Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Fearsome Fury of--The Hellbirds!


Gosh, whatever happened to the pairing of the glamorous Black Widow and her former partner-in-crime, Hawkeye? I'm sure that's something Hawkeye would like to know, after the Widow dumped him (in his Goliath identity) without explanation:




If you're thinking Roy Thomas wrote this scene, bullseye. It wouldn't be the first time Thomas initiated plots that served to veer characters in inexplicable directions for no apparent reason. Eventually, though, Hawkeye would start to put the moves on the Scarlet Witch; but when Wanda would rebuff his advances and instead declare her love for the Vision, it was the straw that broke this marksman's back (as well as his bow).



After his resignation from the Avengers, Hawkeye set out for San Francisco, where he hoped (or, rather, expected) to pick up where he left off with the Widow. Unfortunately, Natasha's new boyfriend would have something to say about that, for all the good it would do him.


And if you think the Hellbirds are sitting this out, have you got another think coming.



But, what about the Black Widow? Doesn't she have a say in any of this? Let's just say that the lady isn't in the habit of shrinking into the background.




Once inside, we get a few moments alone with this pair--and after so long a time apart, I'll admit to being curious about why the heck they stayed apart. Now would be the moment to lay those cards on the table. Instead, we get no questions answered, and little to nothing of substance from the Widow.



(Oddly, Hawkeye acts as if this is the first he's seen of the "new" Black Widow, even though they were brought together again when she was part of the Liberators not long after their breakup scene.)

Daredevil then reappears and accuses Hawkeye of playing games. Not the best way of defusing a situation:



Annnnd we're off. The initial scuffle moves to the Widow's lawn, but doesn't last long before Hawkeye breaks off and challenges DD to finish things in the city.




Ah, yes, the city. You've been practically gnawing on your fingernails in anticipation, because you know that's where we'll find none other than the Hellbirds, who seem to be spoiling for an excuse for a fight and find it in an accidental encounter with Hawkeye.



If nothing else, the Hellbirds give us a nice showcase of Hawkeye's abilities. And you've probably guessed that it's the Hellbirds who are outnumbered.






It's then that Daredevil appears again, though Hawkeye is still wired for a fight:




Finally, Daredevil is able to bring hostilities to an end, and proposes that the two simply let Natasha make the choice between them.




But, upon their return to Natasha's, Hawkeye finds a surprise reception committee and misinterprets their reasons for coming:




Having failed to bring Hawkeye back into their ranks, the Avengers then ask the Widow and Daredevil to join them in their battle against Magneto back in New York. And I know you're thinking the same thing I am: why the hell didn't they also think to ask the Hellbirds??

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