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Avengers Spotlight #23: Review

Oct 1989
Howard Mackie, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

Tooth & Nail and Hammer and Bullet and Chainsaw—!!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Spotlight #23 Review by (July 13, 2022)

Review: The Hawkeye tale continues with its formula of fast-paced action with comic banter from the hero (and mediocre art). Entertaining without being deep.

Also comical is the tale of the revamped unemotional Vision, his literalness and lack of humanity played for comedy. And comic it certainly is, with writer John Byrne managing to capture the personalities of J. Carson (the wry ringmaster), Charo (bubbly Latina stereotype), and P-w Herman (very hard to explain). And the William Shatner parody is a hoot too. Too bad we didn’t also get Norman Mailer, which would have added some higher class comedy, befitting a Pulitzer-Prize-winning (twice) author with his own history of eccentricities. And I’m glad all the West Coast Avengers enjoyed it too.

Comments: First story: Part two of four parts. Bullet Biker was first seen in SOLO AVENGERS #13, this four-issue arc is his second and final appearance in the comics. The Death Throws gang debuted in CAPTAIN AMERICA #317; this is their second but not final appearance. Oddball was introduced in HAWKEYE #3-4. Second story: Vision was reconstructed as a white, emotionless figure in WEST COAST AVENGERS #45. Only appearance of Smog Alert. Talk show host Johnny Carson and his guests Charo and Paul “Pee-wee Herman” Reubens (plus unseen Norman Mailer) are all real people, contemporary celebrities and the guy singing “Mr. Tambourine Man” is likely to be William Shatner (who infamously covered that song). Carson mentions rival talk show hosts Pat (Sajak) and Arsenio (Hall). A TV series named after Marvel’s TOWER OF SHADOWS comic is advertised on a billboard with its host Digger. 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Spotlight #23 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hawkeye, surrounded by Mad-Dog and Bobcat, gains a reprieve when the two villains start fighting over him. Poisoned by Mad-Dog, Clint gets away, stopping the baddies with a teargas arrow but he is unable to locate his Sky-Cycle and so must find his own way out of the neighborhood. Dr. Steinmetz, working with the baddies, is keeping him under surveillance from his office window. Getting away from the bad guys, Hawkeye finds himself under attack by the Bullet Biker who has a grudge against the hero. A grenade tossed by the baddie detonates, destroying Hawkeye’s bow so he clobbers the Biker with a trash can lid. A few blocks away, he is surrounded by the Death Throws: Ringleader, Knicknack, Tenpin, Oddball, and Bombshell. He climbs a telephone pole and drops an explosive arrow, scattering his foes. He tosses a cable arrow to reach a nearby rooftop only to come face-to-face with Trick Shot….

“Second Debut” 4/5

Writer: John Byrne. Plot: John Byrne, Kieron Dwyer, Pencils: Kieron Dwyer. Inks: Karl Kesel. Colors: Kieron Dwyer. Letters: Phil Felix.

Synopsis: The new, colorless, emotionless Vision arrives in Los Angeles and immediately witnesses a trio of crooks called Smog Alert robbing an armored car using their weapons that fire a noxious gas. Vision intervenes, takes down the crooks, rescues a sexy hostage, informs the police of his identity, and departs on his mission, all following his programming for guidance on how to behave. Having confused the police with his altered appearance he scans his memory banks on the most efficient means of informing the public of his new visage. To address the largest number of people at once, he invades the taping of the TONIGHT SHOW, surprising host Johnny Carson and his guests, singer-dancer Charo and comedian Pee-wee Herman. The celebrities’ jokes and banter confuse him but he explains that he is the familiar Vision known from Avengers history….

That night, fellow Avengers U.S. Agent, Scarlet Witch, Tigra, Wonder Man, Wasp, and Hank Pym laugh hysterically at their teammate’s absurd appearance on national television….

Al Milgrom
Don Heck
Marc Siry
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Penciler)
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Greer Nelson)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Death Throws, Mad Dog (Robert Baxter), Oddball (Elton Healey), Trick Shot (Buck Chisholm).

> Avengers Spotlight: Book info and issue index

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