Hawkeye Update…and Dino Update!

Some say the world will end in 2012 because of the Mayans. Some say it’s because Dick Clark died and there’s no one to usher in 2013. I tend to believe that the world is ending because Hawkeye currently appears in more monthly comic books than Superman.

At first I was joking when I referred to 2012 as the Year of Hawkeye, but Marvel appears determined to keep the spotlight on Clint Barton — despite his inability to drive comic sales. I guess they’re hoping “The Avengers” movie will spur interest. I hope they’re right.

Most of the books I mentioned in the last Hawkeye update have been out for a while now. Clint is now on the staff at Avengers Academy, but he’s clearly just a supporting character there and hasn’t had much to do. It’s a good book, but I don’t recommend it for the Hawkeye factor. Clint is also a key member of the cast of the main “Avengers” title, but it’s now knee-deep in an X-Men crossover and it’s unclear right now how big a role Hawk will play in it. Clint’s main job in “The Avengers” these days is making out with Spider-Woman. Good work if you can get it.

Clint finished off his first story arc leading the “Secret Avengers,” but that title has also been hijacked by the “Avengers vs. X-Men” brouhaha so you won’t see him there for a few months. I haven’t been that impressed with writer Rick Remender’s take on Clint, but it’s too early to judge.

The “Avengers: Solo” mini-series featuring Hawkeye wrapped recently and frankly, I was not impressed. The art was sketchy and confusing and the story was hard to follow — in large part because there were too many characters and the art made it difficult to tell them apart. The “Ultimate Hawkeye” miniseries also wrapped up. I got the collected version but haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Clint has also recently appeared in “Ghost Rider” (a lame 2-parter), “Avenging Spider-Man” (an OK but not spectacular done-in-one) and took part in a “Captain America” story that I didn’t bother to buy. I didn’t win the Mega Millions lottery, after all.

As far as new and upcoming Hawkeye news, he’s currently part of the cast of “Avengers Assemble,” a new comic launched to cash in on the movie, given that it features an Avengers lineup identical to that in the movie. It made its debut last month but I’m waiting for the trade.

Speaking of the movie, you’d think there’d be a lot of Hawkeye merchandise out there now but the geniuses in marketing are putting pretty much putting all the focus on Thor, Cap, Iron Man and HULK. Which seems like a wasted effort to me — if you really want a Thor hammer or Captain America’s shield, wouldn’t you have got it last year when their movies came out? I did finally run across a Hawkeye bow and arrow at the Disney store last week, so that’s something. I understand they make great belated birthday presents.

The big news for Hawkeye watchers came last week when Marvel announced yet another attempt at a Hawkeye solo series. It launches in August with some pretty stylish art by David Aja. It’s written by Matt Fraction, who’s one of Marvel’s hot new talents so maybe it will last longer than 6 issues.

Finally — about time, I know — we have “Captain America and Hawkeye 629,” in comic book stores today. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “There have been 629 issues of a comic book called ‘Captain America and Hawkeye?'” No. This is another example of the bizarre marketing gimmick known as comic book numbering. Marvel used to publish a long-running title named “Captain America,” but they changed the name to “Captain America and Bucky” last year so they could launch a new “Captain America” book with a shiny new No. 1 on the cover. “Cap and Bucky” wasn’t all that popular, so now they’re making it a Captain America Team-Up book and the first story arc involves Hawkeye. Stupid, I know.

But that’s not important. What’s important is the tagline they’re using to sell this:¬†Captain America and Hawkeye Vs. Dinosaurs!?!

That’s right. Hawkeye and Dinosaurs in the same place. It really is the pop culture apocalypse. Now I know how the guy felt who first put chocolate and peanut butter together. The only way this could be better is if it were Thor and Hawkeye vs. Dinosaurs. Or Batman and Hawkeye vs. Dinosaurs. Or Thor, Batman and Hawkeye vs. Dinosaurs.

Of course, this does create a dilemma. Normally in situations of humans vs. dinosaurs I always side with the dinosaurs. But Hawkeye vs. dinosaurs? I can’t root for them to eat Clint. I wouldn’t mind if they ate Captain America.

At any rate, this has to be the greatest comic of the year, possibly of all time. “Watchmen” didn’t have Hawkeye and dinosaurs.

Whew. I may have to take out a loan to keep up. And the best part is, if the world really ends I won’t have to pay it back.

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