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I've basically been binge reading every Hawkeye solo (or duo) comic since 2010 after backtracking from Hawkeye 2012 and All New Hawkeye and........I have a lot of feelings about them and him and what it all means to me and why I identify with him so much lately. I also have some feelings about how he gets treated by others and how he isolates himself having backread his comics. Because I thought in the beginning that I was so intensely attached to him for ~mysterious reasons~ but it's actually very not surprising when I step back and examine him as a character and look at his story in Hawkeye 2012 in the aftermath of Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Widowmaker, and Hawkeye: Blindspot. 

I guess one of the main things that he and I have in common (and one of the things I have been working on) is independence to the point of ridiculousness. It's different than learned helplessness (which unfortunately many of those close to him view his shutdown as) because it's more based out of pride and this feeling that if you just tried hard enough you wouldn't need anybody or anything. You could have the help of superheroes on your side if you'd just ASK, but the asking is like pulling teeth. In Hawkeye 2012, it takes until he is at his literally lowest point before he admits he needs help, and by that point it's too late in a lot of ways. Grills is dead, his complex is physically forced to vacate, and Barney is shot dead too very shortly after he admits to needing help.

It's been a long, slow road to recovery for me since Angie left and I had to recover from her absence and from all she put me through before. She, wittingly or unwittingly, encouraged this trait within me, and it was not until I hit the lowest point I'd had in four years that I admitted to needing long-term psychiatric help. And then! I proceeded to go off one of my medications as soon as I got in good with my doctor which just goes to show that the battle against your own stubbornness is unending. In my own (and Clint's) case, the stubbornness that we've had since childhood unfortunately extends through suffering our own mental illnesses alone.

I guess another thing I'm getting at is I have seen people way overhyping Hawkeye 2012 and then long-term Hawkeye fans saying that they feel like Hawkeye 2012 isn't a 'real' Hawkeye comic. And after backreading his comics, I actually get where they are coming from. Hawkeye 2012 ISN'T a regular Hawkeye comic. But in the aftermath of his PTSD, breakup with his wife, and flirtation with his blindness and thus the loss of all he views as valuable to him, it makes sense to me for him to withdraw and for him to sort of become this black hole of mistakes, regrets, depression, and failure. It's certainly not the most fun thing to read after those comics (although the art is a whole lot less blinding and awkward than Hawkeye: Blindspot, christ) but I do think getting to this point was inevitable for him. I can also understand why those around him are very frustrated with him and how low he has sunk, though it does seem a bit unfair in some points. But when you're low it's still hard for those around you to not be frustrated because they know you can do better and be better.

In the end, I do like Lemire's All New Hawkeye better because it's more fun and builds a lot on some of the really interesting stuff Fraction set up, but it still wouldn't be complete without this lowest point happening. Darkest before the dawn and all that. Side note: I also miss his dumb purple costume though I do understand that it was very outdated and changing it to be more similar to the movie makes sense. 

Side note: other things I have in common with Hawkeye are we are both cute goofy failbots who can be too mouthy for our own good and who would totally get kidnapped first out of perceived weakness in most situations. You may hereafter call me Hawkeye........not really but if you want to I wouldn't be against it.


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February 2017

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