Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Comic Company Can Kick Your Comic Company's Ass

I don't know if I mentioned this before but I like Marvel more than DC. It's weird. I talk about DC more and Batman is my favorite character, but if Marvel folded, I would probably stop reading comics. And I talk about DC more because it seems to major in pissing off it's readers, deliberately.

In an effort to put this point across, I have a series in mind. It's

Except, you know DC loses.

First up, who has the better archer?

DC has Green Arrow:

Originally a lame ripoff of Batman with the world's most useless collection of novelty arrows, Oliver Queen was revamped in the seventies into a liberal rabblerouser, a hero of the people who wagged his finger at other heroes for not stepping up on national issues. Teamed up with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, he was made relevant, mainly as a response to Marvel's popularity, which came from it's relevance. So he was still ripping off someone's shtick. He's died before, having a bomb strapped to his arm explode, but he got better thanks to Hal Jordan as both Parallax and the Spectre making him a new, younger body and then placing his soul into it.

Besides being the conscience of the Justice League, Mr. Queen is the father of two(or three?) illegitimate children, one being Green Arrow stand-in Connor Hawke and another(maybe?) being Arrowette. Cissie's status as the daughter of Queen was hinted at in Young Justice, but since he series ended, none of the characters introduced in it have been seen again. The last is a child born of Shado, who had sex with Ollie while he was whacked out and thought he was with Black Canary. You see, to instill a personality into the tabula rasa that was Golden Age Green Arrow, DC not only made him a preachy beatnik, but also a straight-out lech. Besides the women he's knocked up, he was frequently found sneaking out of Black Canary's window and hit Black Lightning's niece's bull'seye, before she was tragically killed in typical comic bad timing. And let's not forget the time he slept with Manitou Raven's wife to support women's rights.

His partner was known as Speedy, before time and Sweet Lady H forced Roy Harper to grow into his own man as Arsenal, then back into Ollie's sidekick as Red Arrow. Harper has taken Ollie's spot in the Justice League, being the first hero to take over his predecessor's place on a team while the predecessor was still active and more popular. There's a new Speedy, now, a former prostitute and HIV carrier, Mia Dearden, because far be it for Ollie to have a sidekick who wasn't an Afterschool Special. What makes Ollie special is that for all his talk about heroes doing more to help with social issues and improve the lives of their fellow man, as soon as he found out Roy was a junkie, he kicked him to the curb.

Green Arrow's place in the DC is now cemented as the guy who questions the status quo, someone who will be the first to jump down someone else's throat about their faults while ignoring his own. He is proficient in superheroing, his skill in archery unequaled. But he has yet to be shown as capable of being more. Now his series is ending and being restarted as Green Arrow & Black Canary in what has to be one of the quickest relationship turnovers ever (or since Black Panther & Storm).

Marvel has Hawkeye:

A circus performer who turned to crime after a misunderstanding and falling in love with the Black Widow, Clinton "Clint" Barton quickly changed lanes and joined up with the Avengers to make up for his mistakes. Mastery of trick shots (he loved the shoot two shafts at a time), he had an variety of specialty arrowheads that were actually useful. Kind of a hot-head, Hawkeye was impulsive, but a team player. When he felt his arrows may not cut it and Hank Pym had become Yellowjacket, he borrowed some Pym particles and became the second Goliath.

It wasn't until Hawkeye met and fell in love with Mockingbird, a very unthinly veiled imitation of Black Canary, that Hawkeye began to evolve. No longer just the team's pointman, Hawkeye stepped up and became leader of the West Coast Avengers, a role he would take up off and on until Mockingbird's(and the series') death. Later, when working with the Avengers under another's (even Cap's) leadership no longer suited him, Hawkeye went to the Thunderbolts, helping the reformed villains gain the trust of the public and leading the team into becoming a real fighting force. He even gave up his freedom when he was arrested for aiding and abetting fugitives.

When he finally returned to the scene, he was quickly killed in the worst death scene written in Avengers Disassembled, after making a point that the Avengers never did enough to make sure an enemy or situation was harmless. Basically, they would take the win and go home, instead of making sure whatever they were dealing with wouldn't come back and bite them in the ass. While dead, his name was taken up by the Young Avenger Kate Bishop , who was given the name by Captain America himself, saying the mantle needed to be taken up by someone worthy.

House of M brought the archer back to life, but in a time while everything he knew was shot to hell. While currently not an archer, Hawkeye is still in the fight as Ronin in New Avengers. But, come on. How long will he resist the siren call of the longbow and how long before too many people ask how the hell did he get so good with a sword?

So who wins?

As far as series goes, Green Arrow has an established history of maintaining a series for a respectable period, but I don't think Hawkeye has ever been given a real shot with top notch talent, like Green Arrow has in his recent series (Meltzer may be cringe worthy now, but Archer's Quest was brilliant).

Unlike Green Arrow who has been stuck in the same role since the seventies, Hawkeye has shown real versatility as a character without losing any believability in his development. Hawkeye can be the hot-head who has fistfights with USAgent, the Joe Everybody leader who commands loyalty through trust, the smart alec showoff cracking jokes or the guy who questions without being a hypocrite. He's like your older brother, best friend and wiseass friend all rolled into one.



Siskoid said...

Hawkeye is one of my favorite Marvel characters, so no arguments from me!

BIG MIKE said...

Hawkeye better than Green Arrow? As if!

Jon Hex said...

I can't help it if Green Arrow is a hypocritical, son abandoning lech who speaks out of turn and was replaced by a lamer version of himself by his closest friends.

Andrew said...


Honestly, more than anyone else on the team, Hawkeye should be leading the New Avengers right now (not that I don't love Power Man as well). He should also be getting out of that Roninsuit...

Gyuss Baaltar said...

Ronin is Clint? How did I not know that? Now I'm not pissed I got Ronin in my clix booster pack.

And good point about the difference in the trick arrows. Hawkeye never ever had anything as silly as a boxing glove arrow