"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"
As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!
So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!
By TJ Dietsch
Whether he's gone by Hawkeye, Goliath or Ronin, Clint Barton has been a stalwart Avenger from nearly the beginning--joining in 1965's AVENGERS #16. He's come and gone more than once, but he can always be relied upon to launch a timely rescue, found the West Coast Avengers or even sacrifice his life in battle with The Scarlet Witch.
He's also sported more than a couple different looks over the years, so let's check them out.
Like many early Marvel characters, Hawkeye's costume went for quite a while with only basic alterations to style and coloring after first appearing in 1964's TALES OF SUSPENSE #57 where Iron Man mistook him for a thief. Soon enough, Clint, along with Captain America, Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch were Earth's Mightiest after the original Avengers decided to take a break. Some might question the stylistic choice to adorn oneself in all purple, but Barton easily pulls it off.
Not wanting to let his team down following a bow-breaking battle, Barton took some size-changing Pym particles and became the new Goliath. The costume started off as another purple-themed set of duds as seen on the cover of 1969's AVENGERS #63, but soon turned into a red mask/shoulder and pants combination with a blue harness. Barton kept this identity for several years until the "Kree/Skrull War" storyline in 1972.
Clint finally got another new look in 1990, but it didn't prove a happy change. In an effort to take on street crime, Hawkeye got ambushed and shot multiple times, which resulted in him donning an armored costume in AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT #30-35.
As the '90s rolled on, the Avengers found themselves dealing with an insane Tony Stark, Kang the Conqueror and a slew of time travel headaches in "The Crossing." Hawkeye returned in a new costume similar to his classic outfit, but sleeker and allowing his hair to flow. Again, this costume didn't last very long thanks to Onslaught seemingly killing many of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four as well as several other heroes.
While he ended up coming back from Onslaught, Hawkeye appeared to lose his life once more in 2004's AVENGERS #502. In HOUSE OF M, The Scarlet Witch alters reality, which brings Clint Barton back in a familiar, but different costume.
After the death of Captain America, Clint confronted Iron Man and became Captain America for a night, which brought him in direct contact with Kate Bishop, the Young Avenger using the codename Hawkeye in 2007's FALLEN SON: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA #3. Barton quickly gave up the identity only to pick up another.
In the pages of NEW AVENGERS, Barton assumed another hero's identity, this time going by Ronin and joining the team on a trip to Japan to save the original user of that name, Maya Lopez, from Elektra and the Hand. Lopez gave Barton permission to keep using the codename, which he did throughout "Secret Invasion" and "Dark Reign," coinciding with the return of his lady love Bobbi "Mockingbird" Morse back into his life.
With the new Heroic Age on the horizon, Barton will be celebrating by going back to his purple roots, reclaiming the Hawkeye identity from Bullseye, who has been wearing the costume as part of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. The rechristened and updated Avenging Archer will have a prominent spot in the Marvel U., serving with the Avengers as well as starring in his new ongoing series, HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD, launching in June.
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