Q: When was it decided to kill Hawkeye? Why was he brought back so quickly? And when will we see him again?
Brian Bendis: We’ll be seeing Clint Barton sometime this year, not necessarily Hawkeye. The history of that is when I was coming up with Disassembled, just the heaviness of it all, and really, if you’re going to do a story like this and it really matters, some of these Avengers are going to have to die. I’ve been in a situation before when I’m working on stories where I want to kill somebody and it’s a big fight. Sometime I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I get to do it and sometimes I don’t get to do it. In this instance, I said, ‘OK, instead of fighting with you about which Avengers I can and cannot kill, can I have a list of Avengers it would be OK to kill?’ And shockingly, Hawkeye was on the list. I wasn’t even going to ask for Hawkeye. That seemed insane. I paced around my house for, like, a month just trying to decide whether to do that or not. But it did make sense for the story because Wanda and Clint have a very contentious relationship for many of the years they were together on the Avengers, especially the early years. So I took a chance and went with it.
But then right after Disassembled was produced, I was explaining to Joe (Quesada) and some other people how, if you think about it with the Scarlet Witch is this out of control, she’s the worst-case scenario for not only the Avengers but the X-Men, and I think maybe that’s my summer for Avengers. And Joe went, ‘Oh no, no, no, no, no. That’s the summer for us. That’s a summer event.’ It was a big story, and that became House of M. I said if we were doing House of M, we’ve got to bring back Hawkeye and give him this perfect opportunity to examine this awesome dynamic between the two characters from both sides of it. And the story’s not over, so sometime this year we’ll see Clint Barton in some sort of way. That’s all I’m allowed to say without them docking me pay or something.
So I guess I just am annoyed that Hawkeye was on that list. I can go back to loving Bendis work again.