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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Didn't he announce he was going to marry Crystal the next time we saw him? I know he showed up with Wanda for a couple of issues to find out they weren't the children of the Whizzer and Miss America (Why? What was wrong with that idea? How many times has their being related to Magneto been really important?), and I believe he rejoined not too long before the Crossing (which was when I left, so I'm not sure.) But yeah, this is pretty much it for him.

Question: Did we miss him after he was gone?

Well yes Jeff, (told you I was an Avengers completist!)

    - it was an entertaining series that had fair clean artwork and span Pietro off as the leader of the High Evolutionary's 'New Men' - who were a kind of Animal-Knights- of- the- Round- Table - although I remember it drifted off mission very quickly and got tied up in a few crossovers (Live Kree And Die - comes to mind) and I think only lasted a dozen issues or so.

I remember thinking the way Pietro was portrayed in the Mighty Avengers (When Hank Pym was the Wasp and Scarlet Witch was Loki ...) was the closest I had seen to the way he was this series of his own.

 

I also liked the 'Son of M' trade/series which changed Pietro greatly, although no-one seemed to want him to remain so.

I thought it was very well written and a missed opportunity...
 
Jeff of Earth-J said:

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?

As promised, here is what Roy Thomas had to say about the credits for issues #102-104:

“A special aside: This story’s credits say it was ‘from an idea suggested by Chris Claremont,’ And that deserves a bit of explanation… except that my memory is rather fuzzy on the details. Youngster Chris was the an unpaid intern at Marvel, working for college credit if I recall a-right; but he was already eager to get into the field full-time one day. So, quite possibly unbidden, he wrote up a storyline that involved the Sentinels (though perhaps not the Grim reaper and other story elements) and presented it to me. Recognizing a good story idea when I saw it, and being increasingly busy as Stan Lee’s associate editor, as well as trying to find the time and way to make a wounded marriage work after my first wife and I had been separated for several months at the turn of 1972, I saw to it that Chris was paid a token sum for his several-page plot (according to the standards of the time), and I proceeded to merge Chris’ ideas with mine… while Rich, in penciling, would add a few touches of his own.

“I wish I could remember today what I took from Chris’ synopsis, and what Rich and I added on our own… but I can’t. It’s quite possible there was a bit less Chris in parts 2 and 3, in Avengers #103-104, because otherwise I might have given him splash page credit again… but since Chris had almost certainly come up with the basic Starcore situation, it might be that, having credited him in #102, I felt no need to do so again. And perhaps Chris’ internship had ended by then, so he wasn’t around to remind me. We didn’t tend to worry about such things in those days, no matter which end of the stick we were on; after all, I myself had anonymously co-plotted an Amazing Spider-Man tale for Stan, as well as plotting out the first issue of Tomb of Dracula, which I’d then turned over to Gerry Conway to dialogue, without asking for written credit.”

Wasn't Roy also writing Conan for nothing at that time because the licensing was so expensive? Sounds like his life was so hectic back then it's no wonder he couldn't think of what to do with Gwen Stacy except kill her. He didn't have the time to come up with another idea.

I seem to remember reading somewhere (in one of Thomas’ introduction to a Conan collection, no doubt), that he accepted a cut in his page rate initially to get the license, but I don’t know how long that condition persisted. I do know that around the time he was writing Avengers #103, in addition to trying to hold his marriage together, he was promoted to editor-in-chief plus he was writing Conan and Savage Tales and Avengers and Fantastic Four.

Probably was relieved to give Avengers to Steve Englehart. One less problem to worry about. Overwork would explain why his Fantastic Four was disappointing.

You could say that. I've just finished transcibing comments (from Steve Englehart as well as Roy Thomas) to supplement this discussion at the appropriate time through issue #111.

Ron M. said:

Probably was relieved to give Avengers to Steve Englehart. 

Also, prior to this, Hawkeye must have thought Wanda was "available" and since by this point he knew it was pretty much over between him and Natasha and there weren't any other single women hanging around in the Avengers' mansion, why wouldn't he develop the hots for her?  Part of the pitfall of being a member of a group like the Avengers and not appearing anywhere else is that there was very little character advancement for most characters like Hawkeye.  Early on in the Kookie Quartet era Hawkeye was shown hanging out in clubs, flirting with dames while in costume, but otherwise Clint Barton was not shown to have any life apart from the Avengers.  Stan & Roy probably never had him show any serious interest in Wanda previously because they conceived him as hopelessly smitten by Natasha, who was at this point hooked up with Daredevil.  Just another Silver Age romance shot down in flames.
 
Richard Willis said:

Richard Mantle said:

Hawkeye appears shocked – I never accepted his sudden interest in Wanda, it was clearly to add a tinge of jealousy to the Vision’s story but it seemed clumsy and unnecessary to me.

I think early on Hawkeye was portrayed as emotionally a 13-year-old, falling in love at the drop of a hat. That's what he did with Black Widow, after all, and he KNEW she was a Soviet spy. I would say his fixating on Wanda and building it up in his mind as a relationship were consistent with that.

As I recall reading, it was actually John Romita's idea to kill off Gwen Stacy, which came up in a story conference in which Gerry Conway initially proposed killing off Aunt May.  Both Roy & Stan gave the green light to that classic tale, although later Stan would try to pretend that he knew nothing about it until after it was all done and in spinner racks for kids to purchase with a couple of dimes (and a penny for tax).
 
Ron M. said:

Wasn't Roy also writing Conan for nothing at that time because the licensing was so expensive? Sounds like his life was so hectic back then it's no wonder he couldn't think of what to do with Gwen Stacy except kill her. He didn't have the time to come up with another idea.

I didn't have issues with his interest in Wanda either, at least not from a character standpoint.  She was always depicted as being quite beautiful, and she also seemed to have a very attractive personality at the time. It did seem to come out of the blue within the stories, however.  It was like, Clint shows up in a new costume and suddenly he's in love with Wanda.  It didn't seem like it was built up to in a manner that made sense.

My first issue of the Avengers was actually 104, the conclusion of this storyline, after which Pietro became an ex-Avenger for the remainder of the time that I collected comics regularly, not counting a few guest appearances.  But then a few months later I picked up the Marvel Triple Action reprint of Avengers #16, thus catching the beginning of his career as an Avenger.  He's certainly an interesting character, but I can see why he was written out just as Wanda & Vizh were edging ever closer together.  The dramatic heat, with Pietro vehement opposition to any such romance, might have gotten a bit too intense.  But then Englehart created a different sort of tension within the quartet of Wanda, Vizh, Swordsman & Mantis.  Despite superficial similarities with the Flash, Pietro was a very different character, and his speed power was never shown to be near that of the Flash, which I consider a good thing.
 
Jeff of Earth-J said:

“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…

It's not surprising Hawkeye would assume Wanda was available. It seemed like he didn't have any competition for her until it was too late to compete. The Black Panther and the Black Knight showed no interest in her that way, Hercules did, but he acted that way with all women (like Jane Foster) and wasn't around that long anyway. Quicksilver was her brother. And the Vision was some kind of robot. Who would have thought she'd fall for the robot?

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