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Top Five Most Iconic Hawkeye Covers

Here are my picks for the top five most iconic covers featuring Hawkeye (with iconic being determined by what covers are most established and most recognized when it comes to Hawkeye, with a preference towards covers that are homaged a lot). This is not a BEST cover list and due to the very nature of icons, very few (if any) recent covers will be on the list. A notable exception to the rules is that I don’t count covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in), as those tend to be automatically iconic so they’re boring. Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.


First off, while I’m exempting first appearance covers from the countdown, it’s only fair, I suppose, to share them here before the countdown begins, so here is the first cover appearance of Hawkeye from his debut story, Tales of Suspense #57…

Artist: Don Heck


Artist: John Byrne

Possibly the most iconic Hawkeye story, this is the one where he fights Deathbird. Almost a perfect encapsulation of the character. This is a very strong cover from Byrne.


Artist: Bob Hall

Amazingly enough, this is one of the most homaged Hawkeye covers (by which I mean, of course, that it’s been homaged at all).

The West Coast Avengers are a big part of Hawkeye’s history (as is Mockingbird, who’s on this cover).


Artist: Ed Hannigan

This cover would be higher but, well, it’s Hawkeye and Ant-Man II.


Artist: Sal Buscema

Not much to say about this one except that it’s a classic Hawkeye cover (surprisingly, Hawkeye really did not get that many cover spotlights in his early days as an Avenger – the one exception was when he was not even Hawkeye, but Goliath!)


Artist: George Perez

Again, not much to say except that it’s a classic Hawkeye cover.

LAST COVERS CUT: The aforementioned Goliath cover was excised when I decided to do just Hawkeye cover rather than Clint Barton covers, and the cover of Hawkeye’s mini-series certainly has some historical significance, but I think the West Coast Avengers cover takes care of most of that, and Gruenwald’s Hawkeye #1 cover really isn’t all that great of a cover. Al Milgrom’s West Coast Avengers Hawkeye cover for Marvel’s 25th Anniversary is a strong contender, I suppose. There’s a cool Marvel Team-Up cover with Hawkeye and a decent Defenders cover.


#3 is what I instantly thought of, but all of them but #5 are instantly recognizable to me. Great choices!

Arrrggghhhh! Everything is centered! (How do British people write that? “Centred”?)

I can’t see the first appearance cover. Is that just me?

I would argue that the West Coast Avengers one is the most iconic. That’s what immediately leaps to my mind when I think “Hawkeye.” Which I hardly ever do. But that’s what I think of when I do!

Thanks, Dread Lord and Master!

The head shot of Cyclops on that West Coast Avengers comic now has me wondering what it would have been like if he’d joined.

Avengers 172 is what came to mind when I clixed on.

Very nice choices. I personally would have ordered them a little different and swapped #3 with #1, but I can’t really quibble. One cover I don’t think you brought up but that would be an honorable mention for me is Daredevil #99:


And this classic would fall under the same category of non-Hawkeye Clint Barton covers:


“The head shot of Cyclops on that West Coast Avengers comic now has me wondering what it would have been like if he’d joined.”

Yeah, I find myself wishing for a ROM/Puck/Doc Samson/Cyclops/Hawkeye lineup.

Who’s the woman whose head is to the right below Iron Man?

Thundra’s the seemingly random lady.

Number 1 nailed it. It’s the one I immediately thought of when I saw today’s category.

Yeah. Avengers 172 was the one I immediately thought of. #223 is also very good. Was Hannigan channeling Miller/Janson with that one? I don’t ever remember seeing Avengers 109 before.

The old iconic covers tend to disappoint me from a technical perspective, but except for the cover to 189, these are all pretty good. The Ant-Man Arrow cover is the winner for me.

And I too wish that Cyclops had joined the WCA, if for no other reason than keeping him out of X-Factor and the mess that followed.

Wow, that was quick. I was just wondering yesterday how long it would take to get a Hawkeye cover column.

Brian, just curious–are covers with Clint as Ronin (or Bullseye or Kate Bishop as Hawkeye) disqualified? I can’t think of any that are particularly memorable, but I’m just wondering if this and future columns are limited to “this individual as this character” only.

I think I would’ve done these 5 in reverse order. All good picks, though I was hoping for some Solo Avengers love. I have an inexplicable fondness for that series.

Brian, just curious–are covers with Clint as Ronin (or Bullseye or Kate Bishop as Hawkeye) disqualified?

Yeah, I guess Bullseye and Kate Bishop would have been eligible (as different Supergirls were featured, for instance).

I’ll make a point if I’m going for the person behind the costume (like I’d have called this Top Five Most Iconic Clint Barton covers).

I almost thought it was Crytal, Brian. Hard to say, as that lady isn’t wearing either of their usual headpices…

Or even Dazzler. Wasn’t she previously also teased as an Avenger back in the main title once?

I thought of Hawkeye/Ant-Man first, then the Byrne and Perez ones, great choices!

Not so familiar with the Buscema cover, but that West Coast Avengers one is a great unexpected choice.

Enjoying these Avengers entries in this series, anxiously awaiting Wonder Man and the Beast!

hawkeye is one of those characters where i can see why it was so hard to pick five covers. though would have had the one with ant man riding the arrow a little higher.

Definitely the Ant-Man arrow is the winner for me, really great. BTW, watching the Avengers # 189 cover, there are two questions that are really important right now (IMO obviously):

– Why must Thor leave the Avengers?
– When will the government stop harrassing our heroes?


Avengers #189 remains the definitive Hawkeye cover and story. Byrne did an excellent job updating the mask in particular. But I love all the other covers, too. Bob Hall and Brett Breeding were my favorite art team at Marvel when I first started reading in the early 80’s. I wonder what they’re up to these days?

#3 was the first one that came to mind for me, but then again I have a page of the original artwork from that issue hanging on my wall, so it’s in my mind a little more than most people probably.

I don’t remember the issue number, but the Captain America cover where it’s Cap and Hawkeye, and they’ve switched weapons is a Hawkeye cover that always sticks out for me, too.

I think the West Coast Avengers (#4) cover may have been placed higher, but I didn’t (and still don’t) like that version of his costume. It’s the kiind of picture that could have been used in Marvel’s old “Hey readers! Save $1.00 by subscribing to your faves!” ads.

#1 is a great choice, and from a good issue, too.

I got caught up looking at those old Cap covers. Most of them weren’t really notable, but it’s just striking comparing them to Marvel covers today. Most of them actually give you an idea what happens in the book and distinguish one issue from another. Modern covers are just one unremarkable pose after another.

I agree with everyone that the one with Ant-Man is the best. (And it’s the only one I actually own, but I don’t think that influences my opinion any.)
But I think you made a big mistake by not including Thunderbolts # 30. I love that one.

True on both accounts, MRW. I must say, though, I really liked the covers for # 321, 332, and 337.

Totally agreed that the Ant-Man cover is the cream of the crop, but it did warm the cockles of my heart to see ROM. I do miss that spaceknight.

Somewhere out there, there’s a universe where ROM, Cyclops, the Black Widow, and Doc Sampson were the ones to answer Hawkeye’s call.

There is a “What If?” issue to be sure.

We can never have ROM due to liscenseing issues :(

Thundra? I always thought that was Shanna the She-Devil.

West Coat Avengers is my fav, but seeing that Captain America cover for #317, wow, that looks like an awesome book.

“I’ll make a point if I’m going for the person behind the costume (like I’d have called this Top Five Most Iconic Clint Barton covers).”

But then how long before you get “TOP FIVE CLINT COVER” jokes?

Great list as usual, although I would have switched the last one with #4 from his first Limited Series.


Just a head’s up; cover #2 was done by Sal not John Buscema.

Good choices all around (if not necessarily “iconic” in the real sense). I actually think the best element of any of them is the logo on #1, with the Vision phasing through the title. I haven’t seen that in ages. Still looks pretty cool.

That one with Ant Man on the arrow had better be #1 on the list of Top 5 Iconic Ant Man II covers alongside Avengers #275 and, uh, 3 other Ant Man II covers.

definitely not my choice of iconic Hawkeye CVR’s

Nope, I have to disagree about cover #2 – that’s John Buscema, baby! Possibly inked by Sal, but Sal was not drawing like that back then…that’s John.

The Avengers #109 cover is definitely drawn by Big John Buscema. It’s possible Sal inked it, but it looks more like John Verpoorten’s inks to me.

I think the new Aja Hawkeye 1 is pretty iconic

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