It might be a bit presumptive of me to 'start' a discussion on only my first full day as a member here...but.... here goes...

Avengers 202 saw the end of Perez style 'clean' art and the beginning of a dull period before the big shake-ups of 211 and in my mind was never the same again....anyone any thoughts?

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Stern's last credited issue as writer was #285.  He was credited as plotter for the next two issues, with Ralph Macchio listed as scripter.  Then Macchio is listed as the writer for # 288 and 289, and Gruenwald was listed as the writer of # 290.  Those issues, # 286-290, made up a 5 part story called "Heavy Metal".  I can't remember a thing about that story, but it sounds like a dog's breakfast.

Walter Simonson then came on board as the writer of Avengers # 291-300.  Gruenwald wrote and edited #301-303.  Issue 304 was a fill-in written be Danny Fingeroth and Howard Mackie took over as editor.  John Byrne started a stint as writer with issue # 305 (he had started writing and pencilling West Coast Avengers a few months earlier).  Gruenwald came back to write a 5 page backup story in each issue from issue # 319 - 324, and wrote the entire story in issue 325.

Weird aside: I discovered something while researching the above info.  John Byrne left both Avengers and Avengers West Coast, in mid story, in the same month that Namor #1 came out.  The former would seem to mean a big falling out with Marvel, but the latter was a big launch of a new book with Byrne as writer and artist.  I didn't know this all happened around the same time, or I had forgotten.  Howard Mackie was Byrne's editor on Avengers and AWC; Terry Kavanugh edited Namor.  Only three months later, Byrne became the writer on Iron Man, edited by Howard Mackie, so if there was any bad blood, it was resolved.  I wonder why Byrne left the 2 Avengers books in mid-story.

 

Because it wouldn't be a proper John Byrne run if he didn't?

Leaving midway is a sign of genius! That's why I always

This topic got me to thinking about some other jumping off points back in the 80s including:

Daredevil- After Frank Miller finished up I stuck around for some Klaus Janson pencilled issues and a few by William Johnson but I barely remember them.

Fantastic Four- Actually dropped it a few issues before Byrne left because he had run out of ideas.

X-Men- Stuck with it through the end of Paul Smith but Romita Jr really turned me off and I dropped it a few issues into his run.

Teen Titans- Bought every issue of the original Wolfman/Perez book. Started with the Baxter book but dropped it as soon as Perez left.

Legion- Same deal. Once Giffen left the Baxter book, I lost interest. I think I stayed on for some Steve Lightle issues then dropped it.


Alpha Flight- Being a Byrne devotee I bought every issue until he traded with Mantlo and took over Hulk. I then moved over to Hulk until Byrne left that title.

I'm sure some others will occur to me later...

Ironically, I was just returning to comics after an 8 year hiatus during college, and as a result, the Byrne/Perez era attracted me again.  So much so, that I began a subscription service that i thought might keep me connected in Marvels, without sending me to the comic shop stores... and so, I ordered Captain America, DD, Avengers and X-men only.

My first issue was Avengers #203.  Yuck!  But my subscription ran for a year for four titles, and so, I was stuck during that next period.  How sad.  But at least I was there during the time when Hank Pym "went bad" and paid for it.  I must admit that it didn't dawn on me that he might have been under the influence of Moondragon at the time, but when Iron Man "invented" the helmet that proved that he wasn't under any outside mental influence....well, I thought it was a REALLY good excuse...and kept waiting for some explanation of why Iron Man's machine was wrong or an additional level of subterfuge!

So true!

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

So the #300 "New" Avengers were Thor, Cap (as the black, white 'n red Captain), Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman (for a coffee break) and Gilgamu.....Galgomi...Now I forgot again!

The most forgettable part of that was the line-up! <rimshot!>. Non-Cap Cap, Thor, old what's-his-name, and two members of the FF. If wanted to read about those two I would have actually picked up the Fantastic Four. I didn't, so I didn't.

Captain Comics:

"Leaving midway is a sign of genius! That's why I always"

HAH!

Immediately coming to mind... Len Wein's 2nd run on FANTASTIC FOUR (the FF break up for a year), and Len Wein's run on GREEN LANTERN (Hal Jordan quits the GLC... over a woman!!!)

I don't know why Byrne left Avengers, but I think he left West Coast Avengers (perhaps as a "package deal"?) because he wasn't allowed to end the "Dark Scarlet" storyline as he intended (turning the Scarlet Witch into a villain... pretty much what Bendis did several years later).

I think you're right Jeff - but why do the writers get the green light from their editors for such a clearly signposted storyline  at the beginning? Wasn't the question "John, Where are you going with this?" asked when he first turned in the plot for the opening 'Dark Scarlet Witch' chapters?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I don't know why Byrne left Avengers, but I think he left West Coast Avengers (perhaps as a "package deal"?) because he wasn't allowed to end the "Dark Scarlet" storyline as he intended (turning the Scarlet Witch into a villain... pretty much what Bendis did several years later).

Quite possibly the question  was asked, and the answer was "wait and see".  Strange as it may seem, sometimes writers keep their cards close to their vest.  The identity of the original Hobgoblin comes to mind.  Stern apparently didn't tell his editor that one.

I think that in the early 90s, Byrne was still enough of a superstar that he could have a snit and walk away from a book mid story, and still get assignments not just from the same company, but the same editor.  Look at what happened to Roger Stern after he objected to an editorial "suggestion" (obviously a directive in Gru's mind) on Avengers - he got fired from the book, and only one Marvel editor, a longtime friend of Stern, would return his calls.

Or it could have been approved by one editor and balked at by another. The same editor could have even changed their mind.

More likely the editor's boss was appalled by the Scarlet Witch turn and overruled it!

As for the Hobgoblin, I loved the opening storyline but was dissatisfied with both revelations. It never felt right.

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