The Avengers #223

    The Avengers » The Avengers #223 - Of Robin Hoods and Roustabouts released by Marvel on September 1982.

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    Hawkeye must face his past after an old circus colleague is threatened by Taskmaster. Featuring Scott Lang as Ant-Man!

    Hawkeye wanders through the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders in civilian clothes, and ponders how it still feels like home. He glances at a flyer he received with the word "HELP" written on the back. Hawkeye tries to enter the owner's trailer, but is stopped by two strongmen; one of whom aims an odd looking blaster at him. Hawkeye sneaks off to change into costume.

    The scene shifts to Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie enjoying the carnival. Scott sees Hawkeye run past. He quickly drops Cassie off at the roller coaster, with plenty of money to ride several times.

    Hawkeye has returned to the owner's trailer; now empty and unguarded. He exits to see the two thugs from earlier escorting the owner, and Hawkeye's friend, Marcella Carson to an tent in the distance. Hawkeye quickly frees Marcy with a pair of arrows. He pulls her into a tent marked private to get an explanation. After they reminisce briefly, Hawkeye asks what the problem is. Marcy explains the carnival has been taken over by a super-powered freak who would kill her if he suspected she had contacted an Avenger. Elsewhere, Ant-Man has enlarged his costume, changed, and summoned a flying ant to search for Hawkeye.

    The private tent is now lit up to reveal an elaborate training facility...and the villain: Taskmaster. Taskmaster explains that he is using Marcy's carnival as a mobile recruiting center. Hawkeye attacks Taskmaster, who outmatches the archer with the skills of various heroes. After a brief fight, Hawkeye surrenders to keep Taskmaster from shooting Marcy. Hawkeye is placed in an electrified cage with a savage lion, and no weapons. Ant-Man saves the Avenging Archer at the last second. The heroes easily escape the cage using Ant-Man's supply of Pym Particles.

    Hawkeye and Ant-Man attack Taskmaster and his goons to save Marcy. Taskmaster flees as the heroes easily mop up his thugs. The heroes chase to find Taskmaster launching a bomb at the crowd in the grandstand. Hawkeye fires an arrow, with Ant-Man holding on to it, into the bomb. Ant-Man disarms the bomb as it falls towards the grandstand floor. The heroes have saved Marcy and her carnival. But Taskmaster has escaped again.


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