Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Hawkeye

Go To

  • Author's Saving Throw: Kelly Thompson's run, which is centred entirely on Kate, surprisingly does a good job of this regarding those who felt Lemire's run gave too much Character Shilling to Kate and Badass Decay to Clint. Whenever anyone attempts to insinuate Clint is a bad hero, Kate very earnestly defends him, and while they bicker, they're both incredibly supportive of the other. Notably, while Clint's decision making is shown to be quite flawed, Kate's decisions are arguably worse (and her supporting cast point this out to her), and despite this, both are shown to be highly skilled combatants who, while they cross into Dented Iron territory, are still clearly at the top of their game. In general, the book presents Clint as a well-meaning Badass Normal who's only flaw is he's a bit of a hotheaded idiot, and that Kate follows after him in much the same way.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Pretty much the biggest problem with the Fraction Hawkeye run that most agree on is how much Clint's story slows down after issue 9, where the next several issues take place over the same set of days, all from different POVs, rather than continuing the story. The fact that the rest of the Aja-drawn Clint-focused issues ended up being super-delayed (which apparently was a scheduling issue with Marvel; both Fraction and Aja handed their work in on time) made things worse due to long waits for issues that barely moved the story forward.
    • Lemire's run having Kate and Clint part ways once more, with the current story indicating they wouldn't reconcile for a few decades. Given they already had a big falling out in Fraction's run, doing it again just feels like its repeating the same story beat.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Clint himself in Lemire's run, where Clint's competence (or lack there of) is exaggerated to the point of parody, to the point it almost resembles the way he's jokingly depicted by fans; Clint's abilities have gotten so bad he couldn't even take on a single Elite Mook without Kate's help.
    • Advertisement:
    • When Kate went solo during Fraction's run, she had far less success fighting mooks, compared to how she previously operated. Justified by the fact it was her first time operating on her own (having previously had either Clint or the Young Avengers to help), and the reveal near the end of the arc that the thugs were all LMD robots, making more sense why they'd so easily tire her out fighting.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Kate. Either a Memetic Badass or a Creator's Pet, depending on who you ask. Really, it depends on which book you read and how you interpret her slightly more tactful strategy compared to Clint's Unskilled, but Strong approach. Made worse in the Jeff Lemire run, where she has the above mentioned Badass Decay removed and Took a Level in Badass (being able to take on a room of SHIELD agents using acrobatic moves), but also Took a Level in Jerkass.
    • Advertisement:
    • Clint, at least in how he's written by Matt Fraction (and, subsequently, Jeff Lemire). Among those critical of the run, they feel Clint doesn't really feel like classic Clint due to not being as competent or confident, and feel his negative aspects have been played up when they should have faded from previous Character Development. Others, however, note that those negatives were always present previously, and though goofy, he's supposed lack of competence is exaggerated by critics/fans and in the book itself he still regularly takes on 20-or-so thugs without much trouble. Lemire's run ramps up the negative aspects Up to Eleven, to the point he's a Memetic Loser in his own book, with everyone pretty much calling him that right to his face.
  • Broken Base:
    • While generally well-received at first, Fraction's ongoing has resulted in a split. There's people who've grown tired of Clint and are only reading for Kate's current solo chapters, another who're the opposite and dislike her for hogging the spotlight, then there's those who like both and think the arguments are stupid.
      • In particular, the Badass Decay noted above; it is true Kate's success rate has gone down, but it has been pointed out that, while a Badass Normal, she's not typically a One-Man Army, and isn't used to fighting by herself. Some consider it Badass Decay, others consider it Reality Ensues. Should be noted that it does make for a comparison between her and Clint: He too doesn't get out of fights without some bruises, despite his greater experience and comparatively less-trained mooks. If she was taking down everyone without effort while he was struggling, it would probably lead to accusations of her being a Creator's Pet.
    • Jeff Lemire's run; when announced there was a reasonable split between those cautious he couldn't follow from Fraction's run while others were optimistic due to his work on Green Arrow, but when it came out, opinion remained broken. Some really like the continuation of the dynamic Fraction built between Kate and Clint, while others feel it got exaggerated (in particular Kate's hand-to-hand combat skills being upped to Black Widow level while Clint basically gets curb stomped by a simple Elite Mook), while the handling of Hawkeye's deafness has been controversial in comparison to how it was handled by Fraction's run and Gerry Duggan's Hawkeye Vs Deadpool miniseries. Pretty much no one is happy with the idea of Kate and Clint becoming antagonistic though.
      • It doesn't help that Lemire's new run has everyone telling Clint how much he sucks and everyone Character Shilling for Kate.
      • It's also very irritating that Ales Kot, in his Secret Avengers run, understood Clint Barton better than Lemire did. Clint is presented as a goofball and most people, including Jessica and Natasha, don't think much of him at times — but Maria Hill points out that is precisely why he's so dangerous and effective.
    • More fandom wise, but the idea of shipping the two. On one side, they have such a strong platonic, almost sibling like relationship that many would feel its ruined if romance was thrown in, and the age difference combined with Clint's mentor role would make it Squick and morally questionable. But, on the other side, they have a lot of chemistry and their mutual affection and teasing can come off as flirting, while the age difference isn't big enough for some people to have issue with it. Fraction himself has said that one rule he set out was that, so long as he's writing, the two will not ever have sex, but still kept hints that they do find the other attractive, though aren't romantically interested.
  • Contested Sequel: Fans of Fraction's run don't like Lemire's run very much. As noted above, a main issue is how Lemire has taken an exaggerated approach to the way Clint and Kate interact that seems to be based more on how the fandom sees the two rather than how they actually were previously. It doesn't help that Gerry Dugan, the writer of Deadpool who also wrote the Hawkeye Vs Deadpool miniseries and the short story in the Gweenpool Christmas special, demonstrated a much better handling of the two (where both are competent with some level of goofiness to them), leading some to wish he was writing the main book.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Lucky, or Pizza Dog, as everyone calls him. In fact, issue #11 of the current series is told from his perspective as he tries to solve a murder on his own.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Pizza Dog. (The dog's real name is Arrow, but he's been rechristened as Lucky.)
    • Hawkguy, as per the Memetic Mutation mentioned below.
      • On the same lines, Kate gets "Lady Hawkguy" to a lesser extent.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Hawkeye and Mockingbird are vastly preferred to Hawkeye and Spider-Woman, thanks to their history and years of being the Canon Official Couple.
    • The Avengers has significantly boosted the support for Clint and Black Widow, but this is mostly for the film universe, where neither have any love interests yet (and given that an overwhelming majority of the film's viewers are unfamiliar with the comics, there's far fewer alternatives). Despite that, Bobbi has popped up in MCU-set fics as a love interest for Hawkeye, either for this trope, or for another, more sinister set of tropes.
      • And then Avengers: Age of Ultron revealed that Clint had a family in the country that, out of all the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, only Nick Fury and Black Widow knew about. His wife is Laura Barton from the Ultimate universe. Thankfully, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Laura and Natasha are friends as opposed to the Ultimate Marvel Universe where Laura is killed by Natasha. It makes Natasha's concern for Clint in The Avengers that much more heartwarming.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Clint's entire relationship with Jessica is this among many fans who felt that it came out of left field. Some people acknowledge the relationship but say that it ended before Hawkeye.
    • Almost everything Brian Bendis does with Clint whenever he uses him too; Bendis has generally recieved criticism for his use of Clint generally writing him as a one-note jackass while ignoring a lot of his core character traits (most notably, his no-killing policy, as Bendis generally has him itching to go for the kill shot). Because of that, even people who like Bendis's Avengers stuff generally don't enjoy his writing of Hawkeye. After Civil War II made this even worse with Clint killing a non-threatening Bruce Banner because he believed he was about to kill them all, it's now clearly to the point that this take on Clint is hated by many.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Pizza Dog/Lucky's original name was Arrow.
    • In MAD's parody of the 2012 Avengers movie, Hawkeye notes what a stupid idea a boomerang arrow is. One Fraction story involves Clint using a boomerang arrow and it actually works.
  • Ho Yay: Clint has buckets of this with Steve Rogers, Henry Pym, Bucky Barnes (some circles even like the two paired with Natasha and Bobbi as an OT4), and in recent years with Deadpool of all people. The latter is more one-sided from Deadpool's side, but Clint is one of the few people who seems more amused by Deadpool's character rather than the typical annoyed response most have.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: It's pretty much agreed that Hawkeye is the one of the few characters who can be shipped with almost anyone and it wouldn't be weird. Natasha, Wanda, Bobbi, Jenn, Jan, and Jess are the current canon pairings, but he's also been shipped with Phil Coulson (a pretty popular pairing) Steve, Bucky, Hank, Carol, and Kate, along with many others.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Hawkeye Initiative, with hilarious results. (NSFW.)
    • From the Marvel NOW series, "Hawkguy" and "bro".
    • Hawkward! (Used as a result of the many, many, uncomfortable romantic situations Clint's been involved in.)
    • The "Hawkblock", using Clint's face in his old costume to cover his crotch in one issue, was so popular it became a T-shirt.
    • "Gosh, I love arrows."
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Crosses into Never Live It Down. Some people seem to exaggerate Clint and Kate's dynamic from the Fraction/Aja comic. In canon, Clint praised her abilities and she saved his life about three times in the first ten issues, two instances of which also included him saving her life, and while clumsy and uneducated, he's still shown to be street smart, tactical, and a a highly capable fighter. However, a few embarrassing defeats and Amusing Injuries seems to have warped fan opinion into Hawkeye being a loser who can't fight without Kate's backup who's constantly being saved by her, which is either used to turn Kate into a Memetic Badass, or for those more critical, accuse it of undoing years of character development (or outright just being out of character), even if it didn't do anything that wasn't present in earlier and recent works involving the character.
    • Even when Clint is depicted as a capable team member, the Fraction run seems to have cemented his reputation as being both "the world's finest archer" and "the world's worst decision-maker". According to Agent of Asgard, he somehow managed to get the army after him in a fishing videogame.
    • Outside of comics, the character has unfortunately developed a reputation as the most useless member of the Avengers. A lot of this can be traced back to his less than impressive portrayal in The Avengers, which was most of the mainstream public's first exposure to the character. His perceived uselessness has been joked about by stand-up comedians like Patton Oswalt and even in TV shows like The Big Bang Theory and Robot Chicken, with some arguing that Hawkeye has basically become Marvel's Aquaman.
  • Narm Charm: His old, purple costume is widely considered to be silly, but also part of his appeal. So much so that his modern, more serious look is widely considered a downgrade.
  • Never Live It Down: Hawkeye had sex with a doombot. To this day, a lot of fans still mock him about it.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A lot of people tend to accuse his relationship and marriage to Mockingbird as an attempt by Marvel to rip-off DC's Green Arrow and Black Canary relationship. This is despite the fact that Arrow and Canary only got married during the 2000s, while Clint and Bobbi got married almost as soon as they met, and as such, while the two couples have many similarities, they ultimately, and largely, had a very different relationship.
    • Matt Fraction's run tends to get a lot of flak for the handling of Clint, namely him being depicted as a flawed man with a tendency to get comically injured during fights. Both traits actually have been present beforehand (most recently Jim McCann and David Lopez's Hawkeye & Mockingbird and Widowmaker, which had both scenes of Clint making a fool of himself during an attempt at espionage, and showcased Clint was still a very flawed man), making it somewhat odd that it gets so much flak for it. Of course McCann does often have this balanced out by showcasing he's still a competent fighter with a lot of other skills to compensate for any short-comings and has a decent heart... but that's also showcased in Fraction's run as well, although Clint is intentionally written as something fo a loser, which probably plays into it.
    • The idea of a boomerang arrow actually appeared before Fraction's run. Hawkeye had used a similar arrow in John Byrne's well-beloved Avengers run against a Flash Expy.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Its not entirely clear who's supposed to be the sympathetic one, but the conflict between both Hawkeyes in Lemire's run results in this for both. Kate should be the one we side with as she's wanting to protect the kids from Project Comunion, except she acts in such a self-righteous manner and engages in some Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male against Clint that its hard to sympathise with her. Clint, meanwhile, should be sympathetic since he's trying to help Kate and, as noted, gets yelled at and punched when he tries to make her see sense, but the fact he's willing to let the kids get abused and used as weapons ruins any chance of that.
  • The Woobie:
    • Clint. Oh, boy. Abused as a child, constantly screwed over by the people he cared about, tried to become a hero and was branded a criminal. He was later killed by the Scarlet Witch, but resurrected in House of M and had his memories restored, which meant that he knew that he had died, and stayed alive even after Wanda changed almost everything back. Mockingbird, who had been killed, was found alive during Secret Invasion, but it turned out that she was a skrull. The real Mockingbird also turned out to be alive, but they still ended up getting divorced. Cemented in the Hawkeye and Mockingbird short lived ongoing, where a subplot is that she's in a dark place right now, and there's nothing he can do to get her out of it and it's killing him that he can't help her, all the while being around her is pulling him into a bad place too.
    • Mockingbird counts too, due to the aforementioned death/Skrull abduction and the related angst, her being raped by Phantom Rider, the dark places she went during the series, and the fact her mom gets nearly killed because of her and her brother hates her guts for faking her death.
    • Iron Woobie: Both of them. It's why they work together.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Despite probably being one of the Avengers' longest lasting members, and the longest lasting, non-super genius Badass Normal member, Clint has struggled to get the same kind of respect Captain America or Iron Man get outside of universe.
    • He gets it especially bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though mostly from critics rather than the actual fanbase. Basically, since he couldn't take Loki on in a fight (bear in mind, Loki caught him by surprise & held his own in fights against Thor & Captain America), got brainwashed, and was something of a Distressed Dude for Black Widow to save, combined with not having superpowers and running out of arrows in the final fight, a lot of critics have taken to dismissing him as the lame member of the team, ignoring how he almost single-handedly took down the Helicarrier. It hasn't been helped by his lack of focus in the films, and being almost completely absent from Phase 2 thanks to scheduling difficulties with Jeremy Renner. This was especially damaging since he was originally scheduled to appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he likely would have been given a more impressive showing than in The Avengers (since the lack of other high-powered superheroes would have removed the Overshadowed by Awesome factor). Fortunately this has been mitigated by Avengers: Age of Ultron where Clint gets more focus and better demonstrates his personality and capabilities as a Badass Normal, resulting in a much more positive reception.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: