Issue(s): Avengers #211
This first issue of his run is especially bad. After all the Avengers spend a few panels communicating with each other like they are seven year olds...
...a bunch of other super-heroes show up, including Moon Knight, Angel, Iceman, Dazzler, Black Panther, Tigra, Hercules, Hawkeye, the Black Widow, and Yellowjacket.
Odd to see Cap without his mask on in while all of these strangers are around.
They all start fighting with each other and showing off their powers.
It turns out to be a plot by Moondragon, who thinks that she's best suited to choosing a new Avengers lineup.
The Avengers eventually manage to fight her off, but don't bother going to chase her despite the fact that she's casually mind-controlled about 10 people.
When all is said and done, Jocasta, Wonder Man, the Beast,the Scarlet Witch, and the Vision leave the team, Yellowjacket rejoins, and Tigra rejoins. So the new line-up is Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket, and Tigra.
Just last issue Bill Mantlo made a special point of highlighting the way that Jocasta was being neglected, so it's a shame to have her dropped this issue. However, it's made clear that the Avengers would have kept her on if her own self-doubt hadn't caused her to leave on her own (and note the Vision's persnickity correction of her terminology).
The art by Gene Colan is sort of in a limbo-ish state. It's not Colan's usual atmospheric work. It's him trying to be a more traditional super-hero artist, but it doesn't quite make it there.
The most fun part of this issue is Hercules' reaction to hearing that Wonder Man is almost as powerful as Thor.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This has to take place after Angel leaves the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #148. A minor discrepancy is that he's wearing his red costume here, but this is placed in between the two Marvel Fanfare stories where he's in his blue version. But there's no real problem with that; there's no reason he can't be switching between costumes. The Black Widow mentions that she's recently rejoined SHIELD as a super-agent, but there's no issue reference. The rest of Moondragon's "recruits" are either appearing in solo books or not appearing anywhere else, so their placement isn't a major concern. Pushed back in publication time to allow Avengers #212 to take place before Thor #311.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (12): show
Gene Colan quit Marvel soon after this due to Shooter's constant demands for art corrections(Colan reportedly tested him by skipping some required changes, with Shooter not noticing the absences)and spent the remainder of his career at DC.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 11, 2011 6:39 PM
Shooter stated in fanzines that his intention was to reduce the Avengers down to the members that had their own books, but evidently those plans got changed.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 3, 2013 2:21 PM
This issue is awful. The Vision, a constant fixture since issue 57, is gone. He was supposed to be a bedrock of the team. This is a wrong change of direction. Gene Colan's art here is failing.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 5, 2013 1:15 PM
not much of a "new" lineup is it? with the exception of Tigra replacing the Hulk, this is the founding avengers (even cap, who was given "founding member status")
Posted by: Russell white | September 14, 2013 7:09 PM
As Russell said, the "new" line-up is effectively the same team members as #4-16, which becomes even more apparent when Tigra leaves. But this was part of the 60's retro trend that was going through Marvel at the time, not least in Byrne's early FF issues with the team reverting to their original costumes (even the Thing dusted his old suit and helmet off).
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 17, 2013 5:46 AM
This is now relying on memories of over thirty years ago, but I seem to recall talk in the fanzines stating that Mantlo would take over as the new writer (which Mantlo himself thought was the case, in the letters page of #206), who was then replaced by Shooter. When the news of Shooter's return broke, there was much rejoicing; in hindsight we might have been better off with Mantlo. But here is where the memory could be a bit wobbly, as the line-up which was announced was to be Thor, Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, Hercules, Black Widow, Iceman and the Angel. I can't remember if this was tied in with Mantlo or Shooter, but it does seem to effectively be a merging of the Avengers and the Champions. This was also before the Banner gains control of the Hulk, so I don't know how that would have worked.
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 17, 2013 5:53 AM
I'm in complete disagreement with you on Shooter's second run, but I suspect it's also because we have very different opinions on Hank Pym (the one here who is the first to realize who's behind this). This issue is very important for me because it kicks off the fall and partial redemption of Hank that takes up a good year and a half of the Avengers. My brother started collecting with #229, almost the end of that and it so intrigued me as a kid, that when I started collecting Avengers back issues, #211-230 were the issues I instantly found and bought.
I also rather like some of the characterization here. I never much liked Hercules, but it's so perfectly in character for him to just hit Simon and have fun with it. And Beast's lines to Simon ("I'll have you know, sir, that I am a highly intelligent blue-furred buffoon. I hold a dozen PhDs! I speak fifty-three languages. But I tell you, I don't get no respect. Wanna hear me says 'Eat my dust, jocko' in Latverian?) to me are a perfect summation of the character that Beast was in his time in the Avengers - considerable humor but a lot of intelligence behind it.
It is unfortunate that the classic line-up that had been together for the previous couple of years is really shaken up here but I still love this run and it really was the start of a huge amount of time and money I spent on Avengers. And this feels so ironic writing all this the day before the second Avengers film opens, a film I am taking off work to go and see.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 30, 2015 11:31 AM
I love both Shooter runs on The Avengers.
Posted by: Urban Commando | February 22, 2017 2:03 AM
How bad this is is incomprehensible looking at Shooters 1st run, where he actually improved over Steve Englehart; sad tims for the avengers book quality.
Posted by: FlipPhone | April 5, 2018 11:45 PM
Comments are now closed.
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