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Hawkeye #2: Review

Sep 2012
Matt Fraction, David Aja

Story Name:

The vagabond code: a Clint Barton/Kate Bishop/Hawkeye adventure

Review & Comments

4 stars

Hawkeye #2 Review by (January 10, 2022)
This is the long version of why there are now 2 Hawkeye's. Clint Barton died during Avengers Disassembled at the end of Av vol 3 when mad Scarlet Witch turned on the team. The Avengers broke up and the Young Avengers rose to fill the void, including Kate Bishop who picked up Hawkeye's bow from the ruins of Avengers Mansion. Captain America sanctioned her use of the bow and the codename Hawkeye. Scarlet Witch then resurrected Clint at the end of House Of M, but he joined the New Avengers in the role and disguise of Ronin. During that period Ronin met Kate (YAv Presents #6) and told her he was Clint Barton, but he too gave his blessing and bow to the new Hawkeye. However after the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn Clint became Hawkeye again but (I Am An Avenger #1) encouraged Kate to continue using the name too (he must have gotten another bow). But she hasn't been seen since the Avengers: Children's Crusade limited series (before Secret Avengers #21.1 below).

When Clint says he's had a recent promotion in the Avengers I'm guessing he's referring to Cap handing over to him the leadership of the Secret Avengers in SAv#21.1. This is rather old news and the Marvel Chronology Project has this issue after the last issue in that series. Hawkeye will be in the team in SAv vol 2, but they'll be working for SHIELD and Clint won't be in charge. But his team didn't actually disband in it's last issue, and the MCP has Clint still making some SAv-related apps after it.

Clint's carnival background has been described in many places, as early as Av#19 but most completely in Solo Av#2 and Ha: Blindspot #1. Swordsman taught him archery until Clint discovered he was a villain. (Jacques Duquesne eventually became an Avenger and redeemed himself for love of Mantis, and died protecting her in Giant-Size Av#2.)

Madame Masque has been haunting Clint a bit recently. She shared Av(2010)#9 and SecAv#29,31 with him, but in between was in Moon Knight (2011) #10-11 with her father Count Nefaria.

Kingpin's been busy as usual. After appearing as current leader of the Hand in #690-691 of Amazing Spider-Man, the title that birthed him, he had a cameo in CA(2011)#16.

Hammerhead is another long-time Spidey gangster foe who after ASM#642 (the start of Origin Of The Species) featured in 2 issues of Heroic Age: One Month To Live and then ASM#665 on the Road To Spider-Island.

Similarly Tombstone was recently in ASM#646 (the end of Origin Of The Species) before Deadpool v4 #50-54

Owl was originally a Daredevil villain, so it's fitting that his most recent apps (alongside Kingpin) were DD(1998)#118-119 morphing into legacy numbered #500,502, all part of the storyline where DD took control of the Hand (before Kingpin did).

Ringmaster dates back to the original 6-issue run of Hulk. His latest major app was in several issues of Marvel Team-Up (2005), followed only by Civil War cameos in ASM#533 and Civil War: War Crimes.

The whole bunch of villains, including Ringmaster and 'Swordsman', will be back in #8 holding a meeting to discuss dealing with the annoying Clint Barton. Ringo, 'Swordsman', Hammerhead and Tombstone will go straight there. Owl will make a stopover in Superior Spider-Man #10 as Norman Osborn becomes the Goblin King. Madame Masque will be back for our #4-5 (bidding for an incriminating SHIELD tape) before #8. Kingpin will do DD: Dark Nights #2-3 before joining MM for the bidding war. He'll then have several more apps before #8.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hawkeye #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue's non-linearity is just the standard 'open with a page from the middle of the story' thing. We see Clint Barton in a tuxedo diving into an indoor swimming pool with a bow-carrying female to escape a hail of bullets.

Now we start at the beginning with Kate Bishop visiting Clint at home. He's still got bandages from last issue. His thoughts tell us that she took over from him as Hawkeye for a while. She's a gifted bowman but young (early 20's) and a spoiled rich girl. (But if she was ever a spoiled brat I don't think she is now.) He tells her that he's just got a promotion in the Avengers. And demonstrates firing 3 arrows at once to hit 3 target areas, but Kate claims the Roman Emperor Domitian could do 4 arrows.

Kate asks him why he's collecting newspaper clippings and a selection of photos. The photos show vagabond code that he learned about in his carnival days which is now springing up all over town. It warns hobos to get out of town before the police crackdown that will follow a big crime that's going to happen. And the clippings are Clint trying to second-guess what it might be.

1 that caught his eye is the world's 1st 6-star hotel, the giant-size Metropol, which has been erected by Bernard Gunn in New York. It's opening will be a Cirque Du Nuit performance. Kate uses her connections to get them tickets. Bernie Gunn's an old family friend, but Clint says he's a major crook - as are most of the guests. We see Owl, Hammerhead, Tombstone, Madame Masque and Kingpin (plus an unidentified female).

The master of ceremonies is the Ringmaster (of the Circus Of Crime), Maynard Tiboldt, but our duo have come prepared with special glasses to resist his hypnotic top hat. But 1st they are treated to a knife-throwing act. Barton recognises the style of his old (now dead) mentor (in Clint's carnie days) Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne), and the man unmasks as his spitting image.

Then the real show starts as Tiboldt hypnotises the crowd and minions move amongst them relieving them of their valuables. Meanwhile others raid the safes in their hotel rooms, safe in the knowledge that these bad guys won't call the cops afterwards. The Hawkeye's split up - Clint goes after the safe robbers while Kate explores backstage. Clint battles long odds and goes down for the count. Kate invades the dressing room of a female performer and during a scuffle clocks her with a fire extinguisher. And that performer just happens to have a bow plus arrows stuck in a purple wig.

Clint awakens in front of the Swordsman's other protégé with a fake French accent. He tells his men to take him out into the ocean, shoot him and drop him in. But there's a female hanging around carrying a bow with arrows stuck in her purple wig. As 'Swordsman' leaves she shoots some of the goons (non-lethally). Clint breaks free of the guys holding him with his hands tied behind his back. He leaps into the air and brings his bound hands under his feet and holds them up for Kate to split the tie with an arrow so he can join in the fight. Ringmaster runs in with 2 gunmen. Kate runs to Clint who picks her up and they crash through a glass wall, Kate shooting back at the bad guys all the while. They're exiting a room suspended over a pool, which is where we came in.

They climb out of the pool and Kate fires 5 arrows simultaneously (1 up on Domitian). She hits Tiboldt and his 2 gunnies in the eyes (the arrowheads are blunt so they won't die, just may be severely blinded). 'Swordsman' returns with 2 swords claiming Barton has broken the carnie code. Clint takes the bow and fires an arrow which just misses the baddy's ear, but then rebounds off a wall to stick in the back of his neck, rendering him conscious but immobile.

The duo leave the bow behind and hijack the boat which (presumably) the thieves were going to escape in, taking the loot with them. Kingpin tells all the other assembled crooks that the Avenger Hawkeye has just robbed them all, so they should think about how to remedy the situation.

Later Clint rings Kate at home and asks her to become his partner. She shoots down all the reasons he gives including that she's rich (but now so is he). Another reason is that he doesn't want to sleep with her, because that messed up his previous female partnerships. She's happy with that because he's too old for her. Finally he says it's because he thinks she's driven to right wrongs like he is, but then he ruins that by suggesting she'd be safer doing that stuff with *him*. But still in the end she agrees.

And we see he's got a wall map covered with crime cuttings, from all over the world.

And we see he's still got the injured dog he rescued last issue, which he now calls Lucky.

David Aja
David Aja
Matt Hollingsworth
David Aja (Cover Penciler)
David Aja (Cover Inker)
David Aja (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Steve Wacker. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)

(Wilson Fisk)

Plus: Hammerhead, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Owl, Tombstone.

> Hawkeye: Book info and issue index

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