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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 10

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at one of my favorite Hawkeye moments, courtesy of Tom DeFalco in a late 80s Avengers Annual.


In Avengers Annual #16 by Tom DeFalco and a host of artists, the Avengers are in trouble. This issue continues from West Coast Avengers Annual #2, where the Avengers and the West Coast Avengers were forced to fight each other (and the West Coast Avengers improbably won! Including Iron Man somehow defeating Captain Marvel!). In this issue, the combined Avengers are forced by the Grandmaster (who has somehow managed to capture Death herself) to fight against the Legion of the Unliving, or else the universe will be destroyed!

Hawkeye and Captain America are the only Avengers to make it out of the battles alive, but the universe is saved at least. However, Grandmaster, being a jerk, tells them that no, they’re not done yet. They have to fight the Legion of the Unliving AGAIN, only THIS time, the Legion also includes all of their friends and fellow Avengers who died in the first round of battles.

So Cap and Hawkeye are screwed, basically.

However, Hawkeye manages to pull a fast one of the Grandmaster – he offers up the one thing that the Grandmaster cannot refuse – a game!

Which one will the Grandmaster pick?

The Grandmaster’s loss distracts him long enough for Death to escape his hold on her and she blasts him away – the day is saved! Of course, how did Hawkeye pull it off?

He cheated!!

Perhaps the definitive Hawkeye moment.

At the end of the issue, when the Avengers get back together for a game of softball, Cap mentions to his teammates that they ought to keep an eye on Hawkeye – he cheats!

The art for that part of the story, by the way, was by Bob Hall and Tom Palmer. Good stuff.


Isn’t this the issue that featured Bill Sienkiewicz inking John Romita Jr. on one of the stories? I always thought that combination of two very different artists was brilliant, esp. given the fiery hell they had to draw for their chapter.

That whole issue was filled with great comic book moments, but this was the best one. I loved those old annuals where the east and west coast teams would team up.

I remember really enjoying those Avengers annals. How many of those Legion of the Unliving guys have come back to life/been revealed to never have been dead since that story?

Soooooooooooo, that’s why Bendis killed off Hawkeye a couple years ago, he cheats.

Too bad, he’s back. Worse than ever.

Many, Dan. Most egregious among them Green Goblin and Bucky.

I’ve got to buy these annuals next time I hit the quarter bins.

Green Goblin wasn’t named as specifically Norman Osborn, so he could have been the OTHER Goblin, who is still dead (Harry’s doctor).

Random Stranger

January 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Count Nefaria demonstrated that “death” wasn’t the same thing for guys made of ionic energy a few decades later. Terrax in one of those magic revivals was inert rather than dead. I can’t remember if Drax was actually dead or not… I think he was properly dead and buried and then revived though.

When the fate of the universe is on the line, there is only one man to turn to: Hawkeye!

Well, the idea is a neat one, but the execution shows why “cool”, “80s” and “DeFalco” don’t belong in the same sentence.
I can’t really see singling the art out for praise either; I’d rate it as passable at best. Full of blank, white backgrounds to accommodate the crappy printing of the time, a Shooter policy result I dislike more than anything to do with the usual complaints about him.
That version of the book’s logo always acts for me as a flashing signal saying “here be crappy Avengers comics.”

As mentioned, the Romita Jr./Sienkiewicz art team up is pretty good, I’d also give the nod to the Jackson Guice/Kevin Nowlan as being quite atmospheric. The rest of the art is so-so Marvel at the time.

Sorry, but I thought that was laaaaaaame.

He didn’t think that he might snap off the head? Or tell him to open his hand, since he was expecting a trick anyway?

And what power made him so zipping away in that vortex — his mind? Because technically he DID pick the correct arrow because Hawkeye snapped the head off only after he chose it. Sorry, that was a weak trick: if a schmuck like me can think of more ways to look out for a trick than Mr. Games himself, something is seriously wrong.

This was one of my favorite Avengers issues when I was growing up. Good to see it again, even if modern Internet fans are trying to be too ‘smart’ and outguess the ending.

It’s weird how terrible and dated the Grandmaster’s dialogue is and how contemporary Hawkeye’s is.

This two-parter was supposed to be a sequel to 1982’s Contest of Champions mini-series. COC was a truly fun read, unlike these issues where the characters die some rather grisly demises. Both the mini and these two annuals were collected in trade paperback format ten years ago.

In his introduction, DeFalco wrote about how he received criticism for not just having Hawkeye cheat, but also call Cap a “cornball” to his face and then have Cap raise doubts about Hawk’s ethics at the baseball game. It seemed way out of character for the guys, as they had fought through tougher scrapes without acting like jerks and losing respect for each other. The first Secret Wars comes to mind, as does the Korvac saga, and anything Gruenwald or Busiek ever wrote featuring both characters.

The fact that most, if not all of the dead warriors have since come back only dates the story further. We have seen the following return to life since then: Drax, Bucky, Nighthawk, Terrax, Dracula, and the Green Goblin, if that was one of the Osborns.

Nice save by Hawkeye, yeah, but a really bad story in general.

Hey, I’m a HUGE fan of Captain America, really I am. But if the fate of the entire freaking Universe is at stake, well, yeah, I’m definitely inclined to agree that Hawkeye was justified in pulling a fast one on the Grandmaster.

I remember reading this issue and it reminded me of the summer I worked a week for spare change at a travelling carnival when it came to my town. I was the guy who could guess your weight. The scam was to let the thumbnail on your writing hand grow long enough to hold a piece of lead (from a pencil).

Your left hand contained a stack of scap paper. You would show the audience the black paper as well as your empty hands. You’d look at the mark and “write” a number on the paper. You’d really only scratch a line of two that could be altered to almost any number. You put the pencil down on the table in front of you and when the marks told you their weight, you’d write the actual number on the blank paper using your thumbnail. Your thumb was hidden by the stack of paper you were holding in your left hand.

Once an hour or so, you’s let a small prize go to someone, usually a little kid. Maybe once or twice a night, if a large enough crowd gathered, you let one of the large prizes go by writing down the wrong number as well.

If anyone’s interested, I can also tell you how those basketball hoops and throwing darts are altered. : )

DeFalco wrote about how he received criticism for not just having Hawkeye cheat, but also call Cap a “cornball” to his face and then have Cap raise doubts about Hawk’s ethics at the baseball game. It seemed way out of character for the guys, as they had fought through tougher scrapes without acting like jerks and losing respect for each other.

Actually, Hawkeye has always been a cocky smart@$$ type who likes to mouth off. Going back to the Kooky Quartet days, he was always making one snarky comment after another about Captain America. Even after Hawkeye came to respect Cap, he was still the wiseguy on the team, and a real hothead. Once Haweye became the chairman of the West Coast Avengers, he could get quite propritary about that, not wanting to be given orders by Cap whenever the later showed up. So, really, I don’t see it out of character for Hawkeye to jokingly refer to Cap as “cornball.”

An awesome choice, and one of the most memorable moments from comics of my childhood. I seem to remember rereading this issue a lot, because I was always a sucker for gigantic battle mayhem and I loved the ending, very Han Solo.

Do it!

That was cool. i’ve never read that before. Wasn’t that the second time Hawkeye bested one of those guys, those “elders of the universe” or something ? I remember a story where the “Collector” (not sure here…) did not take Hawkwye seriously and ended up defeated by a trick shot. It tied in with the Korvac Saga i think.

Still, my favorite Hawkeye moment has to be Avengers 189, where Clint humiliated Deathbird!

That final line of Cap’s is priceless, and shows once and for all that Hawkeye had stepped out of Steve’s shadow to become his own man, with his own leadership style
The Thunderbolts showed us a lot more of that, too

Yeah, Hawk defeated Grandmy’s “brother” The Collector in Avengers #174, which lead directly into the Korvac massacre. His throwdown with Deathbird in #189 was just as good, since he was still smarting from being kicked out of the team by Gyrich. Excellent Byrne/Green art, too.

The turning point for Hawkeye was Gru’s 1983 mini-series, though. I wasn’t too thrilled at seeing him getting hitched to Mockingbird, since that took away from his “cool loner” image, but at least he enjoyed some love and respect for many years after.

A fine moment, but well and truly surpassed by The Man in Black tricking Vizzini in The Princess Bride.

Who knew Tom Defalco would end up on a list like this?

I’ll have to track this one down if only to see “Iron Man somehow defeating Captain Marvel!” and how Hawkeye and Cap survived a battle that killed off Thor(!), Wonderman(!!), Captain Marvel(!!!), and Iron Man (!!!!).

Whatever happened to Bob Hall? I always thought he was a very underrated artist (although I don’t think that his pairing with Palmer here was really among his best work).

I for one LOVED this issue, it became one of my all-time favorites. Its nice to see it getting some love!!! :-)

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