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Avengers #74

Posted: Friday, November 28, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Scott Kolins

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As Hawkeye arrives to deal with the rampaging She-Hulk, we see his efforts aren't exactly making much impact on his out-of-control teammate, but they are annoying enough that she turns her attention Hawkeye's way with the intention of smashing the annoying arrow man. As Hawkeye leads her out of town we see he's not able to stay out of her grasp for long, and he's sent flying. However, the arrival of a potential ally provides Hawkeye with a somewhat reckless way of bring She-Hulk under control.

Comments:
Hawkeye is back, and he's back in a big way as this issue is pretty much his efforts to deal with an out-of-control She-Hulk all by his lonesome. Now I have no illusions that Hawkeye should stand a chance at bringing down Jennifer when she's in her current state, but than again there's numerous battles where a lesser powered character has emerged victorious over a character they had no business beating, and most times these battles rank among my favorites as the writers have to work to sell the idea that Spider-Man could take down the Juggernaut, or Daredevil could emerge from a battle against the Absorbing Man as the winner. Now, Geoff Johns doesn't offer up a decisive victory for Hawkeye, as most of the battle is focused on showing Hawkeye is able to do little more than irate She-Hulk with his arsenal of trick arrows. Still, in the end Hawkeye is able to draw She-Hulk away from the town, and one of the most appealing elements about Hawkeye is his willingness to charge into battles he has no hope of winning with nothing more that his bow, and an arsenal of trick arrows to keep him in the fight. Now one could make this same argument about Captain America as he charges into battle with nothing more than his indestructible shield, but I've never felt the same about Captain America, as the simple fact of the matter is that Cap also has the sense that when you put him in a battle you know going in he's going to find a way to win, while with Hawkeye the outcome is never certain, and this issue is a classic example of the idea that there are some battles he simply won't win.

As for the art, Scott Kolins proved during his run on the "Flash" that he was a very solid artist when it came to delivering the big action scenes, and he continues to display this talent on this title, as the rampaging She-Hulk is a truly fearsome creature, and the art does a great job selling the idea that Hawkeye's normally effective attacks are little more than a momentary irritant to She-Hulk. The art also offers up some great looking shots of Hawkeye in action as the double-page spread of the character sliding down his cable arrow perfectly captures the character's delight at being in the thick of the battle. The scene where Hawkeye is sent flying by She-Hulk is also quite impressive, as I have to say I was a momentarily convinced that Geoff Johns had killed the character. The last page shot is also a lot of fun, as how can one not want to read the next issue after ending on this visual.

Final Word:
Hawkeye has always been my favorite member of the Avengers, and as such I'm delighted with the first rate treatment he's been getting lately, as not only is he back in the Avengers lineup, but he's also got himself a monthly series that isn't half bad. Now, I'm still a bit undecided about the impending arrival of Chuck Austen, as the only thing he's proven himself capable of is his ability to drive me off a title, as Captain America, Uncanny X-Men, and Exiles were all part of my monthly pull list until he got his hands on them. However, Geoff Johns has earned himself a spot in my favorite writers list with his decision to bring Hawkeye back to the Avengers before he leaves, and this issue stands up as one of the most enjoyable appearances by the character in quite some time, as I've always been a big supporter of the battles where the hero is the clear cut underdog in the fight. Yes, I'm the guy who is rooting for the Thing when he squares off against the Hulk, and while this issue doesn't end with Hawkeye as the clear-cut winner, I have to applaud the solution he does come up with for the escalating crisis.



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