Avengers #167-168, 170-177
Issue(s): Avengers #167, Avengers #168, Avengers #170, Avengers #171, Avengers #172, Avengers #173, Avengers #174, Avengers #175, Avengers #176, Avengers #177
The story starts with the Avengers responding to a call from SHIELD (note the 'hidden' credit for Roger Stern in the opening splash for issue #167)...
...as a huge spaceship appears out of nowhere (and dig the Perez-lines).
The ship turns out to be occupied by the Guardians of the Galaxy. They've hunted a threat named Korvac, who they fought before alongside Thor, back to this time period, and they believe he's here to murder Vance Astrovik before he can become an astronaut and turn into Major Victory.
It's worth noting that Iron Man perceives Korvac's goal to be to create an alternate future where he can rule unopposed because Vance never formed the Guardians, not that he would change "the future". In the end it turns out Korvac's scheme goes far beyond this traditional time traveling villain sort of scheme anyway, but this shows that the alternate future theory of Marvel time travel pre-dates Gruenwald.
Perez loves drawing tons and tons of people, of course, so getting a full team of Avengers plus the Guardians must have made him very happy.
Note that Wonder Man begins wearing his red safari jacket with these issues.
Meanwhile, as the Wasp, Yellowjacket, and a "happened to be in the area" Nighthawk break up a robbery attempt by the Porcupine at Janet's first fashion show...
...Korvac, in his human alter-ego form Michael, charms one of Janet's models - Carina - and disappears with her.
The Avengers return to Earth from the Guardians' Drydock (leaving Major Victory behind, since 'planetary proximity' with his younger self could cause a 'catastrophic disruption in the timestream'), and find that their mansion has been invaded (and poor Jarvis tied up again). This time it's not a bad guy or a good guy looking to join the team, though. Nope, it's Gyrich.
He's got some very legitimate concerns over the Avengers' (lack of) security measures. He also seems to have an axe to grind, but that doesn't negate the fact that he was able to walk into a building that has access to national security secrets with little or no resistance. The specifics (that the Mansion took a lot of damage during the Count Nefaria battle and then the Avengers had to quickly leave to respond to a SHIELD priority call) don't really matter. Gyrich tells them they'd better clean up their act or he's going to revoke their security clearance.
Gyrich's visit escalates some of the tension between Captain America and Iron Man, leading to an embarrassing shouting match in front of everyone.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid are heading back to the Avengers Mansion when Two-Gun disappears.
Starhawk, in his female form Aleta, visits Michael/Korvac in the suburban home he and Carina are living in and the two of them have a battle on the astral plane.
Korvac wins, and erases the memory of the trip and even the ability to perceive him from Starhawk's mind. The battle is sensed by Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and Captain Marvel, but none are able to figure out what is going on. I love that type of scene.
Stark arranges for the Guardians to make base in a house near young Vance Astrovik so they can watch over him, unaware of Starhawk's battle.
Cap and Iron Man have their come-to-terms discussion next issue (and Iron Man almost reveals his identity, which would have been cool, but backs away), and meanwhile Hawkeye calls in to say that Two-Gun has disappeared and Quicksilver also disappears in front of Crystal's eyes. This issue (#170) begins one of the unrelated story plots, though, as Jocasta is delivered to the Mansion from Pym's house, where Janet felt the inactivated robot created in her likeness was too creepy to be kept. There's a semi-comical but stereotypical pair of working class stiffs who deliver the package, and of course are freaked out when she inevitably awakens. The Avengers fail to stop her, but that works out because Iron Man and Captain America show up to tell the team to let her get away so they can follow her back to Ultron. Thor arrives, but with no memory of his recent appearances.
The Avengers trail Jocasta through the streets of Manhattan. This is deliberately despicted as awkward, as the gaudily clad group has to navigate through bystanders and Avengers fans, slowing them down immensely and making stealth impossible.
The team bumps into Ms. Marvel along the way, and she accompanies them due to a seventh sense flash. She's depicted very well in this arc; her 'feminist' aspects are present but not handled too heavy handedly, and her Kree warrior experience is used effectively as well. Wonder Man points out that she doesn't just strike a pose and point like the Scarlet Witch and the Wasp do; she actually hits things. Carol and Wonder Man develop a little flirty relationship (if one can describe Ms. Marvel as flirty), contrasting Wonder Man's man-out-of-time traditional views about women with Carol's modern attitude. Their relationship doesn't really go anywhere for now, but will be picked up on years later in her 2006 era solo series.
There's an odd bit of dressmaker politics depicted at the store where Carol Danvers was trying on some clothes. To my knowledge it was not included to set up any future plots.
Luckily Pym and Janet swing by with a flying vehicle, so the Avengers can take to the air.
Jocasta leads them to a church. Thor makes his semi-famous comments which are generally taken as support for the existence of the Christian God in the Marvel Universe, although i don't think they have to be taken that way.
Ultron, of course, is fully prepared for the Avengers' arrival, something that would be obvious to anyone except the Avengers and the players in the D&D campaign that i run. Despite the fact that they have immunized themselves from the deathray Ultron used the last time he attacked them...
...the killer robot dominates the fight.
The Scarlet Witch is teleported out of the area so that her probability powers, pretty much the only thing that can stop him, are not utilized. She's put into a water and mirror-themed prison that is overcomplicated in a way that almost feels Adam West-y, but presumably it's designed to overwhelm her so that she can not hex her way out. It's not clear why Ultron doesn't simply kill her.
While Ultron is held at bay because Jocasta turns on him, Ms. Marvel rescues Wanda and she returns to destroy him.
Thor absorbs the nuclear energy that powered Ultron and shoots it into space (and look at nerdy backseat driver Henry Pym).
After the fight, Jocasta and Captain America disappear.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye finally returns to the Mansion. He leaves the door open behind him, a little spooked to find no one there. Gyrich comes in behind him, griping about the open door, and Hawkeye finds him and trusses him up. The Avengers return home to find a very angry NSC agent who revokes their security clearance.
The Avengers (and Ms. Marvel) then split up. Vision, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel respond to an attack by the Atlantean Tyrak...
...but after they defeat him they aren't able to get any authorities to come to contain him because of their new lack of clearance, so they have to 'throw him back' into the sea, so to speak.
The Beast and Thor stay at the Mansion to respond to any other threats that may come up, and both have to leave due to events in Marvel Team-Up and X-Men (see continuity note below).
Iron Man begins researching the disappearances. The Wasp and Yellowjacket are on phone duty, trying to get in contact with reserve Avengers. They contact the Black Panther, Hercules (who brings the Black Widow), and the Whizzer, and get contacted by Captain Marvel. There's a few nice moments with Hercules, including a scene where he casually mentions how the lives of mortals are just fleetings winks in the eyes of a god, thus essentially ruining his relationship with the Widow without realizing it, and another where he "greets" Thor by attacking him, demonstrating his boisterous immaturity.
Having no luck in his research, and watching Avengers all around him disappear, Iron Man decides to contact Major Victory on the Guardian's Drydock to use his futuristic computers to help. Vance finds a tiny ship, the size of a phone booth, floating in space.
While all this is going on, Korvac scans the Marvel cosmic entities, and finds that the Watcher, Mephisto, Zeus, Odin, and Eternity are all unaware of him.
Vance teleports the remaining Avengers (Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, and Hawkeye) to the "phone booth" only to find that it is the Tardis-like home of the Collector.
Unlike some of the other side plots in this arc (Ultron, Tyrak), the Collector is acting specifically because of Korvac's threat. He's 'collecting' Avengers in order to preserve them in a post-Korvac world.
He fights them in his typical manner, by releasing strange creatures and devices from his collection, but is ultimately defeated by Hawkeye, which is kind of sad for an Elder of the Universe.
Beaten, the Collector describes his origin. He says he 'came hither close in the wake of creation, from whence I cannot say'. He says he is one of a few, making an oblique reference to his brother the Grandmaster without actually saying his name.
He says he began collecting things when he saw the rise of Thanos, a threat that he thought would end the universe. Thanos was then defeated despite the fact that the Elders did nothing. Then he perceived the threat of Korvac, and decided that this time he would act. He sent his daughter, who turns out to be Janet's former model and Korvac's current wife Carina, to seduce and spy on Korvac.
This is the first actual reference to Elders. They aren't even given the full title "Elders of the Universe" yet.
Concurrent to the Collector's confessions, Carina searches her soul and finds that she really does love Michael Korvac. Therefore she does nothing as Korvac disintegrates her father the Collector from afar. It's unclear if Carina is truly in love or if Korvac's vast powers have just made her love him.
The Avengers are justifiably freaked out by the unknown power that was able to destroy an Elder of the Universe (albeit one who was taken out by a single arrow). But they pull themselves together and search the Collector's ship. They find a time machine that they use to send poor Two-Gun - who was never really used for anything in the ~30 issues since he was brought to the modern era - back to his own time period. They also discover that the Collector has been pulling Thor out of time to help protect the Avengers in order to 'preserve' his future collection, which explains his odd appearances and the fact that he seemed to be suffering from amnesia.
The Vision finds a way to teleport the Avengers home, but isn't able to calibrate the teleporter with perfect accuracy, resulting in some Avengers teleporting into the air above Manhattan and having to be rescued by their flying teammates.
In one of Korvac's introspection scenes, the source of his power-up is revealed: after his last fight with Thor and the Guardians, he teleported back in time and wound up on Galactus' homeship, Taa II (a caption says Galactus' command ship was deserted, but not when or why. It could have been when Galactus was trapped in the Negative Zone, or recovering from his near death after trying to eat the Impossible Man's planet, or just while he was out looking for a snack). He managed to syphon off some of Galactus' power, and became cosmically aware. This is remarkably similar to Dr. Doom's future scheme in Secret Wars, also by Shooter. Also, one would think that absorbing a portion of Galactus' power wouldn't put him in the same league as, say, Galactus, or for that matter Mephisto or Eternity, but maybe some unique combination with Korvac's own powers allowed him to catapult to the head of the class. As powerful as he now is, Korvac now considers himself a benevolent entity, ready to remake the universe in his own image.
Thanks to the Collector's efforts, the Avengers are now a huge team.
Moondragon, who was picked up behind the scenes by the Collector, helps the group piece together their various clues about where the mystery enemy (since the Avengers haven't tied together this menace with the one the Guardians of the Galaxy are on Earth to stop) is located. She also mentally manipulates Quicksilver into not hating the Vision and Scarlet Witch's relationship.
The clues lead the team to the suburbs of Forest Hills, Queens. Since they have no security clearance, the Avengers have to commandeer a bus to get there.
This awkwardness of the Avengers interacting with ordinary civilians in the bus and suburb scenes are very similar to the earlier scenes where they were chasing Jocasta down the street. There's a deliberate juxtaposition of "real" people and super-heroes, making the heroes look very out of their element and looking a little unrealistic. But by acknowledging the unbelievability of it all, it almost serves to paradoxically make things seem more realistic.
In any event, the Avengers confront Michael in his suburban home, but find nothing out of place and almost go home feeling embarrassed. Ironically, it is Korvac's own mental block on Starhawk that gives him away.
A massive, and very one sided battle begins, with Korvac massacring the Avengers and Guardians one by one. It's a very well choreographed battle, with most Avengers getting a moment for character development or at least a cool use of their powers.
In a theme that will often be repeated in future stories, Captain America winds up being the last man standing for a while.
While Cap fights, some of the other Avengers recover and continue the fight. But Moondragon hangs back. She 'realizes' that Korvac is actually a benevolent force.
This can either be interpreted as accurate or part of her habit of power worshiping that will eventually corrupt her.
Meanwhile, the Avengers seem to have Korvac on the ropes, and he looks to Carina for help. When she hesitates, he allows them to defeat him. She subsequently attacks but then causes Thor's hammer to kill her as well. As Korvac dies, he restores the lives of all the Avengers he has killed.
The original issues end with Moondragon telling Thor to transform into his Don Blake identity so that he can help the injured heroes while she laments Korvac's death. The original trade, however, goes further, with new material showing the Avengers at a funeral for Michael and Carina, and Michael and Carina in the afterlife, held by Master Order and Lord Chaos.
When the trade paperback was re-released in 2003, the new epilogue was left out. Tom Brevoort explained why in the following exchange:
> was the 4 last pages of the first Avengers: Korvac Saga trade left out of the newest one?
Most likely the epilogue would not be considered canon in that case, although i'm uncomfortable with the idea of simply striking something from the record via choosing not to reprint it, and i'm not sure it's as offensive as Brevoort makes it out to be. Its main point seems to confirm Hercules' position that Korvac could not have imposed order on the universe, whereas Shooter was attempting to show through Moondragon that Korvac could have been right. Reading from my vantage point, i see Moondragon's belief as a self-reinforcement of her own warped sense of morality and not necessarily a vindication of Korvac, but i guess it was wrong or at least unnecessary of Gruenwald to spell it out instead of leaving it ambiguous.
It's interesting to note, although i don't necessarily agree, that Sean Howe in Marvel Comics: The Untold Story uses this storyline here - the idea that Korvac was a misunderstood God trying to bring order to a universe that wouldn't accept him - as a metaphor for Jim Shooter's period at Marvel.
Deadlines seem to have been a continual problem during this arc. The storyline skips issue #169, which instead presented a fill-in, and the credits keep changing. This was started as a Shooter/Perez production, with Perez even getting some writing credits, but Perez disappears after issue #171, replaced with Marvel stalwart Sal Buscema for two issues and then David Wenzel. And remember this was after the three issue John Byrne arc from #164-166 which was supposed to give Perez time to get started here. Issue #173 was also a veritable Inker Bonanza, so it must have been running late (credits list "D. Hands" and the real credits - seven people - are given in issue #179).
Shooter gets various additional credits across these issues, including Editor, Editor-in-chief, and even colorist for one issue. Bill Mantlo and David Michelinie are brought in for scripting assists through most of the later issues.
Perez's art is generally "good-but-sketchy" with some moments of greatness. I suspect without deadline pressures it could have been much better, but that's the nature of the game. Buscema's and Wenzel's art has the consistent Marvel house style, which is good considering it's very possible that the lateness of others put them under the deadline gun. Issue #173 - with the multiple inkers - looks particularly rushed, though.
I generally think of Shooter's writing as being "great with the plots and terrible with the scripts" but the dialogue throughout this arc is just fine. Of course, Mantlo and Michelinie help out in the second half.
To my knowledge, this is the first time Marvel really advertised an "event" and the first time they used the word "cosmic" to refer to this sort of storyline.
Quality Rating: B
Historical Significance Rating: 5 - It's the Korvac Saga, sure, but there really aren't a lot of long term implications from this story. There is some meta importance however, due to it being the first deliberate sort of event based cosmic storyline. First reference to Elders of the Universe.
Chronological Placement Considerations: Note that Avengers #169, a fill-in issue, was not included in this collection; Marvel Chronology Project lists that issue before Avengers #164. Issues #172-173 takes place concurrently with the Black Panther's appearance in Marvel Two-In-One #40, and Thor and the Beast's appearances in Marvel Team-Up #69-70. The Beast leaves midway through this story to rejoin the X-Men, starting with Uncanny X-Men #111. Ms. Marvel doesn't appear in Avengers #173-174; her appearances in her solo book from issues #17-19 take place during that gap (see the individual entries for those issues for more), and the other Avengers appearing in Ms. Marvel #18 take place during a gap between Avengers #172-173. So basically the Korvac saga takes place concurrently with a number of Avengers appearances in other books.
Continuity Insert? P - epilogue at the end of the trade is new material, although it may no longer be acknowledged as canon.
Reprinted In: The Korvac Saga TPB
Inbound References (29): show
One of the models in Janet's fashion show is called Denise Vladimer, who was a Marvel letterer(though I don't know if she actually looked like that).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 13, 2012 12:48 AM
Roger Stern, as "Sterno" is credited as co-plotter on #167.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 27, 2012 2:20 AM
Thanks. I updated the credits. But take a look at the scan i added for the credits page on #167. The "Sterno" credit is practically hidden due to the coloring. Probably easier to spot in the Essentials.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 27, 2012 1:42 PM
A two-part Avengers story by Shooter & Alan Weiss was announced in early 1978, but I don't know if another artist replaced Weiss or if the story just never got published.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 8, 2012 8:54 PM
Gruenwald's did a few cosmic corrections of the sort he did in the epilogue: in Quasar he also showed the Beyonder and Infinity War Magus to have confronted only representations (M-bodies) of the great powers of the universe, and even Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet omnipotence gets reduced to a level insufficient to destroy Maelstrom.
Brevoort's right that this is disrespectful, but Gru was right that the great powers shouldn't get humiliated by every would-be god who comes along.
Secret Wars II is basically an inept rehash of the Korvac Saga, isn't it?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 12, 2013 11:56 PM
Walt, Shooter seemed to be obsessed with the idea of ultra-powerful villains that can't be defeated with normal means. It shows up not just with Korvac and the Beyonder, but with Mordru in his Legion of Superheroes days, his use of the Molecule Man, and would even appear to a degree with his tenure at Valiant. Not sure if it indicates something about Shooter, or if it was merely something driven by the need to create a challenging encounter for large teams of powerful heroes.
Posted by: Chris | January 13, 2013 8:45 PM
@Chris: You're saying Shooter created these villains as some unconscious attempt to figure out how his ego could be defeated! That wasn't a question by the way;)
You know you're now responsible for my inability to get the picture of him as Erica Pierce out of my head. Do you have enough funds to pay for my therapy!
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 14, 2013 5:10 AM
Nathan, you are welcome.
Posted by: Chris | January 14, 2013 8:55 PM
Perez later stated his deadline problems were due to health problems and a divorce.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 27, 2013 6:30 PM
174-177 were David Wenzel's first work in comics. It's a hell of a place to drop a rookie into; given that Shooter was #2 in the company, I'm surprised he couldn't pull anyone with more credentials for the assignment. Wenzel grows with the job (I quite like some of 176), but it's definitely jarring.
Oh, and Hawkeye beating the Collector (with a triple-bank-shot, while he's being crushed) is Hawkeye being Awesome. Not embarrassing at all. (Clint bluffing out the Grandmaster a few years later is kind of embarrassing for GM, but Daredevil pulled the same gag on him back in Giant-Size Defenders 3, so it's consistent, anyway.)
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 2:39 PM
Roger Stern's first Avengers-related writing appeared in FOOM#6-7 as an "interview" with Jarvis. The most interesting bit is his attempt to make sense of the unconvincing parts of the first Ultron story.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 10, 2013 6:35 PM
An unrelated review in the Comics Journal declared this story a "failure", but didn't explain why.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 10, 2013 3:29 PM
While it's tough to say this story was a "failure", I do personally think smetimes that they want to make Korvac too sympathetic by essentially turning a multi-diety universe into one with just...him. I think somehow that I understand those who would want to be a god just for the sake of thinking they can mold the world in a better image but there are always going to be problems with it.
But otherwise outside (not "purple outfit and strange faces") Korvac, there are still great memorable moments, probably the coolest being the "invading the mansion cover" only to reveal it to be Gyrich. And of course the answer to the age-old question: how many Avengers can you stuff on a bus?
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 10, 2013 6:43 PM
This might be the first time Marvel has used "cosmic" to refer to a story like this, but the adjective was added as a description of Captain Marvel's book as of issue 30 of that series, a few years earlier.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | June 23, 2013 7:06 PM
Thanks for pointing that out. I wonder what made "cosmic" become a marketable buzzword.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 23, 2013 11:55 PM
"Cosmic" was probably used because by the time this comic was published in 1978, Star Wars mania had already taken hold. It's been said that much of the initial Shi'ar storyline in X-Men (107-108) was done to benefit from Star Wars frenzy, it's possible this was an attempt to do the same.
Posted by: Chris | October 7, 2013 9:47 PM
"It's unclear if Carina is truly in love or if Korvac's vast powers have just made her love him."
I would assume from Shooter's fairly positive outlook on Korvac that he wouldn't write him as influencing her that way. Plus if he was making her love him, he wouldn't kill himself when she hesitates to help him.
But on the other hand - when Starhawk goes to Korvac's house they're living in the suburbs and she's his wife - which does seem kind of strange considering it was just earlier that day that they met at the fashion show...
Posted by: S | January 1, 2014 2:23 PM
That was a great final fight, I was wincing through out it the whole time because I figured the Avengers were going to lose and they would try something smarter another issue and yet they were seemingly dying. I especially love Cap's and Wonder Man's moments to shine.
Posted by: david banes | April 22, 2014 10:04 PM
As if the credits weren't big enough, Perez claimed in Comics Interview #50 that he co-plotted with Shooter all the issues he drew.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 6, 2014 3:27 PM
I think Brevoot's concern was that the epilogue was simply done as yet another "Take that" at Shooter (there were quite a bit around this time) since many people (creators and fans) began seeing Shooter's recuring theme of "Cosmic-powered schmucks" as stand-ins for the man himself.
That being said, I also don't think the epilogue was too bad (although unnecessary) since any time Korvac reappears, modern writers interpret him the way the epilogue does anyway (for example Carina certainly comes to this conclusion during Avengers Academy.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | August 16, 2014 12:13 AM
One of my all-time favorite Avengers storylines. It suffers after Perez leaves but the fight in the last issue is still pretty impressive.
I like that we finally get Simon's safari jacket (my favorite of his costumes - he's too often had terrible costumes). I also love the idea in that first splash panel of the problems of being a mutant at times - imagine how much shampoo Hank must go through!
I still think my favorite moment is when Hawkeye ties up Gyrich and eats breakfast (which will come back to haunt Hawkeye and be mentioned in the hearing in 190-191).
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 2, 2015 12:28 PM
Actually, Gyrich didn't walk into the mansion with "little or no resistance." It's not mentioned here, but during Nefaria's attack the mansion was surrounded by a SWAT team. Gyrich only got past them by flashing his federal ID.
Posted by: Andrew | April 13, 2015 9:58 PM
In the end of #177, everyone remains dead with Don Blake trying to heal people.... Am I missing something? When do they come back to life?
Posted by: Ryan | June 18, 2015 7:45 PM
They're not dead. A couple pages back, Moondragon explains that Korvac restored them. But some "just barely" live and need a doctor.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 18, 2015 7:49 PM
Several years ago I met Jim Shooter at a convention. One of the characters I ended up asking him about was Henry Peter Gyrich. Shooter claimed that in his original plans for Gyrich the character over the long run would actually prove to be a valuable ally to the Avengers who helped them to do some much-needed organizing of the team and upgrading of their security, i.e. putting their house in order. However he left the series before he could fulfill those plans, and later writers just made the character unlikable.
(I'm paraphrasing what Shooter said to me since I do not recall his exact words.)
It certainly appears that subsequent writers did make Gyrich into something of an expy for how they perceived Shooter himself, i.e. a control freak who was obsessed with tangling up everyone in useless bureaucracy and red tape.
I guess Gyrich is one of those characters who seems like an @$$hole within the confines of the fictional Marvel universe because we the readers know that for the most part the Avengers and Fantastic Four and X-Men are good, decent, responsible people.
But, really, if you look at it from a certain perspective, Gyrich has a point. Would you really want to live in a world where people who were literally walking WMDs could do whatever they wanted, routinely causing billions of dollars in property damage, completely unanswerable to the government or the general public? And, y'know, there are a number of in-story examples of characters like Iron Man, Reed Richards, and Charles Xavier acting reckless and irresponsibly. So I've always liked it when Gyrich was written in a more morally ambiguous light, as someone who despite his abrasive personality has legitimate criticisms.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 28, 2016 2:18 PM
Andrew: Technically true, but most times, Avengers Mansion isn't surrounded by a SWAT Team.
Ben Herman: I agree with you; Gyrich is an effective character when written correctly. My introduction to the character was the 90's X-Men cartoon, where he was essentially an evil bigot. I was amazed years later to find out how much more complex the character was in the comics.
Gyrich is like J J Jameson; they may not be pleasant to hang out with, but they make for good foils for the heroes when written well.
Posted by: mikrolik | February 28, 2016 6:55 PM
Yeah I wouldn't mind if Gyrich had a few better appearances, I think an early one was opposing a radical mutant bill.
This is one of those cases where real world clashes against comic book world. Gryich is right to make sure the Avengers have better security and can't do whatever they want. Other hand let's look at Shield: it gets infilitrated and taken over every other week. You'd think Gyrich would be getting under Fury's skin to improve it. Now there's an odd couple team up series.
Posted by: david banes | February 28, 2016 7:02 PM
@david banes... Yes, that was in Uncanny X-Men #176. In her very first appearance, Val Cooper is shown strongly urging the government to conscript mutants to use as agents or living weapons against the United states' foreign enemies. Gyrich points out to her that that is exactly what Magneto has always said he was afraid of, that humanity will enslave, use, and then destroy mutants, and that Val's plan would confirm those fears, further radicalizing him.
It's so odd looking at that scene all these years later, because over time Val Cooper mellowed out considerably. Eventually she was leading X-Factor in the field and established a good rapport with Xavier. Gyrich, on the other hand, has since then more often than not been depicted as a paranoid loon and a bigot, someone who would actually enact the sort of dangerous plan that he's shown as opposing in UMX #176.
Posted by: Ben Herman | February 28, 2016 7:43 PM
Geoff Johns writes Gyrich up terribly in his typical fetish for those types of characters in his awful Avengers run. Particularly the Red Zone story. Then he completely forgets about him and he isn't in any more issues because of his also typical short attention span.
Posted by: AF | February 29, 2016 5:22 AM
Avengers Mansion isn't usually surrounded by a SWAT team, but at the time the Avengers were fighting for their lives against Superman-with-a-goatee. On top of that, Gyrich walked through a giant hole in the wall made when Nefaria punched Wonder Man through it. So Gyrich, at least in this case, is berating them for not living up to standards that are simply unacheivable.
Gyrich would be written worse and worse as the years went by. In the pages of Thunderbolts he finally devolved into a full-blown, mustache-twirling super-villain. Geoff Johns' run (which I enjoyed) was actually a legitimate return to the character's roots.
Posted by: Andrew | February 29, 2016 9:09 AM
And to be fair to Gyrich, Iron Man in #191 and Cap in #210 will acknowledge that he's right in wanting to cut the team down to a manageable level.
Gyrich is just the classic example of someone who actually has a number of sensible ideas but his personality is so abrasive that no one wants to listen to him.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 29, 2016 9:57 AM
Andrew: Again, you're not wrong, but still, circumstances allowed a non-superpowerd man to get into Avengers Mansion without having to fight the SWAT team or Avengers. Yes, the circumstances were extraordinary, but that line of argument wouldn't persuade someone like Gyrich.
Posted by: mikrolik | February 29, 2016 12:19 PM
I'm another person who first encountered Gyrich in the 90s X-men cartoon where he was unambiguously evil. It was kind of strange reading him in comics years later and he was wagging his finger at the Avengers instead of frothing at the mouth about killing muties.
Posted by: Red Comet | February 29, 2016 2:41 PM
@Andrew, although Gyrich WAS a "moustache-twirling-villain" for a time in THUNDERBOLTS, it turned out that there was an in-story reason for that. Later issues showed a much more moderate Gyrich.
Posted by: Dermie | February 29, 2016 3:53 PM
The four-page epilogue was used in the "Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers" trade paperback.
Posted by: Steven McMullan | November 13, 2016 8:28 AM
Looks like Jim Shooter had his Moondragon plot in mind as far back as this. The first thing he did when wrote the book again starting with #211 was use Moondragon.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | October 31, 2017 9:29 AM
In an issue of FOOM, Shooter hints at a forthcoming storyline where Perez wanted to include just about every character in the Marvel Universe. So it was ironic that Perez didn't stay around long enough to complete this saga.
Posted by: Mike Teague | October 31, 2017 3:14 PM
The last page of the epilogue in the Korvac Saga trade paperback actually shows Michael and Carina (actually, their souls) being grasped by the hands of Death. Master Order and Lord Chaos are present but they are only watching. The Omniscient Narrative states that Korvac's supreme ignorance of the way of the world had led him to seek a superficial order he could impose on all but that he had done so without realizing that "order is imposed from without...the unyielding implacable order of Death itself." This idea is similar to the story in What If? #32, also written by Mark Gruenwald, in which it was revealed that Death was Korvac's unbidden ally and unwanted master, and had manipulated events so that Korvac would end up using the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy his universe.
Of course, both Carina and Korvac have since returned from the dead. Korvac's return in Captain America was never explained and no mention of how it relates to the way he escaped death in the Korvac Quest has ever been presented. As for Carina, her return in Avengers Academy was said to be due to the fact that she was an Elder of the Universe and was therefore immune to Death. However, this doesn't make much sense since the Grandmaster did not manipulate Death into barring all Elders from its realm until years after Carina had died.
Posted by: Don Campbell | October 31, 2017 3:45 PM
"However, this doesn't make much sense since the Grandmaster did not manipulate Death into barring all Elders from its realm until years after Carina had died."
Unless the "death" edict was retroactive, meaning that no Elder could ever be in Death's realm, at any time.
Posted by: clyde | October 31, 2017 3:52 PM
To clarify my previous comment (in other words I actually dug the issue out rather than relying on memory), in FOOM #17 Shooter says "George Perez has half of a master plan to do a one year epic twelve issues. His half of the plan is that he wants to draw everyone in the whole Marvel system; and my half of the plan is to come up with the plot !"
Posted by: Mike Teague | November 2, 2017 11:20 PM
@ Mike Teague -
Well, Perez went to DC and got to do Crisis which was basically the same concept, just with different characters.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 4, 2017 9:17 AM
"Vance finds a tiny ship, the size of a phone booth, floating in space."
It was only when I re-read this decades later that I spotted the Dr Who reference.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 25, 2017 6:17 PM
"However, this doesn't make much sense since the Grandmaster did not manipulate Death into barring all Elders from its realm until years after Carina had died."
Unless the "death" edict was retroactive, meaning that no Elder could ever be in Death's realm, at any time.
And by then, the "Elders" had been defined as the last survivors of their respective species, so quite how the Collector could qualify when he had a daughter running around for billennia isn't clear either.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | January 12, 2018 9:00 PM
@mikrolik The circumstance that allowed Peter G to get into the mansion without having to fight the SWAT team without fighting them was having clearance to enter the mansion.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | January 13, 2018 2:00 PM
Curiously, Shooter had earlier used the name "Carina Walter" for a character's false identity in one of his old Legion of Super-Heroes stories at DC, the one first printed in Action Comics #382. Perhaps, like Kitty Pryde, it's the name of someone he knew in real life.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 28, 2018 5:07 PM
Moondragon's telepathic brain surgery on Quicksilver might be an indication of the sort of thing JIm Shooter would do if he had Moondragon's power.
;-)The way the Avengers are assuming a "police presense" type of posture in New York, doing things like ordering civilians off a train for their own use, reminds me of the way the Legion of Super-Heroes were treated during and prior to Shooter's early comic book writing career; like a sort of super-powered SWAT team with a similar authority to that of the regular (Science) Police, or maybe a little higher. Also a bit like the Adam West Batman, who had police lights on his Batmobile, total cooperation with the police, and reported to the police commissioner. Like the Avengers, not really vigilantes, at all.
Authoritarian themes? I guess. I remember buying a few of these comics off the rack when they came out, just based on the art, but had no idea who the writer was at the time. I had read all of Shooter's LSH stories in DC comics as a kid, but somehow I never really made the writer connection between those stories and these stories 'til now.
Posted by: Holt | March 13, 2018 9:08 PM
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