The following was written some time between 1998-2000, during my time as an assistant editor at Marvel Comics as “homework” for a series of Assistant Editor Classes held at the time (for a fuller explanation, read this). But in a nutshell, this was a hypothetical proposal for The Avengers comic series (let me now make no claims that this is a perfectly written document, but I present it here in its original form, literally scanned from printouts, as the original digital file is lost to the ages):
So that last bit, the explanation of issues 7-12, gets a little vague, but the basic premise was this: With the Hulk in Hawkeye’s camp, the teams are more evenly matched and what follows is one more major battle… one that Hawkeye’s far more prepared for. Readers would learn that part of Hawkeye’s planning, before creating his own team, was developing arrowheads that were specialized so that, if needed, he could…disable/disarm each and every member of the Avengers, past or present.
Meanwhile, Captain America strategizes and leads his team giving Wonder Man the job to “keep the Hulk occupied”. In the course of the battle Wonder Man starts to destabilize physically…and mentally, and starts exploding with ionic energy in powerful blasts. Both Avengers teams are in danger now…and there’s only one way to stop Wonder Man. Hawkeye uses the arrowhead design to contain Wonder Man and, with no objection from Captain America, fires it at their friend and teammate, seemingly destroying him in the process.
And with that, seeing the nature of things as they were, a troubled and saddened Captain America steps down and hands The Avengers name to Hawkeye. Hawkeye moves forward with his approach to being an Avenger while Captain America forms a new super-hero team…one that falls more within his philosophy: The Defenders.
There was a time where I thought of pitching this whole story as something for the comic book “What If?”, but stylistically it wasn’t quite the right fit and, well, that series was cancelled not long after these documents were written. So in the end, here it is. Hope you enjoyed it.