Spotlighting Solo Avengers

Of all the ongoing series that have featured the Avengers, Solo Avengers may be the most unique. It was an ongoing series dedicated to featuring individual Avengers characters who didn't have their own solo comics; it was also an old-fashioned "split book" for most of its existence, splitting the page count between a regular lead feature and a variety of supporting features. The lead feature for most of the series was Hawkeye, the most popular Avenger who didn't already have his own ongoing comic book. The series eventually failed, though, for a variety of reasons: the "split" format meant all the stories were shorter than average, and relatively few stories fit the short format well; the Hawkeye feature generally ranged from mediocre to downright bad in terms of content quality, eroding the character's fan base despite his enduring appeal; and apart from Hawkeye--a great character handled poorly--the series had no other consistent star attraction. It was a recipe for so-so sales and sub-par content that eventually resulted in cancellation. The series ran for forty issues, and was retitled Avengers Spotlight with issue 21 for marketing reasons.

The listings below detail the stories in each issue of the series; the principal creative teams who produced the stories; any significant characters other than the featured characters who appear in the stories; and any other pertinent notes.


Solo Avengers # 1

Hawkeye in "Here Comes Hawkeye"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Joe Rubinstein.

Hawkeye is performing at a charity circus event when he is attacked by assassins disguised as clowns. He defeats them with the aid of Mockingbird, but is horrified to discover a weird arrow left behind by one of the attackers, an arrow Hawkeye recognizes as belonging to his old mentor, Trick Shot, who has returned to challenge him.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Trick Shot.

Mockingbird in "Listen to the Mockingbird"

By Tom DeFalco, Jim Lee and Al Williamson.

Mockingbird goes to see her husband Hawkeye perform at a charity circus event but arrives to find costumed assassins out to kill him. Mockingbird subdues some of the assassins, rescuing a hostage they grabbed for protection, and wards off an attack by the assassins' employer, Trick Shot. Once Hawkeye is safe, he confesses that Trick Shot is his old mentor back to challenge him.

Other Characters: Hawkeye, Trick Shot.

Note: This story occurs simultaneously with the first story in this issue, and has some scenes in common with it.


Solo Avengers # 2

Hawkeye in "The Way of the Arrow"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Joe Rubinstein.

Hawkeye tells Mockingbird the full story of his true origins for the first time: As young Clint Barton, he and his brother Barney were orphaned when their abusive father killed himself and his wife in a drunk driving accident, leaving the Barton boys in an orphanage. The brothers ran away and joined the circus, where Clint met the costumed performer called the Swordsman, who hired Clint as his assistant and taught him knife-throwing; the Swordsman also persuaded another performer, Trick Shot, to teach Clint archery as an addition to their act. The Swordsman became a mentor and a father figure of sorts to Clint, but their partnership ended tragically when the Swordsman's gambling debts drove him to steal from the carnival. Clint caught him in the act and refused to go along with it, sparking a battle that ended with Clint falling from the trapeze to seemingly certain death. Trick Shot and Barney drove off the Swordsman and got Clint medical attention, but the Swordsman got away and Barney, furious with Clint over turning down a chance at easy money, also fled the carnival in search of his fortune.

Hospitalized with two broken legs, Clint accepted an offer to become Trick Shot's new protégé and practiced archery continuously while his injuries healed. Trick Shot taught Clint everything there was to know about archery, and even introduced him to the concept of "gimmick" arrows custom-designed for certain purposes, but the two never grew truly close since Trick Shot was a cruel, malicious man; Clint simply wanted the knowledge Trick Shot could provide, and had nowhere else to go anyway. Once Clint had recovered full mobility and become a skillful archer in his own right, Trick Shot decided to have Clint earn his keep by moonlighting as Trick Shot's partner in mercenary work--beginning with the assassination of a criminal named Marko. While Trick Shot killed Marko and his wife, he left the unsuspecting Clint outside as a lookout. Marko's guards attacked Clint, who managed to disarm them, but a third guard shot Clint and Clint accidentally wounded him--an error that horrified Clint even more when he realized that the guard he'd wounded was his brother Barney. As Trick Shot prepared to escape and take Clint with him, Clint refused to leave until he'd gotten medical aid for Barney. The two archers fought and Trick Shot easily won, but he spared Clint's life, saying he'd return someday to destroy him once he'd grown into a foe worth killing. Now it seems that time has come, since the adult Clint--Hawkeye--has been sent a one-way ticket to Paris, Trick Shot's death challenge.

Other Characters: Mockingbird and, in flashback: Barney Barton, Swordsman and Trick Shot.

Note: Hawkeye's origins have been recounted previously (notably in Avengers [v1] # 19 and 65), but Trick Shot was never mentioned before, supposedly since Hawkeye was ashamed of his association with him and wanted to forget him. Trick Shot was created for this storyline, answering the question of how and why the Swordsman supposedly taught Clint archery.


Captain Marvel in "Out of Control"

By Roger Stern, Kieron Dwyer and Bob McLeod.

Captain Marvel is summoned to France by her old friend Professor LeClare, only to discover that LeClare and his colleagues are captives of Doctor Felipe Picaro, the renegade scientist and former assistant to LeClare whose machines accidentally gave Captain Marvel her powers when she first encountered Picaro months ago. Now Picaro wants her power for himself, and threatens to kill his hostages if she doesn't allow him to drain it from her. Captain Marvel outwits him, though, freeing the hostages and defeating Picaro.

Other Characters : Professor LeClare, Doctor Felipe Picaro


Solo Avengers # 3

Hawkeye in "An American Archer in Paris"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Joe Rubinstein.

Hawkeye eludes Mockingbird and heads for Paris to accept Trick Shot's death challenge. Once there, he is attacked by Batroc's Brigade but manages to defeat them all, only to be arrested by Silver Sable for the murder of Trick Shot.

Other Characters: Batroc's Brigade (Batroc the Leaper, Machete and Zaran the Weapons Master), Mockingbird, Silver Sable.


Moon Knight in "Tower of Shadows"

By Roger Stern, Bob Hall and Stan Drake.

Moon Knight is on the trail of fugitive crimelord Cornelius Van Lunt when he seeks the aid of the Shroud, a fellow crimefighter who poses as a crimelord himself. After putting Moon Knight through booby traps and engaging him in personal combat, the Shroud reveals that he wants Moon Knight to join Shroud's Night Shift group as its new leader, and that their battle was a test. Moon Knight respectfully declines since he has recently joined the Avengers, but the Shroud agrees to help him find Van Lunt anyway, which he does in West Coast Avengers # 29.

GA: Shroud, Night Shift (Jack Russell, Brothers Grimm, Ticktock, Gypsy Moth, Tatterdemalion, Needle, Digger and Dansen Macabre).


Solo Avengers # 4

Hawkeye in "The Great Escape"

By Tom DeFalco, Ron Lim and Joe Rubinstein.

Silver Sable has arrested and imprisoned Hawkeye for the murder of Trick Shot. In actuality, the French government had hired Sable to capture Trick Shot, and, since she is aware of Trick Shot's connection to Hawkeye, she hopes Hawkeye will escape and lead them to Trick Shot in an effort to clear his name. Hawkeye does escape Sable's prison within the hour despite the efforts of her mercenary army, but once outside he is ambushed and shot by Trick Shot himself.

Other Characters: Silver Sable, Wild Pack, Trick Shot.


Black Knight in "Knight's Errant"

By Roger Stern, Paul Ryan and Bob Layton.

Doctor Druid is psychically examining the Black Knight's mystical ebony blade when he is possessed by the spirit of Ernst Wythim, Black Knight's far-future descendant, who had been transformed into a mass murderer by the ebony blade's blood curse and killed himself, projecting his spirit back through time in search of a receptive mind so that he could materialize and kill his own ancestor, the Black Knight, ensuring that he will never be born. The Black Knight defeats Wythim and Druid returns to normal, while Dane vows to be more cautious in the use of his blade than ever before lest he spill blood with it and also fall victim to its murderous curse.

Other Characters: Doctor Druid, Ernst Wythim (The Last Knight).


Solo Avengers # 5

Hawkeye in "When Arrows Fail!"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Joe Rubinstein.

Trick Shot kidnaps Hawkeye to an uninhabited Greek island, where he battles him and tries to goad Hawkeye into killing him. When Hawkeye realizes what Trick Shot is doing and demands an explanation, Trick Shot confesses that he is dying of cancer and wanted to go out fighting, to die as he lived. He thought Hawkeye was the only opponent worthy of killing him, and demands that Hawkeye kill him as repayment for all Trick Shot taught him. Hawkeye refuses, though he comforts the tormented villain by promising to do all he can to help him cope with his illness.

Other Characters: Silver Sable, Trick Shot.


Scarlet Witch in "A Love That Never Dies"

By Dennis Mallonee and John Ridgway.

The Scarlet Witch defends Melinda, a woman whom she once helped resurrect, from her estranged lover John Kowalski, a man who has become a sort of wandering angel of death and now stalks Melinda, who is convinced that death is trying to claim her again. Scarlet Witch mystically battles Kowalski and nearly destroy him before Melinda intervenes, still in love with him and unable to see him suffer. She willingly rejoins him, and the couple fade into the mists of eternity together.

Other Characters: Melinda, John Kowalski, Thomas Maximoff, William Maximoff, Vision II.


Solo Avengers #6

Hawkeye in "Algeria is for Archers"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Joe Rubinstein.

Silver Sable persuades Hawkeye to join Le Peregrine in rescuing her operative the Sandman from the terrorist Red Skull, whom the three heroes easily defeat.

Other Characters: Le Peregrine, Red Skull II, Sandman.


Falcon in "Scattered Lives"

By Dan Mishkin, Tom Grindberg and Josef Rubinstein.

The Falcon defeats Scatterbrain, a psionically powerful but mentally disturbed young mutant acting as a pawn of crimelord Victor Meachum.

Other Characters: Redwing, Scatterbrain, Victor Meachum.


Solo Avengers # 7

Hawkeye in "Hijacked!"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Jose Marzan Junior

Hawkeye is on his way back home to the USA when terrorists attack the Orly International Airport in Paris. Silver Sable and Sandman help Hawkeye subdue the terrorists, and he flies home.

Other Characters: The Bartovian Liberation Front, Silver Sable, Sandman.


Black Widow in "The Token"

By Bob Layton and Jackson Guice.

Black Widow risks KGB capture by visiting her old ballet instructor Oksana Bolishinko at the Russian embassy.

Other Characters: Ivan Petrovich.


Solo Avengers # 8

Hawkeye in "Blind Justice"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Jose Marzan Junior.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird break up an extortion racket, but the bust goes bad when the costumed vigilante Blind Justice causes the death of the gang's ringleader and escapes.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Blind Justice.


Doctor Pym in "Another Word for Revenge"

By Mike W. Barr, Larry Alexander and Jose Marzan.

Pym's old foe Doctor Nemesis tries to frame him for a series of robberies, but Pym exposes and apprehends Nemesis.

Other Characters: Rover, Doctor Nemesis.


Solo Avengers # 9

Hawkeye in "In the Service of Justice"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Jose Marzan Junior.

The criminal gang leader Speedo ambushes Hawkeye in hopes of framing Blind Justice for Hawkeye's death, but the Shroud helps Hawkeye overcome Speedo's men while Blind Justice and Speedo seemingly kill each other in a shootout. As Hawkeye and the Shroud depart, though, Blind Justice crawls from the water below.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Gayle Rogers, Blind Justice, Shroud.


Hellcat in "Memoirs"

By JM DeMatteis, June Brigman and Stan Drake.

Hellcat is promoting her new autobiography, The Hellcat Chronicles, on the Bill Montague television show when her ex-husband Mad Dog attacks and abducts her. Mad Dog tries to force her to come back to him, but she defeats him and turns him over to the police despite admitting to herself that she did truly love him once.

Other Characters: Mad Dog.


Solo Avengers # 10

Hawkeye in "The Sinking of Los Angeles"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Jose Marzan Junior.

Hawkeye stops a group of specially equipped thieves from stealing the priceless Star of Angels at the Los Angeles Manufacturers Exposition.

Other Characters: Seymour the All-Seeing Astrologer.


Doctor Druid in "Token Sacrifice"

By D. G. Chichester, Margaret Clark and Lee Weeks.

Doctor Druid saves an old man from becoming a human sacrifice at the hands of the Celtic mystical creature Stonecutter.

Other Characters: Stonecutter.


Solo Avengers # 11

Hawkeye in "The Menace of the Mind-Melder!"

By Tom DeFalco, Mark Bright and Jose Marzan Junior.

Hawkeye apprehends a gang of thieving costumed acrobats, Bobcat and his Claws, despite the interference of the telepathic tycoon Winston J. Kranpuff. Kranpuff, elderly and near death, planned to use his abilities to take over someone else's body indefinitely. He chose Hawkeye as his target, but fled Hawkeye's body when he found himself insufficiently skillful to battle the Claws. Ironically, Kranpuff escaped back to his own body at the exact moment of its death.

Other Characters: Bobcat and his Claws, Winston J. Kranpuff.


Hercules in "A Farewell--With Arms"

By Bob Layton and Jackson Guice.

Depressed by the stagnancy of life on Mount Olympus and his own recent defeat at the hands of the She-Hulk, the god of wine and revelry Dionysus prepares to destroy himself with a nuclear bomb, taking Olympus with him. Hercules tries to prevent this and battles Dionysus's servant, Sgt. Butcher T. Washington, until Hercules seems near death. Shamed by this scene, Dionysus banishes Washington and the bomb from Olympus and submits himself to the judgment of Zeus, who strips Dionysus of his power and memory and sends him to Earth to live as a mortal bartender.

Other Characters: Dionysus, Sgt. Butcher T. Washington, Zeus.


Solo Avengers # 12

Hawkeye in "When the Abomination Comes A'Calling!"

By Tom DeFalco, Ralph Macchio, Ron Lim and Jose Marzan.

Hawkeye is mourning his estrangement from Mockingbird (seen in WCA # 37) when the Abomination (possessed by Tyrannus) attacks Avengers Compound in search of Wonder Man. Hawkeye defeats him.

Other Characters: Abomination, Carlos (Avengers Compound butler), Lita (maid).


Yellowjacket in "Love Stings"

By Howard Mackie, Amanda Conner and Stan Drake.

The criminal Fixer helps Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) escape prison, but she rejects his romantic advances and departs. Yellowjacket then begins plotting her revenge on the Wasp, but abandons that when she develops a crush on Wasp's teammate, the Black Knight. The jealous Fixer follows her and tries to kill the Knight, but Yellowjacket and Black Knight join forces to defeat him and protect bystanders. The Fixer flees, and so does Yellowjacket since she's wanted by the police, but not before she and the Black Knight share a mutually pleasant kiss.

Other Characters: Fixer, Wasp, Black Knight III.


Solo Avengers # 13

Hawkeye in "Beware the Bullet Biker!!"

By Tom DeFalco, Ralph Macchio, Ron Lim and Jose Marzan.

Hawkeye apprehends a motorcycle-riding extortionist named the Bullet Biker who turns out to be his old carnival colleague, stunt cyclist Dillon Zarro.

Other Characters: Bullet Biker, Gayle Rogers.


Wonder Man in "Fall Guy"

By Gregory Wright, Dwayne McDuffie and Jackson Guice.

Wonder Man battles aliens who endanger his film colleagues while trying to shoot a Wonder Man documentary.


Solo Avengers # 14

Hawkeye in "When the Widow Calls!"

By Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom and Jose Marzan.

Hawkeye is preparing for a date with Mockingbird when he receives a distress call from the Black Widow, who has been captured by the high-tech terrorist group AIM, and goes to rescue her, unaware that Mockingbird is following him. Hawkeye and Mockingbird both enter the AIM base where Black Widow is being held, subduing the AIM technicians they meet, and Hawkeye frees Black Widow. Hawkeye and the Widow then discover that AIM is hoarding hundreds of preserved human brains, but before they can examine them further they are assaulted by AIM's Attackoid.

Other Characters: Black Widow II, AIM, Mockingbird, Carlos, Attackoid.


She-Hulk in "Court Costs!"

By Chris Claremont, Alan Davis and Josef Rubinstein.

She-Hulk is arguing a case before the Supreme Court, but the case is postponed after She-Hulk's old foe Titania disrupts the proceedings repeatedly. Furious, She-Hulk beats Titania into submission and intimidates her into surrendering to the police.

Other Characters: Titania II.


Solo Avengers # 15

Hawkeye in "The Awesome Attackoid!"

By Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom and Jose Marzan.

Hawkeye and Black Widow defeat the Attackoid while Mockingbird holds off a horde of AIM agents, but Hawkeye and the Widow are then captured by another army of AIM agents, one seemingly led by their old teammate Hank Pym.

Other Characters: Black Widow II, Mockingbird, AIM, Attackoid.


The Wasp in "Ronin on Empty"

By Fabian Nicieza, Tom Morgan and Mark McKenna.

Stane International is exhibiting a reconstructed version of the giant robot Red Ronin at a trade show when embittered ex-employee Joe Kilman sends the robot on a rampage halted by the Wasp.


Solo Avengers # 16:

Hawkeye in "The Sinister Secret of SODAM"

By Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom and Jose Marzan.

Hawkeye, the Black Widow and Doctor Pym are all captives of AIM, and they learn to their horror that Pym's wife Maria, who'd recently returned from the dead in mutated form, is actually a creation of AIM called SODAM, who'd posed as Maria Pym to solicit Hank Pym's unwitting aid. Mockingbird's battle with other AIM agents nearby frees Hawkeye, the Widow and Pym, who escape the AIM complex, as does Mockingbird herself, before AIM destroys it to cover their tracks. Pym mourns the second loss of his wife while Hawkeye and Mockingbird suffer in silence over their own separation, too proud to reach out to each other.

Other characters: Doctor Pym, Black Widow II, Mockingbird, AIM, SODAM.


Moondragon in "Seconds!"

By Peter B. Gillis, Don Perlin, Jack Abel and Richard Starkings.

After her seeming death in battle with the Dragon of the Moon (the alien entity that was a corrupting influence on Moondragon for years), Moondragon was reduced to ashes, but her consciousness survived and sought refuge in the brain of her closest living relative, editor Pam Douglas. Pam starts having weird mental episodes until Moondragon becomes strong enough to introduce herself and explain the situation, saying that she is taking refuge in Pamela's mind while a new clone body is prepared for her on Titan. As Pam and Moondragon prepare to depart for Titan, they encounter Isaac Christians, alias the Gargoyle, whom Moondragon had slain when she was controlled by the Dragon of the Moon. His soul sought refuge in a mystic gem, and Pam and Moondragon take the gem along with them on their trip to Titan in Moondragon's spacecraft, the Sensia II. This story continues in Solo Avengers # 18.

Other Characters: Pam Douglas, Gargoyle.


Solo Avengers # 17

Hawkeye in "Even an Octopus Needs Arms!"

By Tom DeFalco, Ralph Macchio, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Hawkeye helps Sandman bust up an illegal arms transaction, though Doctor Octopus (the buyer) and Madame Menace (the seller) escape during the battle.

Other Characters: Sandman, Madame Menace, Doctor Octopus.


Sub-Mariner in "Greed"

By Danny Fingeroth, Dave Cockrum and Kim DeMulder.

Sub-Mariner protects a massive undersea gold stockpile from the thieving Goldbug.

Other Characters: Goldbug.


Solo Avengers # 18

Hawkeye in "When You Wish Upon a Star"

By Howard Mackie, Ron Wilson and Don Heck.

Texas Twister comes to Avengers Compound, demanding to see the captive demon that had replaced and impersonated his girlfriend Shooting Star (in WCA # 8). Hawkeye complies and Twister declares his love for the demon, which turns back into Shooting Star. As the Twister explains, the demon had come to him months ago when Twister's powers seemed to be fading, making him afraid that he'd lose Shooting Star if their rodeo act broke up on account of his lost powers. The demon offered to augment the Twister's powers in exchange for his soul, and the Twister agreed, but after his powers were restored he begged to be spared, so the demon possessed Shooting Star instead, casting a spell that prevented Twister from telling anyone about this. Twister studied the occult until he found a means to expel the demon from Star, and succeeded--but then the demon possesses him and battles Hawkeye. Shooting Star threatens to kill the demon rather than allow the possession to continue, though, so the demon reluctantly imprisons itself in a statue. Texas Twister and Shooting Star are happily reunited.

Other Characters: Texas Twister, Shooting Star.


Moondragon in "Will You Won't You Will You Won't You--?"

By Peter B. Gillis, James Brock and Roy Richardson.

Moondragon's consciousness is transferred into her new clone body, which will mature at an accelerated rate. Mentor and the Priests of Pama propose to keep her on Titan, so they can retrain her in her skills and try to avoid the mistakes of her past life, but Isaac Christians (the disembodied Gargoyle) convinces Mentor to release the infant Moondragon in his custody. Mentor agrees, and Pam Douglas joins Isaac and her cousin Moondragon in leaving Titan. The trio are then captured by the enigmatic aliens known as the Dance, who stimulate Pam's own latent mental powers. The threesome are then allowed to leave, joined by Pam's Titanian boyfriend Demeityr. This story continues in Solo Avengers 20.

Other Characters: Pamela Douglas, Gargoyle, ISAAC, Mentor, Demeityr, The Dance.


Solo Avengers # 19

Hawkeye in "Desert Doom"

By Howard Mackie, Ron Wilson and Don Heck.

Hawkeye pursues the criminal Orb into the desert and defeats him, but not before his own sky cycle is downed, stranding them both in the middle of nowhere. Hawkeye tries to carry the injured Orb to safety and eventually stumbles across a giant dome in which they find a tropical jungle oasis. While they recuperate there, they are attacked by animated plants and meet the Plantman, who says that Hawkeye and Orb have disrupted his work and must die.

Other Characters: Orb, Plantman.


Black Panther in "The Vanities of Philip Whitehead"

By Sandy Plunkett and Scott Hampton.

When the Black Panther and visiting dignitaries are trapped on an African island by a plane crash and stalked by a mystic being that serves as a physical incarnation of suffering, the Panther's friend, writer Philip Whitehead, helps Black Panther defeat the beast and dies sucking the creature's venom from the Panther's wounds.


Solo Avengers # 20

Hawkeye in "Veg Out"

By Howard Mackie, Ron Wilson and Don Heck.

Hawkeye and Orb escape the Plantman's lair after battles with his plant creatures. The Plantman flies off in his giant domed plant habitat.

Other Characters: Orb, Plantman.


Moondragon in "The Sun and the Moon!"

By Peter B. Gillis, James Brock and Roy Richardson.

Moondragon and her companions visit with her old friend Cloud, the sentient Nebula, but the meeting is tense since Moondragon is tired of being trapped in a child's body and jealous of the attention the others are giving her cousin Pam. This builds until an argument breaks out and Moondragon expels Pam and Isaac from her spacecraft. The two are rescued by Cloud, who transforms them in the process: Isaac is given his Gargoyle body back, with the ability to assume his human Isaac Christians form at will; and Pam's natural mental powers are further enhanced, prompting her to adopt a costumed guise of her own as Sundragon. A contrite Moondragon apologizes for the outburst and departs alone to continue her mental and physical growth, while the others depart as a group to explore the wonders of space together.

Other Characters: Cloud, Sundragon, Demeityr, Gargoyle.

Note: The series is retitled Avengers Spotlight with the next issue.


Avengers Spotlight # 21

Hawkeye in "I've Been in the Desert With an Orb With No Shame"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom, Don Heck, Tom Morgan and other inkers.

After days of wandering the desert, Hawkeye and his prisoner the Orb finally make it to a town, where the Orb is killed by some of the Plantman's plant-men posing as Orb's henchmen. Hawkeye himself manages to hold off the army of plant men until the Avengers come to his aid in response to his call.

Other Characters: Orb, Wonder Man, Doctor Pym.


Starfox in "The Comedy of Eros"

By Peter B. Gillis, Tomasina Cawthorn Artis and Josef Rubinstein.

Starfox rescues his old friend Heater Delight from enslavement on the planet Rescorla, where everything is forbidden except commerce and violence.

Other Characters: Heater Delight, Axel.


Avengers Spotlight # 22

Hawkeye in "Grimm and Bear It"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird visit a marital counselor but are attacked in his office by the Brothers Grimm, who paralyze Mockingbird during the struggle. Hawkeye manages to subdue them but is attacked by two more criminals, Mad Dog and Bobcat.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Myron Steinmetz, Brothers Grimm, Mad Dog, Bobcat.


Swordsman in "Once There Was a Swordsman...!"

By Lou Mougin, Don Heck and Jose Marzan.

Hawkeye procures a videotape that tells the unknown origin of the Swordsman, his old mentor and the first Avenger to die in action. The Swordsman was born Jacques Duquesne, son of Armand Duquesne, a top French government official in the South Asian French protectorate of Sin Cong. Sickened by French abuse of the Asians, Jacques is inspired by the legend of his reputed ancestor the Crimson Cavalier to join the revolution against the French government as the swashbuckling costumed revolutionary called the Swordsman. The revolution eventually succeeds and the French are driven from Sin Cong, but the Asian leader Wong Chu betrays the Swordsman by revealing that his father Armand was killed long ago and tries to kill the Swordsman himself. The disillusioned Swordsman overcomes Wong-Chu's men and leaves Sin Cong, drifting into the life of mercenary work and crime that he led before joining the Avengers.

Other Characters: Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wonder Man, Wong Chu.


Avengers Spotlight # 23

Hawkeye in "Tooth & Nail and Hammer and Bullet and Chainsaw--!!"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Hawkeye escapes Bobcat and Mad Dog only to find himself attacked by Bullet Biker and the Death Throws. He eludes them, too, but comes face to face with his old mentor Trick Shot.

Other Characters: Bobcat, Mad Dog, Myron Steinmetz, Bullet Biker, Death Throws (Ringleader, Oddball, Tenpin, Knickknack and Bombshell) and Trick Shot.


The Vision in "Second Debut"

By John Byrne, Kieron Dwyer and Karl Kesel.

The Vision apprehends the thieves known as Smog Alert despite a tense confrontation with the police, who fail to recognize him at first due to his recent reconstruction (in WCA # 45). They suggest that Vision find a way to familiarize the public with his new form, and the Vision complies by making an impromptu appearance on the Tonight Show.

Other Characters: Johnny Carson, Tigra, USAgent, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Doctor Pym.


Avengers Spotlight # 24

Hawkeye in "A Show of Hands"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Hawkeye escapes the Death Throws again with the aid of Trick Shot, who explains that a bounty has been offered on Hawkeye's arm. Hawkeye still doesn't trust Trick Shot, though, so he eludes him, too, and heads into the sewers, where he encounters and defeats yet another attacker, Razorfist. Brothers Grimm, Mad Dog, Bobcat, Bullet Biker and the Death Throws surround Hawkeye, though, led by Hawkeye's old foe Crossfire.

Other Characters: Brothers Grimm, Mad Dog, Bobcat, Bullet Biker, Death-Throws (Ringleader, Oddball, Tenpin, Knickknack and Bombshell), Trick Shot, Razorfist and Crossfire.


Firebird in "Waste Not, Want Not"

By Fabian Nicieza, Gavin Curtis and Steve Buccellato.

Firebird is captured for examination by the alien organization SHIELD (the Society of Higher Interstellar Education and Logistical Development), who explain that the meteor which imbued her with super-powers was actually discarded waste from one of their failed experiments. At first, Firebird is greatly distressed by this news since she previously assumed her powers had been conferred upon her directly by God himself, but her faith reassures her that her powers may still come from God--just indirectly, like most of His blessings--so she resolves to continue doing good in His name. She also learns more about the true nature and full extent of her powers from the aliens before departing, discovering that she can manipulate all forms of heat energy.

Other Characters: Chlree, Cmar Har, Hji, Yoof.


Avengers Spotlight # 25

Hawkeye in "Forewarned is Disarmed"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom and Tom Morgan.

Crossfire and his army of hired villains surround Hawkeye and prepare to tear off his arm as revenge for Crossfire's previous defeats at Hawkeye's hands, but Mockingbird and Trick Shot arrive at the last moment and help Hawkeye defeat Crossfire's underlings. Hawkeye himself pursues and apprehends Crossfire, who almost falls from a ledge to his death. Hawkeye hesitates before rescuing him, though he does rescue him, and the experience gives him a better understanding of what Mockingbird went through when she allowed the Phantom Rider to die, furthering Hawkeye's reconciliation with Mockingbird. As the criminals are taken into custody, Trick Shot explains that he helped Hawkeye because he's been trying to turn over a new leaf since his cancer went into remission; and Hawkeye shares a tender moment with Mockingbird.

Other Characters: Brothers Grimm, Mad Dog, Bobcat, Bullet Biker, Death-Throws (Ringleader, Oddball, Tenpin, Knickknack and Bombshell), Razorfist, Crossfire, Dr. Myron Steinmetz, Mockingbird, Trick Shot.


Rick Jones in "Best Seller!"

By Glenn Herdling, Dwight Jon Zimmerman, Rod Ramos and Don Hudson.

Honorary Avengers member and sometime super-hero sidekick Rick Jones is writing his autobiography, which attracts unwanted attention from a host of alien races curious to know how he helped put an end to the Kree-Skrull War. When they learn that Jones himself doesn't really understand how he did it, either, they let him go and Rick signs with his old agent Mordecai P. Boggs to publish the book on Earth.

Other Characters: Betty, Mordecai P. Boggs, Impossible Man.


Avengers Spotlight # 26

The Avengers in "Tales From the Vault"

By Dwayne McDuffie, Dwayne Turner and Chris Ivy.

The Wizard and his partners in the Frightful Four are placed in the Vault, the US government's prison for superhuman criminals, but a mysterious man appears from nowhere and offers Wizard the chance to escape if he will free others. Wizard agrees, is released from his cell, and stages a mass jailbreak. The Vault's head Guardsman, Frank Ensign, gets out a distress call to the Avengers. Hawkeye and Iron Man respond, subduing some of the escaped prisoners, taking the Vault staff outside to safety and sealing the rest of the remaining prisoners in the building. In the process, Hawkeye and Iron Man argue over the latter's recent dubious vigilante activities and deceitful behaviour.

Avengers Assembled: Iron Man, Hawkeye.

Other Characters: Wizard, Hydro-Man, Klaw, Titania II, Frank Ensign (Guardsman Prime), Griffin, Angar the Screamer, Mister Hyde, Armadillo, Loki, Scarecrow, Electro, Damage Control, Peggy Carter, Orka, Whirlwind, Molten Man, Cactus, Yetrigar.

Note: This story is the first chapter of "Acts of Vengeance", a crossover storyline rooted in the Avengers-related titles and spanning many of Marvel's comics for several months. Essentially, Loki (the mystery man who frees Wizard) dupes a handful of criminal masterminds (Doctor Doom, Red Skull, Kingpin, Magneto, Mandarin and Wizard) into coordinating an ongoing assault against the Avengers and other super-heroes, the criminals' chief tactic being to fight heroes unfamiliar with their abilities. The Avengers survive the many attacks, expose Loki as the mastermind and emerge triumphant. Avengers Spotlight # 26-29 are all chapters in the Acts of Vengeance storyline.


Avengers Spotlight # 27

Hawkeye in "Hurting Inside"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Loki manipulates the costumed criminal Boomerang into attacking Hawkeye, but Hawkeye defeats him after a brief battle; Hawkeye is discouraged, however, when a bystander he rescued angrily blames all costumed individuals--Hawkeye included--for the destruction wrought by Boomerang and his ilk.

Other Characters: Mockingbird.

Note: This story is an Acts of Vengeance tie-in.


The Avengers in "Some Assembly Required"

By Dwayne McDuffie, Dwayne Turner and Chris Ivy.

A group of reserve Avengers members joins Stingray in trying to salvage what they can from Avengers Island, sunken by Doctor Doom's robots in Avengers (v1) # 311. During the salvage operation Stingray discovers that the Heavy Metal robots have escaped Avengers Island since it sank, and that one of them, the Awesome Android, has remained behind. The android attacks and defeats Stingray, injuring him, but Firebird and Captain Marvel lead the other reserve Avengers in subduing the android.

Avengers Assembled: Black Widow, Moondragon, Hellcat, Captain Marvel (II), Firebird and Stingray. Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Wonder Man, Sub-Mariner, USAgent, Quasar and Human Torch also appear in cameos depicting events from other comics.

Other Characters: Awesome Android, Juggernaut, Wrecker, Absorbing Man, U-Foes.

Note: This story is an Acts of Vengeance tie-in.


Avengers Spotlight # 28

Hawkeye in "Denver Doubles"

By Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird fly to Denver to investigate reports that they have embarked on a crime spree there. They interrupt a bank robbery in progress and discover that the thieves are the sonic-powered villains Angar the Screamer and Screaming Mimi, combining their powers to create the illusion that they are Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Hawkeye is immune to their illusion powers thanks to his partial deafness, though, and quickly captures the criminal duo.

Other Characters: Angar the Screamer, Screaming Mimi.


Wasp and Wonder Man in "Second Thoughts"

By Dwayne McDuffie, Dwayne Turner and Chris Ivy.

The Mad Thinker refuses to join Loki's "Acts of Vengeance" conspiracy since he foresees its eventual collapse; for that matter, certain aspects of Loki's scheme--such as the super-powers registration act proposed in response to the resultant chaos--threaten the Thinker's own long-range criminal plans. In order to undermine support for the super-powers registration act, the Thinker manipulates events so that Wonder Man and Wasp defeat the giant super-villain Gargantua at a public debate of the super-powers registration act, proving the value of super-heroes.

Avengers Assembled: Wasp, Wonder Man.

Other Characters: Mad Thinker, Loki, Gargantua.


Avengers Spotlight # 29

Hawkeye in "What's the Point?"

By Howard Mackie, James Brock and Roy Richardson.

Hawkeye rescues the television personality Madcap from Doctor Karl Malus, who had captured Madcap for the purposes of scientific experimentation.

Other Characters: Dollar Bill, Madcap, Pick-Axe, Vice, Triphammer and Handsaw.


Iron Man in "Tales from the Vault" (conclusion)

By Dwayne McDuffie, Dwayne Turner and Chris Ivy.

With Loki and his co-conspirators defeated (in AWC # 55), the "Acts of Vengeance" crisis is over and many of the super-criminals involved have been recaptured. While the Avengers and the Fantastic Four supervise the villains' return to the Vault for imprisonment, Iron Man presents the Vault security staff with new Guardsman armor--more powerful than the previous suits, but powered by remote generators built into the prison, to ensure that the armor is not used outside the Vault. Once the other Avengers have departed, Iron Man helps the Guardsmen subdue two rebellious prisoners, Klaw and the Wizard. The chief Guardsman, Frank Ensign, personally subdues the Wizard, the man who nearly killed Ensign while instigating the Vault breakout weeks ago.

Avengers Assembled: Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Captain America, Hawkeye, Vision (II), Wonder Man, Thing, Quasar (III).

GA: Human Torch (II), Rhino, Absorbing Man, Angar the Screamer, Screaming Mimi, Nekra, Titania (II), Quill, Flying Tiger, Eel (II), Wizard, Klaw, Frank Ensign (Guardsman Prime).

Note: This is the concluding chapter of Acts of Vengeance. Though Iron Man is the character given title billing, the Avengers appear as a group, and the story is continued from earlier McDuffie/Turner chapters featuring the Avengers as a group, so an Avengers roster is included above in the notations for this story.


Avengers Spotlight # 30

Hawkeye in "Bang."

By Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird apprehend members of the Stone Perfs street gang after a drive-by shooting, and the gang's secret corporate sponsor, Lotus Newmark, urges the Perfs to kill Hawkeye. The Perfs lure Hawkeye into an ambush and shoot him down, but he recovers from the injuries and has Tony Stark design a new suit of bulletproof battle armor for him. Clad in this new armor, Hawkeye captures a large group of Perfs and declares war on L.A.'s street gangs, starting with them.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Prince Charming, Zamora, Slice, Lotus Newmark, USAgent, Vision, Luis Guiterrez, Doctor Pym, Wasp, Tigra, Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Human Torch, Tony Stark.


Avengers Spotlight # 31

Hawkeye in "Hit and Run"

By Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

The Stone Perfs pull a drive-by shooting of the home of Luis Guiterrez, the boy who summoned medical aid for the injured Hawkeye, and his mother is seriously injured. Lotus recruits Prince Charming (of the Perfs) and Reynaldo Cortizar to kill Hawkeye. They lead him into an ambush and Cortizar gets the drop on Hawkeye, only to be shot by an unknown sniper.

Other Characters: USAgent, Mockingbird, Anita Guiterrez, Luis Guiterrez, Monica Guiterrez, Prince Charming (Fernando), Lotus Newmark, Reynaldo Cortizar.


USAgent in "The Xenophobic Man, Part One: Rocks & Hard Places"

By Fabian Nicieza, Dan Lawlis and Keith Williams.

USAgent saves some illegal immigrants on the Texas-Mexico border from a xenophobic vigilante killing illegal immigrants, and investigates the matter further. Continues next issue.

Other Characters: Captain Hitchuck, Father Kevin Grass, Fred Bouting.


Avengers Spotlight # 32

Hawkeye in "Terminizer!"

By Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom and Hajek Satter Lee.

Hawkeye embarks on a successful effort to disrupt Stone Perfs gang business on an ongoing basis, but his strategy turns deadly when the vigilante Terminizer follows in Hawkeye's wake, killing the gang members Hawkeye has already subdued.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Zamora, Terminizer, Lotus Newmark, Prince Charming, Wonder Man.


USAgent in "The Xenophobic Man, Part Two: Methods and Standards"

By Fabian Nicieza, Dan Lawlis and Keith Williams.

USAgent visits Sanctuary Movement, a safehouse for illegal immigrants, and learns that they tipped off the US border patrol to last night's illegal immigrant crossing in hopes of protecting the immigrants from the killer on the loose. Border patrol officer Bouting was the killer, though, and ambushed the immigrants after receiving the tip. By the time USAgent and the border patrol figure this out, Bouting has killed the survivors of the ambush and plans to assault the Sanctuary Movement. This story continues into next issue.

Other Characters: Father Kevin Grass, Captain Hitchuck, LaRue, Fred Bouting.


Avengers Spotlight # 33

Hawkeye in "Circle-T Killings Continue"

By Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

The Stone Perfs hold a funeral for members of their gang slain by the Terminizer, and Hawkeye and Mockingbird arrive in time to protect the Perfs from an attack by the rival Mode Blanks gang. Meanwhile, Lotus grooms Prince Charming as her new protégé and persuades him to lure his fellow Perfs into a death trap as a test of his ability and loyalty, with the intention of framing Terminizer for the crime. Prince calls a nighttime meeting of the Perfs at Korman Quarry, and Luis tips off Hawkeye and Mockingbird, who suspect a double cross and spy on the gang meeting.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Zamora, Anita Guiterrez, Luis Guiterrez, Monica Guiterrez, Prince Charming (Fernando), Lotus Newmark.


USAgent in "The Xenophobic Man:

By Fabian Nicieza, Dan Lawlis and Keith Williams.

Fred Bouting kills the survivors of his border ambush at the hospital and continues his anti-immigrant killing spree at the Sanctuary Movement, where USAgent arrives in time to confront him. This story continues into the next issue.

Other Characters: Father Kevin Grass, Captain Hitchuck, LaRue, Fred Bouting.


Avengers Spotlight # 34

Hawkeye in "Ashes" by Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom and Don Heck.

Lotus's men fatally firebomb all the Perfs gathered at Korman Quarry despite the interference of Hawkeye and Mockingbird, and Prince leaves the sign of the Terminizer at the scene of the crime in an attempt to frame the killer vigilante for the slaughter. Lotus passionately praises Prince for his work and begins preparing him to assume a major role in her drug manufacturing operation, while Hawkeye comes to terms with the destruction of the Perfs and prepares to hunt down the Terminizer.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Anita Guiterrez, Luis Guiterrez, Monica Guiterrez, Prince Charming (Fernando Torres), Lotus Newmark.

Note: This story concludes in Avengers Spotlight # 36.


USAgent in "The Xenophobic Man, Part Four: The Ends and the Means"

By Fabian Nicieza, Dan Lawlis and Keith Williams.

USAgent finally stops the xenophobic killer Fred Bouting with the aid of Captain Hitchuck, who shoots Bouting dead before Bouting can shoot the Agent.

Other Characters: Father Kevin Grass, Captain Hitchuck, Fred Bouting.


Avengers Spotlight # 35

Gilgamesh in "Call Me Whatshisname"

By Danny Fingeroth, Jim Valentino and Jeff Albrecht.

Gilgamesh has physically recovered from his near-fatal battle with the Lava Men but remains morosely sobered by the experience, so his fellow Eternal, Sprite, takes him to Paris in search of revelry. Once there, Gilgamesh stops a robbery but is frustrated when a celebrity falsely claims credit for the deed, reinforcing Gilgamesh's belief that he will always be an anonymous and unappreciated adventurer, as he has been for much of his millennia-long life. Just then, though, Gilgamesh is attacked by an old foe, B'Gon the Sorcerer, whom Gilgamesh swiftly defeats. The newspapers misinterpret the victory as a pointless rampage on Gilgamesh's part, but the hero takes some comfort in having gotten some publicity for once, even if it is bad.

Other Characters: Sprite, B'Gon.

NOTE: Hawkeye does not appear in this issue (though he does appear on the cover); the concluding chapter of his ongoing feature was delayed due to deadline problems, so the Gilgamesh story was printed in its place. The Gilgamesh story was presumably prepared as part of the "Avengers Reborn" series beginning in issue # 37, a series of one-shot stories featuring Avengers characters in the midst of major changes or significant transitional events, resolving or expanding upon plot threads from stories in other comics.


Avengers Spotlight # 36

Hawkeye in "Bitter Pill"

By Steve Gerber, Al Milgrom and Don Heck

While Hawkeye tries in vain to discover who was responsible for killing the Stone Perfs, Lotus takes Prince into her confidence and tells him her life story: how she was sold into slavery in Hong Kong by her own father to pay off a gambling debt; how she was raised by the Tong crimelord Li Fong as his protégé and his lover; and how she eventually embarked on her own criminal career, starting with the murder of her father.

Hawkeye is attending the birthday party of Luis Guiterrez, the young boy who saved him from the Stone Perfs, when Luis spots the last surviving Perf, Prince, passing by on the street. Hawkeye confronts Prince, they struggle, and Prince fatally shoots Luis's sister, Anita, before escaping. Prince seeks refuge with Lotus but she fires him and sends him away, deeming him too stupid to be useful to her. Hawkeye tracks down Prince, they fight and Prince gets the drop on him, but Luis appears--as the Terminizer--and shoots Prince dead. Luis resolves to abandon his Terminizer guise now that the Perfs are dead, and a heartbroken Hawkeye lets him go free.

Other Characters: Mockingbird, Anita Guiterrez, Luis Guiterrez, Monica Guiterrez, Prince Charming (Fernando), Lotus Newmark, Li Fong, USAgent.

Note: This issue's story is the final episode in the ongoing Hawkeye feature in this series. The remaining issues of the series are devoted to "Avengers Reborn" one-shot stories.


Avengers Spotlight # 37

Doctor Druid in "Interlude in a Peaceable Kingdom"

By Roy & Dann Thomas, Bob Hall and Win Mortimer.

Doctor Druid and the Terminatrix (AKA Nebula), trapped in limbo since Terminatrix mentally manipulated Druid into an unsuccessful attempt to take over the Avengers, escape limbo and return to Earth. Terminatrix develops the power of "anti-time" in the process, though, and terrorizes the world with it until Doctor Druid mystically banishes her to parts unknown. In the process, Druid regains his physical youth and learns that the mystic who empowered him years ago was the disguised Ancient One, who empowered Druid as a trial run for the subsequent empowerment of Doctor Strange, the Ancient One's successor as Earth's sorcerer supreme.

Other Characters: Terminatrix (as Nebula), Ancient One.

Note: Terminatrix is referred to in this story as Nebula, the alias by which Druid knew her. Her true identity as Ravonna the Terminatrix would not be revealed until Avengers Annual # 21.


Avengers Spotlight # 38

Tigra in "Curse of the Cat, People"

By Roy & Dann Thomas, June Brigman and Doug Hazelwood.

The sorceress Agatha Harkness captures the lost Avengers member Tigra, who had been roaming the countryside as a mutated cat since her feral side reasserted itself weeks ago. Seeking a cure for Tigra's condition, Harkness calls upon the Cat People who first transformed Tigra into a cat-woman, hoping that they can find a way to give Tigra's human personality control over her cat spirit again. The Cat People's new ruler--Tigra's old foe Tabur, a cat artificially evolved into humanoid feline form--appears in response to the summons, restores Tigra to humanoid form and tries to coerce her into mating with him to legitimize his usurpation of the Cat People's throne, but Tigra resists and Harkness mystically transplants Tigra's cat-soul into Tabur, causing him to revert to the form of a mere cat while allowing Tigra to keep her superhuman form but retain her human personality. Using Tabur's discarded amulet, she is even able to switch from Tigra form to ordinary human form and back again whenever she wishes.

Other Characters: Agatha Harkness, Ebony, Tabur.

Note: Mark Squire has a letter printed in this issue.


Avengers Spotlight # 39

The Black Knight in "Cry Crusader!"

By Roy & Dann Thomas, Greg Capullo and Tim Dzon.

The Black Knight prevents the mystically armored religious fanatic known as the Crusader (Arthur Blackwood) from killing the Emir of Ghulistan, and with the aid of Blackwood's family he convinces the Crusader to surrender to the police.

Other Characters: Sean Dolan, Victoria Bentley, Catherwood, Crusader, Mrs. Blackwood, Jenny Blackwood.

Note: The Black Knight resumes his crimefighting career after the events of his limited series in this story; he also resumes the use of his power lance and his winged steed Valinor.


Avengers Spotlight # 40

The Vision in "Re/Vision"

By Len Kaminski, Carrie Barre, Gavin Curtis and Dan Panosian.

The Vision, emotionless since the seemingly total erasure of his original personality in WCA # 43-45, has come to feel incomplete in his present state and feels it may be due to a lack of purpose or meaning in his existence. He seeks the advice of artificial intelligence researcher and consciousness theorist Miles Lipton, who suggests that Vision should interact with normal humans to get a new perspective on his problem. To this end, Lipton supplies Vision with a holographic disguise enabling him to pose as a normal man, and Vision assumes the alias Victor Shade in this guise. After participating in a variety of "typical" human activities as Shade and observing the humans engaged in those activities, Vision reports back to Lipton, who discovers that Vision's psychological problems and related physical malfunctions are due to the absence of human brain patterns in Vision's programming, since only duplicated human brain patterns can successfully serve as the framework for the Vision's infinitely complex, self-evolving operating system.

Before Lipton can fix Vision they are kidnapped by agents of the Roxxon corporation, who had Lipton's son Alex killed when the younger Lipton found out about a secret weapons project. Miles Lipton had been hacking into Roxxon's files in search of proof, so Roxxon sent a team to eliminate him--but they decide to take advantage of the Vision's presence by saying they'll consider letting Lipton live if he reprograms Vision to serve Roxxon. Lipton pretends to go along with this while repairing Vision's systems, and adds the recorded brain patterns of his own late son, Alex, to the Vision's operating system so that it will work at peak efficiency again. Vision easily defeats the Roxxon agents and sets out to rediscover his humanity, starting with a rewarding continued friendship with Miles Lipton.

Other Characters: Captain America, Sersi, Edwin Jarvis, Miles Lipton, Nancy Lipton.

Note: This is the final issue of Avengers Spotlight.


A Few Closing Words

This resource tells you pretty much all there is to know about what happened to whom in Avengers Spotlight (born Solo Avengers), but if you're still interested in the back issues I can offer some tips. First off, most of the series was pretty unremarkable and much of it plain bad; the Hawkeye feature in particular was a painfully wasted opportunity to showcase one of Marvel's greatest characters, and the other features were seldom all that solid either. But you should be able to find the entire series for cover price or less, so here are some picks:

The Hawkeye series probably peaked with its first storyline, the Trick Shot arc in SA # 1-5; it's fairly solid stuff despite the somewhat cornball DeFalco scripting style, and a must for Avengers fans since it tells the true tale of Hawkeye's origin for the first time and introduces us to Hawkeye's forgotten mentor, Trick Shot. The only other remotely memorable Hawkeye stories in the series were the amputation arc from AS # 22-25 (a competent Mackie-Milgrom tale that wove a lot of Hawkeye's recent past together) and the street gang arc from AS # 30-34 and 36. The latter featured highly charged, sometimes genuinely moving work by grand old pro Steve Gerber, a much more sophisticated writer than DeFalco, but it was far from perfect: it was a depressing, often turgidly preachy story with blah Milgrom-Heck art, predictable plot twists, a questionable costuming revamp and a tendency to make Hawkeye look like an ineffectual goofball.

Most of the supporting features were even more forgettable than the Hawkeye stuff, but there were a few gems in the pile. The best of the bunch include SA # 7 (Black Widow), SA # 9 (Hellcat), SA # 12 (Yellowjacket), SA # 14 (She-Hulk), SA # 19 (Black Panther), AS # 22 (Swordsman) and AS # 24 (Firebird). All questions of creative quality aside, Avengers continuity buffs might also like to check out various issues of the series for significant developments in the lives of Hawkeye (SA 1-5, AS 22-25 and AS 30), Yellowjacket (SA 12), Moondragon (SA 16, 18 and 20), Swordsman (AS 22), Firebird (AS 24), Doctor Druid (AS 37), Tigra (AS 38) and Vision (AS 40).

-Sean McQuaid