What's in a Name? Andy Diggle on Dark Reign: Hawkeye

Diggle on Dark Reign: Hawkeye

Dark Reign: Hawkeye #1

Norman Osborn has swiftly taken aim at the Avengers during his grab for power in the post-Secret Invasion Marvel Universe. In organizing his “Dark” Avengers, Osborn has taken some of the deadliest villains and clothed them in the garbs of some of the Marvel Universe’s most valorous heroes. In April, Marvel gives readers a chance to see one of the deadliest Dark Avengers in some solo action in Dark Reign: Hawkeye.

Written by Thunderbolts writer, Andy Diggle, with artwork by industry vet Tom Raney, this mini-series focuses on Bullseye and his role as a maniacal misrepresentation of an Avengers mainstay, Hawkeye.

Newsarama contacted Diggle to talk about what sorts of machinations a terrifying wolf like Bullseye could have—dressed in sheep’s clothing.

Newsarama: First off Andy, can you give readers some set-up for Dark Reign: Hawkeye?

Andy Diggle: We get to see what a sadistic mass-murderer gets up to when he isn't pretending to be an Avenger.

NRAMA: With Bullseye posing as Hawkeye—a showdown between these two weaponry experts can't be far off, can it?

AD: You'll be seeing Bullseye versus Hawkeye, but maybe not the way you expect.

NRAMA: Is the comparison between Hawkeye and Bullseye a rivalry? Or is it something more balanced? Are they mirror opposites?

AD: I'd say they're pretty much polar opposites. Flawed though he may be, Clint Barton is ultimately a hero. Bullseye, on the other hand, is an out-and-out villain, with no redeeming features whatsoever. When a monster like Bullseye pulls on a hero's mask... well, it's unsettling. People trust him. And believe me, that's a mistake you don't get to make twice.

NRAMA: Bullseye seems to be stepping into an A-List villain spotlight as a member of Osborn's Dark Avengers - what can you tell readers about his recent comeuppance?

AD: Norman Osborn may be crazy, but he's not stupid. He recognizes talent when he sees it, and he knows that Bullseye is one of the most skilled and capable killers on the planet. If he can just channel that talent to his own ends, he's trapped lightning in a bottle. Plus, Bullseye loves the spotlight, and putting on the Hawkeye mask lets him indulge in a little of that. Just as long as the media don't catch sight of what he's really up to behind the scenes...

Dark Reign: Hawkeye #2

NRAMA: What is it about Bullseye in your eyes that makes him such a detestable villain?

AD: I'd say it comes down to two main things: everything he says, and everything he does. What can I say? He's not some posturing villain you love to hate, or a roguish anti-hero who cuts corners but gets the job done. He's a sadistic, malignant sociopath without any trace of conscience or remorse, who murders innocent people for fun. He's pretty much the definition of evil.

NRAMA: What sort of timeframe does this mini-series fall into, and how does Bullseye spend his time as Hawkeye?

AD: It unfolds shortly after the Dark Avengers are first assembled, once the dust has settled. Hawkeye splits his time between running with the Avengers team, and blowing off steam on his own. I should probably say that Bullseye's idea of "blowing off steam" might not be quite that same as ours...

NRAMA: Having worked with DC's Green Arrow in the past--how are both Hawkeye and Bullseye different from the Emerald Archer?

AD: Oliver Queen and Clint Barton have a lot in common, beyond the obvious weapon of choice. They're both hotheads, but they have a conscience. Bullseye has pretty much nothing in common with either of them, beyond fighting proficiency. He's barely human.

NRAMA: Best written Bullseye-posing-as-Hawkeye moment so far?

AD: I'm pretty pleased with the way the final scene of the first issue played out. I actually shocked myself a little bit, and that doesn't happen very often.

NRAMA: With Osborn running both the Avengers and the Thunderbolts—will there be any team-ups, crossovers, or confrontations in the near future?

AD: The way we're playing it, the Dark Avengers hog the limelight while the Thunderbolts move in shadow. One team is overt, the other covert. So, it's unlikely you'll see them cross paths, at least in public. But you'd better believe there's some coordination going on behind the scenes—not least when the T-Bolts are hunting Deadpool through Avengers Tower, that was a lot of fun to write!

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