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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The soft links to the annual, Thor and Marvel Premiere represent the kind of easy, casual continuity not seen so much anymore in the current “write-for-the-trade” atmosphere.

"Where does destiny take Captain America and the Falcon?"? I dunno. Secret Empire?

I enjoyed Hawkeye's battle, brain over brawn.

Hawkeye received so many "solo" covers in The Avengers that I'm still shocked that he never got his own Marvel Premiere/Spotlight run! 

AVENGERS #190 (12/79)
Script - Steven Grant   Plot/Editor - Roger Stern
Penciller - John Byrne                   Inker - Dan Green
Cover Art – John Byrne & Dan Green 
   “Heart of Stone"


Now that's a beautiful cover, strangely reminicent of the Absorbing Man one #184 but I'm not really sure why?

Nice to see Ms Marvel back on the cover but a shame the Falcon misses another cover appearance.
 The cover corner box contrasts with the rosta on the splash page - that has the Scarlet Witch within the list.


That splash opens into a meteor landing and a strange stoney/alien lumbers into town....kind of like an update of War of the Worlds.


The Avengers approach and attend a newly-public court hearing as the rocky monster reaches New York's subway system.


The court fiasco is to justify the Avengers Government clearance or otherwise and opens with criticism of Captain America's involvement in #228-231 of his own mag - much to the Falcon's distaste,
"It's all right Falc -- calm down!"


As the arguments continue, a S.W.A.T team is outclassed by the rock monster...
Gyrich brings up Hawkeye's treatment of him we all laughed at back in #172 which rewards the faithful reader.
The Avengers get a request for their help due to stoney-guy which Gyrich claims is a ruse until it's confirmed via TV and the Beast shows him up for the stuffed shirt he is and even Gyrich has to concede the team is needed, "All right! You win! Go!"
It is a watershed moment, revisited many times again over many years to come but the main point is illustrated here -- "I'd say Mr Gyrich has just suffered a severe blow to his credibility!"


Guest-star Daredevil joins the Avengers as they face off against this new menace.
DD's guesting is a bit odd - they never really needed alter-ego Matt Murdock in the court situation and he just kind-of fits it to the battle rather than take the limelight like most guest-appearance seem to.
It is such a 'he fits in' vibe that this almost seems like a try-out to see if DD might actually join the team.....which of course he doesn't. (For many many years).


The battle against the mystery monster goes well, a thrilling combination of the Vision and Iron Man's strength finally seems to dispatch him - leaving a pile of rubble.


Daredevil detects an unexpected heartbeat and suddenly he and Iron Man are ...changed to stone!


Everyone quickly realise what is going on and who they are really facing as we hit the powerful cliff-hanger...
"But Thor told us you were dead!"
"Perhaps I should be... but that's another story! In the meantime... for freeing me from my makeshift life-support system, you have the thanks of the Grey Gargoyle! And now, Avengers... I shall Kill you!"


It's a great revelation with precious little clues before hand, the readers thinks the twist away from a Gyrich victory and the extra of Daredevil guest-starring is enough for this issue to feature.
It is quite a surprise that the Avengers have never actually fought this member of Thor's rogues gallery before isn't it?


The art continues to be beautiful, the line-up of Avengers are classics and there has rarely been a better era - has there?

I love  these books 


Come Back...

Philip Portelli said:

This may have been the first time that we learned about Tony Stark's parents . . . .

I'm rejoining this party late, sorry about that, so this is old information, but Howard Stark first appeared, by name, in "The Controller Lives", from Iron Man # 28 (Aug., 1970).

Maria Stark's first name is revealed in the story "Triad"---Iron Man refers to portraits of his parents by their names---from Iron Man # 104 (Nov., 1977),  This was roughly eighteen months before The Avengers King-Size Annual # 9 came out.

Hope this helps.

It was nice to see Gyrich defeated, but his attitude continued on in the X-men and he quickly became the poster child for government villainy.

It always appeared to me that Marvel just didn't want Daredevil with the Avengers. He had guest-starred several times prior to this but used the usual excuse of "Too-Many-Heroes-Would-Mess-Up-My-Radar-Sense" cliché! And he didn't want anyone figuring out he was blind!

That was always the excuse I'd read him saying. Did he think they'd throw him out if they learned he was blind?

Ronald Morgan said:

That was always the excuse I'd read him saying. Did he think they'd throw him out if they learned he was blind?

No, that wasn't it. Part of Daredevil's advantage was that people thought he was sighted.  It enabled him to surprise the bad guys in various ways, e.g., not being blinded by bright lights or fooled by optical illusions or subject to hypnosis. Additionally, if DD's enemies knew about his other, enhanced senses, they could come up with methods to foul those senses.  

Next to his civilian identity, the fact that he was blind was the biggest secret DD had. So why risk it by telling the Avengers or getting close enough to them for any of them to figure out?

Maybe, maybe not but it was his greatest secret. No one, not even his closest ally Spider-Man knew that he even had super-powers.

It certainly would have given away his true identity as Matt Murdock was already linked to the Man Without Fear!


Ronald Morgan said:

That was always the excuse I'd read him saying. Did he think they'd throw him out if they learned he was blind?

Philip Portelli said:

Maybe, maybe not but it was his greatest secret. No one, not even his closest ally Spider-Man knew that he even had super-powers.

It certainly would have given away his true identity as Matt Murdock was already linked to the Man Without Fear!



Excellent point, Philip!  As long as Daredevil's blindness is a secret, if anybody who wanted to ferret out DD's secret identity would have to consider hundreds of men of a certain age in athletic condition.  But if the identity-hunter knew that DD was sightless, then it wouldn't take much of a leap to figure that he'd be a blind man in his civilian ID.

And, as you said, Matt Murdock was already linked to the Man Without Fear.

Commander Benson said:

As long as Daredevil's blindness is a secret, if anybody who wanted to ferret out DD's secret identity would have to consider hundreds of men of a certain age in athletic condition.

Of course, Matt Murdock wouldn't be one they would consider at all because of his blindness. More security for his identity.

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