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In Long Island, New York, Hawkeye takes his new sky cycle for a test flight, above Cross Technological Enterprises. Hawkeye closes in on, and subdues, three "trespassers", Howie, Jorge, and Latham. The three men are part of Hawkeye's security force, aiding him in his training exercise. Hawkeye compliments Jorge on the design work on the sky cycle. Hawkeye's newest girlfriend, Sheila Danning, the public relations head of Cross Technological Enterprises, arrives for their date. Hawkeye waxes nostalgic over past flames, the Black Widow, and the Scarlet Witch, as he takes Danning back to his place. After a quick shower, Hawkeye reveals his origin.

After their parents died, the Barton brothers, Barney and Clint, fled the orphanage to join a local circus. Clint was taken under the wing of the Swordsman, and taught to perform archery tricks. Upon discovering that the Swordsman was stealing from the payroll, Clint fled his mentor. The Swordsman pursued Clint under the big top, cornered him on the high wire, and sent him falling to his death. Clint survived. Upon witnessing Iron Man in action, Clint decided to follow in his footsteps, as the masked vigilante, Hawkeye. Unfortunately, in his first outing as a costumed crime fighter, Hawkeye was mistaken for a villain, and ended up in conflict with Iron Man. Ultimately Hawkeye was given an opportunity for redemption, as a member of the Avengers.

Just as Hawkeye's evening with Danning turns amorous, he receives an emergency call from security. Returning to Cross Technological Enterprises, Hawkeye encounters Mockingbird. During their battle, Mockingbird reveals that Cross Technological Enterprises is trafficking in mind control weapons. Hawkeye defeats Mockingbird, and turns her over to security. Hawkeye returns to Danning, but Mockingbird's accusations trouble him. Hawkeye returns to Cross Technological Enterprises to investigate Mockingbird's claims. Hawkeye is quickly surrounded by his own security forces. Hawkeye is forced to stand down, when Danning is taken hostage.

Hawkeye is thrown into a storage tank, with Mockingbird. Danning reveals that she was only dating Hawkeye to distract him from Cross Technological Enterprises' criminal operations. Danning begins to flood the storage tank with industrial waste. Crestfallen, and heartbroken, Hawkeye wallows in self-pity, refusing to take action to save himself. Mockingbird goads Hawkeye into saving himself, as well as Mockingbird. Leaving Mockingbird behind, Hawkeye confronts Danning, to reclaim his bow and arrows. Danning threatens Hawkeye with retaliatory action, as Hawkeye, dejectedly, walks away. Mockingbird rejoins Hawkeye, who suffers in slience.

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