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Avengers Spotlight #29: Review

Feb 1990
Howard Mackie, James Brock

Story Name:

What’s the Point?

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Spotlight #29 Review by (August 23, 2022)

Review: The Hawkeye tale is a bizarre one, entirely because Madcap is in it. Madcap is one of Marvel’s strangest characters, though oddly similar to Slapstick, another cartoonish semi-hero. And the Power Tools, herein introduced, are also amusing, thugs with one hand replaced by some sort of hardware. And the fact that Hawkeye is the wrong hero for the job only fits in with the world of Madcap. Goofy tale with an Oddball (no, not him, he’s another crazy character) mood is a bit of fun.

The Iron Man tale serves as an epilogue to the “Acts of Vengeance” crossover series which began in this very title at issue #26. The story seems designed to show that the Vault is secure and the Guardsmen re-equipped as though the readers were taxpayers concerned about the institution. Anyway, there’s a nice battle with Iron Man versus Klaw and some base satisfaction in seeing Frank beat up the Wizard, who is usually obnoxious. Halfway decent story caps off the event nicely.

Comments: Issue bannered “Acts of Vengeance Epilogue.” First story: Plot by Howard Mackie and James Brock. Madcap first appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA #307 and showed up in a multitude of places; in recent years he has made numerous appearances with Deadpool. Aaron “Dollar Bill” English was a supporting character for the Defenders, starting in DEFENDERS #51. Dr Karl Malus, introduced in SPIDER-WOMAN #30 in 1980, was mainly a Captain America villain through his connection to the Power Broker. More recently Malus has become a symbiote-human hybrid, which is an extreme way to make an old character interesting. First appearance of the Power Tools.  Second story: Hero cameos: Thor, Human Torch, Thing, Vision, Wasp, Quasar, and Wonder Man. Villain cameos: Rhino, Titania, Angar the Screamer, Eel, Flying Tiger, Quill, Nekra, Screaming Mimi, and Absorbing Man.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Spotlight #29 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hawkeye is summoned to the hospital at the request of filmmaker Aaron “Dollar Bill” English, who was hoping for Daredevil. Bill shows him a videotape of his cable TV show featuring the demented menace Madcap; while Madcap was going into his act, creating chaos and preaching that life is meaningless, he was kidnapped by the hoods known as the Power Tools who beat up Bill and got away. Bill wants Hawkeye to rescue Madcap because they have a syndication deal in the works….

Hawkeye traces the license plate on the baddies’ truck (clearly visible in the videotape) to a punk bar called Scuzz. He is dropped though the floor into the basement where he finds the Power Tools guarding the captive Madcap. The two heroes beat up the bad guys and Hawkeye reveals the villain behind the scheme: Dr. Karl Malus, who really wanted Daredevil so he could learn his secrets along with finding the source of Madcap’s invulnerability. Malus sets the self-destruct timer and flees, along with the other bad guys. Hawkeye flees but Madcap is still in the building when the bomb detonates. Hawkeye is sad—until Madcap comes rushing out, unharmed and looking for Dr. Malus, whose torture device he wants more of….

“Tales from the Vault (Conclusion)” 4/5
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie. Pencils: Dwayne Turner. Inks: Chris Ivy. Colors: Mike Rockwitz. Letters: Rick Parker.
Synopsis: Iron Man is at the Vault, training the Guardsmen in the use of their new Stark-designed armor, replacing the failed Stane version. The Avengers and other heroes are returning captive bad guys from the mass escape some time earlier. When the prisoners are locked up again and the heroes have left, the Wizard is brought in; Iron Man falls prey to a trap, as the Wizard is there to help Klaw escape. Klaw creates a pair of giant rhinoceroses out of sound waves to clobber the hero. Shellhead takes a few minutes to broadcast the right frequency to dispel the Rhinos—and then Klaw. Guardsman Prime asks to take on the Wizard and, using all of the defensive weapons built into the new armor as well as his fists, he beats down the baddie and unmasks to reveal himself to be Frank Ensign, whom Wizard nearly killed during the breakout in issue #26. And now the Vault is secure again….

James Brock
Roy Richardson
Mike Rockwitz
Rick Leonardi (Cover Penciler)
Rick Leonardi (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Guardsmen, Karl Malus, Madcap, Power Tools.

> Avengers Spotlight: Book info and issue index

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