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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I think the fact that Hawkeye was NOT in the government placed team in #181 was always supposed to be Gyrich's revenge.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

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

  Yea, he covered it with the Falcon at the time stating that Avengers had to follow government guidelines on minorities.

Richard Mantle said:

I think the fact that Hawkeye was NOT in the government placed team in #181 was always supposed to be Gyrich's revenge.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

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

Nope. Hawkeye has always had ugly costumes, but the one he currently has in the comics is so annoyingly hideous it makes Barry Smith's sky blue outfit look good, and we've all poked fun at that one.
 
Richard Mantle said:


 

 

  “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?



I always really liked the original costume look - with the smaller cowl eye-spikes and with the very ornate yolk over the shoulders - I last noticed it when he returned to the costume to train Champion.

This is much neater don't you think?

And at this stage his tunic/skirt/toga thing wasn't between his legs tripping him up either!

AVENGERS #173 (07/78)
Writer – Jim Shooter (plot) & David Michelinie (script)
Penciller - Sal Buscema                                  Inker – D Hands (Pablo Marcos, Winslow Mortimer, Bob McLeod, Josef Rubinstein, Dan Green, Rick Bryant & Klaus Janson)
Cover Art – George Perez & Terry Austin 
 

 

  “Threshold of Oblivion!"


That is a glorious cover  - although the '"...And Then There Were None!" title is clearly incorrect as even on the cover there's at least 3 left!


That is one of the most beautiful Black Widow cover appearances ever (I miss the darker hair slightly fuller figure look she had then) and probably one of the best YellowJacket figures ever too - never sure if I prefer the non-goggled look of his debut or the goggles like here. (Any preferences..? )


Notable that this is a glorious Perez cove but probably one of his most simple for some time - sometimes less is more George!


Take another look at the credits of this issue - why was this such a jam issue? Was there an internal crisis? Was it just that Jim Shooter took the throne of Marvel Editor in Chief and delegated to others for the conclusion of this 'epic' or was there more going on?


The issue itself begins with Iron Man trying to garner all the "old Avengers" troops he can - painfully aware that Avengers members and hangers-on have been -- "vanishing -- popping out like soap bubbles!" Captain Mar-Vell, the Whizzer and the Black Panther are already at the mansion and we cut to the arrival of a plane containing two 'old/ex-Avengers' the Black Widow and Hercules (I think the Champions have disbanded now haven't they?)


They were intending on getting a helicopter shuttle but faced with the fact that Avengers Priority doesn't count for much anymore Hercules gets a tad annoyed and wrecks it - which kind of won't really help!
This issue consists of lots of short scenes building the team and the plot - probably split up easily between art-teams and writers and then slotted back together - it does jar a bit as with Hercules and the Widow arrive first panel of new page back at the mansion and the military and even SHIELD turn down helping them in this their (current) hour of need.


Omnipotent entity Michael/Korvac sits in his suburban house spying telepathically on our heroes at the Mansion and the Guardians watching over Vance Astrovick, with Carrina fawning all over him.
Michael decides to check on all the beings that may be a threat to him if he was to be revealed.- and we also see that Carrina has her own powers!!??
I have a little difficulty with this Michael/Korvac at this stage - if he was so incredibly powerful why didn't he just wipe out all the opposition like he did Starhawk rather than watch and wait to be outsmarted?
Is it just me or does anyone else get a prototype-Beyonder vibe from the guy here?


Artistically, we 're suffering this issue - the full page Eternity splash is remarkably ...flat... isn't it? - perfect example of how this issue pales compared to others.


Michael becomes aware of Carrina's actions in defiance of him and yet - it is clear they love each other.
The team tries to do their individual best - the Whizzer realising he's had his day really is a nice touch.
Hercules discusses - in passing - his view of humanity and therefore Natasha examines her feelings as regards their 'romance' showing more character insight and interest than in the entire Champions series. (Honestly - it was hardly noticeable that they were a couple until these two panels effectively ended it between them!)
"A wink--? Like ...Like I am ...in your eyes? Funny, I never really thought of it like that...before..."


Hawkeye tries to cheer up the Scarlet Witch with trick arrows/flowers as she's worried about both missing brother Quicksilver and husband Vision.
This scene always annoys me a little - it just seemed like the Wanda I know would have had more fire in her belly for the search (remember when Quicksilver went missing after the Sentinels battles) rather than sulk about.
Even the cryptic old man with wooden doll doesn't spark too much interest from the reader as we're not getting much of a coherent whole this issue are we?


Thor arrives at the mansion to help out again - but mysteriously doesn't even recognise safari-suited Wonder Man! This contrasts with their scene together when Thor mentioned he was feeling pulled out of time back in #167 and adds to the feeling of significant events unfurling...


The Black Panther and YellowJacket suddenly hit on the idea of talking their problems over with the future-tech-savvy Guardians (who'dathunkit?) but get taken before they can do so. the Wasp overreacts and we learn that off-panel, the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man have also disappeared!

Iron Man completes the consultation with the Guardians who direct the team to identified co-ordinates and the chase is on...
"Teleport the four of you -- to an area the size of a phone booth?"


So finally we get to this issue's cliff-hanger which seems to almost be the only reason for the book - our mysterious villain watches over his  ...collection... of captured Avengers.
Why didn't the entire team just get popped at the same time? - "in order to avoid detection!" -(by Michael.

Enter the Avengers and reveal the villain as -- the Collector!!


You guessed didn't you. Did I give it away?


Very much a middle chapter and sadly rushed below par artwork there is nothing awful here but it is all presented in a run-of-the-mill monotonously paced list of scenes.


Surely things will be back to beautiful next issue..?


Come Back...
 

 
 

This is the only issue of the Michael story I have read to this day. My next issue was the one with Gyrich on the cover throwing most of the heroes out.

From the cover I thought this was a team up of the Avengers and the Champions.

Since we are all collectors here, can anyone venture a guess as to why the Collector, who wanted a complete set of Avengers, ignored the Hulk?

Richard Mantle said:


That is a glorious cover  - although the '"...And Then There Were None!" title is clearly incorrect as even on the cover there's at least 3 left!

Notable that this is a glorious Perez cove but probably one of his most simple for some time - sometimes less is more George!


Take another look at the credits of this issue - why was this such a jam issue? Was there an internal crisis? Was it just that Jim Shooter took the throne of Marvel Editor in Chief and delegated to others for the conclusion of this 'epic' or was there more going on?

Great cover.  Shame about the interior artwork.  I don't mean that as a slight to Sal Buscema, who could do quality work.  But seven inkers?  That's a mess.  I wonder if this is one of the issues Kurt Busiek had in mind when he once said in an interview that, in the 1970's, if Marvel needed a comic drawn in a weekend or 72 hours, Sal Buscema was the man for the job.  It wouldn't be the prettiest art ever, but it would be a competent, serviceable comic.

My guess?  This was thrown together in a weekend.  One with no sleep.

Omnipotent entity Michael/Korvac sits in his suburban house spying telepathically on our heroes at the Mansion and the Guardians watching over Vance Astrovick, with Carrina fawning all over him.
Michael decides to check on all the beings that may be a threat to him if he was to be revealed.- and we also see that Carrina has her own powers!!??
I have a little difficulty with this Michael/Korvac at this stage - if he was so incredibly powerful why didn't he just wipe out all the opposition like he did Starhawk rather than watch and wait to be outsmarted?
Is it just me or does anyone else get a prototype-Beyonder vibe from the guy here?

Absolutely.  I read the first Secret Wars series when it came out in 1984, and when I read this story many years later, I found there were a lot of similarities between Michael and the Beyonder..  And I think this story has SW beat hollow.

Hercules discusses - in passing - his view of humanity and therefore Natasha examines her feelings as regards their 'romance' showing more character insight and interest than in the entire Champions series. (Honestly - it was hardly noticeable that they were a couple until these two panels effectively ended it between them!)
"A wink--? Like ...Like I am ...in your eyes? Funny, I never really thought of it like that...before..."

I've read the entire Champions series, and had no idea Herc and Natasha were supposed to be a couple there.  It wouldn't have been out of character for either of them to have a fling with the other, but if even that was even hinted at in Champions, I missed it.

Hawkeye tries to cheer up the Scarlet Witch with trick arrows/flowers as she's worried about both missing brother Quicksilver and husband Vision.
This scene always annoys me a little - it just seemed like the Wanda I know would have had more fire in her belly for the search (remember when Quicksilver went missing after the Sentinels battles) rather than sulk about.
Even the cryptic old man with wooden doll doesn't spark too much interest from the reader as we're not getting much of a coherent whole this issue are we?

These scenes, and the issue as a whole, felt kind of choppy to me.

Thor arrives at the mansion to help out again - but mysteriously doesn't even recognise safari-suited Wonder Man! This contrasts with their scene together when Thor mentioned he was feeling pulled out of time back in #167 and adds to the feeling of significant events unfurling...

Great subplot.  I'll bet most readers were baffled.

Very much a middle chapter and sadly rushed below par artwork there is nothing awful here but it is all presented in a run-of-the-mill monotonously paced list of scenes.

I agree, good summary.

Interestingly the answer to that also deals with Sal Buscema.

Philip Portelli said:

Since we are all collectors here, can anyone venture a guess as to why the Collector, who wanted a complete set of Avengers, ignored the Hulk?

Thankyou.

After a couple of years doing these - it is nice to know my opinions are not way off the mark.

Always glad to read feedback.


John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

I agree, good summary.

  The one thing I remember about this issue is that after Gyrich cuts off Avengers priority and Iron Man calls on Nick Fury for help Fury flat out turns him down, "as long as Gyrich says no, it's no" or something like that. After all that the Avengers had done, after all the times Fury had worked with them he should have known that they wouldn't call for help casually, but he basically hangs up on them.  Did they ever turn him down when he needed help?

  I think with the introduction of Gyrich we really see the turning point where the US Government started to become as much of a threat to the superheroes as the super villains.

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