Marvel Comics once again reaches out to its older fan base—or at least the part of its fan base that thinks fondly of the comics of 40 years ago—with a series of one-shots all built around the premise that their current, young characters meet their namesakes from the Bronze Age: Teenage, time-displaced Jean Grey meets the Phoenix, circa 1979; Amadeus Cho meets a Bruce Banner I don’t know enough about Hulk history to place, but certainly pre-1980. Carol Danvers Captain Marvel meets a pre-cancer Mar-Vell.
That last one is cheating a bit, since Carol is also a Bronze Agecharacter, and was, in fact, present in Mar-Vell’s book from the get-go. I can take or leave Hawkeye Clint and Hawkeye Kate. I like them both best when they’re on teams. Sort of the way I feel about Wolverine. But, flipping through this issue, I saw it heavily featured Clint’s mentor, the Swordsman. I’ve been fascinated with the Swordsman since I read the opening line of my first-ever issue of The Avengers. That was “The Swordsman is dead!” I was nine years old, and I didn’t really understand what was going on in that issue; but I could see that this was a story about a lot of heroes and villains who had a lot of history together, and I wanted to know more. That’s pretty much how Marvel hooked fans in my day—not with indigestible “Summer events,” but by presenting a complex universe as a sort of a puzzle to solve.
At any rate, a good, character-based story, featuring a Clint Barton Hawkeye who was probably plucked out of time shortly after the Kree-Skrull War (Avengers 97) and about the time of his defection from the Avengers for the Defenders (Avengers 109, if memory serves.) I base this on the fact that he’s in classic costume, which he was not from Avengers 63 until Avengers 109, and the fact that he doesn’t look at the Swordsman and say, “Go away! You’re dead!” which he would have after Avengers #130. Nor would he have called Sword a villain after Avengers #114, when his mentor became a regular member of the team. Okay, geek-out moment over.
Fun story, Good read. Who doesn’t love Hawkeye? Or, um, Hawkette? (Terrible name!)