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Cosplay: The Hawkeye Initiative Shoots Down Sexism in Comics

3 Minute Read
Sep 16 2021
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Can you see Clint Barton in this position? These Cosplayers channel the Hawkeye Initiative in their work and take aim at sexism in comics.

Hawkeye is the man of the hour, with this week’s announcement of the first trailer for his upcoming holiday season show. It’s about time our All-American guy Clint Barton had his moment in the sun… And it’s arriving just in time for Christmas!

Now- let’s get right down to the point of today’s message. Comics have been notorious for overly-sexifying* women for ages beyond measure. The female form is great, we get it… But a conversation needed to be had about the overt, gratuitous sexification of women in comics. How better to draw attention to such a topic than by turning it on its head?


*Editor’s Note: This was Mayhem’s word choice for combining “sexually objectifying” into one word. We decided to roll with it.

The hawkeye Initiative started as a means of testing sexism in comics. By replacing a sexified female character’s pose with Hawkeye, audiences could see how ridiculous those comics were.

“The site features fan art of Marvel character Hawkeye (Clint Barton) in various poses held by female characters that the artists believe to be impossible or sexually provocative. The site’s intent is phrased as “to draw attention to how deformed, hypersexualized, and unrealistically dressed women are drawn in comics“. The site further states that these poses are seen as normal and go unnoticed by many readers when performed by female superheroes.” -Wikipedia



Artists around the world took up the challenge, and The Hawkeye Initative Tumblr was born. You can head there for some hilarious (at poor, poor Clint’s expense) art depictions of him in some pretty ridiculous poses. It’s not comfortable for anybody, folks!


Not to be outdone, Cosplayers have taken up the challenge and perpetuated the Hawkeye Initiative, contorting themselves into some frankly astounding poses to make a point. Here are the best Hawkeye Initiative Cosplays!


Blatsuura Tumblr


“You And I Remember Budapest Very Differently.”



Kitkatumbas Reddit

“You Want Me To Slow Him Down, Sir? Or Are You Sending In More Guys For Him To Beat Up?”


Spekti Original Post

“Nobody Would Know. Nobody. Yeah. The Last I Saw Him, Ultron Was Sitting On Him.”

“I’ve Done The Whole Mind Control Thing. Not A Fan.”


“If I Put An Arrow Through Loki’s Eye Socket I’d Sleep Better, I Suppose.”

“The City Is Flying, We’re Fighting An Army Of Robots, And I Have A Bow And Arrow. None Of This Makes Sense.”


~Join us next week for more Cosplay Coverage~

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Author: Jennifer Larsen
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