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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To my surprise, Perez started a four-issue run on Fantastic Four the same month, and on Inhumans (a bimonthly) the month before. The GCD tells me his series to that point were "Man-Wolf" and "Sons of the Tiger" (in The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu), and he'd done a few other things. He had been Rich Buckler's assistant.

Wow, I never realised these were all together at the same time by Perez.

I loved his FF stuff (wasn't this circa #166 (IIRC?)) and the Inhumans have rarely looked better.

Surely there can't be anyone who's not a fan?

Luke Blanchard said:

To my surprise, Perez started a four-issue run on Fantastic Four the same month, and on Inhumans (a bimonthly) the month before. The GCD tells me his series to that point were "Man-Wolf" and "Sons of the Tiger" (in The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu), and he'd done a few other things. He had been Rich Buckler's assistant.

Ten year old me never got that the Squadron Supreme was the Justice League, probably because the Beast kicked Hyperion away!

Costume-wise, the Golden Archer was far better than his Hawkeye outfit!

The Beast was part of the Avengers but he was in his probationary period so he wasn't "permanent" yet.

I don't care what the Beast's motivations are, Cap was right! Bringing Patsy along could have been a deadly mistake!

Richard Mantle said:

I loved his FF stuff (wasn't this circa #166 (IIRC?)

He did FF #164-#167 and then came and went until #192. I think there was a bit of Buckler in his work in the mid-70s, but the really big influence on him was likely Barry Windsor-Smith. It's there in his ornate detail, lighting effects and layouts. Windsor-Smith's cover for Conan the Barbarian #8 looks uncannily like it was drawn by Perez.

Why would the Squadron Supreme bring up the fact they're not the Squadron Sinister? They've never met the other group (presumably) and would only have heard they existed during the time the Avengers were mistaking them for the other team. And really, are they any better than their evil counterparts? In their first appearance the Avengers barely avoided death traps that would have killed just about anyone else.

While I was familiar with Millie the Model I'd never heard of Patsy Walker before now. I'd guess Millie didn't get the superhero route because her own title was still running up until 1973, while Patsy had been cancelled long enough that people forgot she used to be an Archie clone. (Not counting those soap opera versions both went through briefly in the 60s.)

I liked his original Hawkeye outfit better, especially since he and his buddies are the bad guys in this story.

Obviously the Squadron Supreme were on the Avengers' Earth at least long enough to get some intel like that there was a Squadron Sinister (and one, Nighthawk, had reformed) and about our Hawkeye's disguise as the Golden Archer.

In their minds, they were fighting on behalf of their government and their Earth, working with "BIG CORPORATIONS" without truly knowing what the "Big Picture" was.

Oh, and they really, really, really wanted to prove that they were better than the Avengers!

Was working with big corporations without knowing what the big picture was a dig against the JLA or DC Comics at the time, or is Englehart just moving his Watergate story from Captain America to the Avengers?

My 13 year old self in 1975 loved this issue!  I may have gotten that Inhumans issue the  month before but otherwise Perez was new to me but his art was, IMO, a vast improvement over that of both Tuska and even S. Buscema.  And the various plot points of this issue didn't particularly confuse me, although this was also my introduction to the Squadron Supreme -- I'd already read just enough to know that there were two variations of Marvel's JLA knockoffs, the Supreme & the Sinister. And although I wasn't particularly familiar with Patsy Walker and had missed her appearance in the Beast's solo series, I did recall her cameo in the reprint I had featuring the wedding of Reed & Sue.  A bit of a variation of a replay to have a new/ probationary Avenger bring his female friend along, as Swordsman had done with Mantis, but it didn't strike me as any more ridiculous than having Rick Jones take part in early Avengers stories, although Cap's concerns are in character -- he still had Bucky's death on his conscience after all.  And I actually enjoyed her stay in the Avengers.  Yeah, she seemed rather abrasive initially, but she added an element of fun eagerness that didn't seem too out of place in this mostly serious superhero funnybook; it certainly helped that in Perez's pencils she was absolutely gorgeous, but then so was nearly every other woman Perez drew!  

Over all, a great start to what would wind up being Englehart's final main story arcs, mostly told side-by-side, and not counting the regrettable fill-in.  

Ronald Morgan said:

Why would the Squadron Supreme bring up the fact they're not the Squadron Sinister? 

Apparently the person who did the lettering on the cover didn't get the memo.

IMO, this is one of the great comic covers of all time. I had a trapper keeper notebook which featured this cover when I was in elementary school but didn't own the actual comic. It was one of the first back issues I ever bought though.
Also, I love Perez but Vinnie Colletta sure didn't do him any favors in this issue.

"Earth's Mightiest Heroes! The Avengers versus the Squadron Sinister! 'Nuff said!" A bit more than enough said actually, since you're pushing people that aren't even there.

Richard Mantle said:

I can see Kane in the Vision and Romita in Cap and both in the Beast who is finally settling down into his new look.

In recent times they seem to have the Beast looking more cat-like. How recently did this happen?

The Grant Morrison run made him suffer a secondary mutation that made him more catlike  In 2001, it seems.

Then in the first few stories of the recent All-New X-Men book, perhaps a couple of years ago, he mutated again.

More details at http://comicsalliance.com/beast-hank-mccoy-mutations-list-x-men/

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