Thursday, January 13, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Dark Hawkeye

For BULLSEYE, working as Norman Osborn's HAWKEYE is like having a free pass to do everything he ever wanted.  He gets to operate in the open, be as bad as he wants, and people cheer for him.  He gets to indulge his urge to hunt heroes like DAREDEVIL and SPIDER-MAN, and the nightly news loves him for it.  He never thought being a hero could be such a thrill, but he could get used to it.

Continuing our trend of MAKING MINE MARVEL, today it's the turn of Wave 11's Dark Hawkeye.

Read on, True Believer!

Dark Hawkeye?
Okay, so for the non-Marvel (or Silver Age) fans, here's a quick update.  Following the Skrull Invasion (as detailed in the Secret Invasion cross-over) former bad-guy Norman ''Green Goblin'' Osborn is able to manipulate his way into a position of power, allowing him to form his own government-sanctioned superteams, among which is the (Dark) Avengers, a group in which a number of villains are given the identities of pre-existing heroes.  Adopting the guise of the Iron Patriot, Osborn leads the group which includes ''Spider-Man'' (in reality, Venom), Wolverine (actually, his equally feral son, Daken) and the character we're looking at today, Hawkeye (in reality, the super-accurate villain Bullseye.)

Hopefully that's clarified it, but if not, you can read more here.

Now on with the Review!


It's the standard Marvel Universe packaging, again.  There's little to say that hasn't already been said.  It works fine and displays the figure well, plus the artwork is eye-catching.

One thing I really dislike is the move to using holes in the figure tray to keep the toy in place.  Dark Hawkeye is particularly bad for this and removing his head, hand and bow all require a combination of gentle pressure and brute force.  I can imagine a lot of kids breaking their toys trying to get into the pack.  That's not good.

Dark Hawkeye

Once he's out of the box, the figure holds no surprises to anybody who owns the Secret Wars Hawkeye-Piledriver double-pack.  I'm going to get this out of the way right now: this figure has a new head-sculpt and one new forearm.  All other parts are reused from the previous Hawkeye release.  

Of course this makes sense, given that Bullseye is impersonating Hawkeye and so should look like him.  However, from a collector's point of view, it kind of sucks that the figure - which actually looks pretty good - has so little custom-content.

This presents me with a dilemma when it comes to how I should continue.  Let's put it this way: if you have - or can find - the Hawkeye-Piledriver Secret Wars pack, then you're not going to lose any sleep if you don't pick-up this figure.  For the extra four or so bucks that pack costs, you get Piledriver (only available in that set, so if you want a full Wrecking Crew you'll need to buy it), a comicbook and the ''original'' Hawkeye who - a few minor points aside - is indentical to this toy.  But if - like me - you're a completist, you're a Bullseye fan or you can't get the Secret Wars pack, then this figure is actually not a bad way to get a Hawkeye figure.

With that out of the way, I'm going to put the fact that the Secret Wars double-pack is better value out of my head now and continue with the review.

Looking closely, it's clear there are a few re-used parts (I believe the legs are shared with Cyclops and Doc Samson) and the figure's core articulation doesn't have any problems.  However, the basic figure is augmented with some great-looking accessories and costume-pieces that - sadly - restrict poseability and movement.  The quiver (which you can only put-on by pulling-off his head) has a strap that inhibits movement of his left (bow) arm.  It's difficult to pose his arm in a straight-out direction due to its presence but it can be worked around.

Similarly, two chest-straps connect his neck-guard to his belt.  Whilst they look great, they prohibit the figure's movement to a large degree, rendering most of his torso joints redundant.  It's just as well he doesn't have waist-articulation, as one twist would probably snap them completely.

It's a shame, as the core sculpt is good and his extra costume pieces, buccaneer fold-topped boots and bow give him a very interesting look.  It's just too bad that the poseability and fun-factor had to be compromised to deliver that.  Perhaps the best way to look at Dark Hawkeye is as a poseable statuette rather than a plaything (even if he's being sold as the latter.)

One thing of note is his head-sculpt.  He's portrayed with a manic, cocky grin that looks great.  You can see Lester is loving every minute of being Hawkeye.  It also gives him a slightly unhinged look, which works well and differentiates him from the ''heroic'' Hawkeye.

As for his paint-work, it falls into the ''sort of just there and okay I guess'' category.   Most of the figure's colouring comes from the plastic he's cast from, which gives a nice, consistent quality to the costume.  The bow is painted with a nice metallic purple effect, which looks good.  However, my Dark Hawkeye is really more Dark Crosseyed and the flesh-paint around his mask is poorly applied, slopping over onto his cowl in a few spots.  As ever, examine the figure closely if you find multiple copies in your store, as there may be better-painted toys. 

As well as featuring a costume with additional pieces (predominantly a tabbart/neck-strap-loincloth affair), Dark Hawkeye comes with an arrow, bow and quiver.  I wish the arrow would slot into the bow or the quiver, though.  The figure comes with the arrow attached to his hand via some rubbery-tape-glue stuff (which can easily be removed) but once it's free, it's not possible to pose the figure with the arrow in any sort of meaningful way.

The figure also includes a Dark Hawkeye stand (ID number 31) and his HAMMER file.

Final Thoughts
As a toy, Dark Hawkeye is disappointing.  His costume (which looks good) inhibits his movement and limits poseability to the point of making him little more than a slightly-articulated statue.  It's a trade-off between the look and articulation that presents the first dilemma.  If you're buying for a child, get another figure - they probably won't know who Dark Hawkeye is and, even if they do, they'll probably find him disappointing.  I also get the feeling his costume pieces will snap during any sort of robust play session.

As a collectable, he's a good representation of the character, but we then come back to the Secret Wars Hawkeye-Piledriver pack, which I'm sure most fans of the line will already have.  So there's another strike against Dark Hawkeye.

When I saw Dark Hawkeye on the shelf, I initially didn't pick him up.  I already had Constrictor and Yellowjacket in my hands and - as ''heroic'' Hawkeye is in my display case at home - I didn't feel any sort of urge to buy him.  It was only the fact that I'm a bit obsessive about completing my collection and that this was the only time I'd seen him for sale that made me go back.

It's a tough one to call and the Scores below will reflect this.  Despite being a good figure, I can't really recommend him unless you're - like me - a completist, or you're a Bullseye fan.  All other buyers, just be aware of what you're laying-down your cash for.

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreC+

Image Gallery


  1. I think i would pass on this one and get a standard "Real" Hawkeye instead.

  2. It's a shame they already released Hawkeye, as the Dark Hawkeye isn't bad (minor paint and pose problems aside.)

    It's just - as I said - for a few dollars more you can get the Secret Wars double-pack (with a comic, to boot!)

  3. The double pack is the bargain i think.

  4. I wish I'd bought more of the double-packs before I started collecting, as I stupidly bought a lot of single figures first and - as a result - ended-up with a number of duplicates because of the double-pack exclusive figures.

    My advice is if you see a single figure you want, check to see if there's any kind of double-pack first.


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