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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He was daydreaming about the Widow in an earlier issue when she suddenly turned into Wanda, causing him to yell, "Hey! Get out of my daydream, Witchie!"

Unless Hank had worked on the Torch in the past, what could he have seen in the Vision to make him think he was the same android? Horton cells?

Hey, don't ask me to explain it. (I'm firmly in the "spare parts" camp, myself.) Maybe a little plaque that read: "Made in USA - 1939"? It was Neal Adams' "neat idea" and I doubt he even thought it that far through himself.

Thanks Jeff - I can see you'll be an important and welcome contributer to this thread...especially as I'm not that much of a fan of #120 onwards until Kang returns anyhow!! 

I Love this example of the Vision-Grim Reaper- Wondy triangle begun here and am dying to get to the links to the Steranko Cap's...

All in good time...


Jeff of Earth-J said:

Aw, shoot! Roy Thomas had things to say about #102, too, and I meant to bring that MMW with me again today and I forgot. #120 begins a nice little run of stories, not as influential or as often reprinted as the Kree/Skrull War on the other side of #100, but easily their equal in quality, IMO. Marvel comics of this era (particularly those written and/or edited by Roy Thomas) were good at pulling in diverse plot points from multiple titles. Here we have not only the latest development in the Vision/Wonder Man/Grim Reaper triangle, but also the Sentinals from the X-Men, and soon the epilogue to Steranko's classic run on captain America. (But I'll stop as I don't want to get ahead of the discussion.)

 

Flashing through this thread I have just noticed the similarity of size, scale, position and pose of the Tippett figure on the cover of #101 and the Vision figure on the cover of #102. - not exact but worthy of note. (If you're the kind of guy that notices badly inked 'swirls' like me anyway!)

AVENGERS  #103 (09/72)

Writer - Roy Thomas

Art – Rich Buckler  Inker - Joe Sinnott

Cover Art – Rich Buckler & Joe Sinnott

(Interestingly, the ‘From an idea suggested by Chris Claremont’ credit is not present this issue - although surely this is still the same story suggested and began last issue?)

 

"The Sentinels Are Alive and Well!”

The cover is fine enough, the black cover box works well against the white sky and yellow sun – but the background is a tad dull isn’t it? 

The credits are back on the opening splash page which is wonderfully Neal Adams like and very reminiscent of the Kree-Skrull War openings.

The Avengers collect together having searched for info on the Sentinels and realise that Quicksliver, after his outburst last issue – is not present.

Pietro is off making his own super-speed enquiries into the location of his captured sister Wanda.

He searches the last base used by the Sentinels – and finds it deserted.

We get another flashback to the aftermath of the X-Men’s victory over the Sentinels in X-Men #59-60 and the memory prompts Pietro to go in search of the human creators of the Sentinels.

Quicksilver interrupts Larry Trask’s afternoon swim in his private pool and effectively kidnaps Trask to help him in his search.

I was always a bit curious as to why Trask had to spend this entire adventure in his swimming trunks, I guess it was to make the plot-twist of the medallion around his neck all the more obvious by the conclusion but it felt strange at the time.

Maybe an Arthur Dent dressing gown might have worked just as well? 

While our Avengers try to determine the Sentinel’s intentions and consult both with the Starcore satellite and  Nick Fury (the lack of grey and therefore age is a welcome sight indeed – I miss the guy.), the Vision mopes off contemplating the offer he  received from the Grim Reaper last issue – and plays with his own medallion(!) 

Our heroes determine that an unknown outside force from the Australian outback is boosting solar-flares to catastrophic levels threatening all life on earth (naturally).

The Avengers race off pausing only for a second to dismiss as powerless and therefore useless old friend Rick Jones who doesn’t take rejection too well. 

This was a clear sideways reference to the resurrected (again?) Captain Marvel title wherein Rick now shared bodies with Mar-Vell. This is a very annoying scene however as the whole of the Universe had just been saved in the Kree-Skrull War by Rick and treating him as such an insignificant guy is a tad too out of character even for Cap at this stage. It is clearly just to make a point – but it sledgehammers it.

Thankfully Rick gets much better treated shortly…

In a quinjet powered by Thor’s hammer (why? – although it makes for a dramatic panel!) the Avengers race off ‘down-under’.

Quicksilver is still trying to get some info out of Trask and he has realised there is significance in Trask’s medallion and so rips it off him which restores Trask’s dodgy memory and he remembers the other Sentinel base, where the Scarlet Witch may be…in the Australian Outback!

You can see where this is going can’t you?

A shot of a quinjet flying past a couple of Aborigines establishes that the action has moved to Australia and  we hit a great battle sequence with the Avengers attacking Sentinels that are exiting a volcano like giant anthill which echoes the cover nicely (I do like it when that happens)

With the Avengers battling on, Quicksilver and Trask are also on their way to their location.  Trask reveals he has a power himself, dampened by the medallion – if removed his power kicks in.

His power is “ that I can see the future!” and we see his visions of the Avengers being blasted to atoms by Sentinel Number Two (who laughed at 'number-two'?) and then the "end of the world!!"....

We fade out the issue with a panel of an innocent Koala bear in a tree…ah the angst.

 

Art is glorious here and there is a definite quickening of the pacing throughout the issue that races us to the cliffhanger and desperate for the next issue.

 No view of Wanda at all here actually helps the involvement of the reader as Quicksilver is so desperately searching for something he’s not sure will be at the robot’s base when he gets there but he has to go…and we haven’t actually seen Wanda to know he’s right either, so  we do feel some of his frustration.

So both the main team and Quicksilver have separately made their way to Australia…next issue will be the big reunion yes?...Well…..

 

Come back…

 

 

They dismiss Rick knowing he can turn into Captain Marvel?

Why does the Vision have a medallion?

 

Larry Trask, the medallion, and his ability to see the future are all from the Roy Thomas/Neal Adams Sentinels story in X-Men #57-#59.

What does that have to do with the Vision?

Ron, 

   The Vision's medallion was a means of contact given to him by the Grim Reaper last issue - sorry if it wasn't't clear - to call up if he wants a human body ...

As for why the Avengers Don't know about Rick - I've never understood that !

They stood there crying out in shock as Mar-Vell merged with Rick in #97. Did they assume Mar-Vell died and Rick for some reason didn't tell them he was still alive?

“I think this signified the very last true Quicksilver-as-an –Avengers issue, he’s never really part of the team again and indeed even an enemy of theirs for a long time. What do we think, fair readers? How has Pietro been treated through the years?”

In a word, “inconsistently.” He had his own series back in the ‘90s which I did not read, but it was written by Tom Peyer and John Ostrander so I’ll bet it’s pretty good. I mention here only because I noticed a tpb collection of the entire series has been solicited for March release. Anyone here familiar with it?

(Interestingly, the ‘From an idea suggested by Chris Claremont’ credit is not present this issue - although surely this is still the same story suggested and began last issue?)

The holiday put me a bit behind, but Roy Thomas addresses this matter in his intro, too. Standby for further updates…

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