Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bring On the Back-Ups: Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid

T'wouldn't be right to follow up on a post about Bobbi (Mockingbird) Morse with anything but a post about her bow-slinging spouse, Hawkeye! Here's the closest he actually got to a solo-tale during the Groovy Age (whatever did happen to that much-rumored Marvel Spotlight story, anyway?)--a short-short co-featuring The Two-Gun Kid (who'd been brought to the present day near the end of Steve Englehart's Avengers run--see the footnote on page one for references). One thing about it, Marvel certainly assembled a top-notch team to create this mini-masterpiece: Scott Edelman, Mike Nasser (Michael Netzer), and Terry Austin. Scott seems to have written the majority Marvel's "back-up project" tales, while Michael and Terry had already shown us how cool a super-archer could look when they did the Green Arrow stories in the first three Dollar Size issues of DC's World's Finest--and Ol' Groove does believe they outdid themselves on our Avenging Archer's rootin', tootin' adventure.

How did these back-ups come to be? Why did this particular short wind up in the 100th anniversary issue of Marvel Tales--a Spider-Man reprint mag? For the answers to these questions, who better to answer than the editor of Marvel Tales #100 (November 1978), Roger Stern? (Lifted verbatim from Sterno's message board, natch!)

RS: Back around 1976, Marvel editorial started commissioning a number of short back-up-sized stories -- partly to audition new talent and partly to help ease some deadline crunches. Scott, Mike (Nasser), and Terry (Austin) had produced that Hawkeye and Two-Gun story and it was sitting on the shelf, when the decision came down in 1978 to make MARVEL TALES #100 a double-sized issue. I had more or less in been charge of the reprint line when I first came to work at Marvel, and at that time I was still overseeing MARVEL TALES.

Anyway, I decided to plug the story in there, before it became too dated. Plus, I really liked the idea of publishing a new story in what was otherwise a reprint comic. I remember it as being a nice little story, and placing it there helped make the hundredth issue of MARVEL TALES something special.

Cool, huh? What? Oh, ya wanna read the Hawkeye/Two-Gun Kid tale? Well, here ya go!


  1. Spectacular - thanks for this, Groove. Never, ever saw or even heard of this before.
    And it once more begs the question: why didn't anybody think of putting the Nasser/Austin team to work on a headline feature, at either Marvel or DC?

  2. Good story. Didn't realize you were using the title Bring on the Back Ups. I just started using it on Mail it to Team-Up a couple of weeks ago. Hope you don't mind.

  3. Wow! The Neal Adams influence on Nasser's art is pretty stark! Good stuff, though!

  4. Yeah, this is one of those hidden gems I love to dig up.

    And no probs with the use of "Bring On the Back-ups", Rick. Great minds and all of that, right?



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