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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It might had been better if we saw Cap and Jocasta on the last page then they vanished!

Shooter also gets some fan-service in by emphasizing Wanda's voluptuousness and Carol in the dressing room.

Ms. Marvel tried to break the Jan/Wanda monopoly on female members in the Avengers and gave it a good try!

Up until she is unceremoniously dumped in 'that #200'.

I was really happy when Kurt Busiek made her a pivitol member of his resurrected-in-glory- team ...until she was given that alcoholic storyline which I felt was just not fair for her.
 
Philip Portelli said:

Ms. Marvel tried to break the Jan/Wanda monopoly on female members in the Avengers and gave it a good try!

  Never thought of it as fan service back then.  I thought at the time that at least one of the saleswoman would be back in some sort of subplot though.


Philip Portelli said:

It might had been better if we saw Cap and Jocasta on the last page then they vanished!

Shooter also gets some fan-service in by emphasizing Wanda's voluptuousness and Carol in the dressing room.

Ms. Marvel tried to break the Jan/Wanda monopoly on female members in the Avengers and gave it a good try!

I have always wanted to know if the woman that wanted to get the other into trouble and take her job ever got her comeuppance  or not?
 
Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Never thought of it as fan service back then.  I thought at the time that at least one of the saleswoman would be back in some sort of subplot though.

Is this the first time they implied Wanda was a lot more powerful than we usually saw? She wasn't very impressive during the Englehart years, now suddenly she's beating Ultron.

  Or if Carol ever got her clothes back, after all by the time they were through with Ultron the store was probably closed.

Richard Mantle said:

I have always wanted to know if the woman that wanted to get the other into trouble and take her job ever got her comeuppance  or not?
 
Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Never thought of it as fan service back then.  I thought at the time that at least one of the saleswoman would be back in some sort of subplot though.

  Was there a lot of confusion with the writers on just how Wanda's powers worked?

Ronald Morgan said:

Is this the first time they implied Wanda was a lot more powerful than we usually saw? She wasn't very impressive during the Englehart years, now suddenly she's beating Ultron.

Well, if you don't have the bad guys so in love with their own voices that they fail to kill the heroes at their first (and simplest) opportunity, you have no stories to tell.

You have a robot villain who wants to destroy humanity but doesn't kill Wanda and goes out of his way to avoid killing some nuns. The only way a reader can enjoy these stories is to suspend disbelief to the nth degree.

Maybe he needed the nuns as some sort of personality template for the nun robots.  At that point in time Ultron was wisely keeping a low profile.  Adamantium body or not he could only face so many threats at once.  He might have wanted to study Wanda's powers and weaponize them somehow.

Richard Willis said:

Well, if you don't have the bad guys so in love with their own voices that they fail to kill the heroes at their first (and simplest) opportunity, you have no stories to tell.

You have a robot villain who wants to destroy humanity but doesn't kill Wanda and goes out of his way to avoid killing some nuns. The only way a reader can enjoy these stories is to suspend disbelief to the nth degree.

Under Stan her powers were unpredictable, she once accidentally casts a hex by gesturing to someone. Under Roy her powers come back changed so that she suddenly has to put her hands together to them. Steve has her learn some magic but she doesn't seem very good at it. And we're getting close to the story saying her powers are affected by the elder demon Cthon. In the 90s she could change reality and got rid of most of the mutants in the world. Since Stan didn't explain just how her powers worked, later writers changed and added them any way they liked. Her powers also seem completely different in the movies, so we can expect them to change again in the comics.
 
Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Was there a lot of confusion with the writers on just how Wanda's powers worked?

Ronald Morgan said:

Is this the first time they implied Wanda was a lot more powerful than we usually saw? She wasn't very impressive during the Englehart years, now suddenly she's beating Ultron.

AVENGERS #172 (06/78)
Writer – Jim Shooter              Penciller - Sal Buscema
Inker – Klaus Janson
Cover Art – George Perez & Terry Austin 
 

 

  “Holocaust in New York Harbor!"
(Of course, we all know that should be spelled 'Harbour' don't we?)


There he is then - centre stage of the cover - Hawkeye is back!


That being said, it has to be one of George Perez's laziest covers - was this a last minute replacement for something? Floating heads never make a great cover do they? (do they?)

I do like Ms Marvel getting an appearance but again I must point out -She DOES NOT officially join!


What this cover does do is make me realise how much I miss Hawkeye's traditional costume in current Marvel continuity - yes I know it's all down to the movies but am I alone in missing this look?


We open the main story with the cover star Hawkeye entering the Avengers' Mansion and announcing his presence.


I know different artists can't be expected to keep every piece of furniture and layout in continuity between them but - this kind of looks like Hawkeye's in a suburban kitchen or something - it just doesn't feel like the Mansion lobby to me.


Anyway, Hawkeye soon realises there is no one home and worries the team may have disappeared like his mate Two-Gun Kid had or even be dead!
"Whoop! Mustn't get morbid!"


Peter Gyrich chooses that moment to call, finding the front door left open by Hawkeye - this fails to impress our Security/Secret Service liaison man
"This is definately the Last Straw!"


The action cuts to exactly where we left the Avengers last issue - and I do mean 'exactly' - as we get reproductions of the close of last issue - including two exactly reprinted/redrawn panels.(!).
What is most curious about that is that we felt we probably should have actually seen Captain America and Jocasta disappear last issue and when given another opportunity -- we still do not see it happen!.


Anyway, our remaining Avengers return to the Mansion to find prodigal son Hawkeye waiting,
"Clint, it's so good to see you again! I can't tell you how much I missed your aggravation!"


Clint mentions catching a "red-haired bozo with a briefcase nosing around!" and the team races to find Gyrich trussed up by Hawkeye.
Gyrich is not impressed that he was caught rather he declares the security at the Mansion somewhat lacking,
"I've never seen anything so haphazard!" and cuts off government ties...naturally at just the worst time for our team.


While this info settles in the Scarlet Witch 'illegally' picks up a Priority communication -- it's from Crystal informing of Quicksilver's mysterious disappearance we witnessed last issue...and Jarvis announces "Tyrak is attacking the harbor!".

Most ridiculous statement in these pages for some time belongs to Jarvis here --                                         "I was out jogging, sir--" - really? Jarvis Jogging? I honestly thought this was some subtle signpost that Jarvis had been replaced by an imposter...I waited for that revelation for months..!


The team rushes to sort out Tyrak but Iron Man pulls everyone together first and splits the team into prioritised tasks -- showing necessary leadership of the Avengers ...Captain America would be pleased.
(Again - I quite like the team when Cap is NOT around to take charge of everything everytime.)


Sensibly, Iron Man orders ..."Contact everyone who ever was an Avenger and tell 'em we need 'em now!" - which makes this 'epic' adventure build wonderfully, from here on in.
Ms Marvel kindly stays to help out and continues to make quite an impression on 'man-out-of-time' Wonder Man -

"-- She doesn't just strike a pose and point like Wanda or the Wasp! She hauls off and belts people -- like a Man would!"


So the Avengers battle Tyrak - who just seems to want revenge after his last fight with the team and the action is on boats and waterside of the harbour.
Hawkeye plays his part  - the cover illustration is segued into the action. (still a dull cover though!) but it's a punchout with the Vision that splits a ship and knocks most of our heroes into the sea.
Wonder Man races to assist when Ms Marvel is under attack -- not the first time a possible romance between them is hinted at but it's a combination of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision that dehydrates the Atlantean powerhouse into defeat.


Without government authorities behind them, cleaning up and housing Tyrak safely is out of their hands now so they...throw him back into the sea!
With that immediate crisis over Ms Marvel (who, remember is still NOT an official member!) goes her own way, with quite a lasting effect on Wonder Man,
"Not exactly your demure shrinking violet type is she "Wondy"?"


Without warning, at that point, the Vision disappears too!


We get a short scene of the Black Panther's short-lived secret identity of 'Luke Charles' called into service and YJ and the Wasp tell Iron Man of who they have signed up...including...
"Captain Marvel called US! He said he was 'aware of our need'! Can you believe it?"


The 'big news' however was that following an urgent phone call, the Beast had taken a quinjet...and took off.
-We know, and we'll let him off - that he's off to the circus to help out the 'new' X-Men (remember?) in one of their best eras.
Thor is also off teaming up in MTU#70 making this issue one of the strongest tied down in continuity points of Avengers history - I love all that stuff!


The final panel is a massive cliff-hanger - we see a shadowed figure eavesdropping on events in Avengers Mansion and we see he is in possession of our missing Avengers, housed in individual capsules, totally helpless.
It is a powerful fade-out especially as we notice among the captives is Moondragon, who we have not actually seen be taken and clear spaces either for more already captured heroes or for more Avengers yet to be taken!
It's a big event unfolding around us and the feeling of revelation here is truely exciting.


Artwork then is Sal Buscema inked by Janson which while not being Perez is still functional and just about flows from previous issues.
There is no real connection here between the collection (see what I did there?) of Avengers being abducted and the 'threat' of the 'Enemy/Michael/Korvac' which this forms the spine of the 'epic'referred to as the Korvac Saga and can actually be looked at in isolation and when so examined - works quite well I think.


The battle with Tyrak is a good one, albeit Tyrac is sadly one-dimensional here - am I the only one to compare and contrast this issue with the battle against the Absorbing Man in Avengers #184?


Who will be drafted back into / disappear from  the team next?


Come Back...

In the spirit of pettiness Gyrich was never going to forget what Hawkeye did.

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