In Marvel Comics' June crossover "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia," Norman Osborn heads to San Francisco to discipline the city's ever growing mutant population. But he doesn't want to have anybody killed when he gets there though -- unless it's absolutely necessary, sends an important message... or simply amuses him to do so. Whatever killings the Dark Avengers do will be on Osborn's orders, but chances are they'll be carried out by the team's "wetworks" specialist, Bullseye.
In our latest installment of IRON PATRIOTISM, an ongoing discussion with "Utopia" writer Matt Fraction about his vision of the Dark Avengers, we take a closer look at Bullseye, the assassin who never misses.
For Fraction, one of the appeals of writing Bullseye is the character's unique outlook on life. "Bullseye is a fun villain to write. He's one of the Marvel Universe's greatest psychopaths," Fraction told CBR News. "He's like the bizarro Wolverine and to see him having to pretend to be a good guy is pretty fantastic."
The good guy Bullseye is pretending to be is Hawkeye, the Avengers' legendary archer. Dressing him up in such a guise may be a brilliant PR move on Norman Osborn's part, but it's also an incredibly risky one. "You have the ultimate killer not being allowed to kill. Having him pretend to be a superhero is like a pot of water, which is boiling very slowly," Fraction explained. "When he was on the Thunderbolts Bullseye was kept in line by the nanites in his blood. Now that he's an Avenger those aren't part of it anymore; it's more of an honor system keeping him in check and he's got a much higher profile than he had in the Thunderbolts. He may be Hawkeye and he may be on the Avengers but you dress a scorpion up in a hat and boots, paint its claws a different color, it's still a scorpion. So how long can this guy deny what his nature is?"
He may not have any real superhuman powers, but Bullseye's experience as an assassin, adamantium reinforced skeleton, and killer instinct make him more than a match for most X-Men. "He's the most lethal man alive; he's completely psychotic and he kills people without remorse," Fraction stated. "He doesn't even think about it. He's the kind of guy who goes to the top of the Empire State Building and throws pennies off aiming at the people down below. He's Looney Tunes."
Bullseye doesn't see much difference between people and ants, and Matt Fraction is having a blast playing the killer off the mutant ant colony that is San Francisco. "The character interactions are all pretty rich," the writer said. "There's the fun of taking him against the big guns. Who doesn't want to see a Bullseye-Wolverine throwdown? Then there's the fun of pitting him against the smaller and younger X-characters like the kids."
Bullseye considers himself a professional killer and rarely allows things to get personal, but in "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia," he'll have a hard time maintaining that detachment. "This story is so big. It's the most complicated thing I've ever written. It's massive in what it means for all three teams involved [the X-Men, the Dark Avengers, and the Dark X-Men]; no one gets out of this clean," Fraction teased. "It's a huge game changing kind of thing and Bullseye in particular is frothing by the end."