Issue(s): Avengers #279
And the second is from Thor, to whom Monica's doubts indicate that she's not ready and so he therefore nominates himself. She-Hulk shuts him up.
Even aside from his egotistical attitude, i'm pretty amazed to see Thor nominating himself or even agreeing to be a member of the team. The man is literally being held together by his armor at the moment.
Anyway, most of this issue is Captain Marvel considering whether or not to accept the position. While she's thinking about it, she subdues a mentally ill man that was threatening his family, visits her parents (if she accepts the position, a little scheme between her and her mother for Monica to go into business for herself and get her fireman father to retire and join her would have to be put on hold), visits Moonstone and Hercules in the hospital, and heads back to the Roxxon oil rig (now abandoned) where she got her powers. Finally she seeks out Captain America for advice, and finds him helping out at a cave-in in the Appalachian mountains. Roger Stern puts her in a situation where she's unable to use her powers to save some children...
...and the experience leads her to decide to take the chairperson role.
Stern's use of Captain Marvel shows the benefits of a nice slow build. It hasn't been "decompressed". We've had a lot of different stories, with a lot of adventures for Monica to gain experience on. And she's gone from a newbie Avenger-in-training to a full fledged member, dealt with some (super-villain induced) fear issues, and eventually shown herself to be a capable leader (in a story, Avengers #265 that was published over a year ago). Even using an entire issue here to have her wrestle with the decision instead of simply making it a done deal shows that there is care and character development behind this. The shorthand criticism is that CM was Stern's pet character and he gave her all these powers and made everyone love her and then made her the leader of the Avengers. But that happened over the course of four and a half years!
Meanwhile, Hercules is speaking in math formulas (that's a joke, people)...
...and then gets taken away by someone that looks suspiciously like Thor.
We also see some more of Dr. Druid, and it's not pleasant.
I don't just mean him in a speedo. He overhears She-Hulk saying that she might consider being a leader, and so to prove that she can't "think fast" he sends an illusory giant ape after her.
And then laughs like a jackass.
If nothing else, this is a clear signal that we're not just dealing with a Dr. Strange clone here. Stern is definitely giving him a distinct personality. But it's pretty jarring, even with just what we've seen so far in Stern's run, let alone the rest of his scattered appearances (where he pretty much was a Dr. Strange clone). And he sure isn't coming across as likeable.
She-Hulk takes it well, anyway.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 237,241. Single issue closest to filing date = 226,700.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Thor's appearances while he's in this armor take place during Thor #379, after he's dropped Iceman off at X-Factor.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlack Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Dr. Druid, Frank Rambeau, Hercules, Hermes, Maria Rambeau, Moonstone (Karla Sofen), She-Hulk, Thor
At the beginning of the year, up to about the present time of early March, "a few months ago" and "last year" can be the same thing.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | March 10, 2014 10:22 PM
This was a good issue to establish the dynamic of the new team but it seemed to me that Stern already regarded Thor as the outsider. He didn't fit in somehow, important as he was to the upcoming Olympian storyline. I couldn't understand the relationship between Thor and She-Hulk around this time either. There were signs here that Jen saw Thor as an entitled braggart and that really got played up during Simonson's run ... weirdly, IMO, because it didn't really tally with the way Simonson wrote the Odinson in his own book. Jen and Thor always got along just fine during Shulkie's first run on the team and they got along fine again from her third run onwards, never a cross word. If anything, Jen at this point was less temperamental than she was before her FF stint but I do like that she leapt to Captain Marvel's defence; Jen's always at her best when she's playing the lawyer defending those she perceives as unfairly victimised. That's how you write She-Hulk well IMO. Oh and much as I love Buscema, that panel where Jen's facing down Thor? She's supposed to be one inch taller than him!
Posted by: Nick | March 12, 2014 6:47 PM
It looks like She-Hulk is leaning on the table, sort of hunched over in anger. It seems like her hand is on the edge of the table. This would explain the height difference.
Posted by: clyde | March 12, 2014 8:19 PM
Thor is one of those characters, like Captain America, that just doesn't back down from responsibilities even if it kills them. In that panel, Thor obviously doesn't want to be chairman, but he also won't let the team down if someone needs to step up. That's all I get from him. And Thor is right - leaders have to be decisive. People who are still unsure of themselves aren't ideal leadership candidates. Someone who has potential can be risked in low challenge situations (say a PTA, or midlevel corporate managers), but in a battlefield situation it needs to be someone decisive. Jen's comments on leadership is precisely what I think a lawyer would have. While she's right, she's also not thinking of a lot of other things a leader must have.
I think Stern was just address all the questions readers might have before he gives Monica the role.
I don't think Druid's jackassery is that bad. It's a prank without someone getting hurt. I think it's done to establish more his humor, and that he won't be a stodgy old man despite his looks.
Still, that one panel shows him looking very suspicious.
Posted by: Chris | March 12, 2014 9:36 PM
I realize Grunwald had a tragic death and was sainted for it, and certainly had a passion for comics but can we please blame him for breaking up the greatest Avengers run ever just because of petty pissing contest issues?? Geez!
Posted by: George Gordon | March 15, 2014 12:33 AM
It took me a long time to really get to like Monica, but by this point, I definitely did, and there's no question that the events of #265 had made it clear she had the requisite quality to lead the team. It was a great choice and the under-mining of it soon to come was just stupid.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 13, 2015 5:52 PM
Comments are now closed.
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