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Solo Avengers #9: Review

Aug 1988
Tom DeFalco, M. D. Bright

Story Name:

In Service of Justice

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Solo Avengers #9 Review by (April 6, 2022)

Review: Hawkeye tale brings back Blind Justice but we don’t see very much of him. The cleverest part of the story is when Clint’s mystery ally turns out to be the Shroud and not Blind Justice. Not that we have any idea why Shroud should suddenly turn up after harassing Moon Knight in issue #3. Odd tale that introduces an extraneous character for no reason and almost sidelines the hero. Very strange.

Hellcat, better known as a Defender than an Avenger, puts her entire career on display here in a couple of sentences before having to fight her first husband in a “he said/she said” argument with more violence than usual. Patsy’s verbal sparring with the rude interviewer sets this up as a humor tale—but watch for those teeth and eyes in the dark punctuating the comedy, lending it a note of horror that arrives along with Mad-Dog. He is a physical match for her but also a psychological equal as it is revealed that his recollection of events may be more honest than hers and would repay a more complex interaction than beating him up. An interesting twist in her tale for a character who doesn’t usually stand out. 

Comments: First story: Part two of two. First appearance of reporter Gayle Rogers who returns in issue #13 then spends the rest of her career in THUNDERBOLTS, starting at issue #18. Blind Justice next appears in QUASAR #57. Speedo’s mysterious boss is never identified as Speedo never returns. Hawkeye admits to having a boxing glove arrow, trademark of Green Arrow over at DC. Second story: Buzz Baxter became Mad-Dog in DEFENDERS #125; he will return in AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT (this book retitled) #22-25. Only appearance of Bill Montague


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Solo Avengers #9 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hawkeye bursts into the offices of mid-level crook Speedo, beats up all his hoods, and demands to know what Speedo knows about the vigilante Blind Justice. Speedo knows nothing so Hawkeye leaves him with a threat. Angry, Speedo calls his boss (a woman whose face is in shadow) demanding she have the Avenger killed; Boss Lady approves but only if they can frame another party for the murder, suggesting Blind Justice….

At West Coast Avengers Compound, Hawkeye is going through rigorous training exercises while being interviewed by reporter Gayle Rogers. Mockingbird takes a call and hands it to Hawkeye; Speedo is calling to say something big is going on down at the docks that night and Blind Justice might be there. We know it’s a trap….

Hawkeye shows up at the docks at midnight and is surprised that no one seems to be around. What he doesn’t know is that a mysterious figure is creeping up behind each of Speedo’s gang and putting them out of action. Then the rest come into the open and Clint takes action with a bevy of trick arrows and then his secret ally shows himself: it is the Shroud and he envelops the docks in dark mist; Hawkeye is at a loss because he can’t see to fight while Shroud clobbers all the baddies. Hawkeye is annoyed because he was hoping to nab Blind Justice but Shroud points to the two men on a rooftop across the street. It is Speedo and his henchman Zipper watching the battle through binoculars. Suddenly, Zipper is gone and Speedo finds himself facing Blind Justice. Hawkeye fires some arrows to distract them but the two men shoot at each other simultaneously. Speedo is electrocuted and Justice falls into the river. Hawkeye and Shroud are certain the vigilante is dead but as they leave we see a gloved hand rise from the water….

“Memoirs” 4.5/5
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis. Pencils: June Brigman. Inks: Stan Drake. Colors: Paul Becton. Letters: Jack Morelli.
Synopsis: Patsy Walker appears on Bill Montague’s talk show to promote her autobiography. She is ill-at-ease as Montague has a reputation as an aggressive interviewer and he starts off by questioning the reality of her accounts of her husband Daimon Hellstrom being the Son of Satan and her support for mutants. While talking about her first husband Buzz Baxter, Baxter, in the guise of Mad-Dog, invades the studio, bites Patsy on the neck, drugging her, and carries her off….

She awakens dressed in her Hellcat costume in a warehouse. Mad-Dog confesses he still loves her and insists that she loves him. She denies this claiming their marriage was a mistake. He blames her desire for independence for their divorce and says he became Mad-Dog just for her, so that they could become costumed heroes together. She attacks him and they fight, she insisting that she never loved him and he claiming she did. She claws at his face and bashes his head against a crate and he goes out. She then realizes that she did love Buzz once and her desire to leave her old life behind led her to banish that from her memories…. 

M. D. Bright
Jose Marzan Jr.
Janet Jackson
M. D. Bright (Cover Penciler)
(Unknown artist) (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)

(Patsy Walker)

Plus: Blind Justice (Jerome Hamilton), Gayle Rogers, Shroud.

> Solo Avengers: Book info and issue index

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