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Solo Avengers #12: Review

Nov 1988
Ralph Macchio, Ron Lim

Story Name:

When the Abomination Comes A’Calling

Review & Comments

4 stars

Solo Avengers #12 Review by (April 26, 2022)

Review: Ordinary old Hawkeye and his trick arrows versus a Hulk-level monster. This should be good…and it is. And Hawkeye also shows that he can use his brains as well as medieval weapons. The story is a bit marred by its tie-in to the “Avengers don’t kill” debate which underlay the breakup of Clint and Bobbi which was dumb in retrospect, as Clint couldn’t see an exception might be caused by rape—or that killing a baddie who had already returned as a ghost didn’t matter. The baddie in question was Phantom Rider and the adventure in question was rather odd, involving time-travel to the Old West and more. Anyway, ignore Hawkeye’s thought balloons and enjoy the action.

The second tale is also quite an odd one, featuring a character who many readers don’t recall, the female Yellowjacket. Here she stars in an adventure that is mostly about romance, not superheroing as she gives up her revenge plot to chase after a handsome hunk. There are some action scenes but it’s mostly about her getting rid of a guy with a crush on her to pursue a guy she has a crush on. Cute tale.

Comments: First story: Tyrannus took over Abomination’s body, displacing Emil Blonsky in INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL #15; his battle with Wonder Man was in WEST COAST AVENGERS #25. First appearance of Carlos Alvarez, staffer at Avengers Compound who appears a few more times in WCA title. Second story: Rita DeMara became Yellowjacket when she stole the costume from Hank Pym in AVENGERS #264; she later joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. So far as I can tell, Rita DeMara and Dane Whitman never meet again.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Solo Avengers #12 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Abomination escapes from a holding facility in the Rocky Mountains as federal agents are trying to transport him to the Vault. But this is not the usual Abomination, this Abomination has his body occupied by the mind of underground despot Tyrannus and is on his way to Los Angeles to take revenge against the Avenger who defeated him, Wonder Man. The Big A arrives at Avengers Compound where the only hero in residence is Hawkeye, brooding over his breakup with Mockingbird. A smashes the defenses, Hawkeye shoots him in the head with an explosive arrow but it only annoys Abomination. Abomination chases Hawkeye through the house, with the archer uses various specialty arrows to lure him to his armory where he picks up his Adamantium arrow and holds the monster at bay. But Abomination can read his mind and knows he is unwilling to kill though further underneath is the standard human primal desire. So Hawkeye shoots the arrow at Abomination’s feet. The villain seizes the arrow to kill Hawkeye with and he is electrocuted into unconsciousness. As he calls the Vault, Clint muses on whether an Avenger can kill and decides no. Which is the issue behind his break-up with Bobbi (WEST COAST AVENGERS (1985 series) #34-37).

“Love Stings” 4/5
Writer: Howard Mackie. Pencils: Amanda Conner. Inks: Stan Drake, Dick Hodgins. Colors: Paul Becton. Letters: Ken Lopez.
Synopsis: The Fixer breaks Rita DeMara out of prisoner and gives her the Yellowjacket outfit so she can shrink and they both fly away. They arrive at Fixer’s hidden lair where he confesses his love for Rita but she rejects him and flies away….

One week later, Yellowjacket appears at the home of Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, seeking revenge for the beating she received when she first donned the stolen costume. As she waits, she sees Dane “Black Knight” Whitman show up and confess his love for Janet. But Janet finds him too much like her ex Hank Pym to want a romance so he drives off. Rita ponders her revenge for a few moments…then takes off after the hunk. She finds Dane at the site where Avengers Mansion is being rebuilt, brooding over this romantic reversal. She recognizes him as the Black Knight and then she is caught by the Fixer who had put a tracking device in her helmet. The jealous Fixer shoots at Dane but Rita stings him and they fight for a while, until a little girl dodging the bad guy’s gunshots falls into a pit; Rita swoops down and saves her, confusing Dane who thought she was a villain. Fixer knocks her out and plans to place a mind-control disc on her. Dane comes to her rescue, swinging the Ebony Blade and deflecting Fixer’s shots until Rita wakes up and punches his lights out. The autopilot in Fixer’s suit then flies off with him. Rita and Dane sense an attraction but she has to depart because the cops are coming, so maybe later…?

Ron Lim
Jose Marzan Jr.
Andy Yanchus
Mike Machlan (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
Aaron Kuder (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Emil Blonsky)
Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)

(Clint Barton)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Fixer, Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara).

> Solo Avengers: Book info and issue index

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