With the new Hawkeye and Mockingbird series about to start up, I figured it was a good time to go back and check out the mini-series that got them together. I forgot how much I liked this story.
I have to confess that I almost always love Mark Gruenwald's stories, he's one of my favorite Marvel writers of all-time. So it's not surprising that I loved this take on the Avenging archer. The series is filled with comments from both Hawk and others about how he just doesn't stack up power-wise with the other Avengers. There is one scene where Captain America offers to help Hawk & Mock and Hawkeye turns down Cap's help, he's afraid that if Cap comes in, the whole adventure will be "taken over." He's probably right.
The main villain, Crossfire, shows up only in the fourth issue and he explains to Hawkeye that he targeted him because Hawkeye is clearly the least powerful of the known heroes. Talk about insulting! (I like Crossfire's plan too, to use mind-control to turn the heroic community into raging beasts so that they'll kill each other at Hawkeye's funeral. He figures that even if the stronger heroes survive, they'll be devastated after killing their friends. I noticed Thor, Captain Marvel, Vision, the Thing, and a couple others amongst the "survivors" in the plan. Sounds like a neat What If?)
Mockingbird comes across as confident and capable. Of course, both she and Hawkeye are defeated by Oddball and Bombshell, two D-grade villains. But again, Crossfire figures that in a fight to the death, Mockingbird shouldn't have a problem taking out Hawkeye. Mockingbird does practically throw herself at Hawk in this series, but I really like where the couple ends up. She sort of chased him through their few day long courtship, but Hawkeye has been chasing her ever since.
This series also has Hawkeye deafening himself to avoid being controlled by the mind-controlling sound waves. It's a great heroic moment, and I love the idea that Hawkeye has worn a hearing aid since.
Gruenwald also drew the four issues, and he's got a nice, classic Marvel style. The inkers surely help, but it isn't fair that Gruenwald was such a good writer AND artist.