Monday, February 22, 2010

Part Seven: Oh, Hawk... Not the Skirt, Boy!

Doug: February is Fashion Police Month here at BAB (not really...) and today we're going to look at the evidence stacked against one Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye!

Karen: One thing I like about Hawkeye is that, at least for his archer costumes, he kept the same blue and purple color scheme! And of those costumes, there's only one that's really flat-out horrific - you know the one I am talking about!

Doug: Do I ever! Let's do a little history lesson on our pal. Clint started off with a Don Heck-designed (Tales of Suspense #57, September 1964) get-up that's really been Hawkeye's enduring look. I, too, have always viewed it as purple and navy blue; however, in the Fantastic Four/John Byrne article in the current Back Issue! (#38), Byrne states that when he changed the FF's uniforms and increased the amount of white, the suits were black and white, not blue and white. Byrne's contention was that blue was a lighting effect, and his example was a good one -- Superman's hair is often colored with a lot of blue, but does anyone really think that he has blue hair? So I guess I am going to assume that Hawkeye's main garb is black with purple accents. What about you? How do you view it?

Karen: Eh, Byrne might be right about some outfits but I think ol' Clint is wearing purple and blue! What's interesting to me is all the minor variations we've seen in his costume. I think he had a slightly more detailed costume than most 60s characters. So little things would get tweaked, like the 'H' on his forehead, or his arm bands. Sometimes his hands were bare, sometimes gloved. Later on, I believe it was George Perez who added little pouches to his strap of his quiver.

Doug: Then he entered the Goliath phase, in a curious outfit designed by Gene Colan (?) and appearing in Avengers #63. While I love my giants (Goliath, Colossal Boy, et al.), I always thought the top half of Clint's version was outright weird. What the heck was holding that shoulder fabric in place -- some of Phantom Lady's boob tape??

Karen: Oh boy, I just had a terrible thought - Hawkeye on the same team as Phantom Lady! The poor girl would never get a moment's peace! As for the Goliath outfit, I wonder if John Buscema designed it? To me it has more of a Buscema feel to it. Of course, it also has the weird harness thing going on, which I guess harkens back to circus strongmen. Hercules had something similar. I thought the red and blue color scheme worked best.

Doug: And so, chronologically, we come to the bane of Karen's comic-collecting existence. The infamous Barry Smith-designed outfit that Hawkeye debuted back in Avengers #98 (April 1972).

Karen: You know, I like Barry Smith's work. Really I do. But I've often said that I thought he was better suited to non-super-hero titles. I think this design is proof of that. Who is Clint supposed to be? I guess Smith took his namesake seriously, because he could have stepped out of Last of the Mohicans - although I think even that Hawkeye would have worn leggings!
Doug: So, what's your verdict, Karen? I will state that the ol' standby Hawkeye outfit is a winner that's stood the test of time, and according to press ahead of the coming new Avengers title, Clint's back in that suit (readers will note that neither Karen or I chose to discuss (and I hate even this acknowledgement!) the Ronin fiasco). As for his stint as Goliath, like you, I also prefer the red and blue schematic, but not the costume in general. And everyone should guess where we both stand on his third get-up -- and that's what it was -- a get-up!

Karen: Hawkeye's standard garb is a classic, and despite a few mis-steps here and there, I consider him "dressed for success"!


MOCK! said...

I don't think I've shared with you yet how much I love your blog. I am trying to link specific entries you write to specific comics in my database...lots of great tie the three referenced here! Good work!

Karen said...

Wow! Thanks Mock. Doug and I are having a lot of fun putting these posts together, and I'm glad that we're not the only ones who enjoy them. It's starting to feel like we have a little community of fellow geeks here...and I like that!


MaGnUs said...

Oh wow, I'd never seen that skirt costume!!! It's awful!!! It even makes me like (not really) the Goliath suit!!!

Now, about John Byrne... he's one of my favorite authors, but not even he can claim that the FF costumes during his tenure were black!

He's admitted to being color blind; but he says that his affliction only causes him difficulty in distinguishing between certain shades of green and brown. For example, he used to think that Iron Fist's costume was brown.

I think his color blindness goes a little bit further, because no one can claim the FF wore black costumes...

As I just read on his own forum, he also thinks Angel's blue uniform is black... not only that: ("Cyclops' outfit is black. So is the non-furry Beast's. So was the pre-red Angel's.", regarding these outfits.

Byrne also says that Black Goliath's costume was supposed to be black; since he designed it himself. When someone comments that he's never seen Black Goliath's costume represented as blue, Byrne says "You haven't looked hard enough." and points to this image. Clearly, as much as I love his work, the man has a problem with blue and black as well...

It took a whole topic in his forums, educational reading.

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