Characters Appearing: Abomination, Hawkeye, Tyrannus
Solo Avengers #12 (Hawkeye)
Issue(s): Solo Avengers #12 (Hawkeye story only)
It's a Hawkeye vs. Abomination story...
...and i have to admit first of all that i have a fanboyish problem with just the idea that Hawkeye could defeat the Abomination. The character was originally presented as being stronger than the Hulk, in addition to having more intelligence (and right now his intelligence is increased a hundred fold because the body is being occupied by Tyrannus). The character was originally such a menace that earlier writers contrived to keep the character out in space or "dead" most of the time, because if such a villain was walking around regularly, he'd be unstoppable. Later, especially once Hulk's "madder Hulk gets... stronger Hulk gets" concept solidified, i guess the Abomination's threat level decreased accordingly, but he's still a Hulk level villain and the idea that a guy with trick arrows can take him down by himself degrades him and the Hulk (along these lines, i also didn't like it when Hawkeye took out She-Hulk so easily in West Coast Avengers annual #2).
All that said, i understand that comic fights aren't sporting events and any character can beat any other character given the right circumstances. We'll look at these circumstances in a bit. But before that, my second main complaint is just the overall characterization of Tyrannus. This guy is a super-genius immortal ruler of an underground kingdom. He's also extremely vain (keeping control of the (or a) Fountain of Youth is one of his primary motivators). So while if *i* were Tyrannus i could imagine myself going back to Subterranea to take over all of the underground kingdoms once and for all to form an unstoppable army that i'd use to take over the surface world (i bet you guys are pretty happy i'm not Tyrannus), a plotline where he's more concerned about restoring himself to a non-monstrous body would also make sense. Instead, he decides to hunt down Wonder Man because he beat him up one time (and "the brutish Hulk can wait!"). It's taking a potentially interesting character who is in an interesting situation and reducing him to the most generic of motives.
Wonder Man is out, which is why the villain ends up fighting Hawkeye.
The actual purpose of this story is to show that, in contrast to his estranged wife, Hawkeye won't resort to lethal force even when the chips are down. That's semi-understandable except that a) Mockingbird's one instance of killing had nothing to do with her being in immediate danger; she refused to rescue someone who had raped her. So unless Hawkeye's moralizing at the end of the story is meant to make him look like an ignorant self-aggrandizing jerk (which i grant you is in character for Hawkeye but i don't think was the intention here), the whole point of the story is negated by the history of the situation.
And b) going back to my first point, the idea that Hawkeye has a chance against a Hulk-level foe if only he would stop heroically holding back so much doesn't sit with me so well. This was also the misguided theme of Hulk #321-322 but at least there it was the entire entourage of Avengers vs. the Hulk.
Abomination does manage to avoid the gas arrow that Hawkeye used to take She-Hulk down.
So Hawkeye is forced to pull out his special (never seen before) adamantium tipped arrow. It was something he's been saving in case he ever ran into Ultron again.
The idea is that if he put that through the heart of the Abomination, it would kill him. I guess i should content myself with the fact that we have no idea if it really would. I don't know if Hawkeye's bow has enough force to penetrate that deeply into the Abomination's body or if an arrow through the heart really would kill him. I suppose i should accept that it should. But in any event, Tyrannus uses his telepathy and sees that Hawkeye does indeed have the "lust for the kill" necessary to aim for his heart...
...but Hawkeye decides to shoot the arrow between his feet anyway.
But then it turns out that the arrow is charged with an electrical blast that Hawkeye has set to stun, not kill, and it's enough to knock the Abomination out.
The adamantium arrow, fine. But the electrical charge is the sort of thing i'm talking about, where if you've got settings for "stun" and "kill", when you're fighting someone like the Abomination, you really need to set it to "kill" just to knock the guy out. But then of course Hawkeye couldn't go on to condemn Mockingbird for not being as moral as him.
Like i said, for fanboyish reasons, i was never going to like a story where Hawkeye beats the Abomination alone in a fight, but add to that the weak characterization for Tyrannus and the complete mischaracterization of the Mockingbird situation and you've got a story that i can't even appreciate it on the intended story level. It does have nice art from Ron Lim, though.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after Hawkeye and Mockingbird break up in West Coast Avengers #37. The MCP place this and next issue between West Coast Avengers #39-40. And West Coast Avengers #41 takes place during Thor #396-400, so this has to take place before that as well. Wonder Man is said to be off making a commercial.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Fnord, I think the problem is less this issue than the way the whole "Bobbi killed a man who raped her" plotline was handled. We started out with Bobbi lying to Clint about having killed a man that raped her. Then, in issue 32, we have Bobbi endangering innocent people by freeing Yetrigar and almost crippling or killing a man who only attacked her when mind-controlled. Then Clint finds out about Bobbi killing the Phantom Rider, but it's not clear if he finds out about her actions in issue 32. Then Bobbi splits off a "kill squad" from the Avengers but they don't actually kill anyone (Stack might have died when the High Evolutionary blew up his headquarters to stop them but that's on the Evolutionary) and in issue 41, Bobbi goes out of her way to keep Greer from killing some of Seth's goons. This issue is no more or less incoherent than the whole storyline. If Clint is angry about Bobbi killing the Rider, then his self-righteousness in this story makes no sense but if he's angry about Bobbi almost killing the Phantom Rider's descendant or he thinks her squad killed some of the Evolutionary's goons, than he's got a legitimate point.
Posted by: Michael | September 7, 2014 2:31 PM
I wonder why Hawk-eye didnt pull out that "Ultron-killer" arrow when the team meets Ultron in the future. I guess he forgot about it.
I actually have less problem with Hawk-eye beating Abomination than Wonderman doing the same. Hawk has constantly shown that he is full of tricks and surprises and has used those tricks to beat opponents way out of his power range (Deathbird, the Collector, etc). He has more of a "surprise" element to his character, almost Batmanish in a way (who has defeated Superman with his tricks and cunning).
Wonderman is just strong, and not as strong as the hulk. there's nothing that he has in his skill set that says he should beat an opponent as strong or stronger than the hulk. essentially wonderman just has muscles, no surprise tricks he could use. So unless the Abomination was having a bad day with Wondy, he should beat a lesser version of himself.
Posted by: kveto from prague | September 8, 2014 3:24 PM
I actually liked this, both because I like Clint and because I really like the concept, that given the circumstances, a much less powered person can beat someone else (which is why I hate CBR's "The Wrong Side Won" - I don't buy that the wrong side can ever win). I definitely like it more than when Simon fights Abomination - that fight, given the circumstances, I really don't think Simon should have won.
As for Bobbi, well, the writers really handled that whole situation badly. I would think female readers would be more turned off by "she is raped and her husband blames her for letting her rapist die" than the scantily clad heroines at the time.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 14, 2015 11:35 AM
"...and because I really like the concept, that given the circumstances, a much less powered person can beat someone else (which is why I hate CBR's "The Wrong Side Won" - I don't buy that the wrong side can ever win). I definitely like it more than when Simon fights Abomination - that fight, given the circumstances, I really don't think Simon should have won."
In other words, you think the wrong side won that fight? :D
Posted by: Morgan Wick | August 14, 2015 6:38 PM
Well, to give a more serious answer to an obvious playful tongue-in-cheek response, I would say that CBR's column decides which side should win a fight (thus, Hawkeye shouldn't win against Abomination). I'm not saying that as a judgment "Simon shouldn't beat Abomination". I'm saying that in that particular issue, the art and story didn't really seem like Abomination should have lost. They're pre-deciding. My judgment was entirely about what happened in the issue.
But, hey, I also like those fights where the underdog wins, like Hawkeye beating She-Hulk or the Abomination, Spider-Man beating the X-Men, or, my personal favorite because I so dislike him, Firelord getting pummeled into unconsciousness by Spider-Man.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 15, 2015 7:31 AM
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