Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's A Little Late, But Let's Air A Grievance

I know, Festivus was last week, but heck, I never watched much Seinfeld. Kind of impressive the pop culture things one can pick up second hand.

One of the (many) choices Bendis made during his Avengers run I didn't understand was, in the post-Secret Invasion set-up where Osborn was Grand Poobah of government super-people, why Clint Barton was the outlaw Avenger who was gung-ho to kill Osborn. He even tried to attack Osborn's Avengers HQ alone to do it.

It isn't his trying to do it alone that surprises me; this is Hawkeye we're talking about. But Hawkeye places a lot of value on being an Avenger. He has historically staunchly believed Avengers do not kill. For as much as he objected to Osborn and his "fake" Avengers team, it's curious he would he decide to do something he considers against all the Avengers stand for.

What's especially strange is, practically anyone else on the roster would have made more sense as the one advocating killing Norman Osborn, based either on their own characterizations or past history with Norman. Wolverine is on this team, for pity's sake. He kills 40 guys a week, and most of them are just poor schmuck security types trying to protect whatever guy Logan is actually mad at. But OK, fine, maybe Wolverine figured it would be a bad idea for a mutant to kill a preeminent member of the government, considering there had been Sentinels surrounding the Westchester grounds even when it was the relatively benevolent dictatorial ass Tony Stark in charge.

The team also included Bucky Barnes, in his stint as the Winter Captain. Bucky's been killing guys for decades, and lest you think wielding the shield might have tempered that, recall he was packing heat throughout his stint as Captain America. I kind of doubt he would restrict use of the gun to guys who were bulletproof, like Ares. Then there's Carol Danvers, who has killed villains before when the situation called for it, and killed a LOT of Skrulls during Secret Invasion. Bendis actually had her pass up an opportunity to kill Norman, ostensibly because she was "better" than him. Let's not go into that whole argument, though. There's Mockingbird, who used to be a SHIELD agent, probably killed in the line of duty. I don't rightly know if she would have killed the Phantom Rider if he hadn't fell off that cliff, she seemed mad enough, she had cause, she sure wasn't broken up at his death (rightly so). At any rate, the idea of Clint as the one advocating murder, and Bobbi being the one trying to talk him out of it, seems like a curious reversal of the characters.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones aren't really the killing types, but they both at least have an old grudge against Norman, considering he hospitalized Jessica once, as a reprisal for helping to report on him being the Green Goblin. Granted, Luke beat hell out of Norman and kind of blew any case Norman was making about not being the Goblin, but obviously that didn't take. Besides, I doubt Jessica ever got a chance for a little payback of her own. But fine, they're unlikely killers, especially with a kid to raise.

Which just leaves Spider-Man.

While I'm generally opposed to Spider-Man killing people, I do think it's possible someone could write a story where he decides Osborn has to be stopped permanently, that's he's the exception, and it's his responsibility. Osborn is his enemy, one he hasn't been able to check sufficiently, and now the guy gets to call himself Iron Patriot and lead an Avengers team. It would be one thing if Norman were actually being a good guy, the way Harry tried in his various attempts to rehabilitate his father's name. But he's just using it as a way to consolidate power for himself, and settle grudges. He's still a bad guy, he's just one with greater reach and a good press agent.

I don't think Bendis would be the writer to do it properly. Like I said, I don't particularly want Peter to start killing villains, even Osborn, so the creative team would have to really sell it. It's hard for me to picture what scheme or actions Norman could take that would bring it to that point. But given the ugly history between Peter and Norman, I can at least entertain Peter getting desperate enough to see it as something he has to do. More than Hawkeye anyway, if only very narrowly.


SallyP said...

Having Hawkeye try and kill Osborn makes no sense at all for the very reasons that you point out. Hawkeye does take being an Avenger very seriously...a lot more so than half of the other people on that list.

I could never for the life of me consider Osburn to be the great pooh-bah of the underworld anyway, since there are actual heavy-hitters like Doom and Loki hanging around. Why the hell would they listen to a loser like Osborn at all?

CalvinPitt said...

As far as I could tell, the others only went along with Osborn for 2 reasons: 1) it gave them the chance to manipulate him for their owns ends, and 2) he somehow had the Sentry on a leash, and nobody wants to be thrown into the Sun.

I still don't understand how he managed to order Sentry around.