Tag Archives: Trickshot/Barney Barton

Villains

Trickshot (Barney Barton)

Trickshot (Barney Barton)

Hello, Marvel Writers!

Have you noticed how certain villains never seem to take a break in the Marvel Universe?  Dr. Doom is always a neat bad guy to have the heroes fight; there’s almost nothing scary he can’t dream up.

Others, well, not so much.

For instance, let’s take a look at Henry Pym’s self-adapting, berserk-o android Ultron.  I have to admit, it’s a pretty good bad guy.  Very like the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, it wants to wipe out humanity; especially the Avengers and specifically Henry Pym.

Not a bad back story.  But can’t it have a rest for a few years?  Right now, Ultron has sent his androids from the future (isn’t that Kang’s bailiwick?) to finish off humanity.  From what I’ve read, he’s done a pretty good job, though it won’t last.  Somehow or other the whole attack is going to get nipped in the bud, the world will go back to the way it was, and Wolverine and a few of the other heroes are going to be the only ones who recall what Ultron almost succeeded in doing.  And then, of course, some other universe-shattering disaster will occur to keep the heroes strained to the breaking point.

I’m sorry; but this is a tired plot.  Pardon my pandiculation.

The same goes for Kang, the Conqueror.  The guy rules the fortieth century and can’t keep his greedy mitts off of ours, whether it’s the twentieth century or the twenty-first.  He has tech beyond even Tony Stark’s most delicious dreams, yet he can’t defeat one little band of determined ‘primitives.’  Way to go, Avengers!!!

Still, it’s a little tiresome right now to have them dodging the futuristic emperor of a galaxy only their farthest descendants will know.  Does he have to keep coming back right now (literally)?

I for one am fed up with the Phoenix Force coming to harangue the X-Men, and now the Avengers, over and over again.  Give it a rest, please!!!  The Phoenix is almost as trite an enemy now as a simple bank robber.  We’ve seen enough.

There are better villains to throw at the X-Men.  I am really, really tired of the Phoenix Force.

Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister have also lost their edge.  Apocalypse has nearly the same m.o. as Kang and Ultron while Mr. Sinister is trying to outdo Dr. Frankenstein.  These guys, apparently, never think that they’re stretching themselves too thin.  But there’s literally nothing new in the plots that have the X-Men or members of the team facing off against either of them over some diabolical plan they haven’t already tried in past arcs.  Why not send them to the beach to catch a few rays and give the heroes a few years’ breather?

As for Norman Osborne – why isn’t he dead now?  Or at least in an insane asylum?  I know he makes a great Green Goblin, but he’s gotten awfully tedious.  Retiring him for a few years and giving the suit to some other villain (preferably not to Harry Osborne, poor kid!) would be a refreshing twist.

Can some other, less used villains, get a chance back in the limelight for a few years?  Ultron, Kang, the Phoenix, Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, and Norman Osborne have been used so much lately that they’re downright boring.

What about Trickshot, Atlas, Moonstone, and the other evil members of the Thunderbolts?  They could make an entirely new cabal of villains who would at least give the heroes some exercise.  It would be interesting to see the Cain/Abel relationship between Trickshot and Hawkeye developed a little further; the World’s Greatest Marksman is definitely hurting from his brother’s change of heart.  Having him and Mockingbird go up against Barney Barton would be exciting; it could certainly re-launch their romance.

What about the Shadow King?  Isn’t he still floating around somewhere?  It’s been a while since Deathbird dropped by the X-Mansion, too (guess she’s still embarrassed about being defeated by a lone archer when the entire team of X-Men had trouble thwarting her).  Juggernaut’s been away for some time, as have Toad, Blob, Avalanche, and Pyro.  Now those guys knew how to wreck stuff!

Doc Ock is currently residing in Spider-Man’s head.  How soon can we have him back in tentacles trying to shish-kabob the Wallcrawler, and getting webbed up for his pains?  The Kingpin’s been laying low these days, too, as have Spidey regulars Hobgoblin, Electro, and the Lizard.

Did Venom and Carnage finally leave on a rocket into deep space?  Those two gave Spidey a run for his money, and it wouldn’t be hard for them to do it again.

Then there’s the Red Skull, the Mandarin, Baron Zemo, Zodiac, Red Hulk (who really, really shouldn’t be an Avenger), the Scorpion, the Grizzly, the Rhino, Sandman, Crossfire, the Ghost, Mystique – when can she, Rogue, and Nightcrawler have another hash-out fight?  It’s been some time since they did that.

Where have Loki, the Enchantress, and Skurge been?  And the Kree?  Then there’s The Leader, Crimson Dynamo, and the Abomination.  Are they all on vacation in the Bahamas?

The Serpent Society and the Wrecking Crew could do with some attention.  It would be interesting to see Natasha Romanoff facing off with her ex, Alexai Shostakov (a.k.a. the Red Guardian turned ‘new’ Ronin).  Mole Man is still alive, isn’t he?  Even if all he did was give the FF a case of the giggles, it would be nice to see him again.

The heroes don’t need ‘shaking up,’ fellow writers.  If anything, they need a breather.  Sending the less-than-Earth-shattering villains to harass them would be a nice change of pace.  Who knows, maybe it would be just as exciting as watching the big guys who’ve been hounding them.

Sincerely,

Mithril (A Bored, Tired, and Troubled True Believer)

Advertisements

Fletching and Nocking

Hawkeye's New Suit

Hello, Marvel Writers!

Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work, fellow writers! This letter has to do with the World’s Greatest Marksman: Hawkeye. First, the newest costume for the archer is great and a definite keeper, in my mind. The original wasn’t bad, but these days it looks really ridiculous. I would keep the hip quiver as well; as proved in the movie, Hawkeye can run out of arrows quickly.

Back to his persona. Wow, talk about getting tossed from pillar to post. This character has been hammered, and then some. First a reluctant villain under the spell of the Black Widow’s many charms, then the loudmouth upstart trying to prove himself to the fledging Avengers, next a stalwart Avenger, now…

Now he’s not exactly anything.

Hawkeye’s first slide into rampant flings began when he ‘dated’ the super-villainess Moonstone during the time when he believed that Mockingbird was dead (lousy choice of post dead wife date). Later he had a dallying ‘romance’ with the Wasp (she’s taken, people!) and after Disassembled he had a fling with the Scarlet Witch (who ‘killed’ him, twice). In the recent comics since Mockingbird finalized the divorce they started after Hawkeye discovered she had killed a man who abused her, he has ‘dated’ deaf vigilante-turned-heroine Echo (formerly Ronin) and, recently, Spider-Woman.

Despite all this, when told by Cap that Mockingbird was on a list of international spies wanted dead, he rejoined the Avengers so fast it left his teammates practically speechless. Later, he was distraught when she received grievous injuries in battle, injuries that prompted Fury to give her an experimental serum to save her life. Hawkeye was virtually mum on the obvious dangers of the whole idea (a first for a character who regularly has more quips than arrows). I don’t know of any other time the character was so quiet about a dangerous situation regarding Mockingbird.

In light of these instances regarding his ex-wife, why the yo-yo effect with Hawkeye’s romantic life? The character was never this fickle with his flirting in previous stories.

It is also worth noting that this isn’t the only part of the character that is being batted around more harshly than a ping pong ball: once a staunch advocate of the old ‘do not kill’ superhero code, Hawkeye has become somewhat picky when he follows it these days. I think that it’s understandable that he would not willingly spare any Skrulls he was fighting, since one of the aliens successfully impersonated his ‘dead’ wife. Anybody would be killing mad after something like that.

And his decision to permanently take down the Scarlet Witch not too long ago isn’t hard to understand, either, when one considers that she ‘killed’ him (twice). But this would hardly be a decision he wouldn’t wrestle with or have qualms about, something that doesn’t appear to have occurred when he made that choice.

Yet when faced with a criminal such as Max Fury or the ‘new’ Ronin (Black Widow’s ex-husband), Barton suddenly balks at finishing the villain off. Isn’t that a little silly? If he’s willing to finish aliens and former teammates, why not villains who have earned their walking papers many times over, and for whom he had absolutely no feeling?

A brief overview of Hawkeye’s history is enough to make plenty of new readers shake their heads and say, “Ouch. What a hard story!” Over the last twenty years, Barton’s been all but shattered and rebuilt to the point where it’s amazing he’s still recognizable as the character he was in the sixties. It’s nice to see him getting along better with his teammates and stretching his wings as a commander of the team (or one of its auxiliaries) true; however, the rest of his character is practically a disgusting mosaic of the shards of his previous integrity. There’s little farther that ‘mainstream’ Hawkeye has to go before he becomes interchangeable with Ultimate Hawkeye (who is a near-total perversion of the character).

The fact that Hawkeye’s been sent spinning off into one ‘romance’ after another seems, to one who looks hard at the list of circumstances under which he met these ladies, to be more like a search for his wife Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) than the indecision of a berserk flirt. The pattern is something that she appears to be unaware of, but the threads of different stories point to Hawkeye desperately missing her all the same.

With all due respect, why not make Mockingbird miss him back for a change? Moreover, why not make her act on that? I don’t see anything demeaning or wrong with the idea for either character. They were married in a whirlwind before; why not go about it a little more slowly this time around? Reed and Susan Richards have lasted this long. Why not give another superhero a shot at that life?

Considering what he’s been through, Hawkeye’s definitely earned some happiness and needed respite. Heck, this type of story could open up all sorts of great avenues for both these characters and their teammates.

After twenty years on the rack, fellow writers, I’d say that Hawkeye’s been beaten enough.

Sincerely,

Mithril (A Troubled True Believer)