work, IMHO.

ReplyReply
mygif

Personally, I think the best way of interpreting Hawkeye is as a con man. He is a great archer, of course, but he’s basically conned the Avengers into taking him seriously (check out the scene where he joins: “I tied up your butler! Now I’ll untie him! Make me an Avenger, already!)

The great thing is that that’s what he brings to the team that nobody else does. Nearly all his great moments are either directly about conning somebody (like the Grandmaster) or tricking them into underestimating him (like the Collector.)

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 14th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Sorry. We’re supposed to be talking about Hawkeye (who could easily defeat Batman with his standard gear, but anyway…).

When Batman does something like throwing a batarang at Orion and challenging him to a fight (thanks for that one, Mark Waid) or he pulls a special gun on Darkseid, it should stir up feelings similar to what happens when Hawkeye defeats the Grandmaster by cheating. For me anyway, when Batman does that type of stuff it makes me think things such as “What a douchebag!” or “We’re really supposed to think that goofy plan would work?” or “more unearned Batman ownage… lame.”

When Batman does stuff like that, it just means it’s Tuesday. So, who cares really if Grant Morrison writes another story where Batman has a Hawkeye moment and saves the universe by doing something that doesn’t make any sense?

When Hawkeye gets one of those Hawkeye moments, it actually means something. It’s like your little brother just won the state championship or something.

Yes, objectively speaking, Hawkeye should have a hard time against regular criminals. Unless he started wearing a bulletproof costume, somebody could always just shoot him in the head. And a guy with a MAC-10 might be able to mow him down before Hawkeye could use a net arrow to subdue him.

So, the idea of Hawkeye fighting Ultron… anybody tougher than the Grim Reaper, really… might seem dumb if you think about it too hard.

But the very fact that Hawkeye is like a niche player in baseball who should only excel in certain very specific situations is part of what makes him so darn cool.

Hawkeye isn’t some DC guy who can do 12-foot standing high jumps and dodge laser beams because he got some unarmed combat training. You won’t ever see Hawkeye take down the Wrecker with his mastery of vibrating palm technique. But when he does well, it is really cool because he worked hard to get there.

ReplyReply
mygif
Paul L. said on May 14th, 2012 at 8:22 pm

@Brian T. There was a story line like that in the AWC days. I think it may have been during Solo Avengers at one time. Hawkeye is almost killed by some criminals who shoot him several times. He ends up getting armor made by Stark for a while after that.

And everyone summed up my thoughts on Hawkeye, he more than most is the ideal Avenger. A guy who strived to be the best he could at all times. Sure Thor was more powerful, Stark was Smarter, etc. But Hawkeye had to work for what he had. Thor was born a god, Stark was born supersmart. You don’t really see Thor and Stark training that much, Hawkeye spends so much time a day keeping his skills intact.

Now to list two favorite Hawkeye moments that haven’t been mentioned yet.

1st) When he first joined the Thunderbolts. He challenged the team to fight him for 5 minutes, if he lasted that 5, they would hear him out. So of course he lasted the 5, and later on stood up to a POed Hercules for Atlas.

2) Avengers/Thunderbolts series. Last issue both teams are fighting, and Hawkeye takes out Vision with an arrow. After that makes it known he came prepared to take out every member of both teams if he needed to. Issue before he took out Atlas as well.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m reminded of a Harlan Ellison story from the 1980s (I think) where Batman has everything go wrong: The drug-dealer he snags is an undercover cop and Batman ruins his sting; the thug chasing a girl is her boyfriend trying to apologize; a Hulk Hogan sized brute turns out to be articulate and law-abiding (“Why I did leave that candy wrapper on the sidewalk. I do apologize, Batman.”) and Bats winds up completely miserable.
I doubt they’d try it today.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 15th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I agree, Fraser.

Heck, Batman used to have friends who weren’t superheroes and he smiled once in a while.

I remember an old Detective Comics story I read as a kid that was basically about how much Batman likes Shakespeare. It ends with him having fun talking about the Bard with a buddy of his and quoting the “All the world’s a stage…” speech.

Something like that would never fly today because it implies that there is more to Batman than learning more crime fighting skills and posing on gargoyles in the rain.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Tunisian said on May 18th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

@Brian T : Allow me to tell you that I absolutely adore Batman ( especially the one on display in the DCAU ) But absolutely LOATHE BatGod . And no, I never ignore the fact that he can be beaten ! He’s pulpy flesh , so of course bullet to the brain , Y finito.
I have no problem with Bats smiling (but maybe he shouldn’t laugh. We all heard how it sounds like !)
Well now about Clint… Nothing to add . I really like this wise-ass underdog that’s more than meets the eye .

ReplyReply
mygif

I find it hilarious how that attempt to say, “Hawkeye sucks, Batgod forever” basically turned the comments section into “Hawkeye kicks ass, Batgod must die.”

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments