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Abandoned Love: So is Hawkeye a Killer or What?

by  in Comic News Comment
Abandoned Love:  So is Hawkeye a Killer or What?

Every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without explaining that the previous story was retconned away. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Tom A., we see Hawkeye’s widely different views on killing over the years…

Hawkeye debuted in Tales of Suspense #57 by Stan Lee and Don Heck. He first tried to be a costumed hero…

After the cops confuse him for a criminal, he meets the Black Widow, and he’s all, “Man, I really want to be a superhero, but that ass! Okay, I’ll be a criminal working for the Soviets.”

He attacks Iron Man and he sure seems like he’s ready to kill him, right?

In Tales of Suspense #64 (by Stan Lee, Don Heck and Chic Stone), once again Hawkeye looks primed to kill Iron Man…

But then he joins the Avengers and he’s pretty much not a killer, as none of them really kill.

That is, until Avenger #229 (by Roger Stern, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott), where Egghead is about to kill Hank Pym after Pym single-handedly defeated the Masters of Evil…

Hawkeye doesn’t look TOO shaken up about the whole thing, right?

And check out Hawkeye defending himself when he has to go up for a disciplinary meeting to see if he used undue force…

But then the big one happened. In a long storyline in West Coast Avengers, Hawkeye’s wife, Mockingbird, who was a trained SHIELD agent, is brainwashed by the Phantom Rider and essentially raped repeatedly. When she realizes what happened to her, she confronts the Phantom Rider. He falls from a cliff and she decides to let him die rather than save him (she would have been able to save him). She decides to not tell Hawkeye about it. Later, the ghost of the Phantom Rider reveals the truth to Hawkeye and he loses it. Note that yes, a good chunk of this is about the fact that she lied to him, but mostly it seems to be about the fact that his own wife let a guy die. Even his wife’s rapist he isn’t okay with letting die (not even ACTIVELY kill, but not save).

(I am not even sure if Wasp is right about the charter, but I presume that she is)

When Mockingbird quits, a couple of Avengers leave with her (Tigra and Moon Knight)…

So yeah, Hawkeye really hates killing.

Okay, there are a few more examples of Hawkeye’s stance on killing before we see how that aspect was dropped. This is getting a bit too long on images, so we’ll have to pick this up on the next page…

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