web stats

CSBG Archive

Top Five Worst Hawkeye Costumes (Updated)

I always had fun with these over at Snark Free Waters, so let me try some here, as well. Today’s features the top five worst costumes that Hawkeye has worn. Let’s begin!

To refresh, here is the classic Hawkeye costume, which has survived intact from his debut all the way to the present (with some slight tweaks over the years).

His debut…

His first mini-series in 1983…

And right before his “death” in Avengers Disassembled…

That’s the standard bearer. Now, let’s see how artists have tried to “improve” on the design over the years…

First, two honorable mentions!

Compared to these other costumes, the Ultimate Hawkeye costume looks pretty bland, but I will give it a pass because it really is intended to look this bland.

And he DOES look pretty damn cool, doesn’t he?

The next costume to get a pass is the Crossing-era costume. I was really prepared to rank this Crossing-era costume higher on the list, but when I went to look at it again…wow, it’s really not that bad, is it? Maybe it’s just Jimmy Cheung’s skill as an artist, but this design looks pretty decent.

I mean, it’s not as good as the standard, but still, pretty decent. Not bad enough to make the top five!

5. The first entry occured when, in 1994 (after Mockingbird was killed) Hawkeye went solo, and they tried to “grim and gritty” him a bit with his mini-series. And part of that was getting Hawkeye’s SECOND “hip” version of his original outfit (the first is later on in the countdown).

It’s not that bad, actually.

It basically took the 90s costume design idea of making everything a little sleeker (Vision’s 90s costume, Robin’s 90s costume, Nightwing’s 90s costume).

Still, it is an update that doesn’t even remotely improve on the original, while not going different enough to stand on its own.

By the by, the 1994 series was notable for introducing Rover, the character find of 1994!! What a great mix! Hawkeye and some sort of mutated wolf.

4. When he took over writing the Hawkeye’s solo series in Avengers Spotlight, Steve Gerber decided to mix things up a bit.

Part of that included having Hawkeye shot, and forced to don a new armored costume.

This was short-lived.

Remember, folks, armored costumes are lame!

The above cover doesn’t do the lameness of the new costume justice. This version does it better (it just shows less of the costume)…

Look at those goggles!

It’s like Robo-Hawkeye!!


3. This one is a bit unfair, as the designers were working under the aegis of children’s animation, as well as the concept of the show (and toy tie-in) which involved each character having some sort of modular armor.

Still…what an ugly design.

2. This is a nicer looking costume than the cartoon Hawkeye, but goes lower on the list because they WEREN’T under any constraints. Rob Liefeld CHOSE to give Hawkeye what looks like a brown version of Plant-Man’s costume


Thanks to Ian Astheimer for reminding me of this one (I flipped through the Liefeld ones, but I missed this one, because Hawkeye was barely on ANY of the covers! The costume I’m showing you is actually an IMPROVEMENT on Liefeld’s design, as Michael Ryan basically is drawing Hawkeye like normal Hawkeye, only with a mask and a brown outfit – Liefeld’s version was more similar to Plant Man’s outfit.

Just weeeeird.

1. Please note that before this costume, Hawkeye was using Hank Pym’s growth serum and was going under the name Goliath. When doing so, he used the following costume…

So please keep in mind that he was already used to showing some skin.

Even with that in mind, I don’t know if that explains Barry Windsor-Smith’s design of this short-lived outfit.


Okay, that does it for this Top Five! Feel free to express your agreement or disagreement!

As a special EXTRA treat, here are the costumes again, courtesy of the great Micro-Heroes website!

Normal Hawkeye –

Crossing Hawkeye –







Nice list. Agree on the lameness, though I might flip five and four. Four’s just too unoffensive to me to be worse than that ‘Crossing’ outfit. And, as I think it was the first time I had ever seen Hawkeye (in a Marvel Universe Series 2 card no less) I can’t hate the armored costume. I know, I know… My mind knows it’s awful but my heart can’t let it go. (Cue music)

I feel the same way about the armored version, if it helps. I collected Solo Avengers/Avengers Spotlight through its whole run, and I remain fond of it even though my eyes tell me it’s a hideous design. (I especially loved that run because it gave Hawkeye a compound bow. Given the amount of pull he had on a recurve bow, him using a compound bow was just a downright scary thought.)

Is it me, or do some of these outfits look a lot like the stuff Arsenal (ex-Speedy) wore in the Titans?

Every costume Hawkeye’s worn has been the worst Hawkeye costume.

Ian Astheimer

June 18, 2006 at 1:12 pm

The Heroes Reborn brown and tan suit, with the full mask, didn’t make the list?

I’ll be damned.

I like the leg-holster on #4. Sitting down must be problematic.

moose n squirrel

June 18, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Bill Reed is mean!

I still can’t believe that’s Scott Kolins on Number 5. It’s like Marvel was working overtime assigning inkers to ape Dani Miki.

Sorry, but I fully believe that the Crossing costume should replace the 1994 mini on the list. The most distinctive thing about Hawkeye’s costume are the nifty purple wing things, and any costume that doesn’t have them just doesn’t work.

Sometimes I forget that Cronin is one of my few fellow deluded Hawkeye fans.

I’d go with his rankings of bad costumes, but I’d add a further caveat – the “H” on his forehead has ALWAYS been lame. Who does he think he’s reminding? I’d also add, at either 3a or 4a, the “House of M” outfit – the puffy one with the buckles all over the place.

And I LOVE the Ultimates Hawkeye costume, especially the way Hitch almost always draws him wearing glasses/sunglasses. For some reason that amuses the heck out of me every time I see it.

When is Hawkeye coming back, anyway? “As Clint Barton not as Hawkeye” yada yada. Just hurry up and bring him back and put him in a comic with a writer that has a better grasp of the character than to kill him off and resurrect him every 6 months. Please.

Can we discuss Marvel and “legacy” hero titles now, or do we have to wait 2 weeks?

That last cover you posted is a double whammy. not only do we see too much Hawkeye but Iron Man is about to be slapped by what looks to be a giant purple penis.

Actually, I think that BWS issue at the end is the first appearance of the dreaded Double Z villain team – Zangief and Zamfir.

Enjoy the veal…

heheh, cool article. there should be more of those!

you just missed out on Hawkeye’s penultimate costume before his death, in the Fabian Nicieza’s ongoing series.

what was lame – no matter how fun the series was – is that it was just like Nomad’s 90s-hard-rock-biker outfit:


“The High, Hard Shaft.”

I’m surprised that’s not a MAX title.

Every Hawkeye costume is still better than the Black Widow’s 1st outfit, the worst costume design I can think of.

you just missed out on Hawkeye’s penultimate costume before his death, in the Fabian Nicieza’s ongoing series.

But does that count as a costume?

I thought it was just Nicieza showing Clint kicking ass while wearing his civvies!

In most of the first arc in Nicieza’s “ongoing slashed to miniseries status” title, Hawkeye was not in costume, but when he was it was his standard costume. The cover linked to above was just one of those cover things, where you have to wonder what the cover artist was consuming when the idea struck him, because there is NOTHING like that poanel inside.

Kinda like the Greg Horn covers for the Bobillo She-Hulk issues.

If I recall correctly, Hawkeye didn’t even get INTO costume until the end of the first arc (or the beginning of the second!).

You made me go and look it up: the first six issue arc, and he spends about half of #4 in costume and about half of #6 in costume. Then, for the next 2 issue “pre-cancellation” arc, he’s in costume for the majority of the issues, which guest-star the Black Widow.

And how can you complain about a series that gave us this Pacheco cover?

Brian, when a superhero stays for a period of time in civil clothes I tend to see those as the current outfit. but that’s me. =)

I would put the “House of M” costume in the top five just because of its utter uselessness. Arm guard on the wrong arm, weird armored parts, strange chest-protector thing that seems to be attached to the bottomless quiver…

The only two that beat it are Liefeld’s bondage getup and the skirt.

It would make me very happy if somebody at Marvel would make up their mind whether Hawkeye is left- or right-handed.

And how can you complain about a series that gave us this Pacheco cover?

Possibly because that’s laughably bad? I think I need to do a whole essay on this cover for Suspension of Disbelief ( http://comicfacts.blogspot.com )…

The art’s reasonably good (better the the flow and sense of movement than anything else), so it must be a technical issue with “bowmanship” – yeah, I tend to just ignore it. Physics is wonky in the 616 and this apparently applies to how one correctly uses a bow.

You wouldn’t think so, but there it is. An *attempt* to even look at, say the first 10 webpages that pop up in a google search on correct technique would be good, but that seems to be asking a lot in the world of comic art.

I just accept it, the way I accept the ridiculous way guns gets used, especially the whole “aiming while holding the gun sideways” that seems to be the popular method, or the “point the gun at someone, threaten to shoot them and THEN cock the gun and flip off the safety before firing” method.

I love all of those. He’s the quintessential super-hero swatchbuckler. That mask..those hanging boots…the purple…oh that purple…! ;)

They should give him a Hawkeye Pierce costume, that would be great!

Love the character, hate the clothes. He’s never worn anything “iconic”, just a mish-mash or purple and awful.

He needs a retooling from the ground up.

Barry Windsor-Smith’s design looks like he is carrying a dildo? No? Just me?

And the shitty movie costume and current costume is not on the list?

Where’s his Ultimates 3 Emo Gunslinger Costume? That was pretty terrible.

David Spofforth

July 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

What about the poncho look from Avengers Forever?

I liked the crossing costume, the movie costume and the ultinmate costume

Barry Windsor Smith’s design is by far the best Hawkeye costume, after the ‘classic’ 70’s look of course.

Holy shit! Windsor-Smith’s costume… is he gonna ballet me to death? Honestly, #5 is fine to me. Helps that I never understood the never liked, or understood the need for, the loin cloth thing. And really, Hawkeye’s calssic costume isn’t that great inho. It’s just… a thing. Glad David Aja made it simpler.

The Barry Windsor Smith costume really was odd. It kinda felt ‘carnival-ish’, so maybe that’s what he was going for.
I hated the armored look from the animated show.
Really *loathed* the Heroes Reborn costume (like most of that awful concept).
I don’t think the Goliath costume should count, as it wasn’t a ‘Hawkeye’ costume. It isn’t a good suit*, to be sure, but he wasn’t Hawkeye when he wore it.

*Seriously, has anyone ever tried to create a real life version of it (or Hercules’ Stern-era suit)? How the heck do you put it on? How do the straps stay on his torso? How does that pseudo-tunic/mask bit stay on?

I agree that it may be the worst Goliath/Giant-Man costume. It’s not an actual Hawkeye costume.

The armor was more 90’s crap. Cap and DD tried it as well. Everyone needs to leave the armored look to Shellhead.

“Heroes Reborn” should be atop a list of terrible story ideas (that will likely be revisited soon).

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives