Review: Hawkeye #4

Hawkeye #4 cover
Cover by Mark Gruenwald and Bob Layton

Hawkeye #4
Published and © by Marvel, December 1983

Title: “Till Death Do Us Part …”
Synopsis: Under the influence of Crossfire’s Undertaker Machine, Hawkeye and Mockingbird are soon forced to battle each other to the death.

Writer: Mark Gruenwald
Artist (pencils): Gruenwald
Artist (embellishments): Danny Bulanadi
Artist (background assist): Elliot Brown
Inkers (assist): Ian Akin and Brian Garvey

Review: Give Mark Gruenwald some credit: This miniseries wanted to be good. It really did. But its lofty aspirations were repeatedly undermined by weak villains and flat execution. Those problems are in full effect again here. The big bad is revealed to be Crossfire, a Deadshot knockoff who spends the better part of four pages explaining his nefarious-but-convoluted plan. There’s a whiff of potential, but the story’s show-to-tell ratio is out of whack. The series does get a lift from its legitimately surprising conclusion, which changes the hero’s status quo in multiple ways. Ultimately, though, this Hawkeye miniseries misses its mark.

Grade: C+

Second opinion: “A well-done miniseries. … 3 out of 4 stars.” – Kurt Anthony Krug, Comics Buyer’s Guide #1654, June 2009 … “Check out the last page of the final issue for a genuine surprise ending.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: This series’ conclusion genuinely changes the hero’s status quo. That’s pretty rare in mainstream superhero comics.

Notable: Marriage of Hawkeye and Mockingbird.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 75¢ Canadian variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “First, in the typical fashion of someone who holds all the cards, I’m going to divulge to you more than you will need to know about me and my business …” – Crossfire, apparently auditioning to be a Bond villain

Editor’s note: This review was written Nov. 26, 2021.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.