MCP: Unboxing Hawkeye and Black Widow

The Avengers roster contains some of the heaviest hitters the Marvel Universe has to bear. It also contains  some characters who are devoid of any super powers whatsoever (barring retcons). When you have heroes who can support the weight of an entire container ship, can survive unassisted at the crushing depths of the ocean, and can bend the laws of reality itself, being a well trained combatant or a really good shot may not seem to carry a lot of weight, but both Black Widow and Hawkeye have actively led the Avengers for extended periods in their long and storied history.

Hawkeye and Black Widow’s histories are intrinsically intertwined, all the way back to the mid 1960s when both were bad guys and Clint was besotted with the lethal Russian spy Natasha. Thankfully they signed up to fight for the betterment of all humanity, eschewing their nefarious pasts.

Both have been favorite characters of mine for some time. Clint leading the West Coast Avengers, causing team tension in Force Works, and his own amazing Matt Fraction run from 2012 to 2015, which even included a full issue where all communication is done through sign language (our archer is hearing impaired, donchaknow). Natasha being Avengers Chairwoman and fighting on a cosmic scale, while also having amazing espionage-based arcs. From street level to the stars – much as in the movies – Natasha’s skillset and tactical mind have earned her a spot Marvel’s premiere team. Will it earn her a spot in your Crisis Protocol roster? We’ll look more into her Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. incarnation once we’ve got her painted, but for now let’s look into the box.

A single base sprue, complete with bottle and coffee cup, accompanies the small token sheet and character cards and sprues. Heavy Firepoweralmost seems to be a companion card to the Unearthly Ragecard that comes with Drax and Ronan. While Rage lets you roll extra dice if you’ve got multiple foes in proximity, Firepowerinstead lets you concentrate your efforts and roll extra dice for an attack on an enemy you’ve managed to separate from their companions. Professionals only works for Hawkeye and Black Widow working in tandem; if a target enemy is carrying civilian or objective token and Natasha’s in position, Clint can shoot the target to distract them long enough for the Widow to take possession of the token in a very cool game of keep-away. Steal victory from under your opponent’s noses…

Widow’s spruue has some smaller pieces,with her pistols, widow’s bite bracers, and shoulder pad coming as separate components. The lower abdomen and chest piece look like a weird connection, but they pop together seamlessly. The only thing to be mindful of is that you make sure you get the shoulder pad on the right way up. The S.H.I.E.L.D. logo is faint, but it’s there, and you’ll kick yourself (metaphorically of course) if you glue it on upside down.

When you’re got the pew pew and you can unleash said pew pew while simultaneously dodging incoming pew pew by launching off of a piece of rubble showcasing the collapse of the infrastructure of an evil organisation, hell, you go for it.. The connection between the foot and the rubble is generous such that I have no concerns about the model breaking, just about my bumping it with my hand and tipping it because I’m an enormous klutz. Not a positive attribute when you’re a miniature gamer, but it is what it is.

Hawkeye is slightly more straightforward to assemble than Widow, with the only small component to be mindful of being his belt pouch. Even with the bow arm attached, access to the socket is clear, so go to town. The squared sockets for the arms line them up nicely to maintain the illusion that he’s just loosed an arrow.

I think my favorite thing about this whole model is the scowl. The facial expression, caught in miniature, encapsulates a lot of how I’ve experienced Hawkeye over the last 40 years of comic reading (give or take). With a temper that rivals the Hulk, an arrogance that at times can rival Tony Stark, the scowling disdain of the avenging archer is, to me, perfect.

 

Hawkeye and Black Widow: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. are available through stores and online retailers. Forget those schmucks who can fly and shoot lasers from their eyes, bring it down to street level and kick some proverbial.