General description: - This sculpt was literally taken right off of the page of the comics and is the most awesome version of Hawkeye sculpted to date. As a comic collector, I can really appreciate the way this figure came out. Rarely have the WK guys done such a fine job on a figure sculpt, but this puppy rocks. I cannot rave about the sculpt enough. I personally own at least 4 - 5 of this specific figure, and at least 4 - 5 full sets of the whole REV to boot. I also went out of my way to secure at least 6 more of the Experienced version, just to have them for modding purposes. I have found that most folks used this guy to major effect when he first came out. He was the 'death from above' piece of his time, and most times I used him, he was 1 of the few pieces that was worth the cost of fielding him - 84 points in this case, and the reason I chose to review him, as he is the 84th figured reviewed here. I really like the piece, and, even though, like most figures that WK puts out, he has some major short-comings, I still find him to be adequate to use even in today's games - though only in games where Feats are still able to be used.
Uses: - What other way would a guy with a Sky-Cycle and the transporter speed symbol be used for? He is a Taxi par-excellence. Base '19' Defense from range - hindering of course, with the possibility of a top end '22' means he is sooooo still suited for games of the modern era it is not funny. His overall Defense is so true to the character from the comics it is also no joke - though I would have to agree that based on the newer representation of him that an added click or 2 of ES/D is not out of the question.
Strategies and game play: - Without a doubt, this guy is a ranged combatant period. He is not intended to face off against anyone close quarters style. If this same character were to be reissued today, he would most definitely have the sharpshooter ability. In fact, the AVM #9 Hawkeye is so close to what this guy would be remade it is shocking. The only differences I see would be the Speed type and perhaps the way the Attack track should read. The range is also not the way I feel Hawkeye should be. To be frank, I think that most versions of Hawkeye - this one included - are woefully shy of what he should have ability-wise; even for back then. I think he should have started with the trick arrows - Incap, Energy Explosion, Quake, etc, and run out of arrows at the end of his dial - therefore have no powers left on the Attack dial - on any version of him. As this version of him has a deplorable lack of Attack powers up front, and relegates all of his 'trick arrows' to his end dial, it is hard to use him in any vein but hit and run. If you add in the following cards, however, 'Elite Sniper', 'Recharge', 'Not So Special', 'Stunning Blow', and perhaps 'Damage Shield', this guy gets some serious playability added to his plate - to say nothing of adding in the new Mockingbird for additional effect.
Combos with other miniatures: - He is obviously a super Avengers Taxi. He is just meant to be used to carry Herc or Cap or any front liner from the Avengers into the frey. (And again, the new Mockingbird also speaks for itself.) With his ability to deal 'Brick' level damage for his first 3 clicks, he is also a heck of a lot more than a secondary attacker or mere harasser. Carrying a Brick, this guy and his passenger become a 2-man wrecking crew. The Feat 'Coordination' goes a long way to see this guy into the 'terror of the map' slot too.
Ways to counteract it: - Lets be honest here, all you have to do is base this guy with a close combat piece and he's done - period. His top end Defense of '16' and low end of '13' is not scaring anyone close quarters - today or even back in the golden age days. Outwit on his RCE also means the game is basically done, unless he gets away from the inevitable attack that would accompany such an action. He is essentially the classic 1 - 2 character; hit him once, or twice, depending on the hitter, and he's KO city.
Strengths/Pros: - They have all really been covered above, but, again, he is a great Taxi, Great medium level Brick - depending on the situation, and there is nothing quite like him sculpt-wise out there either.
Weaknesses/Cons: Defense, oh poor Defense. Feats or no Feats - that is the death of him...
Artwork and aesthetics: - Just about the top sculpt of the Fantastic Forces set, and, quite frankly, the best overall sculpt of Hawkeye in the game period. If every sculpt in the game was as aesthetically pleasing, there would be no reason to ever comment on that aspect of the game - other than to say well done again. As it is in reality though, this piece is one of the benchmarks that all the rest of the junk has to be judged against I am afraid.
Overall rating: - For Playability I would give it a '7', it would be an '8' if they would get the dial right, even for modern play. Sculpt gets (as if it were in question) the only '10' I have given for a figure in the game so far, and that is saying something.