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Clint Barton and Kate Bishop's First Hawkeye Team-Up

This is "Just Like the Time Before," a feature where I examine instances from comic book history where comic book creators did early versions of later, notable comic book characters and plot ideas. Essentially, the "test runs" for later, more famous characters and stories.

This is a bit of an odd one in that it was a big enough deal that it is actively included in collection of Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye run. However, I was just thinking that A. it was cool how it fit so perfectly into this column and B. whenever I ever find myself saying "Oh, that's too well known," I realize that I am rarely speaking for much more than myself, ya know?

In any event, 2012's Hawkeye series by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth was amazing and one of the coolest things about it is that it firmly established the partnership between Clint Barton, Hawkeye, and Kate Bishop, Hawkeye.

Kate joins the cast of the book in the second issue...

She really gets a chance to shine in the issue...

She remained a constant presence in the series. In fact, when she and Clint stop working together, rather than lose her as a character, Fraction just split the book and had Annie Wu draw the adventures of Kate Bishop in Los Angeles while Clint's story continued in Brooklyn.

By the end of the series, the book was clearly a Clint/Kate series...

That continued into the follow-up series, All-New Hawkeye...

And then into Kate getting her OWN Hawkeye series by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire back in 2016...

That series ended with Kate and Clint together...

And it continues to this very day in West Coast Avengers, with Kate and Clint both on the new team...

While you obviously could argue that it is just a normal thing to team-up the two characters who both have the superhero name "Hawkeye," the fact of the matter is that what makes it work is not that their names are the same, but because Fraction created a compelling chemistry between the two of them that makes them really shine together whenever they work together. And the cool thing is that this connection via Fraction's writing was present almost FOUR YEARS before Hawkeye #1 came out!

There was a story in 2008 that screamed out that these two characters work great together and it only took until 2012 for that promise to actually be capitalized on.

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