Hawkeye is Marvel's most successful villain-turned-hero with long tours of duty in the Avengers and leading the West Coast branch. He has been spotlighted in every Avengers cartoon and was featured in the movies Thor and The Avengers. Now there are multiple action figures, merchandise and his own title. With his recognition at its peak, let's explore his Silver Age roots!

  • How smart is Hawkeye? In his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #57 (S'64), he crafts his first trick arrows in his "basement workshop" and later the Black Widow gives him access to advanced technology supplied by the Soviets (darn Commies!) to battle Iron Man. But no one builds anything for him. He utilizes it on his own. Even with Tony Stark's resources, it always appeared like Hawkeye devised his arrows using his own ingenuity.
  • I'm pretty sure that Hawkeye was never arrested but it seemed like he got his pardon very easily. I mean, we're talking treason and attempted murder. All he had to do to impress the Avengers was to do a trick shot and say he's sorry. They made Spider-Man go try to capture the Hulk!
  • The Arrogant Archer's attitude with Captain America is legendary but would he have done the same if Thor and Iron Man had remained? Can't see them putting up with it especially the Thunder God!
  • Why did he keep his face and identity a secret from the Avengers? It's not like he had a personal life! Then again, he went out on the town in full regalia and enjoyed the attention!
  • Did he really fall in love with the Scarlet Witch? Was it merely an infatuation or a workplace crush? She never showed any interest in him.
  • I was always amazed that Hawkeye never received a solo shot in Marvel Super-Heroes or the later Marvel Premiere and Marvel Spotlight. Nor did he guest star a lot, particularly without the other Avengers. But Marvel never did promote their secondary heroes that much, though Quicksilver was featured on several titles like X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man.
  • When Hawkeye became GOLIATH II, it was because he felt that he was more effective as a giant than an archer but several of his greatest victories in that guise came from using his archery skills. Why not have him be a giant archer? Imagine the range he'd have!!
  • The Swordsman knew Hawkeye when he was young. Presuming at least ten years have gone by when they met again so how old was the Swordsman? Forty? Older? Another reason for his insecurity, perhaps?
  • Was Hawkeye constantly looking for respect? He felt inferior to the other Avengers and seemed taken lightly by other heroes and villains. It would explain his attitude and anger. He even considered himself to be one of the weakest of "Earth's Mightiest Heroes". Despite being an Avenger, did he feel like he didn't belong?
  • Hawkeye Versus Green Arrow? I could see Hawkeye beating the Silver Age (Boring) Ace Archer but no way he beats the Bronze Age Ollie! Hawkeye is near the top of comics' archers but Green Arrow is the best! IMHO, of course!

The Avenging Archer is now one of the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe and he scratched and clawed his way there!


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Richard Mantle said:

If I understand you correctly, they should show Hawkeye and Green Arrow performing feats of marksmanship with things other than arrows, like in the Alphas show.

That was how Hawkeye in the Ultimate universe was. They had him using many different weapons.

Let's not forget the time that Clint saved the entire universe using his cunning, charm and old carny skills!

They had Hawkeye of the MU do the same thing as RONIN and, over at DC, when Speedy became ARSENAL.
Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Richard Mantle said:

If I understand you correctly, they should show Hawkeye and Green Arrow performing feats of marksmanship with things other than arrows, like in the Alphas show.

That was how Hawkeye in the Ultimate universe was. They had him using many different weapons.

I don't see how Iron Man could have helped Hawkeye with those charges. That was right about the time Iron Man had been accused of being a Communist by a senator, as well as killing or holding Tony Stark prisoner, which everyone including Happy and Pepper believed for awhile. Thor even demands Iron Man tell them truthfully if he's betrayed Stark.  Seems like Iron Man speaking for Hawkeye would have just gotten him accused of being in cahoots with him.

Don't forget that Tony was also a major domo in SHIELD. So even if Iron Man didn't have much pull, his Tony side might've gotten SHIELD to intervene.

-- MSA

Vouching for Hawkeye must have started something because Byrd started showing up in Tales of Suspense one month after Hawkye joined the Avengers and closed down Stark Industries and issued a warrant for Tony's arrest about a year later. Perhaps Hawk wouldn't have been such a jerk if he'd known how much trouble he got the guy that went to be bat for him in.

If Iron Man and Hulk had been connected from the start as Marvel seems to want us to believe now, Byrd would have been turning up in Astonish and Glenn Talbot would have been appearing in Suspense, and they'd be comparing notes and trying to put both Stark and Banner away. And, say, what about that fourth Skrull? He should be hanging out with Byrd trying to get all superheroes thrown in jail, especially the Fantastic Four, since they turned his buddies into cows.

Also notable that Hawkeye took on the Goliath role after Thor & Iron Man began taking a more active role in the team again -- not yet on a regular basis but from the time Hawkeye joined the team in issue 16 neither of them showed up again until issue 51 and they made a couple of more appearances, however brief, over the next year before Clint decided to use the powers Henry Pym had discarded.  By that time, Clint was no longer quite as brash as he had been during his first year with the team, or even after Pym re-joined, but maybe he figured he had to bring more muscular power to the team if Shellhead & Goldilocks were going to become regulars again.  But it was during the Kree-Skrull War, when Iron Man, Thor and Cap all became consistant regulars again that Clint discarded the gigantism formula and afterwards went back to being Hawkeye.  Also noteable, unlike Pym, Clint never shrank himself down to ant-size, at least not that I recall.
Philip Portelli said:

Here's an interesting tidbit: Hawkeye became Goliath in Avengers #63 (Ap'69) and five months later, DC began their revamp of Green Arrow in Brave & Bold #85 (S'69). It seems that the Silver Age wanted more out of its archers!

Similar to the problem of a regular superhero with a sword, as in the Black Knight and Valkyrie, or the Swordsman.  Even as a villain, within his second appearance the Swordsman's sword was transformed by the Mandarin into a weapon with various types of blast forces, which meant he didn't have to try to cut up the heroes but could just zap them like so many ther villains, and of course while the zaps might knock out the heroes, they'd always recover with no serious injuries, unlike say if Swordsy stuck his blade into a belly or used it to slice off an arm or head.  Oh, and while I enjoyed the Swordsman's tortured time as the hero who got shot, captured and tortured and finally killed, it boggles the mind that someone with his reputed record was able to get any sort of security clearance to become an Avenger.  Gyrich would have blown a gasket if he'd been involved back then!
Mr. Silver Age said:

they should show Hawkeye and Green Arrow performing feats of marksmanship with things other than arrows, like in the Alphas show.

Yes, that kind of ability makes the hero really dangerous. It's hard to bank arrows. The notion of shooting a boxing-glove arrow any distance with any force always makes me laugh, without even considering how he stored it.

Arrow has shown that using collapsible bows provides a little more flexibility, and it's possible to attach something to the shaft to be destructive and still aerodynamic. But a bow and arrow is still pretty limiting. They can carry only so many arrows, much less trick ones with different capabilities. And they're all really pointy, which makes it hard to suspend disbelief when they don't do much damage. Arrow's killed a bunch of people, although at least some of them were self-defense. That's a fine line to walk.

-- MSA

Perhaps Gyrich was called in because they'd let Swordsman in. One ex-villain too many. In fact he had been a terrorist. He mentioned during the Avengers/Defenders War that he was going to Bolivia because he owed South America a debt. A caption (I believe by Roy Thomas) said to look up Avengers Annual#1 for that story.

Yet they felt Spider-Man was a risk in the 80s just because of all the stories Jameson had filed.

That was the same problem with making a Conan cartoon. How to get a guy with a sword past the censors? Solution, the sword doesn't really do anything but banish serpent men to the Abyss. Of course that meant explaining to kids what the Abyss was. Which led to a surprisingly creepy scene of Set and his followers in Hell.

I'm surprised more barbarians don't use clubs or maces. They'd still kill people but wouldn't hack them to pieces, and it's easier to ignore the lack of blood.

Hmm. I always though Gyrich was shoehorned in as a protagonist with a flimsy excuse for actually being there. It would have been so easy for the Avengers to tell him to pound sand and relocate elsewhere.

You'd think Nick Fury would have sent a SHIELD agent to serve in that capacity. I think Gyrich was there because somebody decided to annoy both the Avengers and the readers. Seemed like if he wanted to make sure a team wasn't getting out of control he should have been picking on the X-Men. As I remember they eventually got somebody like him but less annoying.

Anybody else wanted to see Iron Man punch him here?

Pretty much throughout his published existence, I wanted to see Thor take Gyrich to Niffleheim...and leave him there.

Ron M. said:

Anybody else wanted to see Iron Man punch him here?

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