Love and Comics: 8 Hawkeye Covers

Welcome back to Love and Comics!

This week we are featuring an Avenger that is sure to pull on your heartstrings if not your bowstrings. This week we are bringing you the many loves of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye. Clint Barton made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense Vol 1 #57 as a traveling marksman that goes up against the genius billionaire Tony Stark aka Iron Man. In terms of an origin story, Clint and his brother Barney ran away to a traveling circus after their parents died from a fatale car crash. Trained by the Swordsman and Trick Shot, Clint developed an incredible gift as a marksmen but had to separate himself from his mentors because of their unlawful treatment and embezzlement of their circus company. Clint eventually grew up to become one of the best Avengers and in that process found love throughout the hero community. Let’s take a look at the many romances of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird Vol 1 #1 (Clint Barton and Barbara “Bobbi” Morse) 

A former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bobbi Morse became the crime fighting hero known as Mockingbird. Originally she was assigned to be the an ally to the jungle lord Ka-Zar. Both Mockingbird and Hawkeye crossed paths when Morse was assigned to investigate the technology company, Cross Technological Enterprises. Hawkeye was working as the head of security at C.T.E. but they both soon discovered that the company was being run by the villain Crossfire. The two eventually took down the evil company and in the process began to fall in love. Following the culmination of this mission, Hawkeye suggested that the two should get married. Unfortunately, this super hero couple doesn’t have a happy ending.

New Avengers: The Reunion Vol 1 #2 (Ronin and Mockingbird)

As stated in the previous cover, Hawkeye and Mockingbird don’t have a happy ending. The downturn all starts after the tragic events of her kidnapping and brainwashing at the hands of the Phantom Rider. In that storyline, Phantom Rider is inadvertently killed by Mockingbird. She keeps this as a secret from the West Coast Avengers but is eventually discovered. Distraught by the idea that his wife would allow anyone to be killed, Clint distances himself from his wife. In this series title New Avengers: The Reunion, Clint has taken up a new mantle as Ronin and works for the Counter-Terrorism Agency working with S.H.I.E.L.D. During this time Morse returns to earth following the supposed death of her Skrull impersonator. This issue is where she finally divorces clint and ends their marriage.

Avengers Vol 4 #17 (Hawkeye and Spider-Woman) 

Making her first appearance in Marvel Spotlight Vol 1 #32, Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman was originally trained by Hydra to be a deadly assassin. Her first appearance assignment was to kill  S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury but she refused and rebelled against the evil organization. With super human strength, bio-electric venom blasts, heightened flexibility, and wall-crawling agility, Spider-Woman earns her title as one of the deadliest females in the Avengers line-up. Jessica Drew is also the most current love interest of Clint Barton, or “was” the most current super hero love interest depending on where one is looking on the timeline of Hawkeye’s hotties.

Thunderbolts Vol 1 #30 (Hawkeye and Moonstone)

The Thunderbolts are a team of reformed villains that take on the role of anti-heroes. In this issue, Karla Sofen, aka Moonstone, and Hawkeye are on the new Thunderbolts team. To kill sometime in between missions, Hawkeye and Moonstone workout in a mock combat session. As they flip and fight their way around each other they also begin to flirt. Their attraction to each other is mutual as the narrative tells the readers how they are attracted by their mutual respect of their abilities and skills on the combat field. Things really start to steam up once Moonstone lands a kiss on Hawkeye. The sultriest line is when she leans in to Hawkeye’s ear to whisper, “Say Clint – There’s one great thing about having mental control of your costume…you can make it vanish at will…”

Avengers Assemble Vol 2 #5 (Hawkeye and Black Widow)

The relationship between Clint Barton and Natasha Romanova are one built on mutual respect and admiration for each other. They’ve always been portrayed as two of the best agents in the field but also best friends. That’s why this cover from the Avengers Assemble Vol 2 is a bit shocking. Clint Barton is currently dating someone else at the time of these events (Jessica Drew). Amongst a heavy battle between the forces of Thanos, Natasha sustains some injuries and takes herself to the med bay. Here Hawkeye tends to her wounds as well as her heart saying, “You don’t have to act all tough. Everyone know you are tough. Don’t look all surprised…You know you’re my best friend, right?” That’s when Natasha lands a kiss on the surprised Hawkeye.

Avengers United They Stand Vol 1 #5 (Hawkeye and Black Widow)

Paying homage to the romance comics of the golden era is this cover from the Fox Kid’s adaptation of the 1999 Avengers United They Stand series. The television series was a short-lived cartoon that lasted for only 13 episodes. In line with early 90’s era of X-men, Fox tried to create another team-based series in the television show. Unfortunately it did not make it to a second season. In this issue, Hawkeye and Black Widow are actually together as a couple. We also find out a bit more about Natasha’s past, like the fact that she was married to a theoretical physics professor in Russia named Alexi Shostakov. Apparently as a young student she had met the professor and had fallen in love with him. Together they originally worked for Hydra until the day that Alexi was killed by the KGB. What she doesn’t realize until the end is that Alexi was actually brain washed and kept alive this entire time. Her decision to save her former husband puts Hawkeye on the back burner so decides that letting her go is the best thing to do for their relationship.

Hawkeye Vol 2 #8 (Hawkeye and Penny)

In the most recent Hawkeye run, Clint Barton gets into some bad blood with a couple of mobsters. Along the way he falls for one of those mobster’s girlfriend’s, Penny. In this issue Penny comes to the Avengers mansion looking for help after killing one of the gang member’s goon. Great timing on Penny’s part as she arrives to find Black Widow, Mockingbird, and Spider-Woman playing some cards with their ex, Clint Barton. The greatest thing about this issue is that there are number of full page panels showcasing homages to the golden era romance comics. Titles like “Mystery Girl” and “Doomed Love” showcasing characters from the Hawkeye series.

Hawkeye Vol 2 #9 (Hawkeye and Girls)

The title of this actual issue is Girls. This issue follows up on the events of My Bad Penny, with each of Hawkeye’s ex’s making an appearance. From Natasha Romanova chasing down Penny to Spider-Woman breaking up with Clint, this story revolves around the heart break and romances that the unlucky Hawkguy has had to manage over the years. This entire run from Matt Fraction and David Aja has to be one of the best comic series ever written and illustrated. The entire run goes off of the minimalistic style of David Aja. Combine that art style with the amazing writing from Matt Fraction and you can instantly become a Hawkeye fan and comic fan in general. All the trades are out for this series so be sure to log onto your Marvel Unlimited app or go pick it up off of Amazon. It’s truly a great read and one of the best run’s of our favorite sharp shooting hero, Hawkeye.

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