The avenging archer Hawkeye again stars in his own comic book series as “Hawkeye” No. 1, by the creative team of writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja was released this week. The character of Hawkeye became much more prominent this year after an appearance in 2012's top box-office draw, “The Avengers,” where Hawkeye was played by Jeremy Renner.
In the comics, Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, was originally a reluctant villain recruited by the Black Widow after a misunderstanding with Iron Man. Later, he came over to the side of the angels, joining the team with issue No. 16 of “The Avengers,” and later leading the West Coast branch.
Nineteen years after he was introduced, Hawkeye got his first solo starring role in a miniseries written and drawn by Mark Gruenwald. Gruenwald was perhaps best-known as the writer of “Captain America” and “Squadron Supreme,” and was a Marvel Comics editor from 1978 until his death in 1996. In the introduction to the 1988 collection of the 1983 miniseries, Gruenwald wrote about what made Hawkeye a popular character.
Among Hawkeye's notable character traits, Gruenwald wrote, is “his unflagging determination to go head-to-head with folks far more powerful than he.”
Helping the little guy is something that Fraction revisits in the new series. He told USA Today that Hawkeye is “the Marvel Universe's Jim Rockford,” referring to the down-to-earth private eye played by Oklahoma's James Garner in the 1970s TV show “The Rockford Files.” The first issue in part features Hawkeye attempting to get veterinary care for an injured dog.
While Marvel's various “Avengers” titles feature Clint Barton, “Hawkeye” will showcase the character when he's not hanging out with the world's most powerful heroes.
“‘Hawkeye' is more about what inspires Clint Barton,” Fraction said in an interview at Marvel.com. “We got Clint in ‘Avengers,' ‘Secret Avengers,' and anywhere else at any given time — but we wanted ‘Hawkeye' to be about what Clint does when he's not at work, about what drives the guy.”
Fraction and Aja previously collaborated on the award-winning “Immortal Iron Fist” for Marvel Comics. “Hawkeye” marks their first collaboration since 2008.