Issue(s): Avengers #112
...T'Challa realizes that evil can manifest anywhere, so he might as well stay with the team.
Finally giving the Black Panther a little attention since joining the team, this issue fails to do anything useful with him. The Black Panther started off as a rival to the Fantastic Four. He had cool gadgets and technology. He had sleep gas in his gloves. Reed Richards had to turn to T'Challa in order to get the technology needed to defeat Klaw when he invaded the Baxter Building. He's got a lot of potential as a monarch and as an African man in America during a period where race relations were strained. But since he's joined the Avengers, he's been used as a background character who basically has no powers and kicks stuff. Even this issue, which is supposed to highlight him, has him facing off against a ridiculous villain and serves mainly as a lame justification for keeping him on the team without any kind of character development.
The Black Widow, on the other hand, quits the team this issue to go back to working with Daredevil.
The story isn't salvageable from an art perspective either.
On the more interesting side, this is the first appearance of Mantis.
She and a shadowy companion (soon to be revealed to be the Swordsman) discuss the fact that Hawkeye has left the Avengers and she sees it as an opportunity for them to join the team.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue takes place concurrently with Daredevil #100-101. The Black Widow is with Daredevil at the beginning of Daredevil #99, but then leaves him to be with the Avengers this issue, returning to DD in issue #101.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBlack Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, Lion God, Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Swordsman, Vision
Frank Bolle only briefly inked for Marvel, but was mainly a penciler everywhere else: Magazine Enterprises in the 1950s, Dell/Gold Key in the Silver Age and afterwards, Warren in the early 1970s, and the artist for the(now-forgotten) Winnie Winkle comic strip for about 15 years post-Marvel.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 14, 2011 11:31 PM
Is Black Widow and the Marvel Girls #2 considered to be in continuity? If so, do you think the story would fall in between Avengers #111-112.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 5, 2013 12:34 PM
I haven't read it, but the MCP lists it as being not in continuity.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 5, 2013 12:48 PM
I think Steve Engelhart had good intentions when creating the Lion God. The character was supposed to be a balance to all the European gods that had already appeared in Marvel comics. The only problem was Engelhart didn't have the knowledge of African culture or mythology to pull it off properly.
Mantis is also problematic. I always thought she was an attempt to cash in on the kung fu craze, a sort of poor man's Shang Chi, but she was a well-rounded character and the way she threw the Avengers into turmoil made for interesting reading. However, in Avengers Masterworks 12 Engelhart calls her "very frankly, a slut." I didn't read her that way. In the original stories, she comes off simply as young and a little bit selfish, and it seems to me that her time as a prostitute was a result of limited opportunities as a poor child in a war-torn country. She's not a role model, but she's not a stereotype either. I choose to believe that Engelhart as a young man was more generous and open-minded, and that his appalling misogyny was something that only settled on his spirit as he grew older.
Posted by: Andrew | March 1, 2015 8:31 AM
Was there some sort of behind-the-scenes reason why Steve Englehart had the Black Widow quit the Avengers only one month after joining the team?
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 15, 2016 2:00 PM
Supposedly, Gerber wanted the Widow out of the Daredevil book because he thought Daredevil worked better as a lone man in the shadows, and Engelhart wanted Hawkeye off the Avengers, so they worked out a trade. But the Widow was gone from Daredevil for a grand total of one whole issue, so I assume editorial overruled them. On the other hand, in the same issue Black Widow left, Mantis was introduced, so it may be that Mantis and the Swordsman took the slots that might otherwise have gone to the Black Widow and Hawkeye.
Posted by: Andrew | September 15, 2016 8:08 PM
Why are Daredevil 100-101 listed as preceding this issue when Natasha is clearly seen in those issues as returning from her brief membership in the Avengers, depicted here? Surely the chronology should be reversed…or am I missing something?
Posted by: Dan Spector | March 2, 2018 5:00 AM
You're missing something. In the Chronological Placement Considerations fnord says Daredevil 100-101 take place concurrently with this issue, because the same thing (Natasha returning to Daredevil) happens in both storylines, so unless he chops the issues up page by page, exact serial order is impossible. And literally just yesterday fnord asked people to please read the Chronological Placement Considerations before commenting on, you know, chronological placement.
(Sorry to be "that guy", but I really respect fnord for doing all this, and believe in showing that respect by reading his entries in full before "calling" him on anything.)
Posted by: Andrew | March 2, 2018 5:32 AM
Comments are now closed.
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