Hawkeye V Hawkeye: Making sense of AOU & Old McBartons Farm

hawkeye_best_superhero_header

I can admit it, I did it to myself.

Walking away from The Avengers: Age of Ultron with a mixed bag of genuine enjoyment and bewildered disappointment I had all sorts of thoughts, opinions, and feels about not only where I felt the film had done good but also where it had let me down and I freely own that I am, at least in part, to blame for that.

Intense discussions have been the theme of this past week as me and those close to me have debated just what it was about Age of Ultron that did not work for us. One of the main complaints (Outside of the Black Widow thing which I am still in the process of unpacking, and will be eventually addressing via the catharsis of bitching about it on the internet some time in the next week or so,) was the seemingly random inclusion of Hawkeye’s “SURPRISE!” idyllic family in their quaint, super-secret, farm in the middle of nowhere. It seemed pointless and seriously, Clint Barton? Wife? Farm? Family? WTH? Have you ever even met the man? Do you even go here?

confused gif
I mean Clint “Human Disaster” Barton, a happy father of 2.5 adorable moppets, with a home renovation fetish, and a seemingly sitcom perfect wife? What the hell? Where the hell did that come from? I was baffled by the choice and confused as to why Joss and Company would go so completely off book with Hawkeye. I was wronged! Betrayed! Sniff… (Okay perhaps it was not quite as dramatic as all that but with the shit storm the internet turned into post Age of Ultron, I kinda feel some over wrought feels only seem the thing to do. I wanna play too!)

It was only a day or so later, when I could sit back and see the big picture, that I realized my disappointment in this particular instance was not so much a result of a mismanaged character and more a matter of me projecting what I wanted on the previously constructed narrative. Namely, I fucking wanted Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye and instead I got Millar’s. Which honestly, is all on me.

There is no indication in any of the previous released content in the MCU that this version of Hawkeye is a hot mess of a human being with a pizza loving Dog named Lucky, a “I am most definitely not your fucking side kick, don’t make me kick you decrepit ass Barton!” named Kate, a run down apartment building in Bed Stuy plagued by tracking suited Russian goons who love the word Bro., and a romantic history with Natasha, Bobbi, Wanda, and Jessica Drew among many others (Dude gets around is all I’m saying, Evans & Renner might want to re think the definition of the word “slut”). I mean, come on! MCU Hawkeye doesn’t even have a boomerang arrow! And 616 Clint loves that thing! What was I thinking?

Bro 2.0

Seriously, Bro? What were you thinking Bro?

Instead of the redeemed bad guy, perpetual kid brother, and all around cock up, in the MCU we have an older, extremely component S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, possibly with a dark past, who is established, well respected, and comfortable in the roll of team dad. So yeah, clearly he was meant to be the Ultimate’s Hawkeye. I mean yes they threw some snark at us, but really would anyone expect this version of the character to wake up in a dumpster?

dumpster clint 2.0

Clint and Dumpsters, it’s kinda a thing.

So yeah. Not Fraction’s Hawkeye. Or even the Bendis take on the character. Which I have to say is a bit of disappointment in and of itself, but again not a actual betrayal of the character, just a different character entirely. Why was I so convinced that the MCU was going to give me Fraction’s brilliant take on Clint? Perhaps because in the MCU there was previously so little to work with. I mean his blink and you miss it cameo in Thor really provided very little to illuminate who this version of Clint Barton was, and in The Avengers he spent most of the film a brainwashed cipher, so there were a lot of blanks to fill in.

hawkeye

And seriously? Like this man would ever wake up in a dumpster? I don’t think so.

Luckily for me at the same time all this was unfolding (or not unfolding as the case may be) on the big screen, Matt Fraction was busy writing one of the most entertaining and nuanced takes on the character ever seen in Hawkeye’s solo title. The universe abhorring a vacuum and all, I inserted tab A into blot B. Except it turns out it was more like I was trying to build an Ikea bookshelf with parts from an Ikea daybed and I ended up with something not capable of supporting anything.

pizzadogg

Oh Pizza Dog, I mourn what might have been…

So yeah, I did it to myself. So in theory, perhaps the whole Old McBarton’s farm thing makes slightly more sense. This is my mea culpa on that. I should not have expected Lobster when the menu was pretty much indicating all that was on offer was steak… Or something. Like it was a vegan restaurant, why was I trying to order buffalo wings? This is clearly a carpet store, there is no pizza here! Yeah, that sort of got away from me, but you know what I mean. Don’t judge my metaphors, I skipped lunch!

That said, and all of my knee jerk harumph aside, the new paradigm in play with the idea of Clint’s secret family only partially worked for me. It might have been the chemistry between the actors, or the fact that it was all a little too hallmark perfection, but it was all a little tries too hard. (Like anyone would not yell at their husband about potentially leading an army of murder-bots with daddy issues to their doorstep. Yes he was careful, but she is very pregnant and has her 2 young children to think about! I mean there is calm in a crisis and there is almost psychotically copacetic, and Mrs. Barton falls more on the side of the later than the former.) And also I just realized I don’t even remember her name, she and the mini Barton’s could have been lovingly crafted out of cardboard and bad green screen for all the impression they made outside of the shock of their very existence.

Which is the problem.

I did not care about them at all, and when it occurred to me that they might meet the same fate as their Ultimate’s Universe doppelgangers my main reaction was a brief “Huh, a family that fridges together I guess?” and to shrug it off. And I should care about these people. I should care that Mrs. Barton has to watch her husband go off and fight an army of killer robots with no idea if she will ever see him again. That last time stakes were this big he was brainwashed by an insane evil God, brought down a helicarrier and in the process killing many of his friends and coworkers, fought an army of killer aliens in New York, and had a nuclear missile shot his location by his bosses, AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO TELL HER UNTIL AFTER THE FACT! At least I assume that is the case as she is not even alluded to in the first Avengers. For all we know he went and had shawarma before he called his freaking wife! Seriously not cool dude.

shawarma gif

So yeah, a scene where she expresses some conflict, and yes legitimate anger, with the idea that her baseline normal human husband is going to risk his life AGAIN as a freaking superhero would not have been out of place. Instead of her taking a genuinely human moment to freak the fuck out and how is this her life even? We get her chiding him about home renovations, giving him the go save the world speech, and gossiping about Bruce and Natasha’s weird thing- like Natasha having girly feelings was a normal thing and she never even met Bruce before this VERY SECOND and knows all of his myriad of issues and has room to comment on it? (Breath. That is an entirely different post.)

Yeah. That would have made her seem like something, anything, more than scenery.

Well That Was Awkward.

cap 1

So I met Captain America today. Not Chris Evans, Captain America. I went to Disneyland, as you do when you live in so cal, and of course wanted to see all of the Avengers exhibits they have there, because Avengers. So me and my friend wait in line for the “meet Captain America” thing and the entire time I am thinking it is going to be a small scale of the Smithsonian exhibit from CA:TWS. Nope, I round the corner and there he is. I may of lost my shit. When he told me be to be Black Widow in the picture we took? I may have asked “So should I climb you like a tree?” and the words “So I can’t lick you?” may have fallen out of my mouth while I was not looking. We got our picture and parted ways (I shook his hand three times, he has really blue eyes) and then once safely away I hyperventilated, freaked the fuck out, cried a little and had to have a sit down in the house of tomorrow.

So yeah. This is a thing I know about myself now. Any dude wearing that uniform in a professional capacity is going to make me freak out like it’s the 1960’s and the Beatles just hit the stage. FML.

Privilege, thy Name is Tony Stark

tumblr_n4vmlixxBu1qg402so1_500

tumblr_n4vmlixxBu1qg402so2_1280

Note: I am very mad at 616 Tony Stark right now.

I just realized at least one of the things that has seriously bothered me about whole The Illuminati concept in Marvel comics. Representation. For a group that is making decisions on behalf of the entire world they have only ONE person of color and NO WOMEN. Way to make “the big calls” guys, while ignoring the voices and opinions of HALF OF THE POPULATION OF THE PLANET. This is the patriarchy. This is the 1%. This is white, male privilege in it’s most elevated form. This is why the Illuminati is a horrible idea.

NO Tony. You and the rest of the ruling class do not get to make decisions from your ivory towers on behalf of the planet “for our own good” without ever once thinking of listen to our opinions on the subject. “Daddy” is no longer in charge of the real world, you need to accept that and evolve a more inclusive perspective. Did it never once ever occur to you to have someone who was not a man with power in your boys club? Seriously, you could not think of a single woman to add to you little cabal? Or more then one person of color, who is actually pretty damn privileged himself as HE RULES A COUNTRY. I mean the closest you ever got to including a more “normal, everyday human experience” voice was the very white, very male Steve Rogers (Who also happens to be freaking Captain America, way to set the bar at a attainable height for the plebes Tony), and we all know how that ended. And that you can not see what is gross about this, the very fact that you and your secret society think that it is your right to do so, is a full on manifestation of the fact that the level of your privilege has seriously reached critical mass. You are not “good guys”, making “the hard calls”, and “doing what needs to be done”. You are the patriarchy, You are part of the problem.You are the bad guys here. And it needs to stop.

Now the only question remains. Does Marvel see this? Did they create this group of super powerful, mostly white, men to reflect how a ruling Oligarchy can be formed by those with power and privilege and no perspective? Did they look at this line up and say, yes this is going to end horrible because these are a bunch of rich dudes with no grasp of what life is like for anyone other than their own rarefied kind? Let us make a point about representation, politics and the toxic nature of the inherently biased system using theses characters to do so! Or did it honestly never occur to them that women would need a place at the table, because they pretty much created a sausage fest. And with the exception of T’challa?A remarkably white one at that. (And please, Beast does not count as a person of color. If you shave him dude is his original flavor caucasian pink.)

As mentioned above I am not happy with 616 Tony Stark right now, this like figuring out that my favorite Uncle is actually a sexist jerk. Which given the source code of his character really should not surprise me but I thought he had grown past that. I am not a happy camper.

Cervix of Steel, Dick of Kleenex: Wonder Woman & Superman’s Sex Life.

wondy v supes

So, first off let me apologize for going to this place so far across the line of good taste that I am in freaking Narnia at this point. This entire essay was born of a half drunken (one of us was still sober) txt conversation with a friend about Superman’s sex life, because we are geeks and these things happen. So again, I am so sorry about this.

Many people over the last 80 or so years have had a lot to say about Superman’s sex life. One of the biggest debates has been how could this super strong alien have ever safely sex with a mere mortal human like Lois Lane? His sperm is super strong and exits his penis at such a high velocity, because super strong alien, that if they ever had the sex he would kill her when he cums. This concern was first raised by Larry Niven’s in his essay “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” 42 years ago (Yep, 42 years old and we are still having this same argument). While the essay has never, ever, even remotely been DC comics cannon it is still often brought up to justify the shitting on of Clark Kent’s relationship with Lois Lane and how said relationship could never happen because of the literally killer sex. The argument often goes further on to state that the ideal mate for Superman is Wonder Woman, with whom he share the traits of super strength and genitalia of steel. Plus their outfits match. I am not here to argue about the first part. Nope. I am here to address an issue in regard to the fictional sex life of this particular superhero that no one has seemed to address yet. Which is shocking because so much ink has been spilled in regard to who Superman could and should fuck. I mean, if you are going to make the argument that super sex is dangerous to those who are not super and we adhere to the fictional rules set forth in the DC universe, than how in the world could Superman safely have sex with Wonder Woman? I mean, seriously. Sex with her would rip his dick right off.

“What?” You may ask. “But they are both super strong and therefore MADE for each other and they have matching outfits! It’s fate!” Ah, see my friend, that is where the common mistake is made. For while their strength levels are comparable, the origins of that strength come from two very different places and sadly the combination of the two would end up being like when the guy from dark matter universe met the guy from the light matter universe in that one episode of Star Trek: TOS. Only in this case instead of them being trapped in an eternal poorly choreographed fight scene by Kirk to save the universe from blowing up, Superman gets his dick ripped right off.

Let me make my case. Superman is an alien from the planet Krypton, as we all know, and the source of his strength is from the unique interaction of the solar radiation from our yellow sun and his Kryptonian physiology. Which is why when he is in the light of a red sun he is pretty much a normal dude, I mean a six four wall of muscle, but he only has the proportional strength of a human of that same size and build. So his super strength is based on science, goofy made up comic book science, but science none the less.

Wonder Woman’s strength comes from magic. In any of her incarnations she is born of magic, be it made from clay and created by her mother’s love as in the origin written by George Perez, or the result of Hippolyta getting busy with the god of thunder Zeus, which makes her a mystical demi-goddess in the current canon, she is a creature of magic. Full Stop. Her strength is an innate part of her magical nature. All of her being is infused with magic. All of it. You see where I am going here, right?

See the thing is, Superman has weaknesses. We all know that he does. As I mentioned above exposure to red solar radiation means he loses his strength, and the seemingly endless variety of kryptonite laying around the DC verse all effects him detrimentally in plethora of ways, from green killing him all the way to pink kryptonite, which I shit you not, makes him a little gay (Way to be progressive there DC!). There is also a third weakness. It does not come up much but when it does it almost inevitably involves him getting his ass handed to him and this is relevant because Superman is vulnerable to magic. Yep, that’s right folks, the thing that is the source of Wonder Woman’s power, basically the source code of her very existence- the thing she is literally made of, is one of the things that can hurt Superman. It has been shown often in the past that magic effects Kal the same way it does everyone else. So, it is conceivable that in the throes of passionate love making or at least a really good fuck, that engaged with a full on magical cervix of steel clenching with the strength of a titan his dick would be as vulnerable to her magically gifted super strength as any other dudes because she, and by extension her cervix, is magical and magic can hurt him. You see where I am going here, right? Unless she is laying there like a sack of flour, his dick is going to get ripped right off when she cums.

Some may argue that he’s not extra vulnerable to her punches, so therefore the magic residing in her mythic vagina would not count as the type of magic he is vulnerable to, for reasons. (Because let’s face it, if he is vulnerable to magic, he is vulnerable to magic no matter where it may reside. Be it in a Excalibur or in Wonder Woman’s vag, magic is magic.) To these arguments I have two replies. One, if you do not think Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Zeus, chosen of Athena and Aphrodite, born from the myths of creation, champion of good, having sex would not be a magical act then you my friend have not been reading her comic for the last 30 years (the Perez run, read it, it’s amazing). Second, if you want to argue that Diana and Kal not being able to have sex for reasons of “Fake Magical Rules” is stupid and makes no sense than stop arguing that Clark Kent and Lois Lane cannot have sex because “Fake Science Rules”. The dude can fly, rip mountains in half, shoot fire out of his eyes and breathe arctic storms from his mouth, all this from “yellow” solar radiation. That is about as fake science as you can get, it is fake science to the point of being magic. And anyway who knows, maybe the magic of the Greek gods and Amazons of the DC comics universe is just very advanced science, after all “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Whatever this magic is, historically in the comics it has still effected Superman the same way it effects everyone else so I would ask you to address those complaints to the back issues of the entire run of DC. I guess my point is that these are all fake rules in a fake universe about fake people, and arguing about them as if they were real and had actual real life corollaries is stupid. In a fictional universe anyone can have sex with anyone else so long as the writers writing it want them to and if you cannot agree with that because the fictional alien, with made up impossible superpowers, absolutely cannot have sex with a human woman because of the rules then you have to accept the fact that Wonder Woman and Superman are doomed to a sexless relationship. Because if canon is canon than if they ever do it? She is going to rip his dick right off.

As True Today as the Day I First Wrote it on the Bathroom Wall!

carol danvers 2

So I wrote this a very long time ago for tumblr and as we are heading into that most magical time of the year, the summer movie season, I feel it is still relevant. There has been a lot of dog piling on DC for their inability to put together any sort of anything for freaking Wonder Woman. TV show, movie, anything. It is utter bullshit that these people can not figure out to do with one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time. It is a given fact that they are being morons. That said they are NOT alone. This summer there is going to be a movie out about a foul mouthed, car jacking, heavily armed outlaw raccoon who fly’s spaceships and his back up the ent who can only say “I am groot” along with some more humanoid eye candy off having adventures in the far reaches of space. If they can get the jaded movie goes of the world excited about that don’t you think it’s time we got a freaking Captain Marvel movie? So with that in mind here is what I wrote 2 years ago, with a few edits.

I have been sitting on this for a while, but I gotta say it.

Dudes it’s been 6 years. Why the fuck are you not making a freaking Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers movie or at the very least in the 2nd Avengers movie ? No, seriously. Why? She has this incredible back story, alien superpowers, snark, and so many issues. So. Very. Many. Issues.

I mean if you took all the man pain and awesome from Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor and rolled it up into a snarky blond in an awesome costume, WHO CAN FLY, you would have Ms Marvel. She has even been called “The House of Ideas premier heroine.”

She’s a patriot (Steve), a solider who fought for her country and no longer has a war (Steve as well). She is an on occasion not so recovering alcoholic (Tony), she can be a arrogant pain in the ass (Hello Tony again, with a side of Nordic god). She has freaking alien/cosmic powers (Thor) and she even has daddy issues to thrown on top of everything else. And seriously? Who on the current roister does NOT have daddy issues? (Bruce, Thor and Tony, so very much Tony, I am looking at your remarkably toned asses right now. Though I’m sure Steve and Clint have their fair share as well.)

Why throw away a golden opportunity to mix shit up and finally have a Superhero movie featuring a female character? I mean, Marvel is pulling out all of the stops for their movie verse and with that kind of backing we could have one hell of a Ms Marvel movie. With, like, a budget and a decent script and like a director who is not total crap and massively incompetent! Because? Those would be the reasons all previous movies featuring a female character have tanked (Electra and *shudders* Catwoman). They failed at the box office NOT because it was a girl in the lead, but because they WERE CRAP MOVIES! Put some actual effort in and trust me, people will show up. I mean there was concern that Thor would tank cause he’s not a “name” hero and look. It did incredibly well, BECAUSE IT WAS A GOOD SCRIPT WITH AN AMAZING DIRECTOR AND PEOPLE WHO CAN ACT. This is all you need.

And seriously, the time to strike is now. We are living in a post Buffy world here, we are ready to watch a woman kick ass. Hell, we are craving ass kicking ladies right now. So come on Marvel! GIVE THEM TO US!!!

DC is wandering around in circles with a bucket on it’s head in regards to a Wonder Woman movie and the totally botched (and thankfully never to haunt my TV) show and um… That would be about it. So DO IT!!! SEIZE THE DAY!!!

Um… So I did not intend to get up on this here soap box, but here I am nonetheless. So while I’m here, Uh, I guess… Stay is school? Don’t smoke? Wear Sunscreen? I guess I’m done.

Hey Marvel Studios, I’m still waiting.