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Solo Avengers #11: Review

Oct 1988
Tom DeFalco, M. D. Bright

Story Name:

Menace of the Mind Melder

Review & Comments

4 stars

Solo Avengers #11 Review by (April 19, 2022)

Review: Hawkeye tale splits its focus between a nimble running battle between Hawkeye and the bad guys which is pretty good and the backstory for the one-shot villain which seems to throw off the pacing a bit as we have only a quarter of a comics issue to witness his entire life story. Kranpuff was an interesting character with his mind-meld abilities but he deserved more than this brief showcase.

The Hercules tale is quite unusual, dealing as it does with a suicidal deity. And Herc is quite sensitive to the issue, trying to persuade him that life is worth living. But then the story moves on into a big action set piece against a tough guy who acts like a stereotypical big tough soldier guy (or Nick Fury); the fact that he’s a Black man doesn’t come into it as none of the stereotyping is specific to race. And the action scenes are pretty cool, as in the first story.

Comments: First story: First appearance of Bobcat who returns in AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT #22-25. Only appearance of Winston J. Kranpuff, the Mind-Melder. And yes, his chauffeur is also named Winston. Second story: Title is a play on the classic novel A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. Dionysius’ previous appearance was in AVENGERS #281-285, wherein he was defeated by She-Hulk; he next shows up in THOR #398. Only appearance of Butcher T. Washington whose name seems to be a pun on African American educator Booker T. Washington.   


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Solo Avengers #11 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Downtown, Hawkeye is engaged in pursuing and fighting Bob-Cat and his Claws, a team of acrobatic thieves. Their antics cause a traffic jam in which we see millionaire Winston J. Kranpuff in his limo, bristling at the delay; this man has a secret though: he is able to mind meld i.e. project his consciousness into another’s body and control their actions. He used this for private and immoral gain until middle age when he turned his attentions to the world of high finance and became rich through insider trading. He uses his power now to possess a police officer and order his chauffeur to drive over the sidewalk. Kranpuff’s current worry is that he is nearly ninety years old and likely to die soon so he must give thought to taking over another’s body permanently. When he spies Hawkeye from his office window, contending with Bob-Cat and the Claws across the rooftops, he has an idea. He casts his mind into the hero’s body but then discovers he does not also assume his abilities. Hawkeye’s sudden clumsiness and incompetence surprise the bad guys but also let them get the upper hand. Kranpuff escapes from Clint’s body, leaving Hawkeye to take down the baddies. Clint wonders what caused him to black out and hopes it won’t happen again. Winston J. Kranpuff, however, has died at his desk, his last minutes occupied by being a superhero.  

“A Farewell—With Arms” 3.5/5
Writer: Bob Layton. Pencils: Bob Layton. Inks: Jackson Guice. Colors: Paul Becton. Letters: John Workman.
Synopsis: In Olympus, Hercules discovers Dionysius, God of Wine, seated on a thermonuclear missile. He explains that he was shamed by She-Hulk’s easily beating him and desires to die with a bang rather than a whimper. Herc is unable to talk his friend out of his plan by various appeals so he tries to use force. But Dionysius conjures up Sgt. Butcher T. Washington, a mercenary with an advanced tank, giving him twenty minutes until the bomb detonates to defeat Herc. After contending with the multitude weapons on the tank, Herc finally smashes it to bits so Washington whips out an Adamantium garrote to strangle Herc. Shocked to see a fellow divinity in danger, Dionysius teleports Washington and the bomb away to the middle of Fort Knox.

Dionysius throws himself on Zeus’ mercy for the crimes of making contact with a mortal and attempted suicide. Zeus strip the God of Wine of his powers and exiles him to a place of punishment: which is revealed to be a bar with “Dion” as the owner/bartender.

M. D. Bright
Jose Marzan Jr.
Janet Jackson
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Jackson Guice (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Clint Barton)

Plus: Dionysius (God of Wine).

> Solo Avengers: Book info and issue index

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