During one fantastical trial, where She-Hulk acted as the defense attorney, Hawkeye was a member of the TVA’s special jury.
As a superhero with no real powers, Hawkeye is generally seen as the most “normal” of the Avengers. Even so, Clint Barton has gone on many fantastical adventures over the years. One of Hawkeye’s wildest experiences may have been serving jury duty for the Time Variance Authority.
The TVA called Hawkeye for jury duty in the pages of 2005’s She-Hulk #2, by Dan Slott, Juan Bobillo, Marcelo Sosa, Dave Kemp and Dave Sharpe. Clint was taken from one year in the past, right before his death during the events of “Avengers Disassembled.” The specific case was one in which Charles Czarkowski had killed a time traveler from the future. Even though Clint was instructed not to interact with anyone from this time period, the Avenging Archer couldn’t help himself. Feeling cooped up, Hawkeye went out at night to fight crime, showing some of his restless yet truly heroic nature.
Considering his past as a circus performer and an Avenger, there was no way that Clint was going to stay put and do what he was told. When Hawkeye made his appearance, the public was shocked. Many people believed this to be a Hawkeye impostor. She-Hulk, who was working as Czarkowski’s defense attorney, was particularly irritated by Clint’s actions. Still, Hawkeye returned in time for jury duty. Seeing her fellow Avenger on the jury, She-Hulk was also desperate to save Hawkeye’s life, trying to inform Clint of his impending death. Of course, Jennifer Walters later discovered that the entire jury was comprised of dead people, so they wouldn’t be biased by current events during the case.
Even though he had no idea of his imminent demise, Hawkeye still helped She-Hulk fight off a giant robot that attacked the court. This was a nice moment, highlighting the Avengers’ camaraderie and Hawkeye’s eternal heroism. After the trial finished, She-Hulk tried to give Hawkeye a note, informing him of his future, but Clint was taken back to the past before he could receive it. She-Hulk herself was put on trial for trying to alter the timestream, and Hawkeye, along with several other Avengers, was plucked from the past to act as a witness. Once again, She-Hulk failed to inform Hawkeye of his death in time. Still, once the trial was concluded, She-Hulk was given the option to free one of the TVA’s prisoners, Two-Gun Kid. Jennifer freed Two-Gun Kid because he was an Avenger and one of Clint’s friends. In this way, at least, She-Hulk could honor Hawkeye’s memory.
Hawkeye’s part in this storyline was genuinely touching. Clint’s appearance made it very clear just how dearly the other Avengers missed him after Hawkeye died. All at once, Hawkeye showed he could be fun, arrogant and heroic, also showing why his death was such a big loss for the team. Even during the trial, Hawkeye couldn’t help but show his true colors as a hero, helping She-Hulk in a fight. She-Hulk’s multiple attempts to save Clint’s life demonstrated a true love and dedication to her friend and fellow Avenger as well. Interestingly enough, Hawkeye returned shortly afterwards, at the end of 2005’s House of M #8, by Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel, John Dell, Scott Hanna, Tim Townsend, Frank D’Armata and Chris Eliopoulos.
It took a little while for Clint to reemerge into the world of superheroes, but he wouldn’t be gone forever. It’s also worth noting that, coincidentally, this storyline acts as a sort of intersection between three future MCU series. The TVA played a big role in the recent Loki series, while Hawkeye and She-Hulk will each have their own shows fairly soon. In an unintentional way, all of these elements collided in the comics years before the MCU even existed. Ultimately, however, this collision demonstrated how vast and interconnected the Marvel Universe can be.
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