I’ve really been in the mood to read some new Avengers comics recently. Unfortunately, new Avengers comics don’t appeal to me and haven’t for some time. When John Buscema took over from Al Milgrom drawing Roger Stern’s Avengers back in the ‘80s, I was disappointed that Milgrom was moved over to the new West Coast Avengers title, and despite the fact that it was written by Stainless Steve Englehart and inked by Joe Sinnott, , I dropped it a few issues in and didn’t begin reading it regularly until John Byrne took over. Luckily (for me), Marvel has been reprinting the Englehart/Milgrom/Sinnott run in a series of “Premiere Classics” hardcovers: volume #64 reprints issue #1-9, #80 reprints issues #10-16, #86 reprints #17-24, and #96 (which shipped just yesterday) reprints #25-30.

Reading these comics (many for the first time) makes me wonder what my problem was.

Views: 1339

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Lost in Space-Time is my favorite Avengers story ever. I also dug Master Pandemonium (pre-Byrne), the dance with Ben Grimm and Firebird, the struggle of Hank Pym, the ego of Simon Williams, and the Clint/Bobbi rift. SO GOOD

You can always depend on classic stories from Englehart. I actually enjoyed Hank Pym working to become a hero in his run (nice nod to Tom Baker in his "Dr. Pym" costume) ;). I can't say I ever enjoyed him in the past or since the WCA stories Englehart wrote. His run on FF was something I looked forward to as well as his year with DC on JLA. Sadly, I am too much capes & flights so I never really got in to Coyote but I am thinking about trying to get the novels he wrote.

That's good solid Bronze Age storytelling, right there. I haven't read any of that run in a long time, but I always think of it fondly.

I'm looking forward to reading "Lost in Space-Time." I've been aware of it (and know that it builds upon Fantastic Four #19 and Doctor Strange #53), but have never read it before.

I have read the introductory four-parter (in WCA #1-2 and Vision & Scarlet Witch #1-2) before, but that was before I ever saw Dark Shadows. There's a mausoleum in that story that looks a lot like the Collins family's, and this time through I noticed some of the names on the tombstones in the surrounding cemetary: Rev. Gregory Trask, Millicent Collins, [and one other]. I don't know it it was Englehart or Milgrom or perhaps the letterer who was the fan, but I guess my observation wasn't far off the mark!

I recently bought a lot of Avengers with all the Stern-Buscems-Palmer issues. Beautiful art and woefully undercollected into trades. Most of it is really good (save for some Secret Wars distractions). I think after these I'll pull out my Byrne WCAs, since a lot of the Vision-Scarlet Witch stuff carries over.

Good point b_dog.  I'm kind of astounded that West Coast Avengers is getting collected in hardcovers, and yet Stern's run on the main Avengers title goes largely uncollected.  I would guess that one could get the first 30 issues of WCA off ebay for a dollar an issue, or less.

I enjoyed West Coast Avengers very much. Englehart had these basic ciphers (Mockingbird, Tigra, Firebird and Wonder Man) and turned them into actual characters. He transformed Wonder Man from an insecure and afriad to get hurt to insufferable and smug because he couldn't get hurt!

He also brought back the Son of Satan as Hellstorm, Hellcat, Giant-Man II, Moon Knight, the Western heroes and did great things with the villains.

Englehart did a great job of rehabilitating Hank Pym.  It was one of my favorite depictions of the character and I'm glad that Dan Slott and Christos Gage drew from it for their recent runs on Mighty Avengers and Avengers Academy.  I also remember the arguments about Chuck Austen's run on Avengers when he took Pym back to his days as an abuser.  Austen defended his depiction by arguing that unless Hank Pym was shown in years of therapy, he wasn't rehabilitated.  That only showed me how little Austen knew of the character's history.  Pym had gone through therapy with a religious counselor in the pages of West Coast Avengers- Firebird.  He did all of the things that Austen said he needed to do- Austen simply know about them. 

(ps. Kurt Busiek deserves a lot of credit for his handling of Hank Pym as well.  He took the steps forward that had been made under Steve Englehart and brought them to completion.)

I'm putting mine in 50 cent boxes. I like them and all, but space must be made!

John Dunbar said:

Good point b_dog.  I'm kind of astounded that West Coast Avengers is getting collected in hardcovers, and yet Stern's run on the main Avengers title goes largely uncollected.  I would guess that one could get the first 30 issues of WCA off ebay for a dollar an issue, or less.



Chris Fluit said:

I also remember the arguments about Chuck Austen's run on Avengers when he took Pym back to his days as an abuser.  Austen defended his depiction by arguing that unless Hank Pym was shown in years of therapy, he wasn't rehabilitated. 

 

That's the sort of claim that just reeks of contempt for the audience. Hands up, everyone who believes that Austen (a) was genuinely concerned about an alleged (decades-earlier) inaccurate depiction of rehabilitation and (b) thought that accuracy demanded (and the comics-buying audience wanted to see) a correction of that error. OK, hands up, everybody who believes that Austen just thought Wife-Beater Hank would be more fun to write. OK, now hands up everybody who believes that Austen really thought that (or cared whether) anyone would believe his explanation. Thought so.

Sorry for the rant. That one just really rubbed me the wrong way.

A very, very long discussion thread about AVENGERS at LEGION WORLD put forth the idea that, once Roger Stern had Hank Pym BEAT Egghead, and then Steve Englehart had him join the West Coast team, the whole "mentally unstable" thing should have been done and over with.  (I'd like to go on record that I was utterly bewildered at the time when Englehart-- without any warning whatsoever-- had Pym TRY TO KILL HIMSELF!!!  What the F***?????) And further, tha Bob Harras had Pym evolve and grow way past his problems.  So when first, Chuck Austen, and then Kurt Busiek BOTH had to retread old news that way... it showed a lack of imagination, coupled with a lack of respect for earlier stories that had already covered what they were supposedly trying to cover (AGAIN) themselves.

Personally, I think Pym has been getting repeatedly screwed over ever since Roy Thomas took over the book way, way back when.  (He also made Jan look really stupid while he was at it, and Hank Pym would be the first to tell you, SHE WASN'T.)

I'm really glad the entire ANT-MAN run has been collected both in B&W and color, because these days fans can very easily read "the good stuff" without having to put up with the CRAP that came later (if they choose to ignore it).


Doctor Hmmm? said:


Chris Fluit said:

I also remember the arguments about Chuck Austen's run on Avengers when he took Pym back to his days as an abuser.  Austen defended his depiction by arguing that unless Hank Pym was shown in years of therapy, he wasn't rehabilitated. 

That's the sort of claim that just reeks of contempt for the audience. Hands up, everyone who believes that Austen (a) was genuinely concerned about an alleged (decades-earlier) inaccurate depiction of rehabilitation and (b) thought that accuracy demanded (and the comics-buying audience wanted to see) a correction of that error. OK, hands up, everybody who believes that Austen just thought Wife-Beater Hank would be more fun to write. OK, now hands up everybody who believes that Austen really thought that (or cared whether) anyone would believe his explanation. Thought so.

Sorry for the rant. That one just really rubbed me the wrong way.

Since I'm the one who starting ragging on Chuck Austen, I feel like I should be the one to come in and defend him here.  Austen is by no means my favorite writer.  It's well within the bounds to criticize his handling of a character, and particularly Hank Pym.  However, I think we get onto shaky ground when we start to question a writer's motivation.  In this case, Austen has been very forthright about his motive behind his perspective on and depiction of Hank Pym.  Austen was a victim of abuse himself.  He used that sad truth very effectively in crafting a sympathetic back-story for Juggernaut who was similarly abused.  But with Hank Pym, I suspect that Austen's personal experiences blinded him to the work of multiple authors over two decades to rehabilitate Pym after his admittedly awful mistake. 

Henry R. Kujawa said:

A very, very long discussion thread about AVENGERS at LEGION WORLD put forth the idea that, once Roger Stern had Hank Pym BEAT Egghead, and then Steve Englehart had him join the West Coast team, the whole "mentally unstable" thing should have been done and over with.  (I'd like to go on record that I was utterly bewildered at the time when Englehart-- without any warning whatsoever-- had Pym TRY TO KILL HIMSELF!!!  What the F***?????) And further, tha Bob Harras had Pym evolve and grow way past his problems.  So when first, Chuck Austen, and then Kurt Busiek BOTH had to retread old news that way... it showed a lack of imagination, coupled with a lack of respect for earlier stories that had already covered what they were supposedly trying to cover (AGAIN) themselves.

Your chronology isn't quite right, Henry.  Busiek wrote Avengers before Chuck Austen, not after.  You're right that Harras contributed to the rehabilitation of Hank Pym between Engelhart and Busiek.  Engelhart started Hank on the road to redemption and Harras carried it further.  However, I think that Busiek gave Hank the necessary, final step.  And I think it was necessary for both the character and the audience.  Part of the problem was the perception of the character.  While Engelhart and Harras had done great work with Hank Pym, their contributions weren't as widely known as the original breakdown because they took place in a secondary title (West Coast) or at a time when the Avengers weren't as widely read.  For that reason, Hank's breakdown was still the principal memory for most fans (and obviously, for some writers).  Busiek needed to complete Hank's redemption- and it needed to be done in a best-selling version of the Avengers- so that it would take root in the minds of the readers.  It looks like I'm defending Chuck Austen again but I'm not.  I don't think that a writer has a similar excuse of ignorance as a reader.  The writer should be aware of a character's progression.  And by following Busiek's run, Austen introduced a regression for the character which ignored twenty plus years of stories.

ps. I apologize for introducing this threadjack.  Maybe when we get to the Scarlet Witch's breakdown during the John Byrne run, we can similarly debate Avengers Disassembled. 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service