AVENGERS. “And There Came Another Day…”

There are some interesting threads on this forum, already covering issues of Marvel’s early series – ‘re-reading’’ of the Avengers and Journey into Mystery/Thor and so on and there was quite a good issue by issue thread on the Invaders around too, until it caught up with the present.
What is more rarely discussed are the later periods when these series were in full flow and while perhaps less iconic still number among them some classics…

I therefore present to you an issue by issue critique/discussion forum for one of these mainstay Marvel titles.
Not beginning at the very debut – as others have that covered well – but (and I hope I don’t step on anyone’s creative toes here!) – I would like to pick up the Avengers title after a watershed/bookend issue provided an opportune point at which to begin …
Issue #100 featured all Avengers to that point together in one tale and everything that goes before it is pretty well easily contained by then. The next issue launches the title into its second century of publishing and its next phase of greatness…

What has gone before…?
And so there came a Day…

The formation of the team.
The Hulk leaving. Captain America’s return. The Original members giving way to Cap’s kooky Quartet.
Goliath and Wasp returning. Hercules coming and going. The creation of Ultron. The arrival of the Vision.
Yellow jacket Hawkeye as Goliath II and then back again. The Squadron Sinister/Supreme. The Kree-Skrull War and of course…the Lady Liberators!
(I’m sure you’ll have your own highlights!)

And so there came ANOTHER Day…

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Steve Englehart doesn’t have much to say about this issue (nor do I).

STEVE ENGLEHART ON AVENGERS #140:

“The main thing here is my homage to the classic Avengers #93, where Hank Pym the Ant-Man went inside the body of the Vision. That has led to the revelation of the Vision’s origin in the previous Masterworks, and now it leads to this.”

As always Jeff, thanks for your transcripts - but - as always -- I'd love to know what you actually think of the issue yourself..?

Is the reason why you feel you had little to say because, like me, you think the issue is a tad underwhelming? Why do you feel so indifferent?

Hopefully we're anticipating an upsurge in interest from the next issue..?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Steve Englehart doesn’t have much to say about this issue (nor do I).

I'm waiting until you get to Avengers Annual #6 and Avengers #155, which is where I came in.

“Is the reason why you feel you had little to say because, like me, you think the issue is a tad underwhelming? Why do you feel so indifferent?”

Yeah, “underwhelming” kind of sums it up. Back on November 10 (page 70 of this thread) I posted: “The discussion is now moving into rather ‘blah’ period, especially in the order I tend to read them, namely: #137-140, 145-146.” That was intended to be my heads up to you that I might not have a whole lot to say about these issues.

I also said, “I place the fill-in #145-146 after #140 so as not to interrupt the Squadron Supreme story, but also because that’s where it logically fits.” I will have something to say about those issues (one of them, anyway) regardless of how you deal with them in sequence.


I agree about the reading order but publication/reading order is probably the best way to go for this thread - so the main narrative will seem interrupted - as it would have if we were around in the original publication time.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

I also said, “I place the fill-in #145-146 after #140 so as not to interrupt the Squadron Supreme story, but also because that’s where it logically fits.” I will have something to say about those issues (one of them, anyway) regardless of how you deal with them in sequence.

Thankyou for waiting Baron. There's a lot of good stuff before then but those issues you mention - up to #166 are my all time favourites !!

The Baron said:

I'm waiting until you get to Avengers Annual #6 and Avengers #155, which is where I came in.

It kinda bothered me that the Vision and the Scarlet Witch have no reaction to the Beast being there and giving orders!

This thread is approaching my "jumping on" point as well. I had a mail subscription that started with issue 158, so I'll be keeping tabs.

That microbe was in Jan's blood too for awhile, but she seems to have gotten rid of it easily enough. Never got how shrinking would cause you to grow. It seems like it would have trapped him back at ant size instead of turning him into Godzilla.

Having put Hank and Jan in the title, he now seems to have decided against it. They miss out on the Squadron Supreme story, but turn up again just as he's leaving the series.

AVENGERS #141 (11/75)

Writer Steve Englehart

Penciller George Perez Inker Vince Colletta

Cover Art Gil Kane & John Romita

"The Phantom Empire!"

At Last! The Avengers return to - and surpass - their previous highs - after some pretty dull issues! The cover is a familiar trope and an interesting blend of Gil Kane and John romita don't you think? I can see Kane in the Vision and Romita in Cap and both in the Beast who is finally settling down into his new look.

The splash page credits the biggest and best change here "and introducing our newest avengin' ace: George Perez, artist" - when was the last time a 'new' artist was so welcomed?

At this point Perez was very 'new' wasn't he? I know he'd done a few (brilliant!) Creatures of the Loose issues (Man-Wolf) but surely he was quite untested to get such a billing here wasn't he?

Anyway, we begin with the Beast bounding along a road, linking us to last issue as he comments how YellowJacket and the Wasp are recovering nicely only to be attacked by some mysterious uniformed bad guys.

He is helped out by the returning-to-the-fold Captain America and we get a quick recap of what's been happening in Cap's own mag while he's been away from our team. (Nomad/Roxxon/Serpent Squad/Red Skull - he's been a busy guy!)

There is a coincidence here as Cap is looking for the Beast regardless of his Avengers association.

(This is pushing the story a tad here, Cap and the Beast just happen to be strolling down the same road together..? this opening feels like it was a George Perez try-out submission shoe-hoprned into the action ..?)

We get another scene of mysterious redhead badgering Jarvis for the location of the Beast - only to be told to try the hospital where he's been for issues..."A strange young woman!" ... we've been beaten over the head by this 'mystery' for far too long now. - Yes I know we all know the mystery but...

At the hospital, Hank and Jan are still bedridden but looking and sounding healthy as the Beast and Cap drop in.

That redhead catches up and the Pyms recognise her from meeting her at Sue and Reed Richards' wedding!

Cap explains to the Avengers that he feels his current case is Avengers territory and best ignored by 'new-personality-Falcon' (is this 'Snap' Wilson?) and finally the Avengers meet back up with Iron Man and Moondragon who have a theory that Hawkeye is lost in time courtesy of Kang the Conqueror.

At last Patsy Baxter nee Walker bursts in , from the Beast's solo Amazing Adventures, revealed as 'that redhead who has a revelation of her own...

"The Beast is really HANK McCOY!"

-which results in a wonderfully understated, "So? Miss we know that already!".

This rounds off several pages of just talking which whilst it all looks beautiful because Perez is drawing it is quite slow and dull and when you look at Patsy's debut with hindsight she comes over as quite vindictive and nasty really, not how she settles down to be at all.

The Beast allows Patsy to tag along as an official observer requesting the Avengers go along with him. Cap pulls rank, "As I understand it, you haven't been officially designated an Avenger." - hasn't he? Why not? How come? If I was the Beast I'd be pretty narked at that! He auditioned when virtually no-one else did and he's won the day ever since! Not designated an Avenger yet! Bah!

Thor and Moondragon go off together, call up Immortus (how does Moondragon do that and how come she never really shows such abilities again?) and get him to guide them through time to find Hawkeye - only to battle and seemingly defeat a version of Kang the conqueror in the limbo between time.

It's very confusing and Perez tries to draw wierd panel shapes and Ditko-esque backgrounds to depict this wierd dimension but the whole sequence falls flat and feels forced.

The rest of the Avengers and Patsy sneak into the Brand Corporation watched on camera by Patsy's ex-husband Colonel Buzz Baxter -- clearly the bully unhinged uniform wearing type we've all seen before.

If all these introductions weren't enough, our team is suddenly attacked, through a portal, by "The SQUADRON SUPREME!"

- "That's 'Supreme' - not 'Sinister' Avengers!" (last seen in Avengers #85-86 - got that?)

Oh also among all these guys is a guy who looks like 'the Golden Archer' who was an identity Hawkeye made up in Captain America#179 - confused yet? My head hurts!

(Oh and the Archer is apparently British leading to probably the most offensive British accent written ever!!)

Anyway a good throw down fight breaks out (not sure what they're fighting about/over though) with old bad guys Whizzer, Dr Spectrum and Hyperion alongside this Archer guy and Lady Lark who gets a spotlight.

The Avengers and Patsy are captured by the cliffhanger ending and elsewhen Moondragon, Thor and Immortus arrive in 1873 only to be shocked by unseen adversaries...!

Let's face it - there is some pace to the end of this issue but the rest is a mess, the story is incomprehensible and there are way too many elements and characters in it --- but Perez has arrived!! Yay!!

Come back...

The Golden Archer's accent is pretty much the only hold over from his previous appearance as Hawkeye, but I believe this is the last storyline in which he has it.  I expressed my own concerns about how and why he assumed the Golden Archer identity in another thread not long ago.

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