Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Hawkeye

Facing a return to leadership, the Avenging Archer checks back into the therapist’s office

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By Tim Stevens

Clinton Barton is an adult male who presents as being of above average physical fitness. He has been active as a costumed adventurer for most of his adult life in multiple guises including the size changing Goliath and the ninja-informed Ronin. However, he is best known and has spent the most time as the Avenger perennial Hawkeye, which is his current codename.

For a man well known for his sarcastic wit, he typically presents as fairly subdue and serious in session. Given previous work between the client and this writer, this is not unusual. As with many heroes known for joking while in combat, the humor appears to serve a purpose of sublimating Barton’s feelings to ensure his ability to focus on the task at hand and give him an air of confident ease.

Currently, the client is concerned with several recent events and new responsibilities. Chief amongst these is the re-emergence of his brother, Barney Barton, after years of being presumed dead. Barney had adopted the identity of the client’s former mentor Trickshot and was targeting his brother. Ultimately, the client was forced to badly injure Barney in order to stop the fight.

Additionally, Barton has found himself unable to reconcile with his ex-wife Barbara Morse (aka Mockingbird)—also recently returning from presumed death—and has begun to reluctantly move on. He admits that he has become romantically involved with a fellow Avenger, Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman), despite not having fully come to terms with the (second) end of his marriage.

Set against these personal trials, Hawkeye has also accepted new roles as an instructor at the so-called Avengers Academy in California and taking on a leadership role in a team that the client would only refer to as the “Secret Avengers;” he declined to further elucidate what this team’s purpose was or who was involved.

The current focus of therapy is on processing his complicated emotions in a healthy manner than is respectful of his feelings and those he cares about. Additionally, the client and the writer are discussing how to establish clear, healthy boundaries that allow him to honor responsibilities while not overwhelming himself and allowing some time to be outside of his costumed identity.

Clint Barton has his next appointments set for December 28 with Doctors Jan Van Meter and Roger Robinson and January 25 with Doctors Rick Remender and Patrick Zircher. Details can be found in files SOLO AVENGERS #3 and SECRET AVENGERS #21.1 respectively.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Community Mental Health Facility and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.

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