10 Best Hawkeye Comic Book Issues Of The 60s & 70s | Screen Rant

The new Hawkeye streaming series draws a lot of inspiration from the 2011 comic book run by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, but Clint Barton's story begins at the very start of the Marvel Universe in the 1960s. Some of his best and most important comic book stories occur in the formative era of the 60s and 70s, also known as the Silver Age of Comics.

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Hawkeye is a major factor in some of the most important events in the early history of Marvel Comics, including the earliest versions of the Avengers and Defenders. His comic book adventures in this era could eventually have as much impact on the MCU as modern comics, given the direction of events in Phase 4 and the Hawkeye series in particular.

One of the most important comic books featuring Hawkeye is his first appearance in Tales Of Suspense #57, from 1964. This is a key issue for fans because it introduces many elements that would become vital to the depiction of the character in the MCU. Clint Barton is introduced as a villain of Iron Man, a person with no superpowers but extraordinary skill in archery.

His contention with Iron Man would eventually be reflected in his relationships with other Avengers in later comics, as well as his role as a villain in the guise of Ronin many decades later, which factors heavily into the new Hawkeye series.

Hawkeye's story develops dramatically in issue #60 of Tales Of Suspense, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Don Heck, who would become one of the best Avengers artists ever. In this issue, Clint continues his role as a villain and antagonist of Iron Man, going so far as to take Pepper Potts as a hostage. But the issue begins to develop the relationship between Clint and Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow.

At this point, both characters are villains, but their mutual feelings for each other - romantic in the comics for much of their early history - serve to humanize them both in ways that would pay off tremendously for their respective futures in the comics and MCU.

That tide begins to turn in Tales Of Suspense #64. Black Widow continues her ambition of stealing Stark Industries technology for the Soviet Union, but a major confrontation with Iron Man leaves her wounded. This ultimately leads Clint to reconsider his choices, and he decides to leave his villainous ways behind.

Both Clint and Natasha would have a profound effect on the other. Both eventually turned away from crime to become heroes and major members of the Avengers, making one of the unlikeliest Avengers friendships in the comics one of the most important.

One of the best Hawkeye comic book issues from the 60s with significant bearing on the new MCU series is Avengers #19. Comic book fans know The Swordsman, Jacques Duquesne, makes his first appearance in this issue, and the arrival of The Swordsman also provides an opportunity to fill in major blanks on Hawkeye's backstory.

This issue flashes back to Jacques training Clint during his days as a member of a traveling circus, beginning a long and contentious relationship. It remains to be seen if they will have such a connection in the MCU, but Jacques' presence indicates it could be a possibility.

The Avengers-Defenders War is a key early Marvel Comics storyline that could eventually manifest in the MCU, especially if rumors about Netflix Marvel characters like Daredevil pan out. In The Defenders #9, Hawkeye is now a member of that team and faces off against his former teammates in the Avengers, showing once again how Clint often takes his own path.

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The issue features a huge fight between the two teams and a battle between Hawkeye and Yellowjacket, Hank Pym, which is intriguing given the many Pym connections in the new Hawkeye series. It could be Clint is more closely aligned with Pym and Scott Lang than the Avengers at the moment in the MCU.

A major connection between Hank Pym and Clint Barton - with possible ramifications for the MCU - occurs in Avengers #63. There are many variants of Ant-Man in Marvel Comics, and one of them is Goliath. When Pym leaves behind this version of his Giant-Man persona, Clint takes over, ingesting the Pym Particles to become a true giant.

It's a major milestone for Clint in his evolution as a hero, and it develops after Clint begins to doubt his effectiveness as an Avenger when his bowstring breaks in the middle of a critical moment with many lives at stake.

Clint Barton would remain as Goliath for a decent period of time into the 70s, but in Avengers #98, he returns to his Hawkeye persona. This key moment comes at the end of the truly cosmic Kree-Skrull War storyline, representing some of the best Avengers issues of the 1970s.

It's a major moment in the aftermath of the epic storyline, as Clint reappears after being thought dead, in his old identity but a new and very 70s costume that wouldn't last very long. But it was emblematic of Clint's continued search for his place and identity.

Clint would teeter back and forth between hero and villain at times, and it often had a lot to do with Black Widow. In Daredevil #99, an issue that could potentially influence future developments of the MCU, Clint battles Matt Murdock for the affections of Black Widow.

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While Natasha is dead in the MCU and Matt Murdock isn't present - yet - the expanding multiverse and news that Scarlett Johannson will return in some capacity to the franchise may mean one of the most enduring relationships in Marvel Comics isn't over in the MCU.

Avengers #174 is one of the single best issues featuring Hawkeye from the 1970s because it showcases how the very human Clint is a worthy foe for The Collector. In this issue, Clint has to save the Avengers, who have all been captured by The Collector.

Clint has to use all of his skills as an archer to overcome the elaborate traps and mechanisms of The Collector, and the story proves why Clint is such a valuable member of the team and eventually, one of its best leaders.

Avengers #16 is a milestone comic in many respects. It's critical for Hawkeye, who becomes a full-fledged superhero in this issue as well as a member of the Avengers. Hawkeye joins what would become known as "Cap's Kooky Quartet," a new line-up that also included Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

This is the first major line-up change for the team (though Captain America himself only joined in issue #4) and it wouldn't be the last. But it was the beginning of Clint Barton's long and iconic association with the team into the present day.

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