Hawkeye is the subject of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes issue 4. He’s an Avenger without any superpowers; he’s just good at what he does.
The reader is first introduced to Hawkeye in an issue of Tales of Suspense (#57). This issue revolves around Iron Man and Hawkeye battling each other. Hawkeye, seeing how Iron Man saves civilians from an out-of-control carnival ride, decides he wants to be like him. Upon donning his new crime fighting persona, Hawkeye is mistaken for a common criminal and then tricked by Black Window into fighting Iron Man.
The next issue (The Avengers #16) deals with Hawkeye joining the Avengers. Several core members would like to disband from the group and have a break, but they first need replacements. As fate would have it, Hawkeye approaches the Avengers at the right time and explains himself.
The final story – making up the bulk of this collected graphic novel – is the self-titled Hawkeye, a four issue limited series. We finally learn a little more about the great archer and he is now portrayed as rounded character: a betrayed man, who’s broken away from The Avengers to do the right thing on his own. The writer has tried to make him comedic with wise cracks, but they fall flat.
What I find interesting about this book are the years the stories are published. The first two came out in the 1960s, while the four issue series was published in the first half of the 1980s. This means ones of Hawkeye’s best stories wasn’t published in the 21st century – a change from previous books in this line. Unlike the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes books we’ve looked at so far we’re able to see a gradual progression in both storytelling and artwork and not jump ahead several decades. The four part series is decidedly less campy than the first two issues.
This graphic novel offers a better jumping off point for character development than the earlier ones in the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series. We’re not only shown his first appearance and first joining of a team, but his first stand-alone series. For once I’m delighted a more recent storyline wasn’t included.
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