Hawkeye, the Avengers’ resident marksman and co-star of the upcoming live action film, takes center stage in this miniseries. Through sheer dumb luck, he finds himself embroiled in a missing persons case, when he saves a man from an attack by an armor-wearing super being. The man initially refuses help, but later turns up at Avengers Mansion. Unfortunately, when Hawkeye goes to meet the man, he finds his corpse and a note saying “Avenge This!”
Of course, now he’s up to his neck in it. He is assaulted by a different armored villain who’s been hired to kill him. The attacker from the beginning turns up again and Hawkeye is caught between them. Eventually one flees and Hawkeye subdues the other. He continues his investigation which humorously leads him to contact Millie Collins, formerly known as ‘Millie the Model,’ Marvel’s old Archie Comics-style teen humor heroine. Long story short, the man killed in the beginning was Tulio Guzman, who was searching for his missing sister, Marcia. There are other women also missing and it turns out some of them have gone into hiding on their own to avoid being killed. All of the women had been part of a research study that appears to have gone wrong.
Overall, this was a great issue! It’s a longer book than most and it’s packed with dialogue, so it felt very hearty! There’s some fantastic dialogue as Hawkeye and the second armored attacker trade gambling metaphors. Hawkeye has at times been a pretty major player for Marvel and during the 80s and 90s headlined a similar titled called ‘Solo Avengers.’ It was nice to see him in the lead position again, with buddies Captain America and Iron Man, as well their butler Jarvis, popping in for support. The one drawback to seeing Hawkeye on his own, though is that there’s no one for him to “work off of” so we don’t get the wisecracks he’s so famous for.
I found it neat that Hawkeye is depicted as being so by-the-books. After finding the body, he calls the police and makes sure not to disturb the crime scene. He shares all the information he has with them. Usually super heroes are indeed vigilantes, so it was a very refreshing take to see that some work closely with the authorities, rather than taking everything into their own hands.
My one quibble with the story was it felt a tad too labyrinthine. It was just a tiny bit too complicated or maybe it was just in the way Hawkeye unraveled the clues that felt too drawn out. The visit to Millie added to the story, but felt superfluous. Still, I’m not going to complain about a Millie the Model cameo!
The art is quite nice! It’s a little rough, which is fine as it fit the stripped down story. It flows very well. Once more, I have one gripe and that’s that the two men in armor looked way too much alike! That was super confusing! Maybe if they’d at least been colored very differently, that would have helped, but the color palette is so muted that it didn’t help that one had purple costume accents and one had yellow, because they were muddy purples and yellows, so they just looked gray all over.
I complain a lot that some books read too quickly and I feel I don’t get enough story advancement or what have you. I certainly didn’t feel that way with this book. It’s chock full! It took a long time to read and was filled with a decent story and excellent dialogue. It wasn’t the best book, but it was worth the price of admission.
AVENGERS SOLO #1
Written by Jen Van Meter
Art by Roger Robinson
Cover by John Tyler Christopher