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When Naming a Villain Resulted in 'Death' For a Comic Book Editor!

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

Today, I wanted to talk about a really cool incident from an issue of the classic Mark Gruenwald/Brett Breeding miniseries, Hawkeye, where Mike Carlin was "rewarded" with being killed off by a supervillain after Carlin came up with a name for that villain's partner in villainy!

The Hawkeye miniseries was written and drawn by Mark Gruenwald (with Brett Breeding providing finishes)...

Gruenwald, of course, was also an editor at Marvel, editing a number of their Avengers-related titles. Mike Carlin was his assistant and the two men were good friends.

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In Hawkeye #3, Hawkeye and his new ally, Mockingbird, were besieged by two new villains.

They first try to blow them up....

and we learn that their names are Oddball and Bombshell...

Carlin was the one who coined the name Bombshell and as a "reward," Gruenwald had a character based on Carlin written into the story.

Mike Carlin revealed to Jarrod Buttery in TwoMorrows' Back Issue #56.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird are on the subway when they first meet Captain America in his civilian identity...

But when they arrive at their stop, Oddball and Bombshell are waiting for them, with Bombshell even dressed like a nun to trick them...

Hawkeye chases Oddball down to a moving subway car where Oddball takes a man based on Mike Carlin hostage. On the New Year's Eve prior to this issue, Carlin and some friends had been coming home from a party when they were accosted on the subway by some crooks. One of them stole Carlin's friend's camera. The friend grabbed it back and then Carlin stepped up, just in time for the crook to pull a gun on him. Carlin jokingly shouted to the rest of the crowded car (it was New Year's Eve, after all), "Hey, everybody. Look at this guy. He's going to shoot me!" It either startled the crook or embarrassed him or whatever, but Carlin and his friend were able to push past them and get away at the next stop.

However, the fictional Mike Carlin did not do as well with his bravado...

Thanks to Mike and Jarrod for the hilarious information!

If you have any interesting comic book related story that you'd like to see me feature in a future Knowledge Waits, feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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