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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ok, it's only a roster change issue but such a leap forward from the treading-water, fill-in stories we've endured over the last half-dozen or so issues

living on a south london sink estate at the start of the eighties i had no way of knowing jim shooter was coming back to write the avengers, so was overjoyed to read the credits for this issue (yes, i was and still am an old-school legion fanboy)

textbook shooter, really - all sorts of character interactions/unfamiliar character introductions, nods to continuity and then clearing the board for himself, all in 20 pages... it was definitely a fresh start

and i'd suggest, richard, that gene colan's artwork benefits from his arrival because colan's now working from a proper script (i'm speculating here), rather the direction to "have a random bad guy with a big cape make a mess for two issues and we'll fill in the words"

i'm really looking forward to you and us revisiting this run of issues, mate - again, for better or worse

m

You may be right there Matt.

matt fiveash said:

 i'd suggest, richard, that gene colan's artwork benefits from his arrival because colan's now working from a proper script (i'm speculating here), rather the direction to "have a random bad guy with a big cape make a mess for two issues and we'll fill in the words

matt fiveash also said:

i'm really looking forward to you and us revisiting this run of issues, mate - again, for better or worse

-thanks Matt, mate. - I must say I'm much more looking forward to the next dozen -plus issues than I have the previous dozen or so!

Glad people are enjoying (and sticking around for) the ride.!

as has previously been said, rich, you took one for the team reviewing those previous books

those issues, 200ish to here, were pretty awful and i probably only bought then out of habit - which is not a bad thing but i obviously had more money than sense

but i'm glad i stuck around

m

#211 is where my “new” Avengers collection begins… well, kinda/sorta/almost. I think I mentioned before how, circa 1977 or so, I acquired a large stack of Avengers between #9 and #100. In 1981, the “Armchair Adventurer” used bookstore had acquired someone’s collection… many longboxes, mostly Marvels as I recall. I already had so many backissues of Avengers, I bought every issues between #101 and #200 (which was most of them). At that point, completing my collection became a distinct possibility, so that’s when I decided to begin buying new issues of Avengers regularly. The current issue at the time was actually #212, but #211 was still on the shelf so I consider that my starting point.

“Why this issue doesn't open the era covered by the 'Trial of YJ' in the trade that begins with next issue I don't understand.

I’ve wondered that myself. Maybe it’s because #211 is included in the collection of Avengers line-up change stories…? That’s my best guess, but I think it was a bad decision. Marvel Chillers had been one of the series I collected from the first issue (Tigra began in #3), but even I wasn’t all that thrilled to see Tigra on Marvel’s “A” team. Shooter commented some years later that he included the character just to point out that not every hero is cut out to be an Avenger.

It is also around this time that Marvel’s first limited series, Contest of Champions, occurs. It’s pretty obvious from issue #1 that it was plotted with the previous line-up in mind, as it begins in the Avengers’ gym before the old order “changeth-ed.” This discrepancy was tossed of in a line of dialogue in which the Wasp says something about “exercise sessions for our favorite former members.” Contest of Champions may not be Marvel’s best series of the era, but it is far preferable to #201-210 and fits quite well into continuity (other than that line of dialogue I mentioned) just prior to #211.

Avengers #212 (10/81)
Writer - Jim Shooter Editor - Jim Salicrup
Penciller - Alan Kupperberg Inker - Dan Green
Cover Art – Alan Kupperberg
  “Men of Deadly Pride!"
At last we get to the beginning of an interesti8ng newv phase for the Avengers and the title as a whole - with quite a fine cover by Alan Kupperberg which is actually IMHO better than his interior work here. I'm not blaming Dan Green's inks - but do I remember there being some sort of edict from Jim Shooter regulating middle shots only throughout comics at this period in Marvel history - making all comics a little dull and pedestrian in their presentation..? (Just me?)


The 'New' team is neatly featured in this cover but the 'Elfqueen!" enemy is a tad generic don't you think and really....'Elf'.. How much of a threat can the Queen of them be?


"Here They Are-- The New Avengers!" highlighting the new roll call corner box is a great tip-of-the-hat to Avengers #16/17 and the first line-up change.
I think these are all still by Byrne..?


The story begins in the Mansion with new-Avenger Tigra scaring Jarvis. It's a neat if predictable scene but when Jarvis claims "I must say, Madame, that I find you rather more unsettling than our previous resident Avengers!" - I think it's pushing things a bit. What about the Vision? Or the Beast?
"Oh? You a cat-lover, Jarv?"
"I am allergic to felines, madame."
Jarvis does inquire about her origins and we get a 'nearly dead transformed by cat-people' explanation but it's not very detailed and no editorial footnotes to send readers looking for her previous appearances.


(Doesn't this seem a perfect time to pick-up a 'Tigra' trade - available now!! 'Purr-fect timing you might say!!)


Tigra is certainly portrayed here as overtly sexual, much more so than we are use to with the much more flighty-Wasp and although her sexual gymnastics in the West Coast Avengers much later seemed to come out of nowhere (Byrne) - it seems the seeds were there all along.


Each of the rest of the team gets their opening scene, Iron Man leaves his most recent female conquest (making reference to how hard it is to stay on the wagon),
Captain America flips out of bed, sings in the shower and leaves for the meeting. Considering limiting the membership to six was apparently his idea as we discussed last issue - he seems surprised here that the rest of the old team left, "It's very strange the way they all left so suddenly!" - this is a point worth mentioning as it does seem to indicate Moondragon had more of an effect last issue than we were certain of at the time.
Cap also vows to keep an eye on new-girl Tigra as , "If she cracks under fire, it could be disastrous!" - which is of course, the whole point isn't it?


Dr Blake again shows how oblivious he is to the longings of his current (and every previous?) nurse as he leaves his practice, transforms to Thor and heads to the mansion.


At their own mansion the Wasp and YellowJacket, despite being in bed together...bicker.
"Oh Hank! Why are you such a cold fish lately?"
"I don't want to be late for my first meeting since returning to active duty as an Avenger!"
Jan continues to flirt asking Hank to choose which costume she should wear but he doesn't even try to humour her - he zaps one with his stinger leaving her with no choice. This is the first (sadly of more to come) tangiable sign that all is not well in the marriage of our heroes and indeed with YellowJacket as a whole.


The meeting begins and YJ rails at the other 'founders' who had made decisions regarding chairmanship without consulting him - he was a founder (as Ant-Man) after all! (I'm on his side there!)Hank is through being a wallflower it seems!


All this internal set-up seques into this issue's plot - a couple straight out of the middle ages wake in their woodland cabin. The bloke encourages the lady to dress as she used to when referred to as 'Elfqueen' and she reminds him she also earned the names "Witch" and "Devil-Spawn!"
This scene has a very similar feeling to those with the Shadow-Lords etc of recent adventures, that there was a whole backstory we were not privvy to but as these two reach the city we realise they are out of place and out of time.
Naturally they make their way to an 'Inn' - actually a posh restaurant where they stick out like sore-thumbs. It's very 'Thor'.
Misunderstandings happen and a fight breaks out, the male being a warrior and the female having magic like powers.
On leaving the restaurant they find their horse missing. (Presumably towed away for parking in the wrong place..?)
They argue and... the man strikes the woman! (Foreshadowing eh?)


The Avengers prepare to leave in a quinjet to go to reports of this couple - as they do YJ notices he needs something from his lab - Jan suggests a solution which he -- explodes at! "You love taking every opportunity to flaunt your blasted money!" - they fall out.
Jan stays behind and the team leave, all feeling awkward about the tiff.


The warrior guy gets jumped by a street gang but fights back - getting shot down by attending Police.
The Elfqueen woman returns - quite angry that her man is dead and flies into the air all magic and fury for revenge.
As we established he was a bit of a brute it could be argued she's better off without him and shouldn't be quite so upset. That would give the 'slap' scene some merit.


There is a strange comment from Iron Man - "Wow! I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful woman!" - she doesn't have any overt effect on everybody else, it's like they're throwing in too much plot.


YJ's problems continue as his blasters short out again. He's not happy.


As the various Avengers fail fighting the Elfqueen Captain America begins to realise he may get through if he offers peace... only for YJ to take the lull to attack.
The Queen throws a truck at Hank who seems destined to die - until the Wasp arrives and blasts the truck away - saving YellowJacket's life!
He's still not happy. "Why her? WHY?"


The battle over, the queen weeps for her husband and accepts that our heroes meant her no harm so she leaves in peace.
It's a damp squib of an ending.
I may be wrong (you're all nodding aren't you?) but I don't think we ever see her again do we?


Iron Man speculates she masy have been a mutant although I don't see why.


The final panel is YellowJacket 'lost in his own bitter thoughts." - there's more going on here don't you think?


So there we have it, the new membership have completed their first adventure. New member Tigra never really got any action (remember the Falcon not seeing much his first few times out either) and despite knowing Jan and Hank for years, the rest of the team are being very 'British' about not discussing domestic relationships with their teammates.... who thinks that's going to work out then?


The art is functional but not outstanding in anyway and as I said in the opening, the cover is much better than the interior.


Next Issue "Court Martial!"


Come Back...

Going just by memory, the barbarian, Gorn, and the Elfqueen not only paralleled the situation with Hank and Jan but also turned the fantasy trope of the hero & princess' "happy ever after" to the frustration of "ever after" being forever!

This was about a year after X-Men #137 (S'80) and Jim Shooter was intrigued by the plot of a long-time Marvel hero turning bad, complete with trial and punishment so a founding Avenger began his downward spiral. It's never really explained at the time why Yellowjacket was so angry with the Wasp and why he wanted to return to the team, at least not convincingly.

Tigra was also one of Shooter's story ideas as the hero not cut out to be on the team. She was rarely shown in a positive light.

The Elfqueen was a tragic character and was surprisingly ignored considering she was the wronged party in all this! She was never seen again!

Avengers #213 (11/81)
Writer - Jim Shooter Editor - Jim Salicrup
Penciller - Bob Hall Inker - Dan Green
Cover Art – Bob Hall & Dan Green
   “Court-Martial"
Again we suffer from advert-banner which does take away some of the drama of the dark cover with spotlight on YJ doesn't it?


Bob Hall gets a cover and he's no Perez/Byrne but this isn't too bad. what I don't understand is why does Tigra not get a floating-head appearance - I guess it's arguable that she's not experienced enough to judge over YJ but at least the cover-box roll-call is complete.


Oh - and why couldn't we get a proper 'Yellow-Jacket' logo rather than the amateur looking one we get in the 'The Court-Martial of Yellow-Jacket!" cover title?


Inside and the Bob Hall Dan Green pairing opens strongly with a detailed interior for the Avengers Mansion as the splash opens the court-martial procedings.


Immediatly we notice that it's Iron Man Thor and Cap doing the judging while Tigra and Wasp pace around outside - I can accept Tigra not being given a vote but the Wasp is as much a Founding Member as the others so why isn't she in on this?


As he offers 'No Explanation!" for his actions last issue shooting the Elf-Queen in the back - YellowJacket is suspended from Avengers membership pending full Court Martial procedings are to be held in a few days.


Hank spurns Jan's offer of a hug after the meeting which obviously upsets her and then he apologises and all seems fine....although Tigra voices the contrary, "I just don't get it! Don't you know you're worth ten of him?"
This seems a bit harsh.


As the team go their ways Cap remembers/flashes back to a wartime battle wherein he very nearly hit an innocent child with his shield and parallels this with YJ's recent actions.
""There, but for the grace of God..."" 
If Cap really feels like this (and I think we the readers are supposed to) why did he initiate action against YellowJacket?


Iron Man reviews Hank's history with the Avengers which does seem to show unnoticed instability and insecurity throughout. Worrying about him Iron man also seems to accept that their suspension may have been too much..."How dare we punish him for a mistake that any of us might have made?"


Once home Hank spurns Jan's advances again and retreats to his lab.


Three days later and at the Mansion, Tigra (and we the readers) learns that being an Avenger with no other support pays one thousand dollars and is suitably bowled over. (So will Spider-Man be IIRC in some months to come.)
As the Court-Martial nears the Avengers collect at the Mansion, all struggling over the events.


Back at her home the Wasp had woken that day to find Hank still in his lab and she discovers him having built a robot - Salvation 1 who in his anger at her he actually sets on the Wasp. YellowJacket stings it's weak spot and the robot turns off. YJ declares this a success.
YJ explains that he believes the only verdict the Avengers can come to is to expell him from the team and so he has created the robot to attack and when it looks like it will win - he will blast the weak spot and appear to save the day!
Jan protests, "I -- Ican't let you-- OHH!"
"SHUT UP!" He slaps he viciously to the ground.


This is an iconic pivitol moment for Hank, Jan and the Avengers as a whole.

Perhaps even moreso than the Ms Marvel plot of Avengers #200 this affects our heroes for - decades - to come!.
This is either a travesty of poor writing, irredeemably eismirching Hank Pym's character forever or is a shrewd example of how not everyone can take being a hero and how, sometimes even the best of us fall short... you decide.


The procedings begin as a dark glassed Jan arrives with Yellowjacket and Captain America (reluctantly) begins the prosecution.
In a shocking tirade Yellowjacket's defence centres on his belief that Cap actually fancied the beautiful woman and was intent on making Hank look a fool!
It's so shocking it's ...sad. "Hank... for heaven's sake... stop!"


Hank appeals for support from Jan... who reveals the black-eye he had given her and refuses to help...

"I beg you, Hank, if you love me... let it end!"


Hank can't see the writing on the wall at all and sets his plan in motion - Sal 1 'attacks'.
Rather than save the day it appears YJ is going to die before the robot ... until the Wasp hits it's soft-spot and defeats it. This just infuriates Hank even more, "Why did it have to be Jan? If I couldn't do it...why her?"
Completely ruined, Hank walks away..."Guess... I'll go."


There is no twist at the end, no redemption or misunderstanding explained...the Wasp closes the issue telling her teammates that she has no tears left!.


It is a staggeringly brutal issue!


Rarely have heroes been dragged so far down as Hank is taken here... was the story worth the price...?
Where do the Avengers go from here..?


Come Back...

Of course, in this instance, Shooter reset the roster back to the 1964-'65 team, but with Tigra rather than Rick Jones as the extra hand to Thor, Iron Man, Cap, Jan & Hank and this is the first time those 5 particular members became the main focus of the team since issue #15, close to 200 issues previously.  Oh, sure, there were several times that all 5 appeared in the same mag, but rather sporadically.  At first glance, this appears to be Shooter's attempt to go back to basics, but knowing what's to come, he was really setting things up to have Hank go rotten and have the other founding members have to deal with it.  I don't think Shooter really handled the story as well as he should have, but it certainly made for some of the heaviest drama in the team since Vision/Wanda/Swordsman/Mantis quadrangle.

matt fiveash said:

ok, it's only a roster change issue but such a leap forward from the treading-water, fill-in stories we've endured over the last half-dozen or so issues

living on a south london sink estate at the start of the eighties i had no way of knowing jim shooter was coming back to write the avengers, so was overjoyed to read the credits for this issue (yes, i was and still am an old-school legion fanboy)

textbook shooter, really - all sorts of character interactions/unfamiliar character introductions, nods to continuity and then clearing the board for himself, all in 20 pages... it was definitely a fresh start

and i'd suggest, richard, that gene colan's artwork benefits from his arrival because colan's now working from a proper script (i'm speculating here), rather the direction to "have a random bad guy with a big cape make a mess for two issues and we'll fill in the words"

i'm really looking forward to you and us revisiting this run of issues, mate - again, for better or worse

m

My thoughts on Avengers #211-213 - when these issues came out in 1981, I had been reading comics regularly for about two years.  I had only sporadically bought Avengers, and was a much bigger fan of the reprint title of the time, Marvel Super Action.  Issue #211 was my first since #201, and without a doubt a cover featuring Hawkeye, Black Panther, and Yellowjacket - mainstays of the MSA reprints - caught my eye immeadiately.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and the credits stated that the new writer was none other than Marvel's editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter.  This blew my mind.  To me, he was the "boss" at Marvel, I didn't think of him as a writer at all.  In 1981, 12 year old me had no idea that Shooter already had a previous stint on the book, or that he got his start in comics as a teenager at DC, writing the LSH.  I was impressed enough that I began collecting the book and continued to do so throughout the 1980's.

Today, I view Shooter's 2nd stint on the book through a much different lens.  I had nothing of his work to compare it to in the early 80's, but now I've read his first Avengers run, some of his LSH stories, and other work he has done.  Plus I've read his Bullpen Bulletins from his time as EIC, his blog from a few years back, and numerous things about him online, in various magazines, Sean Howe's book, etc.  Shooter is complicated.  Many pros and fans absolutely hate him, even to this day.  But I don't want to derail this discussion by opining on that.  So, without further ado, my 2020 thoughts on these nearly 40 year old comics ...

Avengers 211 - tremendous cover, very memorable.  I don't think Gene Colan was a great fit for the book, but that is a cover that grabs you.  A nice mix of former Avengers, most of the original Champions, and a few assorted others.  I'm guessing Dazzler and MK were there to give their own books a bit of a boost, although surprisingly there's no promo blurbs for either from the editor.  The new lineup ends up being mostly the original team plus Tigra, which I was fine with.  Shooter cleverly leaves it rather vague and open for debate whether Moondragon used her powers to cause mainstays Beast, Vision, and Scarlet Witch to leave, the others to stay, YJ to rejoin, and the unknown and unproven commodity Tigra to be added, or if the various characters acted on their own.  I would have loved to see Angel and Iceman added to the lineup, but obvioulsly Shooter had stories he wanted to tell about YJ and Tigra.  There's almost nothing indicating Hank's upcoming issues, other than a throwawy line about his research going nowhere lately.

Avengers 212 - The first adventure of the new team, and all that is secondary to the beginning of the fall of Hank Pym.  He's cruel and verbally abusive to Jan, he makes the first official meeting of the team uncomfortable for everybody, and at the end of the battle with the Elf Queen, he's mentally unravelling.  It's hard to watch.  It's not very subtle - it feels like there's no way this can end well - but it's well told.  The story is hurt somewhat by the art, which I found pretty blah here, although I agree it's a nice cover.

Avengers 213 - Pym has a complete mental breakdown, and in one of the most infamous scenes in the history of Marvel, hits Jan, giving her a black eye.  I think that one action tainted him forever.  Shooter himself, Roger Stern, Steve Englehart, Kurt Busiek, and others all tried to redeem him, and I think it could have been done, if the slap didn't happen.  I won't call it poor writing, it was just a step too far.  The art here is an improvement over last issue, but it's sad to see 3 issues in a row by 3 different artists.


 Interesting to see your views John - and the change in your viewpoint.

 I quite agree, when originally published I really hated Shooter for what he was doing to 'my Avengers' both in his dismissal of some of my favourite members and in the depiction of Hank and Jan - not to mention how appalled I was that he added Tigra who so clearly was not worthy!!

Now, and it's very clear as I re-read for this thread - I can not only see what he was doing but I can recognise it for what it is - dramatic conflict.

I'm enjoying the ride more than I though I was.

Thankyou for taking the time to join in.


John Dunbar said:

Today, I view Shooter's 2nd stint on the book through a much different lens.  

Avengers #214 (12/81)
Writer - Jim Shooter Editor - Jim Salicrup
Penciller - Bob Hall Inker - Dan Green
Cover Art – Bob Hall & Dan Green
   “Three Angels Fallen!"


Under that annoying Advert banner is a strange cover - the Avengers (without Hank and Jan) battling the Ghost Rider with the Angel watching on. It's strange in that the Ghost Rider appears to be flying (maybe he's just holding on to Iron Man but...) he's using some sort of energy/hellfire from his hands against the Iron Mask and the action of the illustration is squashed up at the corner where the logo meets the corner rosta box and it all feels wrong!


Don't get me started on the obvious - why is everyone reacting like they've never met the Ghost Rider before?


At least we get an attempt at a special logo for the Ghost Rider's name but why not the logo from his own title..?


Oh - and I would have preferred almost any costume for the Angel from his wardrobe rather than this shirtless look.


The issue opens with Captain America again training at the Mansion and we get a detailed newspaper story explaining how Yellowjacket has gone missing since being expelled by the Avengers last issue.
Tigra watches and then chats to Jarvis, she doesn't understand why Cap is so upset over YJ   

"But why? Yellowjacket is a Creep! He got what he deserved!"
This actually explains the readership's reactions - newer readers (like Tigra being new to the team) don't understand the uproar/disgust/shock at the actions/treatment of Hank Pym like we longer-in-the-tooth readers/the founding Avengers around her at the time.
Never noticed how Tigra represented the 'new' everyman.


Jarvis sums up the older readers - "Men are fallible -- even heroes -- and Dr Pym, like any man, must bear the consequences of his actions! Judge him not too harshly, madame -- until you have proven yourself as he has!"
That's Shooter's point to in one panel.


Later, Tony Stark and Don Blake meet to discuss Hank. (Remember when only a few people knew each other's secret identities?)
They decide they can help... all they need to do is find him.
Not that finding him seems too difficult - we cut to Jan (still with her black eye) at her designer desk , being visited by a dejected Yellowjacket.
"You -- you hate me, don't you?"
"No Hank, I pity you - but not enough to put up with you!" - these two will never be the same again.
Hank retreats to a bedsit in depression.


(Later when building his life back up Hank becomes a regular in the West Coast Avengers and gets to a point where he contemplates taking his own life - I never felt that was realistic at that point and it annoyed me greatly - but here it could have just about fitted Shooter's narrative.)


Jarvis has a heart-to-heart with Cap, basically telling him he can't blame himself for other people's failings which Cap appears to take on board.


We cut to New Mexico where bitter Johnny Blaze watches a sportscar race by and believing himself hard done by due to his 'curse' of being the Ghost Rider decides to take revenge/vengeance on the car driver for not having his troubles.
This is the second of the 'angels' of the title presumably, previous hero Blaze having fallen into self-pity and violence. (Hasn't Shooter already made this point with Hank and Jan?)


In the car just happens to be Warren Worthington and partner Candy Southern (whatever happened to her?)
"It's...the Ghost Rider, Candy! I know him from the Champions!" says Warren as the Ghost Rider rides by and blocks their road ahead.
They crash and GR discovers the driver was Warren/the Angel and challenges him to a race - for no apparent reason and Warren agrees to prevent him harassing Candy.
Angel flies and the Ghost Rider rides but eventually it's a blast of hellfire that downs the Angel - The 3rd 'fallen angel' of the title I'm guessing.


Candy calls the Avengers hoping for help from the Beast but Cap takes the current team off to help.
Cap says "well, surely Thor, Iron Man, Tigra and I can handle this "Ghost Rider"!" like he's never heard of him or met him but wasn't he in the Champions when they crossed over with the Avengers for the Super-Villain-Team-Up climax against Dr Doom etc??
This confusion/vagueness is incredibly annoying!


The Avengers arrive and search for the villain of the piece while Blaze looks on - feeling a little guilty.
Tigra gets a light-hearted comedy moment as she suits up for the wild west but it takes a young child getting caught up a water tower to coax Blaze out into the open. He changes to Ghost Rider but once the transformation is complete the Rider ignores the boy.


It appears that once he becomes the Ghost Rider Johnny is consumed by his urge to 'take vengeance' and be violent etc, hence his nasty manner of late - this should really have been made much more obvious at the beginning of this book don't you think?


The Avengerss save the boy and confront the Ghost Rider after another chase and crash.
He attacks Cap and Tigra with his hellfire.
Iron man and he battle as per the cover - Iron Man never sealed his eye-slits !!
The Rider grabs a lift on Mjolnir as it returns to Thor, hoping to hit him with it but the hammer stops before then , surprising both men.
This is apparently the first time Thor realises his hammer can't/won't hit him - not sure if that stands up to scrutiny?


The Avengers regroup and prepare their next move - to the astonishment of Tigra - "Why aren't you afraid?" (This was the whole reason Tigra was brought in !) Of course, it falls to Cap to provide the inspiration.
The final fight with the Ghost Rider - during which despite herself Tigra freezes again in fear - ends as the Angel arrives and talks Blaze down.
Warren explains his theory that Blaze is depressed and that's making the Ghost Rider violent. He offers to let Blaze kill him to quench the lust for vengeance/violence. Blaze powers down, choosing peace.
"This reminds me of Hank in a way!" says Cap just incase we never saw the allegory.
The Avenegrs go home.


So, clunky storytelling, obvious characterisation/motivations with little attention to continuity in order to tell a morallity tale we could probably have understood in just Jarvis's conversations with Cap and Tigra.
The art is not great, it feels rushed and suffers from no interesting set pieces despite the battles.
This story is all about Hank and yet he's not the one used to tell it. That in itself is creditable.


Next Issue Enter the Silver Surfer! Also: The End of the World!"


Come Back...

Thanks Richard.  What I should have added to my statement "Today, I view Shooter's 2nd stint on the book through a much different lens" is this - I have much fonder feelings for his first run.  I feel like the earlier stint was more of a collaborative effort with George Perez (and others) and John Byrne co-plotting or at least giving their input, and the dialogue was more natural.  This early 80s run to me was Shooter's show from the top down.  Bob Hall was (I guess by default) the regular artist for Shooter's run, but he only did 213, 214, 217, 219 and 220; the lack of artistic consistency hurts the stories.  Some things feel rushed, others don't ring true, and as a comment on mental health issues, it was pretty ham-fisted.  I still like this run, but I don't love it; 12 year old me in 1981-1982 certainly enjoyed it more.


Richard Mantle said:


 Interesting to see your views John - and the change in your viewpoint.

 I quite agree, when originally published I really hated Shooter for what he was doing to 'my Avengers' both in his dismissal of some of my favourite members and in the depiction of Hank and Jan - not to mention how appalled I was that he added Tigra who so clearly was not worthy!!

Now, and it's very clear as I re-read for this thread - I can not only see what he was doing but I can recognise it for what it is - dramatic conflict.

I'm enjoying the ride more than I though I was.

Thankyou for taking the time to join in.


John Dunbar said:

Today, I view Shooter's 2nd stint on the book through a much different lens.  

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