You may have been as thrilled as I was to see the big change in Clint Barton’s (who was Hawkeye, who is now Ronin) life in Secret Invasion #8. When I saw this cover to New Avengers #47, I assumed this would have a story featuring Clint:
Alas, Hawkeye is not the main character, it’s Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in a very fine story by Bendis and Gaydos. It took me a while to recognize what classic Avengers cover (painted by Aleksi Briclot) this is an homage to. Is that Puck on the lower left hand corner? He was never an Avenger. Then my mind warped backward to 1984, when Marvel dared to do the unthinkable…spinoff their greatest super-team!
Avengers West Coast #1, written by Roger Stern, drawn by Bob Hall and Brett Breeding. If you take a look at Briclot’s cover, he credits Hall and Breeding, a very classy signature move. This four-issue mini-series introduced the West Coast team, with Hawkeye as the leader. The initial lineup consisted of Mockingbird (Hawkeye’s wife), Iron Man (Jim Rhodes), Tigra, Wonder Man, and the Shroud. In many ways, this series was a major evolution for Hawkeye’s character, showing his growth from criminal turned hero under the Captain America-led team.
I love it when Hawkeye makes that proclamation! It sure does help when you make it on an Avengers compound that resembles Hearst Castle! Nuff said.