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1st Story: Tom DeFalco (plotter), Ralph Macchio (scripter), Ron Lim (penciler), Jack Morelli (letterer), Janet Jackson (colorist)
2nd Story: Gregory Wright & Dwayne McDuffie (writers), Jackson Guice (artist), Richard Starkings (letterer), Gregory Wright (colorist)
Mark Gruenwald (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)
The mysterious Bullet Biker rampages through another art gallery, destroying some famous art work. Reporter, Gayle Rogers, is on hand to interview some civilians who saw this happen, before Hawkeye arrives to investigate. Gayle reminds Hawkeye that they never finished their interview from some weeks ago, and Hawkeye lets her accompany him on his sky-cycle. Gayle reveals what she knows about the Bullet Biker and recent art gallery destruction, and they arrive at the home of the owner of the galleries. He has been beaten after refusing to pay extortion money. Hawkeye and Gayle continue with their investigation and track the Bullet Biker to the gallery warehouse, but he escapes them. Hawkeye gives chase on the sky-cycle, which concerns Gayle somewhat. The Bullet Biker evade them and removes his disguise, revealing his identity as Dillon Zarro, a performer Hawkeye used to know in his circus days. Hawkeye finds Dillon, who doesn't seem to recognize Hawkeye as Clint Barton, before being arrested. Gayle plays it cool after their adventure, and tells Hawkeye that she might call him in a few days, and Hawkeye thinks that this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Wonder Man is on the set of a film, dealing with obnoxious actors and irritating directors, and when he has had enough of being treated poorly for only being the “stuntman” he flies away, as a strange alien takes possession of one of the actors. Wonder Man's jetpack fails him, and he decides to let off some steam, assisting a construction crew with the demolition of an old building, while a strange camera begins to monitor his every move, and two unseen aliens commentate on his actions. The unseen aliens discover though, that their associate, Takumer, had not possessed Wonder Man as instructed, but must have taken over one of the actors at the studio. Wonder Man is thrown back into the studio by some rubble animated into a creature by the unseen aliens, and Takumer attempts to jump from the actor's body into Wonder Man's, but instead takes its own true form as it is unable to possess Wonder Man, who finds the giant alien bunny interesting. They fight, and the studio is destroyed, although the director is happy with all the action that is being filmed by his camera operator. Energy darts about as Wonder Man battles the alien, and eventually defeats him. Wonder Man finds the camera that has been following him around, and after learning that the unseen aliens are directors from another dimension, making a docu-drama focusing on Wonder Man. Wonder Man destroys the camera, and the director is upset to learn that his own camera was unable to film all of the battle, as the energy disrupted the camera.
Until a second ago, this was merely another highly successful gallery display opening by renowned painter Max Scheel. Suddenly, like a new Picasso, a violent explosive element thrusts itself into the placid art world, and gallery attendees duck for cover as a red motorcycle is driven through a nearby window, and the rider shouts 'Heads up, art-lovers! The Bullet Biker's back in LA!'
Several gallery guards rush onto the scene, but the Bullet Biker fires a smoke bomb at them from the weapon attached to his wrist. He tells himself that it is a good thing he equipped himself with weapons so he can handle anyone who plans to stop him. The gas pellet blasts will put them under while he goes about his dirty little business. The Bullet Biker then raises his arm and fires several explosives at some of the artwork, destroying it. 'That's what I call a master-piece! If only I could stay for the critics' arrival!' he jokes to himself, before driving back through the window he entered the gallery through, and sees a police car driving towards him.
'Chuck – there's that Bullet Biker bozo that's been knocking over LA's art galleries! Let's get him!' one of the officers tells the other as they give chase, speeding after the Bullet Biker, who decides that he will just lead these flatheads on a merry chase – and darts down an alleyway, where he pulls his patented disappearing act. The officers drive down the alleyway, but the Bullet Biker is nowhere to be seen. The officers are confused, as they radioed for another car to wait at the other end of the alley – so how could the Bullet Biker have escaped?
Back at the art gallery: 'Sir, what exactly did you see?' a reporter asks an elderly man, who throws his arms into the air and declares 'What did I see? The end of law and order – society – Los Angeles! If you're not safe in a cultural enclave – where are you?' The reporter replies 'Um...yes' Before she turns to see Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye enter the gallery. She introduces him as the leader of the West Coast Avengers. Hawkeye recognizes the reporter and greets her as Ms Rogers, announcing that he decided to look into the case, and figured here seemed like the best place to start. Ms Rogers leaves the gallery with Hawkeye and informs him that it was that Bullet Biker again – the fifth time now, and no one has been able to catch him yet. Hawkeye boasts that will change now that he is on the case, and reveals that he has some leads he wants to check out.
Hawkeye climbs onto his sky-cycle, and Ms Rogers joins him, asking 'Mind if girl reporter Go-Get-'Em Gayle Rogers tags along?' she asks, reminding Hawkeye that they never did finish that interview they started a few weeks ago. 'You related to Bawbra Wawa or what?' Hawkeye frowns. Gayle tells Hawkeye to lighten up, and adds that she thinks she can give him some info that might lead to the Biker's capture. Gayle suggests that first they head out of millionaire Marcus J Waldner's estate in Bel-Air, explaining that the first three times the biker struck, the galleries belonged to one man. The sky-cycle rises up into the air, and Gayle reveals that the last two times, the galleries were owned by Waldner, so her guess is the Bullet Biker is running an extortion racket, and Waldner should definitely be informed.
'Sometimes the ladies and gents of the press can be more dangerous than the super-villains!' Hawkeye exclaims. 'You're up front. I'll say that' Gayle replies, before telling Hawkeye that what she would like to know is whether Hawkeye thinks his own flamboyant activities have a positive impact on people. Hawkeye grumbles at this question, before admitting that he has always been a bit of a show-off, as it's in his nature, he loves the attention it brings him. 'So I'm a ham. Sue me!' he adds as they fly through the air. 'Tell me more' Gayle asks, before pointing out that they have arrived at their destination. Clint lowers the sky-cycle over a mansion, where an orange van is pulling out of the driveway. Clint informs Gayle that a real square named Captain America showed him that you can get all the attention your ego craves – and save the world at the same time. 'And that's where I'm at now!'
As Hawkeye and Gayle descend next to the mansion, they find a window that has been blasted open. 'OMIGOD! I think he's been here already!' Gayle exclaims. 'You got that right' Hawkeye tells her, and they enter the mansion, where Gayle sees Waldner over by some stairs. They go over to him and Hawkeye asks Waldner if he is all right, and whether this was done by a man on a motorcycle calling himself the Bullet Biker. 'Yes. And you're Hawkeye of the Avengers' Waldner remarks, looking up and revealing that the gentleman burst in and threatened to destroy his main art collection unless he paid extortion money to him. 'I refused, and this is what happened!' Hawkeye tells Waldner that he is sorry, and points out that he has hit two of his galleries, so the warehouse must be next. 'I need directions fast!' Hawkeye adds. Waldner gives Hawkeye the address of the warehouse in Van Nuys, and Hawkeye instructs him to stay here with Ms Rogers, as things are likely to get hairy. 'What? I'm a reporter, buster – and I'm sticking with this story!' Gayle exclaims. 'You're staying right here, Ms Lane! That's final!' Hawkeye jokes.
Moments later, after a physician has been called to check on the injured Waldner, Hawkeye and Gayle are back on the sky-cycle, heading into the air. 'Let’s see now. You're up-front... a show-off... dedicated to justice... and have no clout with the opposite sex!' Gayle exclaims. 'You got that right!' Hawkeye replies.
A short time later at a certain warehouse in Van Nuys: 'This must be the place! And this must be the grenade to get me in!' Bullet Biker thinks to himself as he fires a grenade at the warehouse door, which explodes, enabling Bullet Biker to ride his motorcycle into the warehouse. 'So pops didn't want to pay up! Now he's gonna pay up in a different way!' Bullet Biker thinks to himself as he starts blasting the art in the warehouse, destroying it.
'Guess how we got here so fast, Bright Eyes?' Hawkeye calls out as he bursts through a warehouse window on his sky-cycle. 'Hawkeye the Avenger!' Bullet Biker exclaims. 'You're grounded – but I fly as the crow flies!' Hawkeye jokes. Hawkeye points out that Bullet Biker seems to be into big blow-ups. 'So try on these explosive arrows on for size!' Hawkeye calls out as he fires three arrows towards Bullet Biker. Hawkeye then asks Ms Rogers if she is okay. 'C-call me Gayle' Gayle replies, 'And then call me a cab! I want to get out of here!' Gayle thinks to herself as she clings to Hawkeye.
Bullet Biker pulls his motorcycle up and avoids the exploding arrows, 'Nice try, but I can stop on a dime and make you eat nine cents, stiff!' Bullet Biker responds as he fires some blasts up at Hawkeye, who moves the sky-cycle, avoiding the blasts, while thinking that this dude is real good – and deciding that the only guy he saw handle a bike like that was back when he used to perform archery stuff in the carnival – Dillon Zarro, the best stunt cyclist in the big top – but that was years ago. As Hawkeye flies back outside, he fires another arrow, but misses the Bullet Biker again. Bullet Biker speeds underneath the sky cycle, then fires back some sort of smoke bomb. 'We're flying right into it!' Gayle exclaims. Hawkeye tells her not to sweat it, and pulls the sky cycle up so it flies over the smoke bomb, and continues on after Bullet Biker, who suddenly turns his motorcycle down another street, where he narrowly avoids being hit by a car.
Bullet Biker throws a grenade backwards, but Hawkeye swerves to avoid it, and tells Gayle to hang on – but they theyn crash through a high-rise window, 'Cover your eyes, fast!' Hawkeye tells Gayle as they crash into an office, where Hawkeye apologies to the men sitting around a table, he makes a joke, but is pleased that no one is hurt. On the street below, Bullet Biker thinks he has lost Hawkeye, and speeds towards a garage, where his specially equipped van is waiting. He wonders where Hawkeye is now. 'Probably covered with broken glass making excuses for him-' Bullet Biker thinks, when suddenly, Hawkeye and Gayle catch up to him. 'Okay, Knievel – playtime's over! Time to put your bitty-bikey to bed for the knight!' Hawkeye jokes. 'Stuff it, Bow Brain!' Bullet Biker calls back as he speeds past, towards his orange van, and fires some more blasts at Hawkeye, but Bullet Biker can't stop at his van, he knows he needs to keep moving.
'Like they say in the movies – gotcha!' Hawkeye jokes, deciding that Bullet Biker has no place to go but up to the roof, where he will be waiting. He then asks Gayle how she is holding up back there. 'Ohh..' Gayle utters, wearily. Bullet Biker speeds up to the rooftop, realizing that Hawkeye thinks he will have him, but he has one trick that puts the best of them to shame. Hawkeye sees Bullet Biker arrive on the rooftop. Hawkeye sees Bullet Biker, but looks surprised: 'What's that maniac going to do?' Hawkeye wonders as Bullet Biker speeds towards the edge of the rooftop, 'Hope you play catch better than you shoot arrows, bozo!' Bullet Biker shouts. 'He's not going to do what I think he is?' Hawkeye wonders, as Biker's motorcycle speeds over the edge of the garage rooftop – 'Up up and aawaaay! But not me!' Bullet Biker exclaims as he leaps off the motorcycle and lands on the rooftop, while the motorcycle plummets to the busy street below.
'That lunatic! When that bike hits the pavement, it could kill a dozen people!' Hawkeye calls out, before telling Gayle to hold on again, as he speeds the sky-cycle downwards, planning to get under the motorcycle, he manages to get underneath it, and thanks his buddy Jorge Lathan who helped design the sky-cycle, as Hawkeye and Gayle hang upside down while Hawkeye uses the sky-cycle to push the motorcycle onto a rooftop, while Gayle thinks that she is going to lose her lunch. 'Did it. We kicked that darn bike onto a roof – and my lovely lexan windscreen absorbed the impact perfectly!' Hawkeye thinks to himself.
Inside a certain orange van, the Bullet Biker has removed his helmet, and drives the van from the garage, while thinking 'What a waste! I had to sacrifice that customized beauty to make good my getaway! At least I'm free. And that Hawkeye character...takes me back to another Hawkeye I knew back when I did biker stunts in a carnival for a living'. Bullet Biker thinks to himself. He thinks that he was the hottest act on wheels, always left the audience gasping – but the problem was, he was always upstaged by the flashy tricks of that crumb Hawkeye – and he couldn't take being second best, so he quit and started a life of crime that when nowhere until this extortion gig came up – with Hawkeye never knowing how much he resented him. He decides that he would probably still be in the carnival if it wasn't for being upstaged by that phoney. He supposes that Hawkeye is still working at the carnival, when suddenly, his tires are blown out and the van comes to a stop.
Bullet Biker looks over and sees Hawkeye, pointing an arrow towards him. Hawkeye is surpised that Bullet Biker is indeed Dillon Zarro. 'I thought those stunts looked familiar' Clint thinks to himself, while remembering that they were buddies in his carney days, and wonders what could have gotten him into this racket. Clint hopes that Dillon doesn't make him do anything they will both regret. 'Don't even twitch, fella...at this range, it's fish in a barrel material!' Hawkeye calls out. 'Just won't give up, huh, Robin Hood?' Dillon asks, before climbing out of the van and putting his hands in the air, 'Okay, hotshot. You did your duty for mom and apple pie. Now choke on it, boyscout!' Dillon exclaims. Hawkeye tells Dillon to keep a lid on it until the cops show up.
A short time later, Hawkeye and Gayle watch as police officers lead Dillon Zarro away. 'Still a mystery. You think you've known someone and they shock you!' Clint thinks to himself. Hawkeye then suggests to Gayle that she can tell her readers that being a big bad super hero ain't all it's cracked up to be. He admits that there is the excitement of the hunt, the chase, but bringing a man down, seeing a wasted life, there is no “thrill of victory” in that. Gayle explains that she thought with all the bad guys Hawkeye has taken down, he would be hardened to that by now. Gayle smiles and tells Hawkeye that she can add to the list of things she has noticed about him – that he is tough, but there is a big heart under that brawny chest. 'I like that' she remarks, before claiming that she hasn't had this much fun following a story in years. She admits that it was scary, but assures Hawkeye she loved the ride.
Gayle starts to walk away, reminding Hawkeye that they still haven't finished their interview, but she knows the address of the Avengers' estate, so maybe she will drop by in a few days and he can show her what he's really got in that quiver. 'Toodles' Gayle calls out. Hawkeye smiles and thinks that just when his marriage is in the dumps, along comes some help from the fourth estate – nothing like a woman to get the juices flowing again. Clint decides that this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
'My baby!' a blonde woman screams as a thuggish-looking man grabs her baby and lumbers backwards onto the street – where a horrified bus driver is about to ram the bus into him – the bus does, and there is an explosion. 'CUT!' shouts the director, ordering someone to extinguish the bus. 'Cool' a camera operator thinks to himself, while the thuggish man was none other than the hottest action-film actor this side of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the West Coast Avenger Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man, who throws the prop baby to one of the film crew, while taking off his clothes which have been ruined by the fire, revealing his costume underneath. Simon approaches the director, Eli, and asks him 'Was I great or what? I was born for this part!' Simon exclaims. Eli is smoking a cigarette and replies that he is finished with the stuntman, and wants the actor, now.
Simon looks over to where one of the film crew has approached the actor, 'Here's da real kid, Dirk' the crew member remarks, handing Dirk the real baby. 'That's Mr Studley!' the actor replies, before asking if they could use the stuntman's hands for this wet brat. 'My face is what's important' the actor boasts. 'You're such a dream, Dirk' a woman standing nearby gushes. Simon frowns, and remembers what his agent said: “Do this one last stuntman gig for Eli. He likes you, he'll make you his next super star”. But Simon thinks he has been a star since Arkon IV, and decides contract or not, this abuse stops now. 'Eli, I quit!' Simon announces, as he takes flight. “Use the stuntman's hands” Simon thinks, annoyed, while Eli shrugs and mutters that Simon will return before he needs him. Suddenly, something happens to Dirk, and a presence in his mind thinks 'This body doesn't seem super human', while Eli the director announces that he wants the close upo on the hands. 'What's that hot dog for?' Dirk asks as one of the crew carries a large hot dog past him. Eli notices something strange with Dirk's voice and tells him to pay attention and clear his throat, as he sounds dreadful.
Up above, Wonder Man decides that he doesn't need Eli, as he is an Avenger. He thinks that Eli doesn't even have a last name, and decides that he better get a new agent. 'Dirk Studley as “Mr Cool”!' Simon thinks, deciding that he is “Mr Cool” - when suddenly, his jet packs start to fail, 'Aw – nuts!' Simon mutters as he freefalls to the ground, hitting it hard and breaking the concrete up. 'Terrific! That bus must've wrecked my jetpacks. At least the day can't possibly get worse'. A security guard nearby walks over and smiles: 'Hell! How are you this morning Mr Studley?' to which Wonder Man frowns and swears under his breath.
Nearby, a strange circular camera floats past Hawkeye. Two unseen beings are watching, and one of them remarks 'These creatures are certainly odd-looking' to which the other replies 'All the better'. The second one points out Wonder Man. 'The fat one?' the first asks, referring to the security guard. 'No! The one with the red eyes!' the second explains, before wondering 'If it's been appropriated, why is it just standing there?' while Wonder Man holds up his jetpacks and decides that they are shot. He hears a strange sound, but the mysterious camera floats out of sight. 'Oh great, not I'm hearing things!' Simon mutters, while the second mysterious being fears that something has gone wrong. Simon decides that he has got to clear his head and strides down the street, as he has seen the perfect place to release a little tension.
'Maybe we should terminate -' the first mysterious being asks, but the second points out that a slight accident will get things rolling. Wonder Man approaches a demolition site, where some construction workers turn to him. 'Wonder Man! Wow, dis is great! Hey, do supmthin uh strong! Yeah, strong!' one of the construction workers exclaims. 'I kinda liked his old costume better' one of the construction workers decides. 'I thought you'd never ask!' Wonder Man replies, as he pulls his fist back and tells the men to watch him demolish the building with one punch. At the same time, the strange camera-like device blasts a large wrecking ball with green energy. Wonder Man tells the men to stand back, as this could get messy – but before he can strike the building, the wrecking ball slams into him, knocking him through the building, which partly collapses around him.
Wonder Man looks up as the camera appears above him, and a voice transmits through the device: 'Takumer, you are not performing the correct functions!' the voice calls out. 'Functions? Why you -' Wonder Man declares, lunging at the device, while the second mysterious being wonders if a mistake has been made. The first suggests that Takumer must have appropriated someone back at the studio. 'We must get Wonder Man back there' the second remarks, while Wonder Man asks 'What's going on? Who's Takumer?' The second mysterious being realizes that Hawkeye is very upset, while the first announces that they have an idea, and the camera-like object animates a pile of rubble into a rocky-thing. 'Hey, Wonder Man! Look out behind ya!' one of the construction workers calls out, as the rocky-thing tosses Wonder Man through the air. 'This is not happening' Simon thinks to himself. 'Now there's something ya don't see every day!' one of the workers remarks. 'Lemme outta here!' another mutters.
Back at the studio, an unhappy producer has arrived, while crew members sit around. 'What are you doing? Where's Simon! Why'd you wreck four buses? The insurance people will have my shorts for this!' the producer exclaims. Eli the director tells Dirk that this is a crucial scene and assures him that it is perfectly safe. He explains that the chopper will be lowered on chains and he shall lift it as Atlas lifted the Earth. 'Why do I even bother? He's not listening!' the director shouts. 'We're gonna miss lunch I know it' one of the crew thinks to themselves. 'Roll film. ACTION!' Eli shouts, when suddenly, Wonder Man crashes through the roof, landing several feet in front of the camera. 'Simon. How very nice of you to drop by' Eli mutters, before asking Simon if he is here to stay, or just visiting.
The strange camera device flies onto the set, and the first mysterious being notices the “creature under the helicopter looks just like Wonder Man, realizing that Takumer did appropriate the wrong form. 'We must set those two together' the second decides. 'Oh my, this is terrible. Butch, roll film!' Eli calls out, while the camera device fires a blast of energy at the chain holding the helicopter above Dirk. 'He'll be killed if I don't -' Simon begins, while Takumer, inside Dirk's body realizes that this is not an indestructible body. The chopper falls – but Wonder Man catches it, just in time. Dirk squats down and covers his head, while Takumer discovers that he has been saved – and that Wonder Man is close enough for him to phase out of this useless body, and take over his powerful one. 'What is going on?' Simon wonders, as Dirk moves closer to him, and a strange surge of energy moves from Dirk's body to Simon's. Green energy flashes about, and a scantily-clad woman starts to run away, thinking that she doesn't want to die, while Dirk begins to run, too, announcing that he quits.
However, the surge of energy isn't able to maintain itself inside Simon's head, and Simon notices as something materializes nearby – a large orange mutated bunny. 'This is getting too weird' Simon mutters. 'I told you a being filled with ionic energy couldn't be appropriated' the first being mutters. 'Quiet! We'll have to make do...one living camera crane coming up' the second replies, as they fire a blast from the camera to a nearby camera crane, turning it into a beastly device. 'Kiss it goodbye, Blunder Man!' Takumer exclaims, while Wonder Man decides that this giant bunny is as strong as he is. 'That's Wonder Man, you over – hey! What are you looking at?' Wonder Man exclaims as he realizes Takumer's attention has turned elsewhere. Simon looks up and notices the transformed crane, which knocks a wall towards Wonder Man, but as the wall collapses on him, he is unharmed. 'Didn't I see this in a Buster Keaton film?' Simon wonders, before deciding that he had better stop this – and fast, with the bunny on one side, and the killer crane on the other. 'This is great' one of the mysterious observers thinks. 'This is great!' Eli shouts.
Takumer opens his mouth and attempts to blast Wonder Man, but Simon dodges the blast, 'no sweat. Exit one nasty threat' Simon thinks to himself, while one of the unknown beings observing the chaos remarks that death and destruction is their favorite. 'Now that's cinema!' Eli the director calls out. 'This equipment is rented, Eli! Do you understand? Rented!' the producer snaps. Simon grabs Takumer by his large mouth, and remembers that zapping him hurt this thing. So if he can get him to do it again, he might be able to take him down. Takumer roars at Wonder Man, who hopes that this is hurting Takumer more than it is hurting him. Eli orders a camera man to keep rolling the film. 'Mommy!' one of the crew cries as they run for safety.
Wonder Man knocks Takumer back, but he feels like his bones will shatter – however the energy feedback is enormous, and Wonder Man's plan begins to work. He hopes that he can hold out long enough, as huge blasts of energy tear up the studio, Simon thinks that this could be the end of them both, but he keeps pounding Takumer down and hopes the ground will help contain the blasts – which suddenly stop. 'Is he – dead?' one of the crew asks. A hand moves in the tubble, and Simon climbs up from the debris. 'Wonderful performance, Simon, my boy! But that creature, he isn't...' Eli begins, as Simon explains that Takumer is just unconscious, and won't be giving them any more trouble. 'Cut! Excellent!' a voice can be heard from the strange camera that has been darting about. 'Who said “cut” on my set?' Eli asks. 'I did' the voice from ther camera replies.
The voice reveals that they are a film director from a dimension bordering this one, and is making a docu-drama using Wonder Man. 'A movie? He endangered all those lives for a movie?' Simon thinks to himself, he grabs the camera and asks 'anybody home in there?' 'No' comes the response from the camera. 'Aw...too bad' Simon declares as he crushes the camera with ease. Simon then turns to Eli and tells him that he bets this is the best film he ever shot. 'Uh, Eli? Problem. All that electricity blanked the film!' a camera man announces. 'Oh, man. That footage could have made me!' Simon exclaims. Eli goes over to Takumer who is trapped in the rubble and asks him if he would mind running through that again. 'Are you kidding me? They only pay me scale. Im zorpin' out of this dimension!' Takumer replies. Simon thinks that he could laugh, or he could cry, before telling Eli that is show business, and starting to walk away. 'Come back! Come back, I say!' Eli calls out after Simon.
Bullet Biker / Dillon Zarro
Eli, Dirk Studley and other film crew
Gayle Rogers previously appeared in Solo Avengers #9. She next appears, many years later, in Thunderbolts (1st series) #18, remaining a supporting character in that book until her death in Thunderbolts (1st series) #35.
First appearance of Bullet Biker.
Bullet Biker is apparently unaware that Hawkeye and Clint Barton are one and the same.