The Many Faces of Clint Barton

by Matt Tuck

Of all Marvel’s characters, Clint Barton has a track record of frequently changing costumes. In the spirit of Halloween, let’s take a closer look at his numerous incarnations.

It’s almost as if the Marvel editorial staff has trouble thinking of new ideas for the longtime Avenger. Considering he’s the one normal guy on a team of superheroes, it’s easy to run out of things for him to do. Thus, Barton has been the subject of a revolving door of costume changes over the years. Of course, no matter what changes they make to him, he always returns to his most popular role – Hawkeye. 

Tales-of-Suspense-57-200x300 The Many Faces of Clint BartonTALES OF SUSPENSE #57

Clint Barton’s debut as the original Hawkeye has been gliding through the charts. In the past month, it has ascended 52 spots, climbing from 77th to being the 25th most-popular Silver Age comic over the past month. No matter what name he might use or who else might be under the purple mask, Barton remains the most notable Hawkeye.






Avengers-16-199x300 The Many Faces of Clint BartonAVENGERS #16

Although Hawkeye was initially cast as a villain, he quickly gained popularity and was transitioned into the role of a hero. A year after his premiere, he was added to the Avengers roster in 1965, where he has solidified his place on the team and became one of the most iconic members. While this issue didn’t present a wardrobe change, it would foreshadow future events as Giant-Man and others left the team.





Avengers-63-204x300 The Many Faces of Clint BartonAVENGERS #63

In a complete 180-degree turn, Barton took on the role of Goliath from Hank Pym, who had transitioned into Yellow Jacket. After Barton’s bow was broken, he used Pym’s costume and was able to manipulate his mass, thus becoming Goliath. The stint didn’t last for long, and he eventually returned to being Hawkeye. 






Captain-America-179-203x300 The Many Faces of Clint BartonCAPTAIN AMERICA #179

In 1974, five years after Clint Barton wore the Goliath costume, he was once again given a new identity. This time, he took the moniker of Golden Archer, which sounds like a McDonald’s Happy Meal character. At this point in the comics, Steve Rogers had become disgruntled after discovering corruption in the government, and he had left the Avengers. Barton posed as the Golden Archer and attacked his friend to force him back into action. This was only for one storyline, but it is still one of Barton’s many costumes.




New-Avengers-27-193x300 The Many Faces of Clint BartonNEW AVENGERS #27

For three decades, Barton stayed in the Hawkeye suit, but in 2007, he hung up his purple spandex in favor of a black ninja outfit and became Ronin. This comic gained popularity earlier this year when Ronin appeared in Avengers Endgame. We haven’t seen him on screen since then, but with his new Disney+ series on the way and the introduction of Kate Bishop, it’s likely he will keep the Ronin identity for a while longer.


Things are looking up for Barton. He’s getting a new comic series in January in addition to the Disney+ show. While Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow may have taken their bows in the MCU, Jeremy Renner is still rolling along. We’re apt to see him for a few more years yet, whether he calls himself Hawkeye or Ronin.


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Jamie Stewart October 27, 2019 - 11:01 pm

Don’t forget about his early costume from the Avengers in the low 100’s. That was horrible. And Cap 179 was the Golden Archer appearance not 119 as posted above. Cool article. Maybe do the Wasp next Halloween. How many costumes she been through?

Lance Zurek October 28, 2019 - 10:29 pm

Not to be a stickler, but I have to point out two things that should be corrected. One is some misinformation regarding the “Golden Archer” debut in Captain America. This should not be Captain America #119, but actually should be #179. Also, in your section focusing on Avengers #16, you indicate that this would be three years after the characters 1964 debut, in 1967, when this was actually would be just one year after, in 1965. That all said, I always enjoy your posts, Matt

Matt Tuck October 30, 2019 - 6:40 pm

Updated. Thanks, Lance.


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