By Christina Pham & Marc Strom
It’s not very subtle when one transitions from an all-purple getup to a predominantly black uniform, but sometimes it has to be done for the purpose of fitting in. Hawkeye’s traditional comic book persona calls for the “purple unitard outfit,” but now that he’s become a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, the old getup didn’t quite make the cut.
Hawkeye concept art by Andy Park from “Marvel’s The Avengers”
As the lead artist behind the archer’s design, Andy Park breaks down the formula behind Hawkeye’s costume in “Marvel’s The Avengers” from his weaponry to why purple simply didn’t fit the puzzle. Given that Park also designed Clint Barton’s fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Black Widow, Maria Hill, and Director Nick Fury, he had an advantage in making sure that Hawkeye’s cinematic look meshed well with his compatriots.
Marvel.com: Hawkeye was really the one character whose costume we had not really seen before Marvel’s The Avengers, so what was it like to be in charge of the one hero in the film being introduced to audiences for the first time?
Andy Park: Hawkeye was one character where it wasn’t given to me from the get go. Charlie [Wen], Ryan [Meinerding] and I tackled it and we spent a week or two coming up with designs for Hawkeye, but we did know that it wasn’t going to be purple. We knew it would be more practical and not so super hero-like. Initially, they liked a version that Ryan did and from there I took over to expand on it, and kind of came up with the look for Hawkeye.
Marvel.com: How did you go about incorporating the arrows and Hawkeye’s ability to carry the arrows? And was the fact that Hawkeye is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent running around in a hi-tech world with a backpack full of arrows anything you struggled with at all?
Andy Park: We were doing initial designs that had arrows and the quiver as well. Those designs ultimately went to the art department and from there, they did lots of different versions for what the quiver and bow would look like, so we were mainly in charge of dealing with the costume. It was basically the nooks and crannies of where the pouches went and other design elements.
Marvel.com: When you were designing the costume, what were some of the key icons that you knew needed to carry on into the film?
Andy Park: A couple of things were bare arms—the cut off, sleeveless look. Around his joints, there’s the tubing, and also the arrow shape on his chest and the colors. On top of that, his sunglasses would be where the tech would come in.
Marvel.com: You referenced Ultimates when we were talking before, so was Bryan Hitch’s design of him something you had in mind while working on this?
Andy Park: Yeah, definitely. I think because of him, a lot of these Marvel films got their inspiration. I think a lot of it started from him. Bryan Hitch’s artwork in the Ultimates makes the comics come alive, and it’s not only tights and costumes. The costumes actually work. Hawkeye’s costume is heavily influenced by Bryan’s work.
Marvel.com: What was it like finding that balance between having a suit that could also act like a heroic costume, since Hawkeye doubles as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Avenger?
Andy Park: In the film, I don’t believe Hawkeye ever wears his iconic suit until he is freed from Loki’s mind spell. Before that, he wears something similar, but it’s still a sleeveless, casual soldier suit. The costume he wears at the end is when he is Hawkeye. Before that, he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. soldier influenced by a maniacal, evil guy.
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