A couple times a year, you’ll see me talk about going to SHIMMER in Berwyn, Ill and how it is the very best woman’s wrestling this side of the Atlantic. Not only is it 14 hours of wrestling goodness that weekend, I get to see a lot of YOU Rival Angels readers there too and it’s always a blast.

One of the great workers is Leva Bates. She’s one half of the tag team Regeneration-X with Allison Danger and they outfit themselves in various superhero or pop culture icons like Dr. Who, or Marty McFly. Leva in particular will dress up as superheroes like Punisher, Captain America or Iron Man. Rival Angels reader and buddy

Joe commissioned me last year to draw a picture of Regeneration-X as Black Canary and Huntress, which obviously was a no-brainer. Wrestling girls and superheroines? What’s not to love? Well, Joe showed this commission to Leva who loved it and told me so at the SHIMMER after party last fall. We got to talking and it came up that the only Avenger she hadn’t been was Hawkeye.

Fast forward a couple of seasons and I decided to do some trading cards (which I’ll save for another post) but one of them was Leva as, you guessed it, Hawkeye. It neveroccurred to me for an instant that she’d dress up as Hawkeye for the show, and when I came to drop off the trading cards before the show, I had a chance to speak with Leva and Allison. They both really dug the trading cards I had done of them and I mentioned to Leva about our prior conversation about her being Hawkeye.

Allison turned to Leva and said, “Wow you really should dress up as Hawkeye in the future,” and talked about how she was going to see the Avengers movie when it came out. So, I deduced that whatever they’d dress up as, it wouldn’t see Leva as Hawkeye. Later on, I saw her come out…

I completely marked out. Nevermind the fact that I’ve always loved Hawkeye (West Coast Avengers was the second title I started collecting, after Spider-Man), but I didn’t expect her to come out as Hawkeye. My mind was completely blown. Totally cool. Leva was fighting Sara Del Rey, the Queen of Wrestling and all around world-beater. During the match, Sara turned to the crowd and yelled, ‘Hawkeye is the worst Avenger,’ to which the crowd, to my enjoyment, booed her roundly. The crowd also started yelling how, ‘No, Antman was the worst.” Or, “Yellowjacket was the worst.” Like a man holding on to a life raft, I tried as hard as I could not to join in the geeky, but I ended up yelling, ‘they were the same guy!’

Wrestling and comics….does it get any better? Think about going to a SHIMMER show, eh?

Thanks Leva and SHIMMER for an amazing weekend.