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Avengers #64: Review

Mar 1969
Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Like a death ray in the sky

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #64 Review by (September 10, 2022)
The 2nd of 3 issues pencilled by Gene Colan.

The title is a variation on the end of the nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

This is the 1st time we learn Hawkeye's name Clint Barton. Next issue we'll learn that he kept it secret to avoid association with bad guy Barney. Even his love Natasha Romanoff never called him anything but Hawkeye. But I prefer to think he *did* tell her his real name, and like Barney this issue she didn't use it in public to preserve his anonymity.

As is the case with most Marvel chars Barney Barton's death here will turn out to be exaggerated. (After various flashback apps to Clint & Barney's early years he'll physically turn up alive in the Hawkeye: Blindspot mini-series which will also explain in flashback to here why he's not dead.) Despite that he'll still be thought dead next issue and Clint will get revenge on Egghead.

Black Widow will pop in again in #76 where she'll break off her relationship with Clint.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #64 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Avengers Black Panther, Vision, Yellowjacket and Wasp have returned from the wild goose chase Egghead sent them on last issue (early enough to have appeared in Sub-Mariner #14 and Daredevil #52) but found Hawkeye missing. Now he returns having rescued Black Widow from Egghead and 2 other villains, but having drunk Henry Pym's growth serum and donned the new costume Janet Pym had created for her new husband. He symbolically seals his conversion to the new Goliath by snapping his archery bow. And YJ gives him his blessing since for medical reasons he's restricted to shrinking from now on.

The team are interrupted by Edwin Jarvis introducing visitor Barney Barton who the Avengers know to be a big-shot racketeer. He says he's come to see Hawkeye, but doesn't recognise him until the new Goliath speaks. But he also claims to have information about Egghead's space station. Our guys are suspicious but willing to hear him out.

He tells them how Egghead tried to recruit him in his plan to conquer the US. Barton didn't believe this wild tale of a space station and walked out of the meeting with his 2 bodyguards. But he left with the coordinates of the satellite so the villain sent a robot to kill them. The goons died but Barton got away. Now he's here with the coordinates to be a hero, but Goliath just thinks he wants to protect his own criminal empire. The other Avengers wonder if Hawkeye was more than just misunderstood in his criminal life (in a few Iron Man stories in Tales Of Suspense) before joining the team. But after Widow leaves them to report back to Nick Fury at SHIELD, they blast off in a Wakanda-designed rocket to the space station. And Barney Barton insists on coming with them.

The synthezoid Vision exits to the vacuum of space and ghosts through the wall of the satellite. Inside he opens an airlock to let the spacecraft dock. The Avengers including Barton have to battle through more of Egghead's robots. Miniature Yellowjacket and Wasp break into the backs of robots to rip their control systems out. But Egghead has some radioactive puppets of the team that Puppet Master created earlier. (Even though they are based on the team with Hawkeye and the Hank Pym Goliath they still work because its still the same 5 people inside the new costumes.) He bathes the dolls in a paralysis ray and the Avengers stop fighting.

Except of course Barney Barton isn't affected. The mob boss finds the villain and destroys the paralysis ray. Unfortunately it blows up and fatally injures him. Egghead effects an escape before the Avengers get to the control room. Barton dies in Goliath's arms and it turns out that Hawkeye/Goliath's name is Clint Barton, and Barney was his brother.

Gene Colan
George Klein
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
George Klein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Barney Barton, Egghead (Elihas Starr), Goliath (Clint Barton).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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