Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), has been relegated to the side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since he was first introduced in "Thor," but now he's finally been given the chance to show why he is and has always been such an awesome Avenger in the Disney+ series, "Hawkeye." Clint tackles street-level villains and tries to put his traumatic past behind him, while also serving as a mentor for Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and her trusty companion, Pizza Dog.
During the Battle of New York in "The Avengers," Kate Bishop lost her father but was saved by Hawkeye, who inspired her to take up archery. In the comics, Kate later becomes a member of the Young Avengers and she's already proven to be a stand-out character in "Hawkeye." The show certainly feels a lot different from a lot of the other Marvel series, and it's due in large part to the comic book source material that inspired it. If you're digging "Hawkeye" and are looking for stories with a similar energy, here are five comics that might be just what you need.
Spider-Woman By Hopeless, Rodriguez, Lopez, & Busto
Following the 2014 "Spider-Verse" comic book event from Marvel, writer Dennis Hopeless launched a new series centered around the character of Jessica Drew, who shocked fans everywhere when her first cover featured her noticeably pregnant. Her pregnancy means she needs to take time away from being an Avenger, and has since shifted her focus to tackling street-crime. Drew has to battle not just the physical limitations of being a pregnant superhero, like her constantly changing body and weird food cravings, but also having to come to terms with accepting that every aspect of her life, especially fighting crime, is going to have to change because of the baby. She can't escape the weirdness of her past while trying to focus on the future, which feels very reminiscent of the struggles we see Clint Barton juggling in "Hawkeye."
Mockingbird By Chelsea Cain And Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg, And Joëlle Jones
A lot of people hate the new "Hawkeye," namely because of the representation. Kate Bishop is a prominent figure, and frequently steals scenes from Clint Barton, and the villainous Maya Lopez aka Echo, is an Indigenous deaf woman played by Alaqua Cox. The character also uses a prosthesis, as Cox is an amputee. Echo is soon getting her own series, and the bigots are loudly crying "woke" — which is all the more reason to read Chelsea Cain's "Mockingbird" series. People lost their collective s*** when the last issue of the series' cover featured S.H.I.E.L.D super-agent Bobbi Morse holding a lemonade on a beach in a T-shirt that read, "Ask me about my feminist agenda." "Mockingbird" is a legitimately good series that was unfairly maligned as Cain became one of the biggest targets of the "Comicsgate" harassment campaign. If anyone gets the over-scrutinized world of "Hawkeye" in the fandom, it's her.
Black Bolt By Saladin Ahmed And Christian Ward
Considered by many to be the best new series during the year of its release, Blackagar Boltagon aka Black Bolt's power comes from his voice, and speaking just a single word can send a shockwave strong enough to level an entire city. He's spent his life training himself not to make any sound, and remains silent, communicating through sign language or a spokesperson, making him a disabled hero who is almost the antithesis of Echo. He also has a trusty sidekick, Lockjaw, another one of Marvel's goodest boys. Lockjaw is as important to the comic series as Lucky the Pizza Dog is to "Hawkeye," which should hopefully be enough to convince people to check out the series.
The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man By Nick Spencer And Steve Lieber
DC has "The Suicide Squad" and Marvel has "The Sinister Six." The fun and frenetic energy seen in James Gunn's version of "The Suicide Squad" is very much present in Spencer and Lieber's series, "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man." Boomerang and his gang come across life-threatening misadventures and a flurry of double crosses, all to fulfill their own personal dreams. Do they succeed? No, almost never. But there's something inspiring watching these foes try their damndest to succeed. It's a series that asks you to see these outcasts as full characters, not just "baddies." "Hawkeye" has always felt like the underdog, and while these characters are all supervillains, you can't help but love them.
Hawkeye By Matt Fraction And David Aja
Look, Disney+'s "Hawkeye" series owes everything to Matt Fraction and David Aja — from storytelling all the way down to the styling. While Fraction was involved throughout the show's development and creation, Aja was not, and Disney+ didn't pay him a dime until fans of the series took to social media to complain about the injustice. Fraction and Aja's series is what got me back into comic books, and their "Hawkeye" series revitalized the superhero genre for so many people. It completely changed the idea of what was possible to exist in a superhero comic series, helped develop a fan following for Clint Barton's character, and yes, gave us Lucky the Pizza Dog. If you like the show, you owe it to yourself to read the source material
New episodes of "Hawkeye" premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.
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