Nighthawk will join Clint Barton and Red Wolf’s efforts in OCCUPY AVENGERS #3 due out on January 11.
To find out exactly what it means for the team and what Nighthawk’s memberships status will be, we caught up with writer David Walker as he crisscrossed America righting wrongs and asked him.
Marvel.com: First question is what would be good about Nighthawk becoming part of the Occupy Avengers squad?
David Walker: I think the first thing I like to point out to people is that I’m not saying for sure he’s a full-time member or not. He’s definitely making an appearance and he’s going to play a role.
Part of it was I hadn’t even really given him too much consideration and then editorial was like, “Hey, you wanna do something with Nighthawk?” And I was like, “Yeah, sure, why not? There were some storylines that I was thinking about wrapping up.”
I thought what would be cool about it would be to put someone in the book who just absolutely hates Clint. Everybody else, they get annoyed with Clint and I am writing him a very specific way. He’s the sort of loveable rogue. But Nighthawk doesn’t see him that way. So it was a nice fit.
In the beginning when it was first floated across the editorial brainstorming machine, I thought to myself, “Oh, I don’t know.” Then the more I sat down and thought about it, the more fun I realized it could have. So it is a question of, you know, how often does he appear in the book and how active is he going to be, which I’m not going to answer right now.
David Walker: But what I also think is really interesting is that one of the things, one of the decisions that I made was that OCCUPY AVENGERS is a team made up of nothing but leaders. That in and of itself creates an interesting dynamic because most teams, they have that natural leader. Clint Barton isn’t necessarily the most natural leader of the team. There’s going to be other people there who are more qualified and so part of it is following that dynamic of “Is this a team of nothing but leaders or is it a team of nothing but—for lack of a better term—misfits who found this place where they can just sort of follow each other.
Marvel.com: Ok. Well, then I guess we’ll take it from the hypothetical perspective then. What would Nighthawk add to the team? What advantages would he bring?
David Walker: I think, aside from being the tactical very analytical character, he’s very mission driven, very goal oriented, to the point of obsession.
Clint is very much, “hey, I just happened to be driving down the street and saw someone needed rescuing,” whereas Nighthawk is all about picking his target, finding the best strategy to take that target out, and then going for it. He’s very very active. So there’s some of that in play.
I think every team needs a member who’s a little dangerous and who presents a threat to the team itself simply by virtue of the fact that you can have a few people who play by their own rules but even they have lines that they won’t cross. Nighthawk, there’s no such thing as a line Nighthawk won’t cross. At least, at this point, we haven’t found where it is he won’t go yet.
Marvel.com: You are kind of touching on it already but just to dig in specifically, what would make him not a great teammate? What would make him a disadvantage for a team like the Occupy Avengers?
Occupy Avengers #3 cover by Agustin Alessio
David Walker: Oh, you know, something like killing Clint would be a really bad move. [Laughs] And he genuinely, Nighthawk genuinely hates Clint Barton and part of, I guess we’ll say [the] joke, is that Clint can’t quite figure out why and Nighthawk is never gonna come out and say why. He’ll just say, “I hate you.” At some point, they’ll bury the hatchet. The question is will that hatchet be buried in Clint’s head?
Some of the best stories come from that tension between two or three characters; they might not be the best support for one another on a personal level, but they’re the best at what they do. In Sam Peckinpah’s movie “The Wild Bunch” the thing I love—one of the things I love about that movie is Warren Oates and [Ben Johnson], they play the Gorch brothers, and they are like the crazy ones on the team, unstable, unbalanced, and frustrated. But at the same time, if I’m going to go into a gun fight with the entire Mexican Army, these are the guys I want on my side.
Marvel.com: We’ve talked about the relationship between Clint and Nighthawk, but what’s the dynamic between Nighthawk and Red Wolf and Clint and Red Wolf? What’s their interplay like?
David Walker: In the beginning there’s…I’m worried I’ll spoil stuff.
Let’s just say in a three-way death match, Red Wolf is the one who’s going to win. He’ll be the last to jump into the fight but he’ll also be the last one standing. I think that Nighthawk recognizes how dangerous Red Wolf really can be and he actually respects that.
Red Wolf is also very quiet and doesn’t crack jokes or that sort of thing and that’s part of why Clint is one of those guys that never seems like he’s serious and that’s the way I’m writing him. To Red Wolf, Clint is like, “Where is this guy gonna take me, what kind of adventure is this going to be? I have no idea but I’m gonna go for it.”
There’s definitely some stuff that I am planning out for later in the series. All the pieces aren’t in play yet so I haven’t quite figured it out yet but I think one of those issues, once again, where you have a team full of leaders and the person who is most level headed and probably the one that everyone trusts the most out of the group—we’re going to see there are still more members trickling in—is always going to be Red Wolf. Red Wolf is always going to be the person people turn to and say, “Well, what do you think?” And he’ll say, “Yeah, let’s go beat up Doctor Doom.”
That’s just an example. Doctor Doom is not in the book.
Marvel.com: Is it safe to assume that the Avengers have come to Chicago on a case when they encounter Nighthawk?
David Walker: No, it’s actually not a; I’m writing the book in a way where the reader is never 100% sure if [the Avengers] have stumbled on or they are actively seeking out something. Whenever possible I like to leave a bit to the imagination of the reader. And sometimes you can’t get away with that much.
But you will find out why they are in Chicago but to say anything more is spoilerish [and] then people will be yelling at me online and we don’t want to go there.
Find out what’s going on with OCCUPY AVENGERS #3 by David Walker and Carlos Pacheco, due out January 11!