Founder of the West Coast Avengers
Powers: Enhanced Vision
Talents: Leadership, Survival, Marksmanship, Thrown Weapons, Weapon Specialist (Bow), Arrow Head Design
Clint Barton was orphaned at an early age when his parents died in a car accident and was sent to a children’s home with his brother Bernard. He and his brother ran away to join the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders, and the pair worked as roustabouts. While a member of the circus, Hawkeye was trained by the original Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and Trickshot. Clint’s life, however, would forever be changed after he stumbled onto the Swordsman counting the money he had just robbed from the carnival. The Swordsman offered Clint to become his partner in crime, but Clint rejected his mentor, sparking a fight that ended when the Swordsman left him for dead after he fell from the high wire. Barney, too, abandoned him, in disbelief that Clint passed up such an opportunity. Trickshot stepped up his role as Clint’s mentor, later asking him to join him in raiding a criminal named Marko. However, Clint severely injured one of Marko’s guards and discovered him to be his brother, Barney. Repelled by the consequences of his actions (and his mentor’s role in prompting them), he abandoned Trickshot and parted on bad terms.
He soon met the Black Widow, who was working at the time as a costumed villain for her country, and she easily seduced the hot-headed adventurer, making him think it was in his interest to defeat Iron Man. He attempted to do so according to her prompting on several occasions, but soon wised up, regretting his decision. Instead, he hoped to join Iron Man’s team of Avengers. As a way of proving himself, he broke into the Avengers Mansion and convinced their butler, Jarvis, to play the role of a victim so he could display his powers. Iron Man vouched for Hawkeye, and he joined the new line-up that included Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver.
Clint continued to be an active member of the Avengers for years, with his archery skills matching the superhuman powers of his teammates. His brash attitude initially chafed under the leadership of Captain America, and, although it took some time to come to respect him, the two have become good friends. Also at first, he felt attracted the Scarlet Witch, even to the point of having trouble getting over her eventual marriage to the Vision. For years, he also continued to hold a torch for the Black Widow, until she returned to her espionage career and told him that she had never loved him (although she said that in order to keep him away.)
Hawkeye stayed with the Avengers for a long time, leaving only briefly when his temper and ego led him to believe he wasn’t wanted. He returned after a short period, having joined the “non-team” Defenders in the meantime. At one point, Hawkeye was passed over accompanying the Avengers in the Kree-Skrull War due to his lack of superhuman abilities. Not one to be deterred so easily, Hawkeye took on the identity of Goliath with the use of Hank Pym’s size-altering particles. He hitched a ride so as to join the team in their intergalactic adventure and maintained the Goliath identity for several months upon their return to Earth.
During his time as Goliath, Clint was approached by his brother, who had become a big-time racketeer. Barney had learned of Egghead’s plans to construct an orbiting laser death-ray to extort money from the United States and came to the Avengers for help. The Avengers confronted Egghead and his allies, the Mad Thinker and the Puppet Master, but tragically, Barney died in the ensuing battle. Later, Egghead would use the Swordsman to capture Clint as Goliath, thinking him to be Hank Pym, but Hawkeye-as-Goliath soon defeated both criminals, avenging his brother at last. Soon afterward, Clint abandoned the Goliath identity but continued to serve the Avengers as Hawkeye the Marksman.
Another leave of absence was forced upon him, when, due to a type of “affirmative action”, he was replaced by the Falcon to comply with the Avengers’ government sanction. During this time, he eventually found employment as a night security guard for Cross Technological Enterprises (CTE). Never gone from his team for long, he soon rejoined the fold, although one particular solo adventure would have a lasting impact. His boss, head of CTE, was the villain known as Crossfire and hoped to test his ultrasonic equipment with which he hoped to turn heroes against one another, With the help of the ex-secret agent, Mockingbird, Hawkeye defeated Crossfire. The two heroes, head over heels in love, promptly got married.
At the time, the Vision was expanding the Avengers’ operations, and he named Hawkeye chairman of a west coast branch of Avengers, and Mockingbird joined him as a charter member. Hawkeye led the team through several adventures, growing into a competent leader, and he even had time to embark on a series of solo adventures. During one of these latter adventures, Hawkeye had to defend himself against many costumed mercenaries and villains hoping to collect a bounty placed on his right arm.