All right, enough is enough.
I've already made this point before, but apparently no one at Marvel is listening. From this week's Captain America Team-Up:
Let's try this one more time.
Hawkeye founded and led the West Coast Avengers.
Hawkeye got many of the Thunderbolts to go straight (and one to turn himself in for his crimes), and led them for quite awhile. This would clearly, I think, count as "an inspiring leader."
And what the heck, let's throw the Great Lake Avengers in there...
So what the hell is the deal, Marvel?
Is this some editorial mandate that everyone has to forget Hawkeye's past? Does someone there believe that, to catch the wave of popularity from the Avengers movie, we've not only got to turn up Hawkeye's asshole setting to 11, but we've also got to pretend 20 years of Hawkeye history never happened??
And hey, if they want to claim that, say, Hawkeye was somehow different when he was magically resurrected post House Of M, that he was a different Hawkeye, or history was altered, or whatever--that would be a pretty stupid retcon. But at least it would be an explanation. Which is better than what Marvel has given us so far--Hawkeye's now a rampaging idiot who's never shown any leadership, for no reason whatsoever.
This is the same company that thought you couldn't write interesting stories about Peter Parker if he was married. So maybe they decided that you couldn't write interesting Hawkeye stories if he were the (somewhat) more mature. proven leader that he is. And rather than endure the bad publicity of another One More Day, they just did it off-screen. (Hey, there's the ticket...Hawkeye sold his past to Mephisto so Mockingbird could come back to life...which would finally make sense of her return in Skrullapalooza, because that made no sense whatsoever within evil divine intervention....)
Whatever the reason, I liked Hawkeye the way he was, Marvel. The way he had shown growth as a character, and wasn't exactly the same as he had always been. And I'm missing that Hawkeye.
So stop it, Marvel. Just stop it.
UPDATE: notintheface comments: "Somewhere in my comics stash I have my copy of the Thunderbolts comic where the Nicieza T-Bolts kicked the Bendis Avengers' butts and Cap SPECIFICALLY blamed the loss on Hawkeye's superb training of the Bolts...."
Here is said panel, from new Thunderbolts #14 (a.k.a. Thunderbolts #95) (2005):
Not so much, anymore, it seems...