Marvel Studios is having quite the summer. Last weekend, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ had a superhero-strength opening, debuting at #1 at the box office in the United States. Suddenly, raccoons are in fashion, thanks to the Bradley Cooper-voiced character “Rocket.”
Let us not forget when Marvel Studio’s box office prominence began. It was way back in 2008 when Robert Downey, Jr. put on the Iron Man suit. This film, ‘Iron Man,’ was different from other comic book-inspired movies. Perhaps it’s our age of the anti-hero, but audiences and critics agreed that this alcoholic, narcissistic, playboy Tony Stark was interesting.
So far, the peak earner has been ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ (2012), the sixth movie in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Who are the Avengers? In the 2012 Joss Whedon-helmed hit, our main heroes were Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye. Four of those characters have had at least one solo movie released by Marvel Studios. Hawkeye is not one of them, but he is still raking in all sorts of attention.
In 2012, writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja began their run on ‘Hawkeye’ for Marvel Comics. Almost instantly, it became one of the most buzzed about comics. Just last month at San Diego Comic-Con, Faction and Aja won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue (‘Hawkeye #11: Pizza Is My Business’).
How exactly is Hawkeye wielding his fame? Fraction has added a Hawkeye design to the tee shirt collection he curates for online retailer WeLoveFine. Fraction and his prolifically talented wife, Kelly Sue DeConnick, are part of the Mighty Fine Partners program.
The design is called “H Signs” and was inspired by the July 2014 issue #19 of ‘Hawkeye.' The shirt spells out “Hawkeye” in American Sign Language. Once upon a time in the 1980s, Hawkeye sustained an injury that resulted in deafness.
In a press release issued by WeLoveFine’s Nicole Campos, she noted: “In keeping with the sign language theme of the issue, Matt will be donating his curation commission for this particular style to the Signing Time Foundation, a charity whose efforts are dedicated toward making sign language fun and accessible to deaf children around the world.”
This is not the first time that Hawkeye has come to the aid of the deaf community. In 2012, as reported by ABC Boston affiliate WCVB, Marvel Comics staff helped a New Hampshire mother to show her four-year-old son that even superheroes wear hearing aids. Christina D'Allesandro emailed Marvel Comics looking for a deaf superhero, to encourage her son. In an interview with ‘The Huffington Post', Marvel editor Bill Rosemann shared that they sent D'Allesandro an image of the cover of 1984’s “West Coast Avengers,” in which Hawkeye is indeed wearing a hearing device.
Looking for a Hawkeye fix? Visit Comic Book Shop Locator to find your closest comic book shop. For digital comics, Marvel Unlimited offers various pricing packages. And don’t forget your local library! Many libraries now have extensive comic book and graphic novel collections. You can search libraries around the world through WorldCat.