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Did you know that Hawkeye has impaired hearing?
July 30, 2014 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Hawkeye, lost 80% of his hearing in West Cost Avengers #1. When a 4 year old boy refused to wear his hearing aids since no super hero wore them, this was used to help convince him. Matt Fraction has revived this story element and has dedicated the issue to Leah Coleman of Signing Time.
posted by plinth (33 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awwww, so sweet.
posted by medusa at 2:11 PM on July 30


Hawkeye has been pretty important to me for undoing my internalized abilism - especially about myself. I am able to see the value in other people easily - of course everyone is beautiful and wonderful and worth knowing and loving. But I have a really hard time extending that same consideration and love to myself. Yay for Hawkeye! And yay for reaching out and doing something for a kiddo like this.

It's hard because it gets into Deaf vs deaf, and isn't neat and clean. But at base - I see it as a sweet and wonderful thing, and an acknowledgement of the important role superheros can play culturally. Thank you for all these links, there are some in here that I haven't see before.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:14 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


When she saw that the speech bubbles were empty when Hawkeye's back was turned or if he didn't have a face-to-face conversation… she was so excited. "That is exactly what it's like when you're deaf!"

Later in the issue Hawkeye only catches part of what his brother is saying to him. He's reading his lips and the speech bubble is filled with not quite the correct words, but close. It's left to the reader to sort it out, just as it's often left to a deaf person to figure it out.


This is exactly what it's like.

This is very cool. I have a task for this superhero - fix YouTube's execrable closed captioning system.
posted by desjardins at 2:18 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


plinth: "Hawkeye, lost 80% of his hearing in West Cost Avengers #1"

Actually it was in the last issue of the first Hawkeye miniseries.
posted by signal at 2:18 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Aw, who was cutting onions in this....this public coffee house I shouldn't be crying in the middle of, goshndarnit.
posted by theweasel at 2:19 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry to hear it gets into some deaf vs deaf as I know that can bring up very difficult issues, but hopefully it will be a net positive. I am going to send this info on to my friend whose son wears hearing aids because I know he, too, has complained about having to wear the hearing aids and I seem to remember my friend finding something similar to this to help convince him, I just wish I could remember what that something was...maybe there was a stuffed animal who wore hearing aids and maybe even a book to go with it? I'll have to ask her. I know American Girl dolls can be fitted with hearing aids, but that wasn't it.
posted by dawg-proud at 2:31 PM on July 30


Hawkeye is a great character because he's very relatable -- he's been a villain, he's been a hero. He's been a role-player, he's been a leader. He's defined by weapons that can be taken away or destroyed in a fight, but he's well-trained and clever enough to be capable without them.

And while he has a very distinct moral code against things like killing... he cheats.
posted by delfin at 2:32 PM on July 30


Hawkeye is a great book, having given the world one of the best sidekicks ever: Pizza Dog.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:43 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


I knew that!
Wait, was that a rhetorical question?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:45 PM on July 30


Gosh, I love arrows.

And gosh, I love Hawkeye. And I love Matt Fraction.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:54 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Neat!
posted by brundlefly at 3:23 PM on July 30


Sorry to get all negative on this parade but can I say I'm a little bothered by the use of " impaired hearing" in the FPP title? Both deaf and hard of hearing communities object against the use - the National Association of the Deaf has a FAQ here.
posted by Conspire at 3:34 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I haven't read comics in years, but I'm going to have to follow everyone's advice and check out this Hawkeye run. The aesthetic's absolutely fantastic. Very Chris Ware!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:48 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Interesting! I started wearing hearing aids at age 4 (I've answered lots of AskMes about hearing aids) and am currently 38. West Coast Avengers was one of the earlier comics I bought off the old comic racks at the drugstore. I thought it was awesome that Hawkeye wore hearing aids and he became my favorite hero. They didn't reference this fact too often in the comics, but I knew it from OHOTMU (the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, natch).

Then they retconned it away, and I was kinda bummed. Now it's back! Soon it will be retconned away again! Such is comics.

I didn't know that about hearing impairment as a phrase. I guess I feel comfortable using it because I "pass." Most people never know that I wear hearing aids. I've had people who have known me for years say "Wait, you wear hearing aids! I never noticed that." My loss is severe, though, and the hearing aids only go so far. I mostly cope fine; in fact, I teach for a living, so I guess I've worked around it. But watching TV with me can be annoying.
posted by Slothrop at 3:57 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Bro. BRO. Seriously bro. This is awesome. Bro.
posted by stltony at 4:52 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Wait a...

What? WHAT? WTF?!?!?!?!
posted by eyeballkid at 5:16 PM on July 30


I'm reading Hawkguys on Marvel Unlimited, so I'm always 6 months behind, but I'm looking forward to this. I love this comic so much; I love how absolutely human Clint and Kate are.
posted by NoraReed at 5:43 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Someone translated the ASL parts of the issue here, for those who are curious.

I know a little ASL left over from some speech therapy when I was a kid, but well... it's been twenty years. It's very little. I think I recognized one sign apart from the alphabet. Still, the issue worked perfectly fine without it.

At some point Fraction talked about a scene in #2 where Hawkeye avoids the phone in terms of his past deafness, but it was an ask on his tumblr and who knows if I'd ever be able to find it again.

I love Kate to pieces - with Clint or without, but I really love something about Clint and Barney's horrible relationship in this series of Hawkeye, too. Clint has the worst good ideas, Barney has the best bad ones.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:09 PM on July 30


can I say I'm a little bothered by the use of " impaired hearing" in the FPP title? Both deaf and hard of hearing communities object against the use

I have a LOT of sympathy for the Deaf community, but that's pretty much an objective fact.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:09 PM on July 30


I haven't read comics in years, but I'm going to have to follow everyone's advice and check out this Hawkeye run. The aesthetic's absolutely fantastic. Very Chris Ware!

This is a thing you will not regret.


Until you find out there are only going to be 21 issues. Then you will rend your garments and curse the fates.
posted by jeoc at 6:29 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Actually it was in the last issue of the first Hawkeye miniseries.

Shortly followed by Hawkeye and the Avengers appearing on David Letterman, where Hawkeye finds that his coping strategy doesn't work very well.
posted by happyroach at 6:52 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]




Wow, that's crazy. I loved WCA as a kid; it was one of my very favorite titles. And Hawkeye was one of my favorite characters. But I have absolutely no recollection of him ever having hearing problems. Tons of other weird stuff I remember ("Let him go - he got some of his own back against Mephisto today, and he deserves a chance to savor that"), but not the hearing aid thing.

Glad the folks at Marvel had a better memory than me and could help this family.
posted by nickmark at 7:20 PM on July 30


Ok, school me in comic books please.... My precious 7 year old son is HOH and has an aid, I think he would LOVE to read this but I'm confused. Can I buy the series? Download it? I know NOTHING about how this works.... How can I get this for my little guy?
posted by pearlybob at 7:52 PM on July 30


pearlybob: check your memail.
posted by signal at 8:10 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Thanks signal!! Great info!!
posted by pearlybob at 8:19 PM on July 30


Actually it was in the last issue of the first Hawkeye miniseries.

Marvelous Mark Gruenwald therefore should've gotten a mention here, seeing as he wrote that.

One of the most underrated writers Marvel had had, died of a heart attack brought on by overwork in 1996, when Marvel was at its lowest.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:40 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I love Hawkeye. I love the mood and it's so nice to read a character whose life is a procession of fuckups but they're not world ending ones that turn him into a remorseless killing machine, he's just dusting himself off and getting back up. And I'd paint every room in my house with Hawkeye issue covers, because they are that lovely.
posted by Swandive at 2:53 AM on July 31


Gruenwald .... underrated?
Not in my house.

I'm going to have to chime in that Hawkeye has been one of my favourite comics ever. I almost like that it's going to be a short run, so they can't taint it.

I have a gripe about how dumb they've made Clint off the back of it, though.

Wow, that's crazy. I loved WCA as a kid; it was one of my very favorite titles. And Hawkeye was one of my favorite characters. But I have absolutely no recollection of him ever having hearing problems

Ja, they did. Not often, but it did get mentioned.

In the issue of Avengers when Clint and Bobbi return to the mansion hitched (around the time of Secret Wars and Vision being a giant head) it was mentioned, and became a plot point later in that run.
posted by Mezentian at 2:54 AM on July 31


Fraction's run on Hawkeye (Hawkguy) is not only something I would give to people who don't read superhero comics, it's something I would give to people who don't read comics. It's wonderful, Regular-guy Clint is wonderful, and the art is beautiful and unique.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on July 31


A friend on twitter's raving about how good these Matt Fraction books were is directly responsible for my spending about hundred dollars at a local comic store, and another hundred on comixology in the last few months.
posted by DigDoug at 11:57 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Superior Foes of Spiderman and Loki: Agent of Asgard are well worth the investment.
If the latter teaches you one thing it is that Thor is an A-Ha fan. Of one of the later albums.
posted by Mezentian at 6:21 AM on August 1


I have a LOT of sympathy for the Deaf community, but that's pretty much an objective fact.

Having "sympathy for the community" doesn't give you permission to decide what is and isn't offensive, derogatory, or uncouth.
posted by NoraReed at 10:03 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


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