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Another Visit With Jim McCann

Interview conducted by Mike McDermott

Image found at www.jimmccannonline.comMike: Congratulations on the new ongoing!  A lot of things have been changing recently in the Marvel Universe since the REUNION miniseries ended.  What is the new status quo for Hawkeye and Mockingbird going into the new series?

Jim: Thanks so much!!!  I still can hardly believe it, but I have to than the fans of the mini because their support is what made this ongoing a reality!

As for Clint & Bobbi’s new status, as you saw in Siege & the tie-in New Avengers issues, Bobbi has still had some issues adjusting back to life on Earth.  Hawkeye promised her something “new” when Siege was over and this is it.  She’s left the

Avengers full-time (you’ll still see her in and out over in New Avengers) but her focus in on the W.C.A. and rebuilding her life.  Hawkeye is finding his place back in the MU as Hawkeye, pulling double-duty in the Avengers and in the W.C.A. in HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD.  Together, they are finding where they fit, on the field of battle and in the bedroom  They never dated before, so that’s new, and they are starting a new team together under a different operating structure than the Avengers.  Lots of new opportunities to mine from.

Mike: Clint Barton is a character who has been somewhat controversial over the last few years, from his abandoning the “Hawkeye” identity to become ninja warrior “Ronin”; a very controversial intimate encounter with the Scarlet Witch; and most

recently abandoning his “Avengers don’t kill” stance when he tried to assassinate Norman Osborn.  Now Clint is getting back into the purple tights and becoming “Hawkeye” again.  What is Clint’s frame of mind like these days?  And does it feel different to be writing Clint as “Hawkeye” instead of “Ronin”?

Jim: Clint, like his fans, is thrilled to be back in action as Hawkeye.  It took a lot of soul-searching during his time as Ronin to figure out who he was, post-coming-back-from-the-dead.  He went through a lot during that time.  As far as his “Avengers don’t kill” stance with Norman, I’d say that was his moment where he realized he had hit rock bottom and been pushed beyond his limits- something everyone goes through, Avenger or not.  He acknowledged as much in that same issue.  That, and having Bobbi and Cap back, are the things that have led him back to being Hawkeye.  Now he is more grounded, sure of himself, and his place in the world. In THE REUNION, that was more a story of Clint & Bobbi than whatever their alter egos were.  That said, it’s awesome writing Hawkeye, seeing David Lopez draw Hawkeye, and have a book called HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD!
From Hawkeye & Mockingbird #1
Mike: The solicit for the first issue mentions Crossfire and Phantom Rider as the villains for the first arc.  Long time fans know that these two are a significant part of Clint and Bobbi’s history, but for the benefit of newer readers, what is it about these two members of the Hawk & Mock rogues gallery that made you choose them as the debut bad guys?

Jim: These are the bad guys for our heroes. Crossfire was the first foe they faced together and has been in their lives off and on since then.  He considers Hawkeye his arch-enemy.  Phantom Rider is the one character to successfully destroy Clint & Bobbi’s relationship and the damage done to Mockingbird still hasn’t fully healed.  New readers will learn all they need to by picking up this first issue, and then they will understand why long-tie readers – and Hawkeye & Mockingbird – are freaking out that these two villains have paired up to take down our twosome!

Mike: How serious a threat is Crossfire in this story?  I mean, we’re talking about the guy who once knocked himself out with Clint’s bow and arrows; got shot by an elderly actress, and more recently has been a face-in-the-crowd of the Hood’s army of thugs…with said face usually seen getting punched or kicked by either Clint or Bobbi.  How worried should Clint and Bobbi be that this guy is after them again?

Jim: Yeah, not his finest moments. I’m coming at the character as a serious threat.  Look at his background- ex-CIA operative, expert marksman, scientific genius.  Clint and Bobbi are finally going to learn what it means to stop taking someone seriously, especially when said villain is in a position to make a significant power play.  And teamed with the Phantom Rider… this is going to be a story fans of both characters will be talking about for a long time to come.  And it’s just the beginning!

Mike: Mockingbird is the leader of the new WCA (World Counter-terrorism Agency), which means that Clint is taking orders from her.

Does this affect the dynamic of their relationship at all, since in the Avengers Bobbi was using serving under Clint’s command?

Jim: 100% . And it’s a blast to write.  The opportunities it allows are just starting to show themselves.

Mike: Tell us a bit about the supporting cast–who are some of the members of the new WCA?  Any chance of a gay character or two in the mix?

Jim: I’ve had the chance to create and also bring in some really fun characters. You’ll learn a lot about them in the first issue, but each of them has a lot more than what’s going on below the surface.  Especially Dominic Fortune- watch out for this guy!

As for potential gay characters, I know each of these people inside and out and they will be revealing things about themselves at the proper times.  I wouldn’t look for “A Very Special Issue” or anything, but, yes, this is a very diverse cast.

Mike: While Clint Barton’s has a colourful history that has been explored over the years, Bobbi’s life before joining SHIELD is a bit of a blank slate.  Do you have any plans to reveal more of Bobbi Morse’s personal life and history?

Jim: That’s a great question and you are not the only person wondering about that. So is someone in the pages of HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD…Someone that will discover a lot more than they bargained for!

Mike: One part of Clint and Bobbi’s history that people sometimes forget is that for a while the two of them trained and co-led the Great Lakes Avengers (and Bobbi led them solo for a while after Clint returned to the West Coast Avengers).  Any chance of the GLA (and their gay deputy leader Flatman) turning up at some point?

Jim: At this point, I think Dan Slott would hurt me if I tried to use them. No, though, there are no current plans to use them, but who’s to say that may change.  What?  Oh, Dan said no, so still “Nope.”  Sorry.

Mike: During the years where Bobbi was missing and presumed dead, Clint started to move on with his life and have relationships with other women (the aforementioned Scarlet Witch incident, a serious romance with Moonstone of the Thunderbolts, a brief fling with Echo, etc, etc).  Might any of these other women show up to complicate matters with Clint and Bobbi’s attempts to repair their relationship?  For that matter, might Bobbi have any ex-boyfriends lurking in the shadows?

Jim: Bobbi has Ka-Zar, doesn’t she?  And possibly another romantic rival to come between her and Clint?  And Clint does have quite the list of ex’s, doesn’t he?  And wouldn’t a writer love to explore that?  Hmmm…

Mike: Without getting into specific spoilers, looking beyond the first arc, what can readers expect for HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD?

Jim: The unexpected.  Seriously.  The things we get to do in just this first year alone, I never thought would get the green light, but it has!  And lurking out there are some familiar faces, friendly and not-so friendly, including a pair or two of evil robot eyes maybe.

Mike: Before HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD hits the stands, you also have a DAZZLER one-shot coming out.  Tell us a bit about that.

Jim: Aside from being a personal dream come true, I wanted to tell a Dazzler story I believed in, and this is that story.

It picks up from NECROSHA and deals with the fall-out of Dazzler’s half-sister Lois London, a.k.a. Mortis, being a murdering villain.  We get the battle between these two, as well as a chance to see Dazzler fight a lot of her former foes while fighting her biggest enemy- herself.

It’s my chance to show why Dazzler is relevant today- as a character and a super hero.  It also shows why she is the perfect example of mutant as minority metaphor.

Mike: Dazzler is a character who seems to have a pretty large gay fanbase (at least on the message boards)–and it is no secret that she is a personal favourite of yours.  What is it about the character that you love so much, and why do you think she is such a fan-favourite, even so many years after the end of her solo series?

Jim: I think because she is such a relatable character.  Like Peter Parker in the pages of SPIDER-MAN, Dazzler’s solo series was as much about the person behind the blue eye make-up and roller skates as it was about laserbeams, if not more.  It let us into her head, and showed a struggling, self-aware character that a lot of people, myself included, could relate to and understand.  In this one-shot, you’ll see a lot of why I love this character, by getting into her head and showing the reader what she is going through.

Mike: Is this Dazzler story a one-shot deal, or might there be some more Dazzler stories in your future?

Jim: I would love to keep writing her.  I have a specific mini-series in mind, so let’s see how this one-shot does first.

Art by Janet Lee

Mike: Any last comments you’d like to make about either book?

Jim: Buy them!  Tell your friends to buy them!  And if you are already doing those things, thank you! This is a dream come true- I say it all the time, but it is.  And I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy working on them!

Jim McCann is on Facebook and visit him at his website. Jim’s first interview with Gayleague may be read here .

[Editor note: McCann’s graphic novel, Return Of the Dapper Men, with artist Janet Lee, is scheduled for October release from Archaia Comics.]

Dazzler, Hawkeye & Mockingbird are © and ® Marvel Characters Inc. All rights reserved. Return of the Dapper Men is © Jim McCann and  Janet Lee. Used without permission.

May 14, 2010
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