Hawkeye’s Iron Man Armor Wasn’t the Bad Idea Everyone Assumes

While the idea of ​​Hawkeye being given his own Iron Man armor sounds like a disservice to the character, his Stark-made suit was actually perfect.

When fans think of a street-level hero like Hawkeye receiving a high-tech suit of armor from Iron Man, the immediate reaction is a negative one because the upgrade is assumed to be a disservice to the core idea of ​​the character. However, when Hawkeye did get an Iron Man upgrade in the comics, it was not as bad as everyone would think, and actually makes a lot of sense while staying true to the original vision for Hawkeye as a superhero.

In Avengers Spotlight # 30 by Steve Gerber and Al Milgrom, Hawkeye is tracking down a gang after he witnesses them gun down a number of people in a drive-by shooting. Hawkeye later finds the gang responsible and is gunned down himself but is still able to make his escape from the homicidal criminals. After the shooting, Hawkeye asks Iron Man if Stark could design a special suit of armor just for him, and the outcome is arguably Hawkeye’s coolest and most tactical costume to date.

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Hawkeye’s Iron Man armor is not what fans would expect as it is not reminiscent of anything Tony Stark has ever created for himself. Hawkeye’s suit is perfectly fitted for him as it is similar to his original costume but with some high-tech upgrades that only add to his superhero abilities without detracting from who he is as a character. Hawkeye’s suit is bullet proof while remaining thin and flexible enough for Hawkeye’s gymnastic style while also being equipped with night vision to increase Hawkeye’s visibility and thereby making him a much more dangerous threat.



While Hawkeye’s Iron Man armor would have been an excellent permanent upgrade for the character, it was quickly trashed in later comic books. The suit was written off after Hawkeye got into a brutal fight with USAgent. During the fight, the supersoldier dismantled Hawkeye’s Iron Man suit and nearly killed Hawkeye in the process. After that event, the suit never made another appearance in future Marvel Comics issues.

Even though it was written out of continuity, now would be the perfect time to bring Hawkeye’s Iron Man suit back into Marvel Comics. In other current comic titles, it has become perfectly acceptable for street-level heroes without dramatic superpowers, aside from their fighting skills, to have a little bit of an upgrade if only to keep them safe from low-level attacks like knives and gunfire. DC Comics’ Nightwing recently received one of these upgrades after Mister Terrific made him a bullet proof suit. Street-level heroes need all the improvements they can get, and if the design of an upgrade does not detract from the core principles and aesthetics of the hero, then it can only make them stronger. Hawkeye’s Iron Man armor was not as bad as everyone assumes, and would still work as Hawkeye‘s main suit in the modern day.


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