These issues aren’t from the critically acclaimed Hawkeye series that kicked off around the time of the Avengers’ phenomenally successful first movie. They’re from the previous attempt at a Hawkeye solo series, before we had any idea the Marvel Cinematic Universe was coming.
And while they’re not at the level of the more recent series (so few comics are), they’re definitely worth a look. In these final two issues (#7 and 8—yeah, really short-lived series), Clint tries to solve a murder and winds up at odds with his ex-girlfriend, the Black Widow.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about it. It’s just a solidly executed two-parter that gets Hawkeye’s character exactly right. He’s the stubborn guy who involves himself in affairs he has no business being involved in.
How else would you describe a non-powered archer who joins the Avengers?
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Joe Bennett
Inker: Sandu Flores
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology
Appropriate For: ages 12 and up
Continuing the read-through of as many Avengers and Fantastic Four–related Marvel comics as possible!
Fantastic Four #94-104; Avengers #73-83; Captain America #121-133, Captain America and the Falcon #134; Iron Man #21-32; Incredible Hulk #125-134; Thor #172-181; Amazing Adventures (starring Black Widow) #1-4; years: 1970-71
The Revolving Door of Avengers Mansion
Yellowjacket and Wasp are out so Hank Pym can do science for the government, but Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are back, thus filling the Avengers’ quota of unhealthy relationships. And then the Vision abruptly leaves shortly later…and returns almost immediately.
The Best of This Bunch – Iron Man #21-22
Archie Goodwin’s solid run on Iron Man continues with a tale of Tony Stark trying to quit his superhero life…and realizing he can’t. The story features tropes that have become too commonplace these days—a replacement for the hero, a replacement for an old villain, and the death of a romantic interest. But these tropes were fresher in 1970 and, in this particular instance, well-handled.
Iron-willed boxer and all-around decent guy Eddie March makes for a likeable potential Iron Man, though he has a medical condition of his own that cuts his super-heroic career short. Surprisingly, he survives the tale, but Janice Cord’s death comes out of nowhere.
Janice had been portrayed as a potential girlfriend for Tony Stark for the past twenty issues or so. Now, after an experimental medical procedure leaves Tony Stark’s heart healthy enough for daily life but not necessarily superhero life, he decides to pursue a normal relationship and pass the Iron Man armor onto a worthy successor. Continue reading