Hello and welcome back to another great installment in Ye Olde School Café! You know something, whether they’ll admit it or not, everybody digs a good love story. Yeah, it’s cool when it has some great action, and other elements as well, but at its roots it is a tale of love (either found or lost) that people want. Such is the case with Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse). In 1983, Marvel’s continuity cop, the late, great Mark Gruenwald, gave us such a tale with his Hawkeye mini-series. Not only did he provide a solid story, but also the pencils! Great inks by Brett Breeding, letters by Joe Rosen, colors by Bob Sharen, and edited by the fantastic Denny O’Neil! Now, I give you, Hawkeye!
Hawkeye is flying through the skies on patrol for CTE (Cross Technological Enterprises) when he sees three crooks, and takes them down. Turns out that the three men aren’t crooks, but employees of the company, and they’re helping Hawkeye to hone his skills as a security guard. Before you know it, the training exercise is broken up by a gorgeous blonde woman. Her name is Sheila Danning, and she’s the new public relations person for CTE. She’s also the new love interest for Clint! They go back to his place for a nightcap, but then Sheila asks about his past, and although he’s reluctant to answer at first, he eventually relents and tells her his origin story.
A young Clint Barton and his brother Barney lost their parents in a car accident. They were then put in an orphanage, but ran away one night. They stumbled upon a traveling carnival, and found a home with that nomadic group. While there, a man called the Swordsman took a young Clint under his wing as his protege. After about a year or so, Clint had become part of the act. One night, Clint stumbled in on his mentor stealing from the carnival, and the villainous Swordsman fled. A little while later, Clint saw the fantastic Iron Man in action, and then decided to become a costumed hero!
After telling Sheila this, they start to get “cozy,” but then an emergency alarm goes off, and Clint must jump into action. He eventually runs right into a masked woman. This is no ordinary woman, though, and she proves that almost immediately by besting him in hand to hand combat! She tells him her name is Mockingbird, and that she’s an ex-SHIELD agent. Just as they are getting more familiar, security shows up and takes her into custody. Hawkeye returns home to find that Sheila’s fallen asleep, and he wakes her to tell her that he needs to check something out that’s been bothering him, so he sends her home.
Hawkeye then proceeds to investigate some strange events going on at CTE, but before he can find out anything of value, he’s attacked by the security forces that helped him earlier! Just as he’s about to get the upper hand, he ‘s called out to by Sheila, and he sees that they’ve taken her hostage, so he surrenders. They toss him in a pit along with Mockingbird, and then Sheila reveals that she’s a traitor, and his instincts were right all along about something being wrong at CTE. Sheila then has her henchmen pour some kind of slime on top of them, and they seem like they are doomed to drown in it, but then Clint uses a trick arrow to escape.
He and Mockingbird barely escape with their lives, and Clint is so distraught over Sheila’s betrayal that he walks away as she threatens him with violence. He jumps on his flying rocket sled and flies away. Just as he’s about to fly out of sight, Mockingbird uses her acrobatic skills to jump on, and the two fly away together. They both could feel an attraction to each other during the day’s events, and that, coupled with Mockingbird feeling sorry for his heartbreaking situation, seems destined to help him through this problem.
Well, that’s it for issue number one! You can plainly see that things didn’t begin quite so well for these two, but rest assured that things will get even crazier as the series rolls on to its conclusion! See you next time!