Exiles #14 Ballista

I missed the era where Clint Barton was Goliath.  In fact, I didn’t even know it was a thing until long after it was over and I saw it on a t-shirt.  I like the legacies in Marvel, like all the people who’ve been subjected to Pym particles and all the people who’ve wielded a version of Mjolnir so I was drawn to the idea of Clint as Goliath.  Plus, being able to turn giant is one of my favorite powers.

Clint has also been one of my favorite Avengers.  I was reading West Coast Avengers and Solo Avengers when I wasn’t reading the Avengers.  I always really liked Clint’s relationship with Bobbi Morse.  I’m stoked about the possibility of seeing them together in the cinematic universe.  It seems too much to ask that it will be in Age of Ultron but maybe Clint can drop in on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Anyway, it didn’t take me long to wonder why Clint didn’t stick with the growth formula AND use his bow.  Hank Pym made an entire gimmick of carrying around shrunken stuff in his pockets when he was part of the West Coast Avengers.  How much more awesome would a bow be if it was giant and shooting giant arrows?  From there, it was a piece of cake coming up with a codename.  At least, given my moderate knowledge of medieval siege engines.

So, I give you, Ballista…

Ballista

Clint Barton

Fighting:     GD

Agility:      RM

Strength:     GD

Endurance: EX

Reason:       TY

Intuition:     GD

Psyche:       TY

Health:        70

Karma:       22

Resources:   GD

Popularity: 45

Powers:

Enhanced Vision: Remarkable Eyesight.

Growth: Ballista’s power rank is Monstrous but his strength can only reach Amazing. While at any size above Excellent his arrows gain an extra area of range and a +1CS to damage.

Equipment:

Bow: This special bow enables him to fire arrows at a range of 7 areas. It has been bathed in Pym particles and grows with Ballista as well as increasing the size of any arrows fired from it when it is enlarged.

Quiver: 36-shaft capacity

Harness: 36 arrowheads in special quick-release cases.

Arrowheads: All have a range of 7 areas except where noted below. Each arrowhead can be removed from its case and mounted on a shaft in 2 seconds.

          Acid: Monstrous damage; range 3 areas

          Bola: Remarkable entangling attack

          Boomerang: computerized, self-returning arrowhead; may be added to

other arrowheads.

          Cable: 2 area-long cable of Incredible Material

          Electrical: Amazing damage; range 5 areas.

          Explosive: Amazing damage

          Flare: Good intensity light in 2 area radius; Amazing damage to target

Magnetic: Incredible adherence. May carry cable or another arrowhead.

Net: Incredible entanglement

Putty: Remarkable adherence to rough surfaces; may be used to stop exposed

machinery

Rocket: boosts range by 1 area; may be added to other arrowheads.

Siren: Excellent intensity noise in each area. Endurance Feat or be Stunned 1-10 turns.

Smoke: 1area coverage

Suction Cup: Remarkable adherence to smooth surfaces

Tear Gas: 1 area coverage

Thermal: Remarkable heat damage

Vibration: Excellent damage

Talents: Ballista has the Weapons Specialist talent with the bow. He has Excellent Reason in designing and building new arrowheads. He is knowledgeable in circus lore.

Contacts: Avengers

Background: Clint Barton was the younger of two sons of a small business proprietor and his wife. His parents were killed in a car accident when he was 8 and he and his brother were placed in a state orphanage. When he was 14, he and his brother Barney ran away from the institute to join a traveling carnival.

Clint apprenticed himself to the carnival’s star attraction, a mysterious rogue known only as the Swordsman. Despite his own choice of weapons, he recognized Clint’s natural flair for archery and tutored him in that art.

Clint practiced archery for 8 hours a day, every day for 4 years. He became good enough to perform professionally in the carnival as a trick shooter under the name of Hawkeye the Marksman.

When he was 18, he accidentally discovered that his mentor was stealing from the carnival management. When he refused to become his partner in crime, the Swordsman chased him up onto a tightrope then cut it out from under him. The Swordsman left him for dead and fled from the carnival.

Barney found his injured brother and had him rushed to the hospital. Though it took a full year, he eventually recovered from the compound fractures to his legs and resumed his act.

One day, Clint witnessed Iron Man in action and decided to emulate him by donning a colorful costume and using his archery skills to battle crime. However, in his first public appearance as a masked hero, Hawkeye was mistaken for a thief and found himself in battle with Iron Man. Weeks later, his attraction for the Russian spy Black Widow led him to commit further acts on the wrong side of the law.  However, Iron Man soon learned of Hawkeye’s true nature and sponsored him for Avengers membership.

Hawkeye has been an active member of the Avengers for years, with his archery skills augmenting the superhuman powers of his associates. For a short time, Barton abandoned his Hawkeye identity, using Henry Pym’s growth serum to take on the mantle of Goliath when the good doctor discarded it. This did not last long and he returned to his Hawkeye identity.

Barton has frequently taken extended leaves of absence from the Avengers in attempts to establish an adventuring career for himself outside of the group. He even served a stint as security chief for Cross Technological Enterprises. During another sabbatical from the Avengers, Hawkeye met, fell in love with and married Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, a fellow crime fighter who used the costumed identity of the Unicorn.

When they returned, Hawkeye was appointed chairman of the West Coast branch of the Avengers. Seeking a way to increase the power and effectiveness of the team, Barton began using Pym’s growth serum again at the suggestion of Morse. He did not discard his bow, though continuing to use it even in his increased size. Taking on the name “Ballista,” he continued as leader of the West Coast Avengers.

Continued exposure to Pym Particles made it ever more difficult for Ballista to return to his normal size and, eventually, the smallest he could become was 10’ tall. This put a strain on his relationship with Bobbi, not least of which because he blamed her for making the suggestion, in the first place.

Eventually, the friction between the pair became so great that they separated and Morse quit the team. Unicorn continued to adventure and Ballista continued to go on solo adventures and the two intersected when Judge, Jury and X-cutioner attempted to alter the timeline.

The Exiles were also involved, desperately trying to stop the villains from accidentally destabilizing their reality and destroying it. Between the Exiles and the reunited Ballista and Unicorn, they were able to stop Judge, Jury and X-cutioner but the two heroes native to the dimension were left in an unstable state. They were forced to join the Exiles on otherworld to avoid their altered dimensional resonances from rippling out and finishing the work the villains began.

Though relations between the two are still strained, neither can deny the call of adventure and both have become Exiles.

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