I don’t have a cute intro for you. I don’t have any jokes to start this jawn off. Ain’t shit hee-hee ha-ha right now. Know why? ‘Cause I’m having a hard time holding these hot takes down. I’m having a hard time living out here with people slandering underrated gawds. I’m having a hard time in my day-to-day activities with muhfuckas walking around not knowing how much of a real one Clint Barton aka Hawkeye really is. Yeah. I said Hawkeye.
Y’all know him as “The guy on the Avengers with the bow and arrow” but here at BNP we know him as Mr. Bows Down Arrows Up AKA Dipset Purple City Bird Gang AKA Hawkguy if you G’d up from the chucks up. There’ve been jokes on what Hawkeye brings to the table from the first swipe on his Avengers card on day one. Well, I’m here to tell you there’s so much more to Clint Barton then what you’ve seen on the surface. Y’all want answers? “Then start asking the right fucking questions.” First being, why you should never question how Hawkeye: Clint Barton deserves to be Top 5 Dead or Alive.
1) “I don’t big up the elite,
the elite can get it too, you all fit under my feet”
To say that Hawkeye is just his bow is to be talking reckless. Hawkeye is disgusting with the bow from long range but let’s talk about when ya mans gets up close and personal. For the majority of his career we saw Clint rocking the two-piece (bow and arrow), but when he came back from the afterlife and adopted the moniker of Ronin, we got a front row seat into the abilities that Clint had been keeping under a lid for a while. Captain America is arguably one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in Marvel and he trained the shit out of Hawkeye. Your mans was out fighting against ninjas giving them the And-1 mixtape embarrassment using melee weapons. It came as a surprise to everyone just how skilled Barton was outside of the bow.
It doesn’t stop there. Your man was a prime candidate to take up the shield back when Captain America caught the hot nick from crossbones (and a mind-controlled Sharon Carter) on the steps of City Hall. Tony Stark wanted Barton to take up the mantle of Captain America. Clint was more than proficient with the shield tossing, too. His skill as a marksman made him a natural at wielding the shield, but he’d drop that moniker in order to do his dirt under the Ronin mask inherited from Echo. Clint is nice with the steel (I’m not talking ’bout the ratchet, yet) as an expert with the blade, too. He spent years growing up in a carnival and was trained in swordsmanship by the original Swordsman. Clint was taught by his brother Barney to fight from throughout their upbringing as well. They had an abusive father and Barney is the one that told Clint to make every hit count.
Hawkeye represents the everyman fighting alongside super soldiers, mutants, and gods. It sounds in the same vein as Batman, but with Barton we see the battle damage accumulate from every fight. Ya boy nice but he’ll still catch a beating and take a hit. Not just one or two, he takes a fucking thrashing. His adventures have him shot up, falling from buildings, crashing through windows, and up in a full body cast for weeks.
Matt Fraction and David Aja had Clint taped up with bandages and band-aids on the regular. This is what makes Hawkeye such a better hero to follow. There isn’t always a plan to bail him out and it ain’t always aliens coming to clap him. Sometimes there’s a bunch of track-suit-rocking bros coming upside ya head with a bat, chains, and guns. And Barton sometimes takes a beating, which makes the stakes so much higher. His story is way more compelling with no-name henchmen fighting back and getting hits in instead of staying down with one punch. You get invested in the fights with Clint Barton because we know he can get hurt, just like any of us. Hawkeye may be the truest representation of the everyman when it comes to fighting and action.
Hawkeye will shoot the one with anybody and everybody. Don’t make the mistake thinking Clint Barton only needs the two-piece bow and arrow for peak efficiency. If it’s within arm’s length then everything is a weapon when dealing with Clint, and if it ain’t within reach your man specializes in throwing hands and hurting people. Badly.
2) “Where I’m from they cock and shoot like it’s all logical,
send a lot of work to them hospitals,
dress the AK up before they pop at you,
handguns, night scope, call it the chopper suit”
Listen, there comes a time when hard choices gotta be made and muhfuckas gotta get merked. Bodied. Nyquil’d. I’m talking clapped on, clapped off, and clapped up. That being said, your boy Clint Barton is in a live studio audience ’cause he’s ready to get the clapping. During the Dark Seige storyline when Norman Osborn AKA the Green Goblin took over as Secretary of Defense and was running his own version of the Avengers, everybody was waiting for him to go crazy, fail, and get kicked out of his position. Everybody except Hawkeye. Osborn put in the worst of the worst from The Thunderbolts and had them posing as the new Hawkeye (Bullseye), Spider-Man (Mac Garman), Wolverine (Daken), and so on.
Hawkeye has always been against killing, but this time homie made an exception. Straight up and down, Clint said, I got an idea: How ’bout we stroll up in Avengers tower. Kill Norman Osborn. Get our shit back and get things back to normal. Clint said what almost everyone was thinking then took it upon himself to do what everyone couldn’t. He even went so far as to say to Peter Parker shoulda been deaded Osborn. The discussion was tabled, but Mockingbird said she’d help Clint ’cause she knew he’d go through with it anyway. Fam, why your boy run up in Avengers tower on his lonesome and take out the entire fucking team like he ain’t have no sense?! No fear in his heart, neither. The whole squad was getting that potato salad. Clint broke in on espionage shit then proceeded to throw cats out the window, bust out the choppa then “reloooooooooooad and do the cabbage patch.”
Hawkeye be like, “I ain’t a killer but don’t push meeeeee,” and Osborn fucking pushed him too far, yo. He finally reached Osborn on some big boss level shit and my. man. didn’t. hesitate. at. all.
This guy really tried to troubleshoot Norman’s force field by licking more shots. I. Was. Dying! Even on lowkey Clint be sending them arrows to maim mofos. There was even a tape of him merkin’ out a dictator (Du Ke Feng) and we came to find out it was doctored with his permission to protect the soldiers that actually did it. I’m a huge fan of heroes that have to make that hard decision. Now Clint said he was wrong to try and kill Norman, but that doesn’t stop the fact that when push came to letting the nina ring, he tried.
That’s why Bruce Banner (finally free of The Hulk) trusted Hawkeye with a special material made to take him out should he ever lose control again. When Banner was confronted with an army of heroes at his doorstep during Civil War II over him experimenting on himself again (they were tipped off by an Inhuman Ulysses who predicts the future and saw Hulk killing ayebody) Banner was pissed at the intrusion of privacy and was about to freak, but then he caught that long kiss goodnight that came from downtown behind the arc.
Hawkeye stepped out the shadows, bow in hand, ready to be arrested. Barton is a man of his word. He was chastised for his actions but he saw that flicker of green in Bruce’s eyes and made the hard choice to go through with his agreement to his friend. He had to “kill his own dawg, that’s Mike Vick shit.” To do something like that requires a person that’s wired differently. We finally saw that deep down inside, Clint is wired that type of different. Banner knew Barton could live with it (as insulting as that may seem).
3) “I’m so motherfuckin’ grimy. So mutherfuckin’ greedy, gritty
Mama said she couldn’t breast feed cause I was bitin’ at the t****”
Mama said she couldn’t breast feed cause I was bitin’ at the t****”
3) “All my wrong doings did, was put my faith to a test
Which made me much stronger, guess my mistakes were correct”
3) “Without a paddle up shit’s creek.
Dig deep and see it ain’t life it’s just me.”
Now let’s get into some fucking meat and potatoes right now (soy-based products and potatoes for my vegans, gluten-free everything for my homies with wheat allergies) and talk about Hawkeye’s character development. Off the strength, if you didn’t know already ya mans is pro-ho. Clint Barton got a Ph.D. in friends with benefits, Mastered in friends with 401k, majored in no strings attached, with a minor in “and I creeeeeeep, yeaaaaaaaah.” Which is perfectly fine. We not here calling him the man or shaming that (fuck notches), Clint just out here trying to live his best life. The problem occurs when he doesn’t communicate that with his partner(s). Barton be on some fuckboi shit at times. That’s just facts. We seen him sleep around while dating Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) like it was whatevers. Homie caught the ill confrontation off that shit.
Clint does have that tendency to disappoint you. You feel that watching him go through it, and the choices he makes that at times stunt his character’s growth (which in itself, is, even more, character development. We see you, Matt Fraction). Homie can take falling out 9 story windows. Fighting out odds that leave him outgunned out-manned and out-planned. He’ll even step up to deliver the fade… but when the difficult gets mission impossible? He’ll second guess himself and disappear.
Clint the type that’ll be going through shit and won’t show it but you notice he stopped tweeting and updating pictures on the ‘grams. We saw this when he stepped in to help the residents of the building he was living in when the rent got jacked up. He bought the building… forcibly, bro. But these slumlord bros had big plans, bro. And bro-hawkeye ruined that. When things started getting more dire and violent, the easier thing to do would be to leave so as not to involve the other tenants in this fight. And Clint was leaning toward that, but his partner in aim Kate Bishop said fuck that noise. Which made Clint make the hard call to stay and fight.
Barton lives in a world of gray but he tries to be black and white when it comes to right and wrong. Cut and dry as it should be. People are being oppressed, you step in. But when stepping in makes circumstances worse — then what? Clint decided to fight, but then a good friend and neighbor Grills got knocked. You can say that’s not on Clint, but it is. His presence brought this on. Not only did his mans and dem get knocked, his brother Barney got hurt and put in a wheelchair, then on top of that Clint got stabbed in his eardrums with his own arrows by the Clown (a disgusting button man, mind you), leaving him deaf… again.
That’s a lot of shit to unpack right there, but that’s what we’re here for. So not only his peoples get knocked and brutally maimed, but his hearing is gone. When Hawkeye debuted he was partially deaf, which wasn’t known till later (I didn’t know that shit till 2015). Clint was good at hiding it by reading lips. He had an abusive father which brought it on and now this condition returned and what’s worse is it sent him into a deep depression. Here’s where we get vintage Clint Barton as he starts pushing those closest to him away trying to get him to climb out of the muck.
There’s a feeling of helplessness that ran across Clint as well as embarrassment. Clint now had to go back to signing and reading lips to put together what people were saying. David Aja visualized that everyday struggle that Clint (and others living with this disability) goes through in working to understand what is being said.
Now, Hawkeye has a great sense of humor, one that can step to Spider-Man and Deadpool with ease, the difference is when the jokes stop with Clint Barton, he’s beating himself up. He’s short with loved ones. Clint starts living up in his own headspace and wallowing in what went wrong, inhibiting him from making more decisions to clean up the mess in fear of making more of a mess.The dope game about Clint is when he climbs up out of that headspace. Some characters have that unbreakable will where you know they’ll take some time away but find their resolve.
Barton gets his resolve from getting a kick in the ass from his loved ones. That’s fucking real shit, man. That’s fucking facts right there. You need those people in your life to tell you about yourself, call you out on your shit, and remind you of who the fuck you really are. Real friends and family are out here making Barton get over himself. Putting your pride aside and asking for help isn’t easy in the real world and that shit is just as tough to see a character realize they gotta humble themselves.
Now ya boy isn’t always throwing a petty pity part for himself. Clint Barton only needs to be reminded that he’s too much of a bad bish for the fuckshit when the situation is at it’s most dire. When your mans and dem remembers that? That’s when it’s trouble for the away team. That’s when ya man leans out the window with the troubleshooter and trouble gets shook ’cause the gawd of the bow is riding ’round looking for the big payback.
4) “I got money on my head but I’m ridin’ in a drop.
Feelin just like JFK, in the city that let em fly like JFK”
Understand. Kate Bishop is not no one’s sidekick. Kate Bishop is Hawkeye. Not “lil hawkeye” or “Hawkeye Jr,” the name is hers. Clint Barton sought out Kate Bishop to be his partner in crime. Why? Because Kate Bishop is fucking perfect. Kate Bishop is out here fucking up what you thought you knew about women lead characters. Kate ‘N Barrel ain’t on comm link talking to Clint. Kate is right in the fucking thick of the muck, telling Barton to hush while she saves his ass again and again and (another one) again. Don’t you ever come at Kate ‘N Barrel sideways.
Kate is Barton’s best friend but her whole life isn’t based around his. She be snapping Clint out of his wallowing and when he wanna pull the temper tantrum Kate left that shit alone and went about living her best life. Bishop be having her own adventures and we’ve seen her stumble her way through adventuring, investigating, and even undercover work. Ya girl is a jack of all spades of trades. Kate’s been on both incarnations of the Young Avengers. Your girl out here wielding space-issued bows and arrows and fighting major-level space villains through different dimensions.
She’s a rich girl but she found out the shady shit her father was up to and decided it was time to collect the bounty on his ass. Also look at how gritty ya girl is, man. Bishop be hanging out at overpriced galas one day the straight bandaged up from shooting that same damn night. Kate Bishop is the rock for Clint Barton. She doesn’t hang out with Clint, Clint hangs out with her. Katie isn’t here for the coddling shit. She got sarcasm and snark for days. Kate goes about handling her own business but she’s always there to lend a hand to her tag team partner.
5) “But tell my n**** not to shiver,
Only time we quiver like an archer is…”
Do I even have to get into how nice of a sharpshooter Clint Bishop is? Do I? Clint Barton is the greatest marksman in the world, homie. Clint Barton is the nicest to ever aim it, no scope needed. Anything is a weapon in bruh’s hands and it don’t matter the angle, Barton will get the protractors cracking. It’s much more of a testament to a hero to see them do much with so little available to them.
I’m just trying to tell you to stop sleeping on greatness, man. Clint Barton been out doing the work for the everyman since day one. Stop sleeping on greatness. Your mans done fucked up and got up despite that shit. Barton ain’t no saint. Barton isn’t a boy scout. Barton is here doing the best he can trying to navigate through the world.
Hawkeye is out here man, on his street-level shit. Clint Barton making Gangs of New York look like a Christmas special. Never forget when he was running around under Fraction and Aja’s creative reign. Clint Barton and Kate Bishop had all the major kingpins in New York pissed that they were fucking up the money. They ain’t like that shit… they ain’t like that shit at all. When you got Wilson Fisk telling a room full of criminal 1%’ers that you gotta get knocked, that’s when you know you made it.
Even Bishop’s father agreed to have her killed too, yo. Clint and Kate had a fucking hit out on them by the time the series ended. Tell me that ain’t some fucking hard shit right there. That’s real shit homie, don’t you be out here talking to me about what your fave out here doing unless they doing so much good that they got a bounty on their head like Jadakiss in his “Knock Yourself Out” music video. Y’all better let the real three-point shooter Emperor live, man. I don’t trust any shot from behind the arc unless it has Clint Barton’s signature for delivery on it.
“Let me tell you dudes what I do to protect this…
I shoot at you actors like movie directors”
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Evil Ninja (@EvilNinjaX24)
Niiiiiice. People can’t sleep on Hawkeye/Hawkguy anymore – Fraction and Aja did that iconic, character-defining shit that will never be surpassed or duplicated (see: Miller’s Daredevil, Ennis/Dillon’s Punisher). They moved Hawkeye (both of ’em) into my Top 5 favorite character(s) to read. Barton’s the real MVP out there, doing it for the people.