Around a month ago, my friend John Anealio was caught up in the general euphoria that swept the nerd community in the wake of the release of the new Avengers movie. He did a blog post on the topic, where he invited readers to chime in about whether they were Iron Man or Thor. He picked those two superheroes to accentuate the difference between inherent superpowers (Thor, a god) and good old fashioned hard work (Tony Stark, whose power comes from a suit he designed and built).
As I contemplated my response, I decided that it resonated strongly enough with me that I didn’t want to confine it to John’s blog. Instead, I’m posting it here.
With a cast as diverse as the Avengers, I didn’t like the slate of options. I’m not Thor (though I know a few Thors and, frankly, I want to kill them), but I’m not Iron Man either.
Hawkeye’s a superhero too, but he doesn’t have any superpowers. Unlike Tony Stark, he’s not a natural genius, not a billionaire, not particularly good looking or great at playing to a crowd. In fact, to a guy like Hawkeye, Tony Stark *is* a superhero. Building the Mark I was no sweat for him (he did it in prison, dying, and out of junk he found lying around).
That’s because Tony’s superpower, his Thor-like divine ability, is his SUPER BRAIN. He practically farted out the Mark I, and every upgrade after.
Hawkeye? All’s he’s got is a fancy bow invented and tweaked by smarter men, and purchased by richer ones. The rest is sweat: the grueling, endless training that makes him a marksman worthy of the weapon and able to hang with the Thors and Iron Men of the world.
He’s also got courage: The ability to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Hulk and Cap and face whatever’s coming their way, doubting his ability to face it, but determined to go down trying.
I’m Hawkeye. I don’t have any superpowers. I’m not a natural genius. I’m not rich. Nobody injected me with Super Soldier Serum. My parents weren’t gods.
All I’ve got is hard work and hope.
Sometimes, that’s enough.