The Transparent Fox:
Issue(s): Avengers #150, Avengers #151
Thor, still under the influence of Moondragon's talk of godhood, is leaving the team, and he is taking Moondragon along with him (to the relief of everyone else).
Moondragon in turn is taking Hellcat, for training.
When Thor announces that he's leaving, Iron Man says "As a friend I can't help but wish that nobody'd put this idea in his head". Perez chooses to illustrate that with a rare over-the-shoulder perspective from behind Moondragon, which i thought was great.
Note that Thor's departure also ends his era as the Avengers' chairperson, with that position now passing to Iron Man.
Yellowjacket/Hank Pym still doesn't want to be an Avenger, but the Wasp does. In a typical passive-aggressive fit, he says that he's quitting, but by the end of the arc he decides to stay on the team after all.
Most of these two issues are filled with flashbacks (and indeed just about all of Avengers #16, the first of these "choosing of the team" issues). Beyond that, it's a nice action-free issue with a lot of good character moments.
There are a number of cameos and mystery appearances, some of which are just people reacting to the recruitment drive and some set-ups for future plots.
The Avengers settle on a core team of Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast, Captain America, Wasp, and Yellowjacket, with Iron Man as chairman (Thor was the previous chairman).
The other Avengers are put on a prototype of the reserve status, to be called upon in times of need.
At the end of the issue Wonder Man appears, accusing the Vision of having stolen his mind.
Despite multiple creative teams and too many flashbacks, this was a fun issue.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Thing, watching the newscast of the Avengers event on TV, is wearing the Thing exo-skeleton that he wore in Fantastic Four #170-175.
Takes place after the formation of the Champions (the MCP actually has it between Champions #6-7 and Ghost Rider #20-21 but i have some limitations thanks to my Champions trade). Continues directly into Avengers #152. Takes place after Captain America gets back from another dimension in Captain America #203/Marvel Team-Up #52, and that therefore means it should take place after Amazing Spider-Man #163-164 and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #1.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Avengers #27 (vol. 3)
Inbound References (13): show
When Gerry Conway became EIC at Marvel, he immediately grabbed titles that he wanted to write for himself, such as Avengers and Defenders. This ticked off Steve Gerber quite a bit, and this(among other things) angered Steve Englehart so much that he defected to DC. Conway also interfered with Jim Starlin's coloring on Warlock, causing Jim to quit and go to DC and Warren. Gerry's poor conflict resolution skills(I believe he was 22 at the time) caused Marvel higher-ups to fire him after 6 weeks as EIC. But because Conway wrote really fast, his stories continued to appear for a while, sometimes requiring completion by other writers, as in this title.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 11, 2011 5:45 AM
Marv Wolfman left the EIC position after about a year because the strain was overwhelming. I think Roy Thomas was asked to come back to it, but was turned down after demanding some concessions. Gerry Conway immediately left DC to take the job--most of his work at DC tended to be very short-run series that weren't necessarily his fault(DC was thrashing about really bad trying to regain comic sales dominance; virtually nothing worked and publisher Carmine Infantino got fired and replaced by Jenette Kahn).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 21, 2011 5:51 PM
I regret that Yellowjacket and Wasp return, and that Thor and Hellcat chose to leave.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 4, 2013 11:24 PM
Well, technically, the Champions didn't actually form as a team until Champions #4. ;)
Moondragon & Hellcat became "reserve" members here.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | November 30, 2013 4:49 AM
It's ironic that having spent over a year playing around with the line-up before settling on his final team, Englehart is then removed from the title before he can do anything with it. The irony continues in that this line-up, more or less, becomes the core team for the next five years: compare and contrast with the team in #211.
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 17, 2013 5:30 AM
I've always wondered (!) how long Englehart intended to keep Wonder Man and "alive". Whether this was seen as just a gimmick for a few issues, or an ongoing development.
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 17, 2013 5:32 AM
Steve Englehart has probably covered this on his site, but I think #150 and #151 were supposed to be one issue. Englehart was running really late with turning the story in, resulting in only 6 new pages in #150 and the partial reprint from #16 tossed in to fill the book. I'm guessing that Englehart only did 12 pages of #151, with Conway & Shooter scripting the rest(for example. p. 3 picks up directly from the last new page in #150, so Conway & Shooter most likely did p. 1-2).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 13, 2014 8:14 PM
I knew this was coming when I read it but I really liked it with the typical recap issue suddenly ending in what I'd like to think was a pretty big twist.
Posted by: david banes | September 13, 2014 8:49 PM
Yeah, #150 is basically the comic equivalent of a "clip show". But in the end, even though it would have been nice to have Hellcat, we get what will basically be the core team - a fantastic group of seven (and I've always preferred seven to six). Worth the wait to come out of this with this team, with a great mix of personalities and especially to have Iron Man as chair instead of Thor, who never really seemed to be much of an actual leader.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 16, 2015 11:28 AM
Heard somewhere that Wonder Man's permanent return to Marvel more or less was due to Power Girl of all things: basically with the whole "Wonder Woman means that you can't have Wonder Man" deal DC and Marvel had was pretty much null and void when everyone's favorite cleavage-showing superheroine appeared...at the same time Luke Cage was using the "Power Man" name. So...yeah, Simon returned due to a pair of boobs...
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 14, 2016 9:03 AM
That General Pollock guy appears in #151.
In #150, there's a strange footnote that seems to imply that the Hulk left in #5.
The page with Hellcat leaving is dialogued very weirdly. Moondragon says "you must not join yet", and Hellcat later responds with "I-I must! I mean--I--do need training" almost like she's being mind-controlled. I have to wonder if Englehart was going somewhere with that.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 3, 2016 12:31 PM
Added General Pollock. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 6, 2016 9:03 AM
Englehart had this to say about these issues...
"#150 & 151 were scripted as one issue, but Conway grabbed the book at that point and forced #150 to be half reprint. Pages were then added to what remained
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 12, 2016 4:47 PM
The Shotz beer that the Thing is drinking is a reference to the TV show "Laverne & Shirley".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 1, 2017 11:08 AM
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