For a brief period in the late 60’s/early 70’s, Clint Barton abandoned the Hawkeye persona, took Ant-Man’s tech, and became Goliath!
Hawkeye is known as the Avengers’ master sharpshooter, but for a brief period, he used Ant Man’s size alteration technology to become a better hero. Starting in Avengers #63, and running through issue 98, Hawkeye, AKA Clint Barton, took Hank Pym’s technology and started using it on himself. He would take on the name Goliath during this time. Ultimately, Hawkeye’s destiny was to always be an archer, and he reverted back to his original identity.
Hawkeye first appeared in Tales of Suspense #57 from 1964 and was created by comic book legends Stan Lee and Don Heck. While fans today know him as a hero, Hawkeye actually began his career as a villain, and even worked with the Black Widow at the beginning of their careers. He quickly reformed and joined the Avengers not long after. As a member of the Avengers, Hawkeye found himself at a disadvantage; he was the only non-superpowered member of the team at the time. Despite this, Hawkeye still distinguished himself as an Avenger; he has been a member of good standing to the team since he joined and is one of the most popular members. Yet early on his career, Hawkeye doubted his place on the team, so when the opportunity to get super-powers came along, he took it up.
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On the way home from Wakanda, the airship the team was traveling in malfunctions, and Hawkeye attempts to use a cable arrow to save the ship, but his bow breaks before he can even draw an arrow. Vision saves the day, but the experience leaves Hawkeye feeling useless. Later, in the same issue, Pym informs the Avengers he will no longer be using growth serum, as it was affecting his mental state. The Avengers are then called into battle, and tell Hawkeye to stay behind; instead, he steals Pym’s growth serum and goes into battle as Goliath. His run as Goliath lasted three years, coming to an end in Avengers #98; he would return to the Hawkeye persona after the Kree-Skrull War.
Hawkeye has used other aliases before, including the Golden Archer and Ronin, but Goliath was his first attempt at trying to situate himself in a world where most of his friends seriously overpower him. Yet over time, Hawkeye has found himself as an Avenger. While he may not have superpowers like Thor or Captain Marvel, his master proficiency with a bow has made him an asset to the team; his detour as Goliath represents a hero trying to find himself, a journey that was successful in the end.
Characters switching identities is a common trope in comics, and sometimes it succeeds and other times it doesn’t; Hawkeye’s turn as Goliath was one that does. It works because it was not just a gimmick, but an important part of the character’s arc; Hawkeye realizes his destiny, and it is to be an archer.
Next: Hawkeye Became the New Captain America BEFORE Bucky
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