Solo Avengers #1-2 (1987-1988)

Here’s a terrible idea: Take all the Avengers who aren’t popular enough to carry their own title and give them 10-15 page stories each month in a split book.  I mean, this might work if the book focused on a single character or relationship each month, but 10-page stories aren’t enough time for three acts.

But let’s have an open mind and see how it all goes.

The first issue tells the same story from two perspectives, with both Hawkeye and Mockingbird taking on an evil circus and ultimately the person who first trained Hawkeye on how to use bows and arrows, a new villain called “Trick Shot.”   It’s a new take on his origin.

We learn he and his brother Barney were orphaned at an early age when Papa Barton killed himself and Mama Barton while driving drunk (that’s a pretty hardcore story for a comic book—and pretty Disney-like, what with the hero losing his parents).  The orphanage sucked, they ran away to join the circus, met and apprenticed with Swordsman, and then Trick Shot came into play.  When he proved that a bow and arrow was cooler to audiences than a sword, Clint went over to learn from Trick Shot.  Which actually makes sense, since how the heck did he become a virtuoso archer if he learned from a fencer?

It takes 1.5 issues to tell this story, which feels like pointless filler.  Even if Wonder Man does suggestively eat a hot dog.

Nothing here seemed to matter, but I suppose the new Trick Shot might have potential in the future.

The last half of issue #2 is devoted to the new Captain Marvel, in a story written by the guy who created her and wrote her well: Roger Stern.  (After he left Avengers, CM turned into kind of a joke—to the point where she then led NEXTWAVE and the running gag was what a terrible leader she was.)  It’s not an important story at all, but it’s not terrible.

Mockingbird gets in a decent crack about Hawkeye’s arrows, though.

Nice letter page title, though….

…And I do dig the headshots…

Head Shot?  That should have been the name for the new villain!

Creators: Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright (art-Hawkeye), Jim Lee (art-Mockingbird).  Grade: C-
Roger Stern, Kieron Dwyer (Captain Marvel).  Grade: C

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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