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Jeff Lemire’s HAWKEYE May Be A Big Influence on Upcoming Series

Even though we don’t know when production will begin much less when it will air, fans are very excited for the Marvel Studios series Hawkeye to drop on Disney Plus. Kevin Feige has told us two very important things: it will introduce Kate Bishop and it will feature some more of Clint Barton’s time as Ronin. Rumors have swirled about other potential plot point and characters, but those two tidbits from Feige are key. Additionally, if we’ve learned anything from the limited information available to us about the other Disney Plus series, it’s that they will truly build a world, full of supporting characters, around the leads. For The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, that means we’ll meet Sam Wilson’s family and get some more details about Bucky’s history; the same is very likely for Hawkeye.

Executive Producer Trinh Tran has promised that the show will paint a picture of Clint Barton’s past and while it’s been retconned a few times over the years, there are some parts and people that seem to stand the test of time. Clint’s story is rooted in an abusive childhood, depends on a relationship with his older brother, Charles Bernard “Barney” Barton and time spent at a carnival where the brothers met some criminals who influenced the rest of their lives. It’s also likely we’ll see a deeper dive into Kate Bishop’s history which means a look at her father, Derek, and his dirty dealings.

We already know that Matt Fraction’s acclaimed Hawkeye run is going to heavily influence the series. What you’ll see here are some panels from other classic and recent runs that could help us get deeper into the pasts of our Hawkeyes. I have no insider knowledge here, just a lot of comic books, a decent memory, a subscription to Marvel Unlimited and a little more free time than normal. So, enjoy the read and let’s see if we can spot these influences when the show airs!

Hawkeye, Vol. 3 (2003). Fabian Nicieza and Stefano Raffaele.

Why They Might Use This Run

As you’ll see, each of the books here that take a deep dive into Clint Barton’s background will have a few things in common. First of all, they’ll focus on the relationship between Clint and his older brother, Barney, Secondly, the books will show the time the Barton boys spent living the carnival life. Finally, they’ll tell some version of how they were influenced by Swordsman and, in almost every instance, Trick Shot, a couple of carnival showmen with criminal proclivities. In this case, this is probably my favorite iteration of the Clint/Barney relationship, which could make for a really interesting plot device.

Possible Influential Panels 

The flashback, as many do, starts with Clint stumbling upon Swordsman embezzling money from the carnival. In this version, Swordsman chases Clint, causes him to fall and break his legs and prepares to kill him before he’s stopped by Trick Shot.

Following the unfortunate series of events, Barney invites Clint to join him in enlisting in the Army. Clint, at first reluctant to go, changes his mind but misses the bus. Barney goes on to become an FBI agent after leaving the service and, in a cruel twist of fate, meets up with his brother while undercover and is shot in the chest by Clint!

 

 

Hawkeye: Blindspot (2011). Jim McCann and Paco Diaz.

Why They Might Use This Run

McCann’s series, as many of the others here, give us some insight into the early days of the Barton boys. We get a little different version of things each time, but here their abusive father dies and the boys run away and, of course, end up at the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders. While the carnival life really seems like an odd thing to put into the series, it’s hard to imagine the boys not being influenced by Swordsman and Trick Shot. This limited series gives us a brief look at the original Trick Shot, Buck Chisolm, training Clint. It also sees Clint square off with Barney, who is working for Zemo as the new and improved Trick Shot. Should Barney feature in the series, it’s possible they go with this version of the character and take the sibling rivalry to a new level.

Possible Influential Panels 

 

All-New Hawkeye, Volume 1 (2015). Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez

Why They Might Use This Run

This 5-issue limited series details  (and retcons) the early days of Clint Barton and his brother Barney and Jacques Duquesne, aka the Swordsman, as their paths converge at the Carson Carnival of Travelilng Wonders. The events that take place here, during Clint’s formative years, put him on the road to becoming Hawkeye. While this retcon removes Trick Shot from the early days, it makes Duquesne an even bigger part of Clint’s early years and considering that we saw Barton’s skill with a blade in Avengers: Endgame, it seems very likely that we’ll see Duquesne’s early influence on the Bartons and this version is a little more mild than some of the other options.

Possible Influential Panels 

Lemire’s run made some alterations to the Barton boys’ history as told in Hawkeye: Blindspot but he did shine a little more light on the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father and, after his death, their foster dad. The flashbacks show us the day where Barney has finally had enough and fights back. The ordeal leads to the boys running away and stumbling upon the Carson Carnival.

After the boys fall in love with the wonders of the carnival, their foster father shows up and begins to rough them up until he’s interrupted by Duquesne. Duquesne runs their foster father off and immediately becomes a hero to the boys.

Duquesne takes Clint under his wing, teaching him to shoot a bow and quickly realizes the skill of the young man. In fact, Duquesne begins to train Clint to join his act. Unfortunately, Duquesne takes Barney under his wing, but instead of teaching him archery, he teaches him to become a criminal. Clint discovers what’s going on and confronts Duquesne. Thought it doesn’t turn violent, it leads to Clint and Barney going their separate ways.

 

All-New Hawkeye, Volume 2 (2015-16), issues 4-6. Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez

Why They Might Use This Run

These 3 issues give new insight into Kate Bishop’s early years and establish just why she and Clint Barton have such an incredible bond. Just like the 2015 series, the events that take place in Kate’s formative years put her on the road to becoming Hawkeye.

Possible Influential Panels 

Lemire continues to use flashbacks to give us the goods. The second half of the series fills in some serious gaps in Kate’s past. We find out her father, Derek, hasn’t made all his money through his publishing company and that he’s involved with some dangerous-though-D-list-criminals, mostly notably the infamous El Matador. Kate decides to snoop on her father’s dealings, finds herself stranded in the top secret meeting location, found by someone who looks suspiciously like Tarantula and then held for ransom by the wily Matador!

As it turns out, Clint and the Avengers have been tailing El Matador and rescue Kate. After being saved by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Kate is fascinated that Hawkeye, using just a bow and arrow, can hold his own a team of super-powered or suited up heroes. Given a few tweaks here and there, these scenes could easily be retconned into the MCU. We know that, for at least part of Hawkeye, we will see some more of Clint’s adventures as Ronin. We also know, thanks to Rhodey’s exposition in Avengers: Endgame, that one of Clint’s adventures ended up leaving a bunch of dead criminals in Mexico. It doesn’t take much imagination to tie that brief description to the first meeting of the Hawkeyes!

These final issues of the series build up to the Hawkeyes going their separate ways after sharing some honest moments about how much each one means to the other. The great takeaway here is that Clint, through all his troubles and daddy issues of his own, has provided Kate with the positive father figure she was never going to have in Derek.

When you’re dealing with a character like Clint Barton, who has been around for so long, there are so many possible stories from which to draw. If you’re looking for one that seems most ready made for Disney Plus and that keeps as many of the key points as possible, it’s certainly Jeff Lemire’s. Lemire’s work on Kate Bishop’s background is equally well-done and likely to inform the MCU version of the character. At this point it’s likely to be a while before we start to uncover some plot points for the series, so as we sit around and speculate, it’s great to have these panels in mind!

 

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