New Avengers (1st series) #26

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (artist), RS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (Letterer), Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson (Assistant Editors), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Hawkeye wakes up in the snow outside the Avengers Mansion. He makes his way inside and finds a newspaper article about his death. After pinning the article and his costume up on the mansion wall, he leaves.
He makes his way to Dr. Strange’s home. After Strange examines Clint Barton, he sees that he is perfectly healthy. Clint then brings up Wanda Maximoff, the cause of his two recent deaths. Dr. Strange explains to him that if Clint tries to find her, he won’t find any answers, but he probably will find more pain.
Hawkeye nevertheless heads to Wundagore Mountain in his search. He sees a thief make off with a woman’s bag and manages to stop him. He’s astonished to find that the woman is none other than Wanda. When he passes out, she brings him back to her home. He wakes up addled and confused. Wanda warns him not to be too loud or he’ll wake her Aunt Agatha.
When she makes him breakfast he begins to question her. Each of her answers lead Clint to believe she doesn’t know anything of her past or what she’s done to him or to anyone else.
As Clint begins to break down, realizing Dr. Strange was right and he wasn’t going to find his answers here. Wanda tells him the best thing to do is to let it go. As she thanks him for saving her earlier, she kisses him. Without hesitation he grabs her and kisses her.
Later, as Wanda sleeps in the bed, Clint leaves her to search for her aunt. What he finds stuns him. He can only stare. Before long, Clint puts his clothes back on and heads outside.

Full Summary: 

New York City, several months ago:
Hawkeye awakens in a forest in the snow. He looks around and quickly finds himself near the destroyed Avengers Mansion. He removes his outer costume. Hoping the fence into the graveyard, bow in hand, he triggers the still active security system. He moves inside the mansion and finds a newspaper article about his death. He throws the paper into the air and shoots it and his costume full of arrows against the wall of the mansion. He then leaves the mansion, heading back into the snow.

Clint Barton makes his way to Greenwich Village where he finds the home of Dr. Strange. Wong, Strange’s manservant, answers the door and is surprised to find Hawkeye standing there. As Dr. Strange puts his robe on, he find Hawkeye alive for himself. Clint asks the doctor if he has a moment.
Later, the doctor prepares to look into Clint and find out just what is going on. He tells the archer to breathe and empty his mind. Dr. Strange begins a spell to look deep within Clint. Dr. Strange is a little stunned by what he sees. He tells the archer that he is very healthy and very alive. Clint asks Dr. Strange to confirm that he was dead, though. To that, Dr. Strange offers some tea.
Hawkeye tells Dr. Strange that he read the papers about ‘No More Mutants’ and realized that the Scarlet Witch messed with everyone. She killed him twice, though. Dr. Strange tries to tell him that he’s alright now, but Clint merely wants to know where she is. When Clint doesn’t buy Dr. Strange’s denial, the sorcerer explains. He tells Hawkeye that he can track magics all over the world, and in the past he has been able to find her. Now, though, she is not using her powers, so he can’t track her. Her mutant abilities and the chaos magic she wields is no longer out there. Hawkeye says that she disappeared.
Dr. Strange takes a darker approach and says she may be dead. Dr. Strange explains that what she did was very dramatic, she may have killed herself. Hawkeye refuses this saying that Wanda Maximoff is not that kind of girl, even though he clearly doesn’t know what kind of girl she is. Dr. Strange asks if he can call the Avengers, since they would be so happy to see him. Clint tells him not to.
He explains that he isn’t ready. Hawkeye tells the doctor that something has happened to him and he needs to figure it all out first. To do that, though, he needs to find Wanda. Dr. Strange tries to tell him that Wanda was sick and her powers were to control reality. When Hawkeye still wants to know why him, Dr. Strange can only say that Clint is looking for logic when there is none. Hawkeye tells him that he’s going to look for her to find some sort of closure.
Dr. Strange doubts that Clint will find it. That if he does find Wanda, what he finds won’t help him. As silence fills the room, Dr. Strange realizes that Clint’s motive might be a little different and tells the archer that revenge is a whole other reason to find her. Clint snaps and says he just needs to know why. Dr. Strange says no more but asks where Clint will look. Hawkeye says first he’ll try Genosha, then he’ll head to Wundagore Mountain.

Clint Barton walks through the streets of Wundagore Mountain passing villagers and carts full of items for sale. He sees a boy run into a woman knocking over apples as he steals her bag. As the boy races away villagers shout at him. Clint picks up one of the fallen apples and flings it, striking the thief in the back of the head. The boy tumbles and Clint retrieves the bag bringing it back the woman. Surprisingly, she thanks him in English. When she looks up at him, Clint is astonished.
Wanda Maximoff stands before him and calls him a true hero. As Clint stutters and tries to find the words, she wonders if he’s alright. His eyes begin to roll back in his head and as he blacks out he hears Wanda tell him that everything is going to be alright.

He wakes up suddenly in a strange bed. His clothes are gone and he sees Wanda sitting in a chair reading a book. As he looks dazed and confused, she tells him that she’s heard you have to get used to the mountain air. She tells him that he’s in her house. Since the town doctor was out of town, she brought him here. She then warns him to keep his voice down as her Aunt Agatha is asleep.
Wanda sits on the bed and asks Clint if he’s American, when he says yes, she wonders what he’s doing there. As he looks at her he says that he was looking for a friend. Before he says who, he asks what her name is. She tells him it’s Wanda Maximoff and then thanks him for rescuing her earlier. Without a man, that makes her a target in the town.
She tells Clint that she’s been on the mountain her whole life and that all of her family, except for her aunt, is gone. He asks if she’s seen what’s going on in the world, like with the mutants. Wanda tells him that she doesn’t believe what she hears from the media, instead she waits ten years and reads what really happened in a book. Clint continues to probe her with questions and asks if she heard what happened to the Avengers. When she says no, he asks if she even knows who they are.
Wanda leans back in the chair and tells him that it’s hard to keep up with all the American superheroes. Clint begins to get a little upset telling her that they were attacked by one of their own. Wanda asks if they’re alright, and Clint closes his eyes telling her that they are not. He looks at her and the covers his face with his hands. Wanda stands and goes to him asking who he’s looking for, that she can go get her for him. Clint sadly says that she’s not here.
She touches him and asks if he’s alright. He leans forward, holding his head in his hand, and tells her that he lost someone special. He says that he lost so much and came to Wundagore for closure. He starts to cry as he explains that a friend of his told him he wouldn’t find closure here. Wanda looks at him and tells him when she gets a feeling that she doesn’t want, and when she’s done with it, she simply lets it go. Clint stares at her.
He continues to stare at her as she smiles and tells him that his trip wasn’t a total loss. He still got to be her heroes. She moves over to him and gently kisses him. Clint grabs her and picks her up, kissing her more deeply. Soon their kiss develops into a more physical pull.

Clint sits at the edge of the bed. Wanda is wrapped in the sheet, asleep. Clint looks throughout the house and sees a rocking chair, remembering Wanda’s Aunt Agatha. He remembers her words and the warnings of Dr. Strange. He moves to Wanda’s aunt’s room and opens the door. He remembers Dr. Strange telling him that his visit might only make things worse. Surprise fills him as he looks inside the room.
He backs away from the door, shocked. He goes back and looks at the sleeping form of Wanda. Clint can only stare. He then puts on his clothes and heads outside of her house.

Characters Involved: 

Wanda Maximoff

Dr. Strange


In Picture:
Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch (all Avengers)

Story Notes: 

Scarlet Witch’s magic caused the death of Hawkeye in Avengers #501. During a Kree attack, created by Wanda, Hawkeye sacrificed himself to blow up the armada.

Though apparently untitled, the issue was referred to in previews as "The Ballad of Clint and Wanda."

During the House of M crossover event, Quicksilver used the Scarlet Witch to create a world where everyone of their friends had their deepest desires.

It was revealed in House of M #3 that Hawkeye was alive. In House of M #7, Hawkeye confronted Wanda with the fact that she killed him. As he attacked, she killed him again by uncreating him. In House of M #8 the Avengers found Hawkeye’s costume along with a newspaper article about his death shot with arrows.

In House of M #8 Wanda became enraged that her father, Magneto, would rather rule mutants than be a good father to his children. In her addled state, she uttered “No more mutants.” This sentence made 90% of Earth’s mutant population lose their powers. Since then, Wanda has not been seen or heard from.

Dr. Stephen Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. He has, in the past, helped Wanda deal with and learn to use her abilities. He was one of the people to directly confront Wanda in the House of M reality.

Wundagore Mountain is where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were born.

Agatha Harkness was a powerful witch who mentored Wanda in the use of her powers. It was revealed during Avengers: Disassembled that Agatha had actually been reanimated after her first death (In the Vision & Scarlet Witch LS (2nd series) by the Scarlet Witch. SHIELD eventually found Agatha’s corpse in Avenger’s 503.

Hawkeye carried a torch for the Scarlet Witch in the past, though at that time she was already in love with the Vision.

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