Who is Hawkeye? A Lesson in Marvel Lore.

A recent comment by Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) has set the comics internet ablaze with speculation as to whether Marvel mainstay character Clint Barton aka Hawkeye will appear in the upcoming slate of Marvel movies, particularly The Avengers.

Hawkeye on the cover of issue #3 from his 2004 solo series. Taken from Wikipedia.

For those that don’t know, Hawkeye is a Marvel comics superhero who made his first appearance as an antagonist fighting Iron Man back in the 1960’s. His started out life as an orphan who ran away from the orphanage to join the circus. There, he was taught archery and sharpshooting by the villains Swordsman and Trick Shot. He eventually left his new home when he came into conflict with his mentor’s criminal paths, leading to him taking the heroic identity of Hawkeye.

After a number of misadventures (including his bouts with Iron Man) where he was fist labeled a villain, Barton was recruited to the second incarnation of The Avengers, a team of the Marvel Universe’s mightiest heroes. Nowadays he is masquerading around as Ronin, since his Hawkeye identity has been stolen by the villain Bullseye as part of Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers.

Since then, Barton has been one of the most enduring characters in the Marvel Univese. Despite lacking super powers of his own, Barton is able to match blows with supervillians through mastery of martial arts, gymnastics, and his signiture bow and arrows.

The character’s real appeal is the rogueish nature he’s held his entire career. This is the guy who would trash talk an enemy into submission, who had the gall to talk back to Captain America when he was training to be an Avenger, and who would one day be considered the best candidate to replace the Captain after he had fallen in battle.

I haven’t seen “The Hurt Locker,” but I’ve heard good things. What I hope the studios do, when casting the role, is choose someone¬† who is able to play both the bad boy and the nobel hero; fill in both roles that Hawkeye occupied in the comics. Aside from that, I can’t say who should play the role. Don’t think Alan Alda is cut out for it now though.

You guys have any takes?


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