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Solo Avengers #2: Review

Jan 1988
Tom DeFalco, M. D. Bright

Story Name:

The Way of the Arrow

Review & Comments

4 stars

Solo Avengers #2 Review by (February 15, 2022)

Review: The “Secret Origin of Hawkeye” is what we get, largely to explain how being trained by the Swordsman led to Clint Barton becoming the world’s greatest archer (as we were told in AVENGERS #19, way back when). It’s nice that the company was responding to readers’ queries and solving mysteries of their own inadvertent making. And it works out well, this version being the standard one these days. The Captain Marvel tale also brings us up to date with a brief origin then puts her in danger where we can see her powers displayed at best advantage. The art of this period is moistly decent though the bad printing quality makes it look worse than it is. It’s a consistently fun title, even if no classic.

Comments: First story: Part two of five parts. Second story: First solo adventure for Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau). Professor LeClare and Felipe Picaro were introduced along with Captain Marvel in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #16; this is the final appearance for both of them. Issue includes an essay by Mark Gruenwald, answering questions about his controversial essay “How Not to Break into the Comics Industry” in WEST COAST AVENGERS #22. 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Solo Avengers #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hawkeye is angry while going through his exercises at Avengers Compound, thinking about the villain who has come back into his life. He tells Mockingbird the full story of his life….

He and his older brother Barney grew up in Waverly, Iowa, children of a butcher. Their father would be abusive when drunk; Barney would rebel while Clint would try to be more responsible. Their parents were killed in a car accident and the boys were sent to an orphanage. They were too old to be good candidates for adoption so they ran away and joined a passing carnival. When the Swordsman’s assistant quit, Clint took the role and was soon being trained in handling weapons to contribute to the act. The hot new act is the archer Trick Shot and Swordsman asks him to pay off a gambling debt by training Clint in archery….

One day, Clint discovers that Swordsman had robbed the carnival; he wanted Clint to join him in a life of crime but Clint refused and ran away from his mentor by climbing the high wire. Swordsman slashed the wire and Clint fell, breaking both of his legs; Trick Shot and Barney drove the bad guy off. Trick Shot then trained Clint to be an expert archer. Soon, Trick Shot enlisted Clint in a mysterious job that turned out to be a contract to murder a crook named Marko; Trick Shot killed Marko and his wife while the confused Clint held off his henchmen. Clint shot a gunman who turned out to be his brother Barney. Clint refused to go with Trick Shot and the archer pinned him to a tree with arrows, promising to come back and kill him when he has more of a life to lose…

…and that day has now come. Trick Shot has sent Hawkeye a one-way ticket to Paris for their duel to the death….

“Out of Control” 3.5/5
Writer: Roger Stern. Pencils: Kieron Dwyer. Inks: Bob McLeod. Colors: Gregory Wright. Letters: Bill Oakley.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) flies over the French countryside in answer to a summons from her mentor Professor LeClare who has some new information about her recently acquired powers. Suddenly, an unseen villain presses a button and pain shoots through Cap’s body, sending her crashing into a farmhouse and setting it ablaze, though recovering quickly and taking off before she can be recognized. Confused, she flies into space where she can’t hurt anyone should her energy powers run out of control. She contacts the Professor by radio waves and he starts to tell her to come to the lab but suddenly he tells her it is a trap and the bad guy thumps him. Cap comes down and faces her enemy Felipe Picaro who has escaped from prison and now wears an exo-suit designed to transfer her powers to him. He threatens to kill LeClare and his colleagues should she refuse to cooperate. So she slugs him and frees the prisoners who escape before Picaro can retaliate. She flies out the window and away at top speed, the villain in pursuit, slowly leaching her power; she gets weaker and crashes to the ground atop a mountain. He confronts her and she leaps into him, giving him all her power at once. He overloads and there is an explosion….

When the scientists get there they find a massive crater on the mountain top and Captain Marvel in perfect control of her powers, having drained them from Picaro so as to save him from exploding as well. Which the Professor plans to tell him should he ever regain consciousness. 

M. D. Bright
Joe Rubinstein
Paul Becton
Lee Weeks (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Monica Rambeau)

(Clint Barton)

Plus: Trick Shot (Buck Chisholm).

> Solo Avengers: Book info and issue index

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