Issue(s): Avengers #212
...but it's of interest because of how the new line-up interacts. Shooter's characterization is still as blunt as a hammer. Tigra is a sexpot, hitting on even Jarvis.
This is a real shame considering that Greer Nelson was the original Cat, who was designed as a feminist role-model super-heroine.
Tony Stark is no better, waking up in a jet-setter's penthouse after a wild party (Shooter takes pains to tell us that Stark slept on the couch and only drank Dr. Pepper, but we know what really happened. Stark is partying hard to help himself forget his break-up with Bethany Cabe...).
But the real 'development' is Henry Pym, who is an insecure ass, resentful of Jan and lashing out in every direction.
So eager to prove himself that he blasts this story's antagonist after she'd already surrendered.
Everything Shooter wants to say about Pym is completely accurate. It's a very valid reading of Henry Pym. But Shooter doesn't have the... finesse to really sell it. The subtext of Pym's personality comes to the forefront all at once in a single issue.
Iron Man also implies a weird attitude towards mutants. At the end of the issue after dealing with the female mystic:
Tigra: Do you think she'll be back?
As if that explains something.
I thought the identity of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's father would have been relatively obvious after Uncanny X-Men #125 revealed that Magneto's wife was named Magda, but someone in the lettercol for this issue is guessing Dr. Doom.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Captain America mentions that this is the Avengers' first regular meeting since their line-up change, implying it's been a little while since last issue but not necessarily precluding Avengers appearances in between. Placing this after Iron Man #153 to account for Tony Stark's partying (which is probably giving Shooter too much credit, but let's go with it). And Thor is still working at the West Side Medical Center, placing this before Thor #311.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Quick note: everything from this issue to the end of the Yellowjacket trial saga actually is collected in a new trade. (sort of wish it started an issue earlier to explain why Tigra's on the team but hey, it's a big collection)
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 25, 2012 10:21 AM
Having read this issue in the Trial of Yellowjacket trade, I honestly think that there's an easier and more obvious reason regarding why Tigra likes Jarvis: cats have this thing for the one who provides food. (trust me, I've seen ferals swarm property for someone who feed them) Yeah it's sad to see Tigra reduced to this considering she was the Cat, but feline instinct is feline instinct.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 8, 2013 7:32 PM
Isn't Donald Blake with a nurse this issue? How does that fit into Thor's chronology- he's fired from the clinic, then working for Tony, then in Chicago (and briefly operating at Mount Sinai in Marvel Team-Up 115-116).
Posted by: Michael | July 16, 2013 10:53 PM
It turns out it's not just a generic nurse; it's said in this issue that he's working at "a certain West Side Medical Center". So that requires that this take place before Thor #311, when Blake is suspended (and that's a break from the MCP, by the way). Thanks for pointing this out.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 20, 2013 7:42 AM
What always makes me laugh about Tigra is that her original epithet was "the werewoman".
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 20, 2013 5:49 PM
The immortal couple are clearly meant to reflect what is happening between Hank and Jan, with the man feeling uncomfortable about being in the woman's shadow: it was the Elf Queen who made him immortal; as opposed to Jan's fortune funding Hank's experiments. This culminates with the big strong warrior slapping his spouse.
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 17, 2013 12:22 PM
As if Hank wasn't already wound up, when he and Jan arrive at the Avengers meeting (late), Cap makes a joke at his expense.
Posted by: Mike Teague | December 17, 2013 12:28 PM
Ironically, while using a wet-vac to clean up a flood at work this morning, I was thinking of this issue and Tony telling Mrs. Arbogast "Sand blasting will not be necessary. It wasn't that kind of party!" Amazing what you still remember about a comic that you haven't owned in almost a decade.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 26, 2016 12:21 PM
Shooter having Stark comment about how comfy the couch was is totally bizarre. No way Tony didn't have a drink or ten plus some action.
Posted by: Urban Commando | February 22, 2017 2:08 AM
Regarding Hank Pym being in Janet's shadow, and the idea that Jan's fortune funded Hank's experiments, Hank had not yet met Jan when he first invented his size changing and cybernetic technologies, so she didn't fund the inventions which later brought fame to both of them. Just to be fair, Jan may have been a rich heiress, but she likely would've never become quite so famous without her super-hero associations.
I'll never defend Hank's poor treatment of Jan during Shooter's run on the Avengers, but I blame that on Shooter. Under Lieber's and Lee's typewriters, Hank was often dismissive of Jan, work-obsessed, and probably sexist to about the same degree as Lieber and Lee were, but I don't recall him ever being nearly so abusive as Shooter and others have shown. That was almost entirely a Jim Shooter innovation. To the best of my knowledge, Shooter himself was never married; he just wrote a marriage. We can see how well that turned out.
Lieber also never married as far as I know. He lived for an extended period with his brother Stan and sister-in-law Joan, observing their marriage. Lee and Lieber both wrote uncounted numbers of mostly uncredited romance comic stories for Atlas during the late 1950s, which might partly help to explain their attitudes when introducing the Wasp into Ant-Man stories. Again, they only wrote Jan and Hank as an unmarried couple, and not as a married one, so Jan's flirtatiousness and Hank's dismissiveness might be better viewed through that lens.
Posted by: Holt | May 5, 2018 9:55 AM
It's pretty clear that Shooter's inspiration for everything he did with Hank Pym came from a letter printed in Avengers #157 which argued that the several different identities and nervous breakdowns of Pym (mostly under the writing of Roy Thomas) were indications of Pym being insecure & not of sound mind. Quite quickly after that you have Avengers #161-2 which has Pym suffering another breakdown from Ultron messing with his mind.
So while Fnord is correct that it seems out of nowhere right at the start of Shooter's 2nd run, Shooter had started setting this up in his 1st run, and if Shooter's 2 runs had been unbroken I think we'd have got to this point a lot earlier.
I do think Lee/Lieber portrayed Pym as more ineffectual than their other heroes, I don't remember any other Marvel hero being depicted as clumsy as Pym was when fighting Whirlwind. But after Roy Thomas had Pym changing identities, creating Ultron but not remembering it, taking on a new identity of Yellowjacket & claiming he'd killed Hank Pym etc... a later writer doing a "deconstruction of Pym" story like this was I think inevitable.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 5, 2018 5:04 PM
Thomas started the mental illness subplot for Hank, but he didn't go so far off the deep end into Jerry Springer territory as Shooter did. Superheroes going temporarily mad was an unrealistic but fairly common trope. Writers mining old stories to death was not such a common thing before Roy Thomas, so back then it didn't seem quite so inevitable that this would permanently taint the character (Superman for example had already taken temporary insanity breaks many times).
Another writer who had to take Jan and Hank even further was Mark Millar with his Ultimates versions, way too far in my view. It's hard for me to be objective about it through my nostalgia filter because at age 11 Giant-Man and the Wasp were honestly two of my favorites. I guess I was one of the few who was disappointed to see them lose their slot in Tales to Astonish but I really was. :-D
Excuse-wise, Giant-Man's clumsiness could be and sometimes was attributed to the stress of growing too tall for human physics to readily accommodate, and the strain that his dramatic and too-frequent size changes had on his physiology. The same stresses could have led to his mad scientist moments as well. Nothing painted him into a corner so permanently as his weird Springer-esque marriage to Janet under Shooter. IMO his character was still imminently redeemable before that point, but that wasn't the way Shooter rolled. I'm not cursing Shooter for it, but it's one of a few areas where I wish things had gone differently.
Posted by: Holt | May 5, 2018 7:13 PM
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