Published and © by Marvel, November 1983
Title: “Beating the Odds”
Synopsis: Now broke and homeless, Hawkeye and Mockingbird continue to come under attack from hired guns sent by Cross Technological Enterprises.
Writer: Mark Gruenwald
Artist (pencils): Gruenwald
Artist (embellishments): Danny Bulanadi
Artist (background assistant): Elliot Brown
Review: Despite establishing a bit of momentum with a solid debut issue (see review), this Hawkeye miniseries has now officially slowed to a crawl. In a story that is nearly a rerun of Hawkeye #2 (see review), our protagonists continue to sulk in their increasing ineptitude while coming under fire from a menagerie of C-list assassins. But while last issue’s hitman, the Silencer, had a whiff of potential, this issue’s not-so-deadly duo is pretty weak. This is particularly true of Oddball, a Bullseye knockoff who’s gimmick is juggling. Yikes. Meanwhile, the art remains adequate but does nothing to elevate these proceedings.
Second opinion: “Gruenwald does a great job building everything up for the inevitable finale. … 3 out of 4 stars.” – Kurt Anthony Krug, Comics Buyer’s Guide #1654, June 2009 … “(This miniseries) is slightly degraded by an oddball assortment of antagonists.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003
Cool factor: Whatever coolness this series had is waning with every issue.
Not-so-cool factor: Hawkeye saves the day with a “thermite-tipped bomb-sniffing arrow,” once again proving that gimmick arrows may never go away.
Notable: First appearance of Oddball and Bombshell.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue.
Character quotable: “Heh-heh. Look, everybody. This guy’s gonna juggle me to death!” – An unnamed pedestrian, who makes a good point (but probably should have kept his mouth shut!)
Editor’s note: This review was written Nov. 24, 2021.