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Solo Avengers #5: Review

Apr 1988
Tom DeFalco, M. D. Bright

Story Name:

When Arrows Fail!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Solo Avengers #5 Review by (March 8, 2022)

Review: Hawkeye’s first story arc concludes on a poignant note (after several pages of suspense and action, of course) and it is quite effective. Clint comes to an understanding with his mentor turned enemy and he shows up again later.

Muddy printing hurts the Scarlet Witch tale as John Ridgeway’s dark and gritty art gives the tale a unique feel—or would if it didn’t look so messy. Marvel’s printing problems in this era would have to wait a few years before things would be resolved. The story itself, follow-up to a story that debuted elsewhere, stands on its own; in fact, it might have been better without the summary of the MARVEL FANFARE tale. The metaphysical aspects are a bit muddled too: how did an ordinary mortal become Death for fifty years? Is this a MEET JOE BLACK sort of thing? DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY? Why does he have a deadline? What exactly are his powers? There are some magic rules that we aren’t being told. The story works nicely on an emotional level but some thought makes it hard to put together in the end.

Comments: First story: Part five of five parts. Apparently Hawkeye’s promise worked out: Trick Shot returns in AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT (this title’s successor) #23-25 Second story: A sequel to a tale that appeared in MARVEL FANFARE #6.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Solo Avengers #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Kidnapped by Trick Shot, Hawkeye awakens on the shore of an island wearing only shorts. He discovers a bow and arrows nearby and uses them immediately to shoot down the enemy’s arrows….

Back in France, Silver Sable is notified of Trick Shot’s presence on a Greek island and she calls out her assault force….

The two antagonists play cat-and-mouse through the jungle with Hawkeye dodging traps and his enemy’s arrows and wondering why Trick Shot hasn’t killed him yet despite being at his mercy several times. The climax comes on a shallow riverbank where they deliberately miss one another. Hawkeye demands to know what is going on; Trick Shot reveals he is dying of cancer and set this up so that Hawkeye would kill him in battle. TS insists Clint has an obligation to kill him and prevent his slow agonizing death. Clint refuses and promises to do anything he can to help his mentor….

“A Love That Never Dies” 3/5
Writer: Dennis Mallonee. Pencils: John Ridgeway. Inks: John Ridgeway. Colors: Paul Becton. Letters: Jack Morelli. 
Synopsis: One night while Vision is at a baseball game with Black Knight, Scarlet Witch is home alone when she receives a visitor. A desperate acquaintance, Melinda, is in need of help as she is being stalked by her lover, John Kowalski, whom she met after returning to California after her and Wanda’s encounter with Xandu and Spider-Man. But there’s a twist: as she learned from a car accident, Kowalski is Death, taking souls from their bodies mercilessly. She fled from him and he has followed her and now Melinda seeks help from Wanda. Kowalski enters the house and threatens Wanda’s babies and she challenges him. He accepts and transports himself and the two women to a World War II battlefield where he can manipulate soldiers into firing on Wanda; he then changes the venue to the Vietnam Conflict and finally, Wanda challenges him directly, slowly taking on the aspect of Death herself, bringing an end to Kowalski’s time as Death—but Melinda pleads for his life. Wanda returns to her own form and the lovers embrace, Kowalski telling Melinda they can have three years together before he must give up his role and his life. As they fade into the mist, Vision returns home and Wanda tells him she has learned that even in death, there can be a love that never dies….

M. D. Bright
Joe Rubinstein
Janet Jackson
M. D. Bright (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Silver Sable, Trick Shot (Buck Chisholm).

> Solo Avengers: Book info and issue index

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