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YMMV / Hawkeye

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  • Angst? What Angst?: During Hawkeye: Freefall, a new Ronin shows up that has the superhero community pulling rank on Clint because of his apparent willingness to kill criminals to fight the Hood, despite Clint claiming that it's not him. It is, and Clint is using a time travel device to appear in two places at once, a hacker, and later a defective LMD, to cover his ass. Despite Clint's adamant no-killing policy (which often results in Head Butting Heroes situations when working with people who do kill), and how previous times where he's killed being the result of being pushed to the brink and followed by a great deal of angst, Clint doesn't seem particularly negatively effected by his willingness to kill, with the comic playing it off as "wacky hyjinks" as he tries to cover it up.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: Kelly Thompson's Kate-centered run in its handling of the Clint/Kate partnership is this in comparison to Lemire's run, which portrayed Clint and Kate's partnership as rather harsh and one-sided, with Kate often remarking on how "washed-up" Clint is and repeatedly outdoing him. In Thompsons's run, Kate is the first to defend Clint's reputation as a hero, they are both portrayed as equally Badass Normal, and while the two of them do bicker, they still support each other and remain good friends throughout.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Starting around issue 9 of Fraction's run, Clint's story grinds to a snails pace, with the next several issues all taking place over the same few days from different POVs. This wasn't helped by the fact that the rest of the Aja-drawn issues ended up being heavily delayednote , making the storyline feel even longer.
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    • Lemire's run having Kate and Clint parting ways once more. Given they already had a big falling out in Fraction's run, doing it again so soon after feels particularly repetitive.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Clint during Lemire's run; his abilities have gotten so bad he can't even take on a single Elite Mook without help.
    • When Kate first went solo, she was beaten by just a handful of mooks: a far cry from how she previously operated. Somewhat justified by it being her first time acting on her own (previously having either Clint or the Young Avengers to back her up). It's later revealed that the thugs were all LMD robots, explaining why they'd so easily tire her out.
  • 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.
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    • Clint while written by Matt Fraction (and beyond). Critics feel that Clint doesn't come as competent or confident as he previously did, and that his negative aspects have been played up too much. Fans of this version note that those negatives qualities were present in previous runs; they also feel that Clint's supposed "lack of competence" is greatly exaggerated by critics/fans, as while he is portrayed in a more comedic light, in the book itself he still regularly takes on 20-or-so thugs without much trouble. Lemire's run ramps the negative aspects even higher, to the point Clint's kind of a loser in his own book.
  • Broken Base:
    • While generally well-received at first, Fraction's ongoing has resulted in a split. There are people who've grown tired of Clint and only kept reading for Kate's solo chapters, other people who're the opposite and dislike her for hogging the spotlight, then there are those who like both characters and think the arguments are stupid. In particular, the Badass Decay was a point of contention; 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 it was 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.
    • There is a small but vocal number of fans of the character who are also members of the deaf community who hold Clint up as "their" hero due to his own deafness. To say the least, these fans were not amused in the least by Marvel suddenly shilling Kate Bishop. These people weren't completely mollified when Clint appeared in the MCU, either, since Renner-Hawkeye is hearing.
  • Contested Sequel: Fans of Fraction's run don't like Lemire's run very much. Some have accused Lemire's writing of Clint and Kate as reading more like exaggerated Fanon version of the two than their actual previous interpretations. It didn't help that writer Gerry Duggan had previously released the well liked Hawkeye Vs Deadpool miniseries, demonstrating it was possible to write a more "goofy" Hawkeye while still staying faithful to the characters, leading some to wish ''he'' was writing the main book instead of Lemire.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Lucky, or Pizza Dog, as everyone calls him. The Eisner-winning issue #11 of Vol. 4 is even told almost entirely from his perspective!
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Pizza Dog. (The dog's real name is Arrow, but he's been rechristened as Lucky.)
    • Hawkguy; see Memetic Mutation 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 Official Couple.
    • The Avengers has significantly boosted the support for Clint and Black Widow, but this is mostly for the film universe, where for a long time neither had any love interests. Despite this, 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.
      • 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 Vol. 4.
    • Almost everything Brian Bendis does with Clint; Bendis has near-universally 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 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. If it hadn't reached fandom discontinuity before, it most certainly did after Civil War II took it even further with Clint killing a non-threatening Bruce Banner because he believed he was about to kill them all.
  • 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 antics 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 (MCU version), 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 considered a downgrade by some.
  • 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 accuse his relationship and marriage to Mockingbird as an attempt by Marvel to rip-off DC's Green Arrow and Black Canary. This is despite the fact that Arrow and Canary only got married during the 2000s after decades of Will They or Won't They?, while Clint and Bobbi got married almost as soon as they met, leading to a very different relationship dynamic.
    • Matt Fraction's run get some 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).
    • 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Clint's Rogues Gallery is woefully underutilized.
    • Crossfire is a particularly notable example. Despite seemingly being Clint's Archenemy, he only shows up every once in a while, and interacts with Hawkeye even less often. It's a shame too, since he's a Badass Normal with a memorable design and a cool Consummate Professional personality.
    • The Silencer was an assassin hired by Crossfire who had the ability to cloak sound around him. Sadly, he was tossed down a smokestack by Hawkeye in his second appearance, and hasn't appeared since.
  • 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 neither of them looking good. Kate should be the one we side with, wanting to protect the horribly experimented-on kids from Project Communion, except she comes off as extremely self-righteous while also acting borderline abusive toward Clint that its hard to sympathise with her. Clint, however, doesn't come across to well either, as while he's trying to help Kate and the kids, his way of "helping" involves willingly turning the kids over to HYDRA of all people, knowing full well they'll be used as weapons throws any chance of sympathy out the door.
  • 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 being one of the Avengers' earliest members, and the longest lasting 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 fans. 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 took 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, 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). This has been somewhat mitigated by later films in the MCU where Clint gets more focus and better demonstrates his personality and capabilities as a Badass Normal, resulting in a somewhat more positive reception.

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