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Avengers Spotlight #30: Review

Mar 1990
Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Spotlight #30 Review by (August 30, 2022)

Review: This comic, over thirty years old, hits very close to home as I sit here writing about it. It’s early summer 2022 and my city, like many municipalities in the USA is facing record-breaking gun violence. Mass shootings somewhere in the country are an everyday occurrence; last night a few block from my home, there was a gun battle between two gangs in which 70 shots were fired. Three men were wounded but since no one died, this was out of the news headlines within 12 hours. And so I sat down to read this comic and what do I find: a drive-by shooting and a hero, Hawkeye, becoming frantic over gun violence in the streets. I don’t want to get into the issue any deeper but Hawkeye’s shock and anger mirror the reactions of many in my world these days. This story will run for a few issues but whatever solution Hawkeye comes up with clearly didn’t work and is likely impossible in the real world. Kudos to Steve Gerber for trying to address such a grim real-life issue and within the confines of a superhero comic book at that. We’ll see how he does over the coming issues and whether he trivializes it.

Comments: First issue of the series to feature only one story. Part one of six parts. Lotus Newmark was introduced in INVADERS #37 as a World War 2-era villain called Lady Lotus; under the new name she runs a criminal empire in the modern USA. West Coast Avengers seen include Iron Man, Vision, U.S. Agent, Wonder Man, Tigra, Scarlet Witch, Hank Pym, Wasp, and Human Torch (Jim Hammond). The fictitious movie Clint and Bobbi see is called LETHAL BAT 2, an odd mix of LETHAL WEAPON and BATMAN, no doubt, and the second in a series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Spotlight #30 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Clint Barton and Bobbi Morse are part of a crowd leaving a theater, Clint complaining how he doesn’t like violent movies. At an intersection, three gunmen in a speeding car open fire on a crowd. Shocked at the carnage, Clint and Bobbi change into Hawkeye and Mockingbird and they mount the summoned Sky-Cycle and pursue the gunmen. Catching up, Hawkeye fires a flare arrow to blind them but they respond with gunfire, grazing Mockingbird’s arm. Hawkeye responds with an incendiary arrow into the car’s trunk, causing the hoods to flee before the car explodes. They capture three of the hoods but one gets away, swearing revenge….

Later, Clint can’t stop thinking about the drive-by shooting, which left six dead, six more in critical condition plus many more injuries. He is determined to understand it. The next day, as Hawkeye, he questions one of the hoods, a gang member called Prince Charming, but is frustrated by how casually the punk treats the matter, calling the Avengers just another gang. Detective Zamora tells Hawkeye how difficult it is for the police to deal with gangs and advises him to take care for himself….

The punk who got away reports to the big boss, crime lord Lotus Newmark, who rebukes him for bringing attention to the gang and then orders the Stone Perfs to kill Hawkeye….

That night, the corpse of a member of the gang that was targeted the previous night is dumped on the doorstep of the Avengers Compound with a threat from the Stone Perfs. The archer, angered, flies off to meet the challenge. In downtown L.A., Hawkeye questions everyone as to where he can find the gang but no one is willing to help him for fear of reprisal. He spots a gang member and pursues him into an alley between two buildings; Stone Perfs appear on the roofs and fire down on him until he collapses. As the gang flees, a kid named Luis calls 911….

At the hospital emergency room, the West Coast Avengers await word on Hawkeye’s condition. Mockingbird is upset, calling him a jerk for endangering his life. The doctor comes out to say that Hawkeye is alive, the bullets having missed his heart and brain but he has lost a great deal of blood. The doctor also mentions that if the boy hadn’t immediately called 911, Hawkeye would be dead….

Clint soon comes out of his coma and Bobbi is torn between anger and relief; he asks to see Tony Stark. A few weeks later when he is in better health, Clint meets with Tony and goes over a design for armor. Clint tells Bobbi that he wants to put the Stone Perfs out of business; she is upset as there are many other gangs out there in the city and feels he is being stubborn and dumb….

A few more weeks later, the punk who led Hawkeye into the ambush is standing on a street corner at night when he is knocked unconscious and awakens to find himself on the Sky-Cycle zooming by itself through the air and Hawkeye on the radio demanding an address for the Stone Perfs’ hangout. The panicked punk tells him the address and then Hawkeye turns him over to the police. He heads to the locale and fires an explosive arrow into the place followed by a tear gas arrow; then a net arrow flies to entangle the gang members. He shows off his new armored outfit and tells them they will now be held accountable for their crimes….

Al Milgrom
Don Heck
Paul Becton
Joe Jusko (Cover Penciler)
Joe Jusko (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)

Plus: Lady Lotus (Lotus Newmark).

> Avengers Spotlight: Book info and issue index

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