The Small Lebowski:
Issue(s): Avengers #219, Avengers #220
The Avengers receive a summons by Drax the Destroyer and are taken via Moondragon's spaceship to a distant planet.
When they arrive, Moondragon and Drax ask the Avengers to help put down a rebellion...
...but things seem off and it soon becomes clear that Moondragon has mentally taken over the planet. Her motive for doing so was to prevent war, but she intends to spread her peace via mental domination to the entire universe. Captain America, Wasp, and Iron Man convince Drax to help stop Moondragon, but she's taken Thor under her control.
Thor isn't just her body guard. She's turned him into a bit of a sex slave.
She also has him believing that he can squeeze coal into diamonds, even though her thought bubbles show that she knows this is impossible.
I was a little confused about this, since it was published some time before the Superman III movie, but it turns out that the scene in Superman III was actually a nod to scenes from Silver Age comics.
After some fighting...
...Thor eventually realizes he's under Moondragon's control and he transforms back into Donald Blake to break her hold on him. This reveals his identity to the Wasp, who wasn't present during the battle against the Molecule Man when Captain America (and Tigra) learned his identity (Iron Man already knew it).
With Thor no longer fighting them, the Avengers are able to defeat Moondragon, but not before she kills her father Drax with a mental blast.
This will result in Drax being mentally disabled when he is resurrected by Warlock in the run up to the Infiinity Gauntlet mini-series. The Wasp lands the final punch, using the trick of using the momentum of growing in size to increase her strength.
There's a running bit where the Wasp is costume-less because she wasn't wearing clothes treated with unstable molecules when she responded to the initial summons.
Thor takes Moondragon to Odin for judgment. Since she considers herself a goddess, Thor figures she should be tried as one.
Better than average writing for Shooter and good art by Bob Hall. This wasn't too bad.
It's amazing, though, how prevalent and seemingly acceptable the stereotypical gay hairdresser was at this time.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Amazing Spider-Man #229 has itself, this issue, and Fantastic Four #241 all occurring concurrently.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (18): show
Drax may be another example of a "disposable character" being disposed of.
Superman did the squeeze-coal-into-diamonds bit a LOT during the 1950s and 1960s.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 17, 2011 7:08 PM
In fact, Shooter may have written a few of those Superman stories himself back then.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 17, 2011 7:09 PM
Superman III deserves to be taken as seriously as Police Academy 7 or rustlers Rhapsody
Posted by: William Quinter | September 30, 2013 7:12 PM
Why does Moondragon consider herself a goddess anyway? Is she immortal? Are there temples to her anywhere? Does anyone worship her? Isn't she just a human who was raised by the Eternals of Titan (who aren't gods either) where she learned telepathy and martial arts? Maybe if she'd actually been chosen as the Celestial Madonna I could see her claiming *that* qualified her for divinity, but she lost out on that job to Mantis. It seems to me she's no more a goddess than Emma Frost or Psylocke.
Posted by: Gary Himes | May 25, 2014 8:18 PM
The Eternals were considered gods by ancient man and Moondragon must have learned of this growing up on Titan. Combined with the eastern style teachings of the Priests of Shao-Lom to find the god/dess within... She discovered that she was a more powerful telepath, excelled at martial arts and telekinesis/levitation over her fellow monks who were Eternals (with possible mixed pacifist Kree ancestry?), which may have led her to considered herself the "goddess" of the mind. Discovering she was a candidate to become the Celestial Madonna probably contributed. And of course we find out later she was being manipulated by the Dragon of the Moon into such an attitude as well. The first time she took that title is here when she manipulated this planet full of warring aliens. It's possible they considered her a goddess for creating peace and she decided she liked the title.
I believe both she and Mantis have pacifist Kree ancestors way back and isn't "just a human raised by the Eternals" if I understand their story right. Their families' genetics were also probably nudged along by the Cotati over the generations to bring about the Celestial Madonna.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | May 25, 2014 11:01 PM
Jay, Moondragon is usually written as being fully human, since she was chosen by the Priests because she was orphaned by Thanos because her parents were in the wrong place at the wrong time- it was her fellow monks that had Kree ancestry.
Posted by: Michael | May 25, 2014 11:17 PM
Re-read the Celestial Madonna story (http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/avengers_129135_giantsize_aven.shtml). Both Moondragon & Mantis's families were groomed by the Cotati & pacifist Kree over generations to produce the Celestial Madonna. It's possible they are fully human, but Mantis looks like she's actually got antenna growing out of her head and Moondragon's telepathy is shown here to be greater than Professor X's and he's a mutant considered to be the most powerful telepath on Earth. Dr. Strange & Dr. Druid are regular humans with psi abilities but they aren't in the X-Men's league of telepathy. Also, have the Eternals made more cosmic beings like Drax out of regular humans? And aren't the Inhumans an offshoot of humanity that was altered by the Kree? And isn't Ms. Marvel a half-human, half-Kree with powers? All lead me to believe that Moony & Mantis have got a little genetic extra going on though it's never been spelled out explicitly.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | May 25, 2014 11:35 PM
Even if she's part Kree or the result of some type of genetic manipulation, Moondragon still doesn't fit the requirements for being a "goddess". She's deluded herself into believing she's something she is not.
Oh, and that hairdresser isn't gay, he just likes to do his Gollum impression for customers.
Posted by: Gary Himes | September 5, 2014 9:41 PM
I squeezed my old comics until they became diamonds, too.
And good for you, Drax; you came back as a pretty awesome character! Still uber-serious and a bit mad with grief and vengeance, as per his original incarnation. He felt a lot more like the Yondu I knew than the also-pretty-cool present/ movie iteration.
Posted by: Cecil | September 5, 2014 11:32 PM
As we discover in The (New) Defenders, it just self-delusion but also the whisperings of the Dragon of the Moon in the back of her mind that warped her decisions.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | September 8, 2014 12:18 AM
The first and fourth scans are the same.
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | September 20, 2014 9:55 AM
Thanks, MegaSpiderMan. I was disappointed with myself when i linked to this entry from Solo Avengers #16 with a reference to Moondragon's spaceship and i saw that i didn't have a scan of it here. Turns out i had taken the scan but linked to the wrong image.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 20, 2014 11:37 AM
Apparently, Heather got some godly injections courtesy of Thor.
Her actions are directly a response from Thor reputing her aspirations of goodhood from Avengers #148.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | April 17, 2015 9:36 AM
Too bad you don't have the scan of when Thor tries to zap everyone with lightning and Iron Man absorbs it all and then knocks Thor through a wall. I think of that scene every time I watch the first Avengers film.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 3, 2015 2:35 PM
I've added that scene. Jim Shooter did seem to be a big proponent of the idea that Iron Man's power is only limited by his power source.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 4, 2015 7:40 AM
Actually, that scene is useful for another reason which I thought I remembered but wanted to see it to be certain - it seems to be the first hint of the interest Tony has in Jan. His comment "You're going to regret hurting Jan!" seems to indicate the direction the story will go in a few issues.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 4, 2015 8:19 AM
I wonder that since Moondragon beat Mantis and the Wasp beat Moondragon if they will note this in Moondragon's "powers?"
Posted by: Bud | October 16, 2015 1:49 PM
I don't like issues #211-220. Overall, the book has been going in the wrong direction since issue #197. Beginning with #221 there is an improvement.
Posted by: Steven | September 9, 2016 8:30 AM
Very entertaining 2-parter. I especially enjoyed Jan's KO punch on Moondragon.
Posted by: Urban Commando | February 23, 2017 6:13 AM
So Moondragon rapes Thor. After all of the big noise about Avengers 200. Nothing about this?
Posted by: a.lloyd | March 18, 2017 9:12 PM
What Moondragon does to Thor here is portrayed as unambiguously evil, and she's punished for it. That's a pretty big difference from Avengers #200 treating what happens like a "happily ever after" ending.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 19, 2017 7:54 AM
Exactly. The same sort of "love spell" rape has happened in other Marvel comics too (with Thor again during Simonson's run, with Mockingbird in West Coast Avengers, etc), and it's always treated as a villainous act. Certainly the heroes in these stories didn't exit the stage in a "happy" relationship with their rapist, like Ms. Marvel did.
Posted by: Tuomas | March 20, 2017 5:09 PM
Funny to see Thor as an "Asgardian Gigolo".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 17, 2017 11:40 AM
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