This is everything that’s wrong with the Marvel and DC universes in the 21st century.
The writer sits down and has some Avengers meet some X-Men. This is the first time he has done an Avengers/X-Men crossover, so he’s all excited thinking about all the fun bits he can do with the characters playing off of each other. Like, for example, the X-Men are used to Emma Frost hanging around, but the Avengers aren’t, and Hawkeye’s the kind of guy that will literally shoot first and ask questions later. If any further thought is put into the scene at all, it will be that Hawkeye’s attitude about femme fatales is naturally influenced by his 1960s misadventures with the Black Widow, or that he assumes Emma Frost must be a bad guy because we all remember she was a bad guy in the 1980s.
No thought at all, however, goes into the following points:
- Hawkeye led the Thunderbolts for, like, five years, and slept with one of them. He has considerable tolerance for bad guys gone good (including half-naked ones).
- Emma Frost has nominally been a good guy and friend to the X-Men for seventeen years. Does anyone on Earth not know she’s a good guy by now?
Neither of these things are secrets. And it’s not like this is nitpicking over some obscure issue of Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins that the writer couldn’t be expected to know about. Any competent writer tasked with writing Hawkeye or Emma Frost should at least be able to read their Wikipedia pages and see that Clint spent several years reforming villains and that the “is Emma still bad” question is settled by now.
So this is the problem: Marvel and DC writers approach long-running characters like Hawkeye and Emma by only looking at their more iconic stories and maybe their recent events. They rarely stop to consider all the crap that happened in-between, apparently under the bizarre belief that readers do not know and do not care what happened five or ten years ago. (Which is stupid because it stands to reason that a great many readers are more likely to have read ten-year-old Emma Frost comics than thirty-year-old Emma Frost comics.)
So you end up with Hawkeye acting like he would in a 1985 issue of West Coast Avengers, acting concerned that Emma Frost may still be acting like she did in a 1987 issue of New Mutants, as if nothing has happened to either of them since then. And the only people the scene works for are the ones who haven’t paid any attention to either character in twenty-five years. If that’s your target market I sort of wonder why you’d have Hawk and Emma in the story at all.
Also I’m really sick of comic book writers trying to earn Feminism Points by having female characters dismiss the male superheroes’ actions as the result of thinking with their hormones. Mind you, It’s nowhere near as bad as if male characters were doing it to women, but I’m still sick of it. I’d much rather that this page showed Tigra doing something cool than Hawkeye doing something stupid just so Tigra can complain about silly boys.