Monday, April 27, 2015

Measure Of A Man!

That's a pretty dang good splash page by Don Heck and Frank McLaughlin.

For many years Hawkeye was my favorite Avenger, and arguably my favorite superhero. It was for two reasons really, his entertainingly abrasive personality and the fact that he was in fact decidedly not a "super" hero. Hawkeye was a man among gods having to wade into battle against the likes of Kang the Conqueror, the Collector, Ultron, and Doctor Doom minus the advantages of Thor, the Vision, Giant-Man, or even Captain America. Hawkeye was a guy who had his guts and his wits and his skills. Pretty admirable stuff, but sadly Clint Barton never seemed to think so as he was always trying to redefine himself. One of those periods of redefinition put him into the infamous costume above.

He didn't wear it long though as it turned out.

Hawkeye began as a baddie, admittedly not a very devoted one. He fell in love with the Black Widow and she led him astray. He quickly recovered and became one of Cap's "Kooky Quartet".

But he always seemed to feel he lived in the shadow of his fellow Avengers, so he decided to cast a larger shadow himself. To that end he adopted the role of "Goliath" which at the time had been dropped by Hank Pym in favor of the roguish Yellowjacket persona.

Clint was Goliath for several years until during the infamous Kree-Skrull War he found himself alone and his strength failing. He returned to his old ways, and rediscovered his skills as the best bowman in the world.

He returned to the Avengers with the old bravado but some decidedly weird looking rags. The costume seemed decidedly minimal as rendered by Barry Smith.

Rich Buckler seemed to do better with it, but it was a lost cause and as we saw above, by the time Hawkeye again left the Assemblage, he was back in his classic costume.

But that basic look never was a sleek and handsome as when Don Heck drew it in a few issues of the run. Heck's rendition even rated a cover in this French version of the comic. Not bad looking at all here.

But I still like the classic Hawkeye, and I'm glad to see that in the upcoming movie they have made him look a little bit more like the vintage hero.

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  1. The one saving grace to the new Hawkeye costume (re: Avengers issues 99-109) – was that Smith kept the Captain America boots (or “buccaneer boots“ as I sometimes heard them called). Conan wore them for a spell too under John Buscema’s design. As a kid trying to draw comics (and failing miserably) – they were always my favorite part of the character to draw…Pretty standard Jack Kirby design I suppose…I like the look, even though in real life they’re probably not very practical.

    1. Too true. Iron Man had them too (weirdly) for a very long time in his classic look. I remember trying to draw those to get the hard metal look, sweeping arcs around his shins. Cap's and Hawkeye's were more flowing. I always found Thor's boots hard to draw too, that little flap at the top was difficult for some reason.

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