Spider-Woman is contacted by Nick Fury, and informed that S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, has gone rogue, and is currently subject to a capture/kill order. Shortly thereafter, Jessica receives a coded message from Hawkeye, informing her that he is still “on the side of the angels”, and that he has gone rogue in order to track down his former lover Natasha Romanoff, The Black Widow.
Worried for his safety, Spider-Woman enlists the aid of Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and the Black Panther. The four Avengers track Hawkeye’s movements to the independent city of Madripoor, known the world over for its lawlessness. Rumors in the intelligence community claim that The Black Widow is suspected of being a double agent working for Hydra. The Avengers discover Hydra operating out of a Roxxon building in Madripoor, and sneak in to find Hawkeye being interrogated by three Hydra operatives – Mentallo, Taskmaster, and led by Yelena Belova, the so-called “Dark Widow”. The rumors regarding the Black Widow, apparently miscommunication and in reality referring to Belova.
The Avengers handily trounce the villains, and the Hydra agents they call upon to aid them. S.H.I.E.L.D. interrupts the Avengers victory, revealing that they have inadvertently interfered with an ongoing mission. Nick Fury suspends Hawkeye from active S.H.I.E.L.D. duty. Hawkeye responds by quitting S.H.I.E.L.D. altogether, announcing that he would be joining the Avengers instead.
S.H.I.E.L.D. subsequently allows Taskmaster and Dark Widow to escape custody, needing them free for whatever schemes Fury is hatching.