10 best Hawkeye comic book numbers from the 1980s


The 1980s were the decade when Clint Barton truly established himself as Hawk Eye. The perennial Avenger and Defender got their first solo series and premieres in that decade, many of which served to explore and further develop their character. Some of the best comic book numbers featuring Hawkeye during this time frame have traced his progress as a friend, husband, and ultimately a leader.

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Hawkeye became the leader of the West Coast Avengers in the 1980s, ushering in a whole new era for Earth’s Mightiest heroes and Clint Barton as well. Its ups and downs would make the ’80s one of the character’s most turbulent decades, all leading up to the modern, live-action version fans know and love of the MCU.


Avengers # 229

Marvel Comics Egg Head

Hawkeye isn’t a typical hero, as he started off as a villain and has a lot of rough edges going to him. In Avengers # 229, written by Roger Stern and drawn by Al Milgrom, Hawkeye shows just how brutal he can be by killing supervillain Egghead. Problem is one of the best ways to show that Hawkeye isn’t exactly live and let live.

His brother Barney Barton was killed while fighting several villains, including Egghead. Hawkeye kills Egghead by jamming his energy weapon with an arrow, causing it to turn on him and taking out one of the Avengers’ most laughable villains.

Solo Avengers # 4

Hawkeye comes from the Wild Pack in Marvel Comics.

Hawkeye jumped into the limelight in a big way in the 1980s, with the headline in the Avengers solo anthology series. Number 4 is a great showcase for Clint Barton as he got rid of all of his guns – and even his shirt – while fending off the Wild Pack.

The issue, written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Ron Lim, shows very well why Clint is one of the best Avengers. He relies entirely on his intelligence and training to escape the savage pack, who are agents of the mercenary Silver Sable.

Marvel Graphic Novel # 27 – Emperor Doom

Doctor Doom dominates the Avengers in Marvel Comics.

Hawkeye plays with the rest of the Avengers and West Coast Avengers combined in Emperor Doom, an ’80s graphic novel that proves why Doctor Doom is one of Marvel’s best supervillains yet to be in the MCU. This is a big deal for Hawkeye as he takes advantage of Clint’s impressive willpower.

Doom conquers the entire world by co-opting the mind control power of The Purple Man. Only the Avengers with the strongest individual will can escape, and Clint Barton is one of them. Without him, Doom wins and rules the world.

Rom # 66

Hawkeye and the Defenders face off against aliens in Marvel Comics.

ROM Angel number 66 might be a weird place to find a great Hawkeye comic book story, but this unique toy tie provides one nonetheless. This issue is the second of two parts where Hawkeye joins the Avengers and other heroes in defending the world against the Wraithkind aliens, the enemies of Rom the Space Knight.

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Hawkeye gets epic moments using his skills to defend Earth from aliens, and also shows his very practical personality further by advocating for the complete elimination of aliens. The issue also features the art of Steve Ditko, one of the best Spider-Man artists of all time.

he hawk # 4

Hawkeye does not hear Mockingbird speak in Marvel Comics.

An important part of Hawkeye’s character in the new MCU series is his hearing loss. This has been true of Clint Barton in the comics dating back to Hawk Eye # 4, the last issue of his initial 1983 limited series. In this issue, his hearing is diminished by a battle with Killshot.

Clint has a hard time hearing at first before he can get hearing aids, which he continues to wear today. This makes his new relationship with Mockingbird, one of Marvel Comics’ most important spies, difficult at first.

Solo Avengers # 14

Hawkeye and Black Widow unite in Marvel Comics.

Hawkeye titled each issue of Avengers solo in the ’80s, and in issue # 14, he co-starred with one of the most important characters in his life, Black Widow. This issue is great because it’s the first in a long time that focuses solely on Clint and Natasha, who debuted as villains together in the ’60s.

Mockingbird’s relationship with Clint is put to the test by this adventure as her jealousy over Clint’s connection with Natasha motivates her to follow the two as they infiltrate AIM on a top secret mission.

West Coast Avengers # 37

Mephisto tears Hawkeye and Mockingbird apart in Marvel Comics.

The often turbulent romance between Hawkeye and Mockingbird takes another negative turn in a key ’80s issue, West Coast Avengers # 37. In this story, Mockingbird walks away from Clint and the team after finding out that she has let the villainous Phantom Rider down.

It’s a strange but complex reaction from Clint, who was responsible for Egghead’s death and pleaded for the destruction of the Wraithkind. His apparent hypocrisy will keep the two lovers away for a long time.

Solo Avengers # 2

Hawkeye trains for combat in Marvel Comics.

Avengers solo # 2, written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by Mark Bright, is one of the best Hawkeye comic book numbers of the 80s because it delves deep into its history. Its origin had already been told in some places, but this story fills in the gaps.

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Fans of the new MCU series will be interested in this story, which explores in detail how The Swordsman, Jacque Duquense, trained Clint at a young age in archery and other weapons, preparing him for his life as a avenger.

he hawk # 1

Hawkeye draws an arrow in Marvel Comics.

The first issue of 1983 Hawk Eye limited series is a major milestone for the character in many ways. Not only is this Clint Barton’s very first solo outing in the comics, it also introduces him to Bobbi Morse, the spy known as Mockingbird.

Clint and Bobbi would be married by the end of the series, an impulsive decision that would prove characteristic of Clint over time. Their relationship will inform most of his comic book history in the ’80s and’ 90s.

West Coast Avengers # 1

Hawkeye trains the West Coast Avengers.

One of the biggest consequences of Clint and Bobbi’s relationship has been their directing the formation of a new branch of the Avengers, the West Coast Avengers. The first issue of 1984 West Coast Avengers limited series are also a big deal for Hawkeye as they show off his leadership skills.

Clint Barton would lead the West Coast Avengers for much of the ’80s and early’ 90s, and the first issue of the limited series shows how he grew as a character by assembling a new team of heroes against a new threat.

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