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The Avengers #1 Project: Solo Avengers #1

Take the ever popular Hawkeye, add a dash of any number of Avengers, mix in a bowl and... Solo Avengers

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:


Solo Avengers #1
December 1987
Published by Marvel Comics

"Here Comes Hawkeye"
Written by Tom DeFalco
Penciled by Mark Bright
Finished Art by Joe Rubinstein
Letters by Jack Morelli
Colors by Ken Feduniewicz
Edited by Mark Gruenwald

"Listen to the Mockingbird"
Written by Tom DeFalco
Pencils by Jim Lee
Inks by Al Williamson
Letters by Jack Morelli
Colors by Ken Feduniewicz
Edited by Mark Gruenwald



Review:


Editor Mark Gruenwald loved the old Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense and Strange Tales books from the sixties. The fact that you got not one but two action packed features in one book was something he wanted to see again (and succeed where other attempts at split books had failed in recent years). The avengers seemed a natural for this and the idea to rotate one feature but keep one character continuous throughout the series was enough to kick start it. But who should be the star? There really was only answer as the most popular Avenger without his own book had long been Hawkeye. Creatives were named at a measly 75 cents it hit the stands.

"Here Comes Hawkeye"

Practicing for a charity event later that night, Hawkeye displays his typical excellence at marksmanship. In the stands, Hawkeye's wife sits with Wonder Man and she retells Hawkeye's origin, how he was an orphan and how he was trained in archery by the Swordsman. Wonder Man questions why a sword guy would teach someone archery. I she knew she doesn't say as the rehearsal is over and everyone goes their own way.

Elsewhere a portly man preps his henchmen for the attack to come later that night and the revenge he will finally give to Hawkeye. We've no idea who he is but he looks deadly serious.

Back at the stadium, the circus clowns are knockout by a curved gas arrow and replaced by the henchmen. Hawkeye is called to start the show as the fake clowns use Jai alia weapons to hurl balls at killing speeds his way. Realizing this is for real Hawkeye takes the offensive and ends up getting his bow broken. The remaining goons continue their assault at the weaponless Avenger. But Hawkeye weapon isn't his bow, it's him. He throws the arrows himself and ends the fight as the crowd cheers (they thinks it's all a show).

Mockingbird shows up with her costume torn from some fight. She gives Hawkeye the curved arrow and Hawkeye is suddenly filled with dread. Why is he so, that for next issue.

"Listen to the Mockingbird"

Mockingbirds first ever solo story starts with her trying to get to Hawkeye's show. Stuck in traffic she jumps to catch a helicopter flying over head (wow she got good). After a three panel origin flashback she gets to the show and finds a bunch of knocked out clowns. Wanting to warn Hawkeye she is beset by a number of Jai alai playing henchmen. Fights them and they resort to hostage taking to get away.

She pursues and smashes through the getaway vehicle's windshield. She saves the hostage and the goons are knocked out. She meets up with Hawkeye and gives him the curved arrow and Hawkeye is suddenly filled with dread. Why is he so, To be continued.

The two features actually tell one story which works for the most part. If anything is accomplished with this book it's that Hawkeye has started to gain his own rogues gallery (something this book intends to do for many future features).

The meshing of the two parts works because DeFalco weaves the tales together. His handling of the characters works for the most part. Hawkeye feels like Hawkeye for every scene except when he suddenly filled with dread at the end. Doesn't feel right. And his apparent love for Jai alai falls completely flat.

Art wise Mark Bright does a great job on the Hawkeye side. The underrated Joe Rubinstein inks fit the pencils well.

The coloring is okay but I question why anyone would use a bright yellow van as a getaway car.  The only thing missing was a sign on it's side saying "Criminals Inside!".  And nice of these guys to leave the crime scene while their buddies are still
The art on Mockingbird is just typical. You can tell Al Williamson's inks are the real strength to the art. There's potential in this new artist but for now it just looks like any other 'new' guy's work.  The penciler here is in no way ready for the big league books and unless he changes things and and finds his own style, I don't think this Jim Lee kid will last long. 



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