I’ve recently discovered a new avenue of my Fandomness: Marvel comic books. Right now I’m reading Avengers: Solo Avengers Classic which consists of the first ten issues of the Solo Avengers comics, the first one dated December 1, 1987 (I was two years old when this released!). Hawkeye is the main character throughout, with a few guest solos in each issue from the likes of Mockingbird, Moon Knight, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, and more.
My Hubby is shocked that I like comics since I’m more of a 400+ page novel kind of reader. I have to admit, I’m equally shocked. Granted the story lines and dialogue can be cheesy at times, but what really gets me is the character backstories. I absolutely LOVE them. And that is where my faith and fandom collide.
In issue 02651, Hawkeye is getting ready to perform in a circus act when he is unexplainably attacked by his former mentor, Trick Shot, and his goons. We learn in this issue that Hawkeye and his brother, Barney, ran away from an orphanage as teens and joined a circus. That is where Hawkeye met his mentor and was trained in the skill of archery. (Hawkeye’s main “superpower” is that he never misses a shot, or almost never.) We also get the hint from Hawkeye that there is something associated with Trick Shot in his past that he doesn’t want to face, but more on that in the next post.
This first issue of the Trick Shot storyline got me to thinking how sometimes the people we love, trust, an revere end up turning on us (or disappointing us). Peter was Jesus’s number one friend. Peter was the one that Jesus was going to intrust his ministry to when he was gone. Peter was one of the very few Jesus took up the mountain to talk to God. Yet, when Jesus was arrested, Peter denied even knowing him. Peter turned his back on the friend who had given and invested so much in him, and let Jesus be beaten and nailed to the cross without the comfort of a friend.
Now, there is more to the story and it turns out well in the end, but it is important to note that even Jesus’s friend turned against him for a time. Friendships are important. Loving people is important. But we must also understand that people are not perfect. Everyone you or I love is eventually going to disappoint us, may even turn against us or abandon us. That is why it is so essential that we extend grace and forgiveness because, if not, there are way too many reasons for us to become bitter and judgmental.
But to my point: While our fellow man can never fully live up to being the perfect friend, there is one who can.
In Deuteronomy, Psalms, Hebrews, and throughout the Bible we are told that God will never leave us nor forsake us. That he is by our side through the peaks and valleys. If we are suffering, he is suffering right along with us. If we are being blessed, he is being blessed right along with us. God doesn’t make all our problems go away, he stands beside us and walks through them with us. When everyone else has abandoned us, disappointed us, misused and misrepresented us, we should not fear for God is with us. In him there is no bad, there is only the working to bring good out of the bad. With him their is hope and love and comfort and trust.
When your back is up against the wall, remember to reach out to God; he’s right there with you.
And Hawkeye is going to need that hope and comfort as he continues to war against the relentless Trick Shot…
Mockingbird is Hawkeye’s wife. She is also a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and adept martial artist. While her husband relies mainly on his weapons (though he is skilled in combat thanks to training with Captain America), she relies on her body. Which is why, as she faces Trick Shot’s goons and is faced with their “superior” weapons she says,
A weapon is only as deadly as the person behind it—and you’re a creampuff!
Mockingbird makes an excellent and biblical point: It is not what we have, but who are and how we use what we have. Jesus had the power to cast out demons. One would think this is a good skill, but a whole town begged him to leave when he cast out a legion of demons from one man and the religious leaders accused him of working for Satan—to which Jesus issues a witty reply.
How can he work for Satan if he is casting out demons?
Harry Potter faced a similar accusation in Chamber of Secrets. At the first Dueling Club meeting we learn that Harry is a Parseltongue when Draco shoots a snake out of the end of his wand. The snake goes for one of the students, and Harry tells it to stop. However, the next day everyone is accusing him of being Slytherin’s heir just because of a skill he possesses. Never mind that he uses the skill to save people.
It is not what we have, it is how we use what we have—for evil or good—that matters.
See the Parable of the Talents…
To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. ~ Matthew 25:29 NLT