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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Englehart was both writer and colorist on Avengers#127 and #128.

...Oh , thank you . Had the companies started giving colorist credits by then ? If only because of how late it came in the production process?? , the " Big Two " only stared crediting that fairly late into the BA , IIRC .
Ron M. said:

Englehart was both writer and colorist on Avengers#127 and #128.

I'd guess as writer he could get them to mention anything else he did on a comic. I think Marvel only started putting writers' names on the stories when Stan started signing the ones he wrote.

...Stan did that , at least irregularly , as long ago as the Fifties , at least !

  That's one reason he picked up the " Stan Bragg " nickname . :-)

Ron M. said:

I'd guess as writer he could get them to mention anything else he did on a comic. I think Marvel only started putting writers' names on the stories when Stan started signing the ones he wrote.

Steve Englehart was the Avengers scribe for quite a while before and after this arc, but the “Celestial Madonna” storyline is the first thing that pops into my mind when someone mentions “Steve Englehart Avengers.” I read all these for the first time as back issues, but not just too long after they were originally published. Although it’s only been a year or so since I last re-read this run, I am so tempted to read these right along with you. That would mean back-burnering something else, though. We’ll see. Steve Englehart has quite a bit to say about this issue, but he discusses #129 and GSA #2 as a piece, so I’ll wait to post those comments until next time. (That, plus I haven’t transcribed it yet; if it’s not too spoilery, I may post it sooner.)

I don't know if Stan was putting his name to his comics' writings in the '40s, but in the early '50s EC was letting readers know who the writer/editor (mostly Feldstein or Kurtzman) and artists were on their stories.   And at least a few artists for other companies often signed their work, Bill Everett being one example.  Still, in 1961, EC was long gone from the comics scene and to my knowledge it was rare for any of the creative personnel to get credit for their work, and infamously Bob Kane was often credited for writing & drawing he didn't actually do, and Disney comics gave the impression that Walt Disney himself did the writing & drawing for all their comics -- Carl Barks was known as the "good duck artist" by fans who recognized his style but didn't know his name because it wasn't listed anywhere in the comics themselves.  By 1964, Marvel Comics regularly listed the writer, artist, inker and letterer (and Stan Lee as editor if he wasn't already listed as writer).  I think it was circa 1972 that Marvel Comics also started regularly listing the colorist as well.  Have no idea when DC started regularly giving credit to their creative personnel in their comics.  Things really came round by the mid-80s by which time with the decline of comics sales just about everywhere except in comics stores and the rise of fans who would pick up a comic for the particular writer and/or artist rather than for the character, the writers and artists names started getting highlighted on the covers themselves.

Ron M. said:

I'd guess as writer he could get them to mention anything else he did on a comic. I think Marvel only started putting writers' names on the stories when Stan started signing the ones he wrote.

Simon and Kirby were signing their names in the 40s. Gene Colan was signing his in the early 50s. I believe EC sometimes only listed the artists' last name.

To my recall EC didn't give direct credit in the splash pages of the stories themselves, aside from the last name of the artists usually appearing on the opening splash, either printed or in an easily decipherable signature, and EC also ran profiles of the artists.  But Stan may have been the first U.S. comics editor to include credit boxes on the first page of each story.  Kurtzman may have been doing that in Mad, but I think only regularly after it switched to magazine size and cost.

Ron M. said:

I believe EC sometimes only listed the artists' last name.

I think Graham Ingels was referred to solely by the nickname "Ghastly" at first.

Richard Mantle said:

AVENGERS #129 (11/79)

Actually, Avengers #129 was cover-dated 11/74. I've been enjoying this thread even though I don't have access to the comics, but I'll be able to follow along with this extended story because I recently acquired the Celestial Madonna TPB. I know I was buying all the Marvels back then but the story didn't stick in my mind.

"The Avengers are Mine! - even Jarvis is zapped.

Just before paralyzing Jarvis, Kang wipes the floor with two police officers. I remember the false note in some of Stan's early stories where the supervillain wasn't afraid of Spider-Man but ran away from the police. I guess that was an attempt to make the Code happy.

Swordsman checks on Jarvis then races to Egypt, remembering the positive effect on his life he believes Mantis has had - despite her recent rejection of him.

For someone who professes to love Mantis, Swordsman has a low opinion of her, thinking her as "cheap," "a tramp" and a liar.

Swordy is shot out the sky as Kang notices his arrival and Ms Harkness' s spells.

Kang only realizes who's helping him and neutralizes her when the Swordsman addresses Ms Harkness by name. He's shot out of the sky after destroying an Egyptian jet and presumably killing its pilot. This was written before Egypt made peace with Israel so I guess they were considered the bad guys then. Speaking of colorists, the vampire demon (who slaugters several Egyptian soldiers to save Swordsman the trouble) in the captions is referred to as pale but in my trade paperback he is bright red. Was he pale in the originals?

Given the way Mantis had been treating him lately, it's no wonder the Swordsman had mixed feelings about her -- still madly hung up on her, but also infuriated with her and hence pretty realistic for him to take to using derogatory descriptions of her.  An odd thought that pops up in my mind about this whole thing, tho', is that presumably from the time Swordsy & Mantis became regulars in the Avengers, arriving as a couple, they were likely sharing a room in the mansion.  At least I don't think Tony Stark would have laid down rules prohibiting an unmarried couple from sharing a room in his mansion!  But it was never actually shown or stated that they shared a room.  But if they did, it seems clear by the dialogue between them in Avengers #128 that Mantis was no longer sharing a room with the Swordsman and she clearly hoped to be moving in with the Vision, who shot that down in no uncertain terms.  So it certainly seems Kang arrived just before Mantis would have either left on her own or gotten herself booted out -- unless she started a romance with Tony Stark!  (Hmm, and I don't think she was ever shown to have seen Tony without his armor).

Sadly my memory is lousy and my copy of #129 is long gone. I don't even remember the vampire demon.

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