Characters Appearing: Captain America, Diamondback, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Jarvis, Kingpin, L.D.50, Mr. Fantastic, Ngh, Powersurge, Rage, Raymond Sikorski, Sersi, She-Hulk, Thor, Xa
Issue(s): Avengers #326, Avengers #327, Avengers #328
These first three issues have three very distinct elements, and the three put together make the story feel a little haphazard.
But first, the saga of the Avengers' meeting table continues! The story so far: Michael O'Brien spent $50,000 to get the Avengers a new table. But then he found out that Thor intended to repair the old table! Oh no!
Well, in this issue, Thor, with help from Sersi, forges a big logo.
It turns out the $50,000 table was carved from material from Hydrobase, and Thor's logo is from a portion of their old mansion.
And now let the two be merged.
And so ends this great saga. (I joke, but i love moments like this. As Iron Man says, a nice bit of Avengers history.)
Now we get to the first of our three plot elements. It's the introduction of a new character called Rage.
The problem with Rage, aside from the fact that his costume is a luchadore's mask and a jacket with his name on it, is that he's the epitome of an angry black man stereotype.
I'm confident that Larry Hama's heart was in the right place in creating this character (among other reasons, Christopher Priest has positive things to say about working with him). Rage has a lot of valid points to make. But having him make those points by walking in off the street and demanding to be hired because the Avengers have a poor record with non-white team members doesn't work. If anything, the scene seems to be designed to turn the existing (largely white) fanbase against the character.
Avengers membership has always been a prestigious thing, in both in a real world and in-universe sense. In the real world, the Avengers started off as a group of established characters that all had their own books. And the team membership evolved organically from there. The Vision and to a lesser degree Mantis had some success as characters that were introduced specifically for membership, but most others had to establish a following elsewhere (or, in the case of, say, Wonder Man, die in their first appearance and then wait a decade and change before returning). In-universe, the team is the most prestigious super-hero team (or at least, they compete with the more tightly knit Fantastic Four for that title). They're Earth's Mightiest Heroes, not just in terms of power level but in terms of being the team that is called in by the president when there's a crisis and the Defenders or the New Warriors aren't going to cut it.
All the more reason to include non-white characters on the team, of course. But with the team's reputation, there's a sense that you have to "earn" your membership. So having a guy come in and demand that he be put on the team is going to set people off.
Rage discounts the Avengers' past inclusion of the Falcon because it was an Affirmative Action move.
But in a meta sense, that's Rage's same argument for inclusion here. And i'm not saying it's not a good argument, in a meta sense. But having him just show up and demand membership is counterproductive. It might even be the case that Larry Hama knows all of this and yet he's doing it anyway, to bring up exactly these kinds of issues. But it seems like the wrong way to go about introducing a new character. It's increasingly difficult for characters that aren't classic Silver Age characters to "stick" with readers, so setting up a character to be unlikeable is making things extra hard for yourself.
Rage's anger causes a brief Misunderstanding Fight with the other Avengers...
...and then Rage switches to an entirely different set of criticism. Still valid criticism (of the sort that's been made since the O'Neil/Adams Green Lantern & Green Arrow run) but if this is what Rage believes why did he come to the Avengers in the first place?
Rage goes back to Brookyln and fights drug dealers.
Meanwhile, our second story element. A nuclear engineer named Illarion Ramskov that was exposed to radiation while saving people during the Chernobyl meltdown is brought to a New York hospital for treatment. But it starts to come out that something odd was going on with him in the Soviet Union before he was brought to the US. First, he was treated at a high tech space engineering facility. Then we learn that for some reason the Soviets have been keeping Ramskov sedated. When the American doctor removes the sedation, his Soviet minder protests, and then Ramskov, still wearing a containment suit, wakes up. And emits a lot of energy and then escapes. The Avengers are called in to deal with him.
In flashbacks, we see that Ramskov wound up fighting with some other Russian engineers in the Chernobyl plant. They were trying to remove a "gluon separator" from the facility. And he wound up striking the separator and causing a surge.
In the present, Ramskov emits a giant energy blast. You have to love the blase reaction from the cabbie and Mr. Fantastic, but the blast does catch Rage's attention.
While some of the Avengers are trying to contain Ramskov...
...Captain America learns from Raymond Sikorski that the Avengers' charter has been cancelled as part of an arms negotiation treaty with the Soviet Union.
Sikorski probably should have waited until the immediate crisis was over before telling Cap that. But luckily Cap is a stand-up guy and he and the other Avengers keep fighting.
The Avengers are unable to stop Ramskov, so Iron Man suggests using "Plan D", which involves Thor transporting their foe to an alternate dimension. Rage shows up just as they are doing that.
And here's where things get weird (and this is our third story element). Plan D is supposed to take the Avengers to a basically empty dimension so that they can fight without worrying about bystanders. But now the dimension is full of weird aliens, apparently including a Kakaranatharan (or, as i would say, a Fin Fang Foom).
It turns out that the dimension has been turned into a prison. It's basically a dumping ground for criminal monsters.
The dimension does drain away Ramskov's radiation, so he starts to talk while the Avengers are fighting the monsters.
But Ramskov still needs treatment from the radiation exposure. Luckily the American doctor is very familiar with Sersi's powers.
They manage to cure Ramskov.
Meanwhile, Captain America is a whiny jerk.
But Rage is excessively dumb. Basically everyone in this story is an unlikeable idiot.
Also meanwhile, a drug dealer that Rage crossed gets a bazooka from the Kingpin.
But back to our current weird thread. The leader of the monsters, Ngh, has a plan involving the most sympathetic of the monsters, the tiny fairie-like Xa.
Basically he hypnotizes Xa to make sure she won't betray him, and then has her fake allegiance to the Avengers while the other monsters attack.
So they bring her back to Earth when they leave.
Before that, though, while She-Hulk and Rage work well together...
...we're reminded of the chip that Rage has on his shoulder.
When they return, Ramskov's minder saves him from an assassination attempt from the guys that were in the Chernobyl meltdown with him.
And then, before you can say "Whiplash", Diamondback shows up to get into another catfight with Sersi.
I didn't know Cap's super-serum made him immortal (depending on placement, Cap may not actually even have his serum right now, but Sersi might not know that or care) .
Cap smartly gets himself out of the middle of that and runs after Rage, who invites him to go back to Brookyln with him.
Rage tells Cap his origin. As Elvin Halliday, he was bullied by some racist kids while trying to find a friend that he was going to trade comics with...
...and he wound up hiding in a stream where "Fisk Biochem" was dumping chemicals.
He was then raised by a grandmother who taught him to not seek out vengeance on the people that attacked him.
While they are talking, the drug dealer fires the bazooka at Rage.
And that's basically it. The issue ends with Xa opening up a portal to let the monsters in, but next issue doesn't continue directly from this.
I think Hama brings up some good issues with Rage, and has good intent in introducing him to the team. He's less successful than i'd like him to be, though. And the rest of this is a huge mishmosh of random elements that don't serve the introduction of Rage or anything else.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"But with the team's reputation, there's a sense that you have to "earn" your membership. So having a guy come in and demand that he be put on the team is going to set people off."
Isn't that exactly what Spider-Man did?
Posted by: clyde | June 25, 2015 4:38 PM
At least Spider-Man had SOME prior experiences with them.
You don't suppose that Russia requesting that the Avengers charter be removed might have something to do with the Avengers attacking their superteam in the last story?
I must say, that drug dealer has an extensive vocabulary.
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 25, 2015 5:09 PM
If I remember correctly, LD50 (the dealer in question) shows up a few times in the future, and his loquaciousness was his "gimmick."
Posted by: Thanos6 | June 25, 2015 5:18 PM
Added L.D.50. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 25, 2015 6:23 PM
Did he pick his own name?
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 25, 2015 6:23 PM
Wow, looking up the definition of LD50, I'd imagine he doesn't expect his customers to be as well educated as himself.
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 25, 2015 6:25 PM
Why were the Soviet agents trying to sabotage their own reactor? Was it related to the Meltdown limited series?
Posted by: Michael | June 25, 2015 8:21 PM
One thing that always angered me about Rage's introductory rant about the Avengers' lack of black representation is that Monica Rambeau was completely ignored. Very convenient of both Rage and Hama to just forget about the Avenger who completely invalidates all of Rage's arguments. She's a regular person, not royalty like T'Challa. She is a major powerhouse, unlike the Falcon. She was not forced into the team to meet any quotas. And, oh yeah, she was elected team leader!
Of course, Hama hasn't forgotten about Monica's existence--she'll turn up in the next issue. But that makes it even more awkward, imo, that she was left out of that discussion.
But I do agree that Hama's intentions here are good. During his brief run he not only introduces a new black Avenger (Rage), but also brings Monica and Falcon back into the fold in supporting roles.
Posted by: Dermie | June 25, 2015 8:54 PM
Rage disses Falcon in this story. Well Falcon is Captain America now, and Rage is nowhere.
Posted by: Steven | June 26, 2015 2:20 AM
Ugh, Rage. One negative that hasn't been mentioned is the hideous "Excuse me, stewardess, I speak jive" dialogue Rage and his "street" friends utter. Boy the creative team really showed how "down" they are with the kids, eh? Actually, that a bit unfair. Once we find out the truth about Rage and he's transferred to a more...applicable team, he becomes a more tolerable character (or at least his actions here make more sense.)
Oh and y'all better get use to these "good intentions" because as you go about the 90s, you'll be seeing that ethnic archetype quite a bit (we've already gotten there, ironically enough, with the introduction of Night Trasher. And this won't be the last time the Avengers deal with this issue this decade either.) It became a popular character trait in multimedia around this time, so I can kinda see the desire to exploit a concept that would make your book look all "now" and "with it."
Posted by: Jon Dubya | June 26, 2015 3:38 AM
I remember it was quite a big deal when Larry Hama took over. He was good on GI Joe, on Avengers, not so much.
At the time, I wondered why they didn't use Like Cage in place of Rage. He would have made more sense as he had a reputation that was known to the Avengers. But I'm guessing Hama wanted us to like his new creation (and the new Cage series was in the works). Now there are plenty of unlikable heroes out there, Tony Stark and Quicksilver spring to mind, but Rage has no redeeming characteristics. I'm surprised at how much Captain America tolerated from him. His origin is silver age silliness combined with the idea that murderous packs of white preteens roam NY looking for skinny black kids to kill.
And despite having all those superheroes present, none of them can stop a lone gunman. A soviet state worker is the one to thorw hereself in the bullet's path. Way to go heroes.
Posted by: kveto | June 26, 2015 4:28 AM
I actually thought, on reading #326, "Who does Luke think he's fooling"? -Wanted for Iron Fist's murder at this point, so obvious why he'd be in disguise.
This is the point at which I dropped Avengers - it had gotten worse with every change of writers since Stern, if you ask me.
Posted by: BU | June 26, 2015 7:38 AM
Kveto, I doubt the new Cage series was in the works at this point. It was cover dated April 1992- that's 17 months from this story.
Posted by: Michael | June 26, 2015 7:58 AM
@Michael. Christopher Priest said the new Cage series was in the works for years and Larry Hama was a close friend of Priest. That's what I was basing that speculation on. But who cares? Its no more that speculation. Do you really need to try to respond to every post I make on this site?:-)
Posted by: kveto | June 26, 2015 12:20 PM
Ryan and Palmer were a terrible combo.
Both have done good work, but together, and combined with the colorist on this book, everything looked overly murky and downright sloppy. Cap's features are buried under a mass of black ink in those bottom panels.
I appreciate what Hama was trying to do with Rage, but maybe these issues would have been better explored if he didn't dress the character in an outfit that looks like the paranoid, cartoonish fantasy elderly whites have of black gangs (no shirt, leather jacket, hockey mask, spikes, etc).
As entertaining a writer as I found Hama on GI Joe (and I loved the oddball Nth Man), I always got the impression was at a loss as to what to do with with Earth's mightiest heroes and I found his tenure incredibly dull.
Posted by: Bob | June 26, 2015 6:37 PM
When I first read this issue, I thought that Rage's argument was problematic. The Avengers have actually had a inclusive tradition of ethnic diversity.
In addition to the ethnicities of the White American members, Thor represents Norse culture, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are both Romani, Hercules represents Greek culture, the Black Panther is African, the Black Widow is Russian, the Swordsman was French, Mantis is Vietnamese, Falcon is Black, Iron Man (War Machine) is Black, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) is Black, and Firebird is Hispanic.
However, not all of the characters are always portrayed with their ethnic identities as being a defining (or even a noticeable) characteristic.
Imagine if Hama had changed the membership to focus on the Avengers I mentioned above. A lot of great story potential with that ethnically diverse line-up of established Avengers.
Or Hama could have added pre-existing super-heroes representing other ethnicities to the Avengers, like Sunfire, while acknowledging the Avengers history of inclusion.
Instead, he uses Rage to ignore the Avengers history of inclusion, and create a false conflict.
This masks a real problem where some Avengers writers have unfortunately:
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | June 28, 2015 5:45 AM
I think you have an uphill battle convincing most people that Scandinavia, France, or even Greece or Russia qualify as "ethnic diversity". As far as most people are concerned, Europeans are just as if not more white than white Americans, and of the four people hailing from those countries you mentioned my impression is only the Swordsman has ever been portrayed as culturally distinct from all the other white people on the team, and I only say that because I know next to nothing about how he's been portrayed. (This despite Black Widow's Russianness being important to her backstory but seemingly never her character, despite that not being the case for the X-Men's Colossus, and repeated calls and attempts for DC's Wonder Woman to be portrayed as more "ethnically" Greek that the less prominent Marvel version of Hercules seems to have escaped.)
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 28, 2015 6:26 AM
Hey Morgan I agree with you, its all about perception. To me, a Norwegian, Greek and Russian are very different in terms of cultural background. I would consider that diversity. However, white-Americans, African-Americans and Asian-Americans have a whole lot in common culturally (particularly when they are on holiday in Europe) and seem much less diverse from my more distant perspective. However, I know in the US its all about the skin colour. People can all come from the same place, act the same, have the same personalities, as long as they look like a Benneton ad, that's diversity.
Posted by: kveto | June 28, 2015 6:46 AM
That's interesting, because I remember when Synch was introduced Scott Lobdell said he made him nice because black MALE characters are portrayed as angry most of the time and he wanted to change that. Personally, I think Lobdell was more correct. Look at the recently introduced Night Thrasher- he threw Nova off a building and risked his life for selfish reasons. It's definitely true that black heroes became more ruthless during the late '80s and early '90s (the Blade of the '70's had as many, if not more, scruples than Quincy Harker, the Blade of the '90's was willing to sacrifice Hannibal King and Johnny Blaze to Chthon to rid the world of black magic, the Storm of X-Men 124 would never have tried to kill a man without hearing his side of the story, the Storm of X-Men 224 did just that to Forge) so Rage seems like another "angry black" stereotype.
Posted by: Michael | June 28, 2015 11:52 AM
To an American, the only two types of "culture" are "American" and "not American". An American is likely to see more cultural diversity between white Americans and African-Americans than amongst the other seven billion people on the planet. If you're lucky, he'll chop up the rest of the world according to the continents.
It's all whatever you're closest to. You see the cultural diversity near you more clearly than the cultural diversity of places further away.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 28, 2015 12:50 PM
Was Larry Hama meant to be only a short term writer, or was just another long-term writer who was run off by the editors?
Posted by: Steven | June 30, 2015 12:17 PM
So far i haven't seen anything in the lettercols indicating one way or the other, and i'll mention it if i find anything. But unlike FabNic's previous run, it doesn't feel like a fill-in run. The Crossing Line was a bi-weekly event, and all a single story with no subplots and no character development. So even at 6 issues it felt like a (fun) treading water exercise. Hama's run already has introduced a new character and had multiple plots, so it feels like it was intended to be ongoing.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 30, 2015 12:41 PM
Larry Hama appeared on the cover of Mavel age (i don't remember which issue), touting him as the new Avengers writer, and there was a legthy article about his plans (that's where i read his info about Rage), so they were certainly expecting a long run out of him.
Posted by: kveto | June 30, 2015 1:50 PM
1)Someone mentioned why Luke Cage wasn't brought up, but I was always under the impression that Marvel was "embarrassed" by Cage and saw him as a jive-talking, outdated Blaxploitation stereotype until Bendis revived him back in the 2000's.
2)Minor annoyance: Why is She-Hulk wearing a hardhat? I don't think she's need it. It can't be for "uniformity" (See: The Avengers jackets) since Thor and Sersi aren't wearing one.
3)Jarvis gives a list of the regulatory procedures one has to submit to t become an Avenger. Is that true? Half the time, it seems like people just show up to help out and join (ok more in "modern times" when the question is "who ISN'T an Avenger/" than anything else, but even then it seemed to be the case.) And of course since Rage WILL eventually become a member later on those regulations couldn't be true (unless the Avengers have WORSE background checks than your average Walmart.) Speaking of which...
4) Is the upcoming revelation about Rage a something that Larry Hama planned all along, or was it something that Fabian Nicieza cooked up to try to to "salvage" the character (and allow Nicieza to utilize him for his other book)? I'm wondering because it actually DOES color my perception of Rage in this book.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 10, 2015 9:31 PM
3)The explanation is that the Avengers automated their background checks but the background checking software wasn't set up to determine if the applicant was over 18.
Posted by: Michael | July 10, 2015 11:36 PM
About #1: we're getting close to Luke's 90s series where he's based out of Chicago. (which I only really came aware of due to it tying in with the infamous "black Punisher" story) Plus he appears in the 90s Heroes for Hire series. So at least he wasn't invisible pre-Bendis.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 11, 2015 6:44 AM
So has Illarion Ramskov ever appeared again since these issues? I've always wondered if the mystery that Larry Hama set up regarding the Chernobyl disaster was ever resolved anywhere.
Jon Dubya, She-Hulk is probably wearing a hardhat because of union regulations. As a lawyer she knows better than to mess with those!
Posted by: Ben Herman | July 12, 2015 7:51 PM
Kurt Busiek brings him back as a member of the Winter Guard in Iron Man and he has several more appearances but I don't think the mystery was ever resolved.
Posted by: Michael | July 12, 2015 11:09 PM
Wilson Fisk- humble dealer in spices and biochemicals.
Posted by: mikrolik | July 20, 2015 8:06 PM
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I find Rage's argument that the Avengers fight cosmic menaces and super-villains instead of "fighting for the little guy" to be kind of stupid.
First of all, there are heroes like Spider-Man and Daredevil who do that kind of thing (if they're being written effectively).
Second, the whole purpose of the Avengers is that they fight the menaces that no single hero can fight alone. They are constantly fighting to protect the Earth, if not the galaxy, if not the universe, if not the multi-verse, etc. If the Dire Wraiths are trying to take over Earth, they'll kill everyone on the planet, including "the little guys", so saying the Avengers don't help the "little guys" is short sighted.
I kind of hate to say it because it might make me sound a little like a dick, but if I were Green Lantern and that old black man asked why I helped "the blue skins, the purple skins, etc. but not the black skins", I would have said "I've kept the Earth from being destroyed or conquered several times now." Does it not count because saving the planet also helped the "white skins"?
Granted, Rage is 13 years old at this point, and I guess he's young and idealistic, so that may just be his characterization.
Posted by: mikrolik | July 21, 2015 4:04 PM
There's nothing dickish about pointing out that the Green Lantern/Green Arrow "relevance" books, as important as they may be historically, are basically Denny O'Neil getting out all his white liberal preachy urges without actually saying anything convincing or entertaining. Especially on a Marvel site.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | July 21, 2015 9:46 PM
Ugh. I had been collecting since #263 and had collected back all the way to #167, but this was the beginning of the end for me. I'll start with what I don't like:
* - People randomly knowing things they shouldn't. The doctor knows Sersi's powers. Rage knows Falcon was an "affirmative-action" member. (How would he know that - I can't imagine the Avengers, Falcon or the government ever broadcast that.) Tony is still (I think) pretending not to be Tony, so he shouldn't know about Plan D.
* - Rage as a character. The subway scene is the most obnoxious. Look - she's scared of me. Well, yes, as Cap points out you're a big scary guy with a freaky looking mask and you're also clearly pissed off. Well, she's not scared of the white guy. No, she's not scared of CAPTAIN FRIGGING AMERICA! Not even remotely the same thing. Is there a bigger overall point? Of course. But Hama does the whole storyline without an ounce of subtlety. His writing on GI JOE, especially his great run from #21 to 50 was much more nuanced than this. Just a terrible, terrible character.
But there are some good things as well. The art on this makes it look like Buscema's classic run and I love Reed's non-chalant dismissal of a possible threat (Ah, the Avengers have got it).
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 4, 2015 11:55 AM
For reasons I have never worked out, the comics shop I went to as a kid had the "Surge" story as one of its "wall books" with a price tag around $20.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 26, 2015 8:03 PM
I guess, for about 5 minutes in the speculator age, people seriously thought the first appearance of Rage was going to have long-term investment value, as hilarious as that sounds now.
Posted by: Bob | November 26, 2015 8:37 PM
I was recently re-reading these issues. Knowing now that Rage was actually a 13 year old kid who only looked like an adult (and, yes, Larry Hama planned that right from the start) his angry arguments, impulsive actions and even his over-the-top costume make a heck of a lot more sense. If you were a 13 year old kid who suddenly gained super-powers, decided you wanted to join the Avengers and who felt they didn't have enough black members, you probably *would* impulsively show up at their doorstep unannounced arguing that they should let you join the team on the spot. And when they said "No," you probably *would* angrily stomp off and smash up the nearest crack house, believing that this would make a difference in the long run.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 8, 2016 10:13 PM
The worst thing about this story/run is most the names are impossible to say. Ngh, Xa, Ffurg, Orm... bloody awful.
Posted by: AF | April 28, 2016 11:35 AM
I know he's younger than he looks and that Hama was trying to be progressive, but this kind of heavy-handed introduction is exactly the best way to get the opposite result. Cap's patience is incredible. If I were an established Avenger and some random guy acted like Rage, I'd throw him out of the building. Race should be meaningless when choosing new Avengers members. What matters is their powers, their personality and allegiance (you don't want moles or hidden supervillains), and their reputation, because the team is supposed to be prestigious. (that last part doesn't really matter nowadays, since almost everyone has been an Avenger now)
Not to mention the Avengers already have a lot of diversity and Monica Rambeau was a perfect example of what Rage wanted, but no, Hama had to ignore/forget that for the sake of his new angry character.
This arc is still pretty enjoyable, though. (purple Fin Fang Foom!) I don't mind Rage's origin, but it's slightly reminiscent of Luke Cage's. (how many invulnerable black heroes are there now?)
Posted by: Nth Wolf | May 23, 2018 6:46 AM
I quite like Rage, as a short arc in the Avengers. Personally I think whatever your opinion of him, he is at least memorable, and that is something that can't be said about much else of this era of Avengers.
As much as they've had Captain Marvel in the past, and Black Panther & Falcon in further back, I think Hama was right to add a black male character to the lineup, and as Rage says, Falcon has the history of the Avengers being ordered to accept him while Black Panther (as popular as he is now) being a rich African leader of a country, was then seen by some black fans as not representative of them.
It was good to give the team some new blood and some new conflict, though of course the fact that Rage is revealed to in fact be a young boy means his stay on the team is necessarily brief, and we don't get to see him perhaps lose some of the chip on his shoulder and win over some of the readers who might have at first disliked him.
Hama was a dry writer and I agree with Ben Herman's comment that Hama knew what he was doing here, Rage was intentionally being portrayed as sometimes wrong or over-the-top, but he did have some valid points too. Maybe he was made to seem too much of an "angry black man" stereotype but Rage provided some drama for a few issues, and he got to throw a cupcake at Doctor Doom too. (Okay I'd admit that one might have been a bit silly for an Avengers issue, but again, at least it's memorable.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 23, 2018 7:19 AM
And I do like the subway scene - as Erik says it would perhaps work better if the white man was someone other than Captain America, war hero, symbol of national identity & the most popular hero in the Marvel Universe, & it doesn't help that Rage has picked a "tough" costume rather than brightly coloured spandex like most other superheroes (maybe Cap should suggested Rage add some "ear wings" to the costume like he has, surely no-one is going to be afraid of a guy with little wings on the side of his head?) but there is a valid point in there. As obvious as it may have seemed to older readers, I think some of the younger, mostly white audience of the comic might have found some enlightenment in seeing how the young black hero felt about being feared as a criminal on looks alone.
It would have worked better with a different hero instead of Cap, and if Rage were wearing something else, but Rage is up to a point correct that some people would have a similar reaction however he were dressed.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 23, 2018 7:31 AM
There's good elements and terrible elements in this arc. I do like the table construction scene, I like the highly literate drug dealer with the bazooka, I like Tom Palmer (who seems to keep continuity from the classic Stern-Buscema-Palmer team from a few years before) but yes, I agree with fnord that a lot of the points worth hearing are delivered quite clumsy. Still, this was when the Avengers *was* considered prestigious, unlike the last decade and a half, when every single Marvel character ever suddenly became a member.
Posted by: Wis | May 24, 2018 12:10 AM
I've been reading these issues again. Despite a few rough patches, I still like them. I'd much rather re-read these than nearly any part of Bendis' run on the series!
In any case, I finally located a quote from Larry Hama regarding his conception of Rage...
"I just always liked the whole Billy Batson thing, where the character is actually a little kid who somehow transforms into a powerful hero. I also liked the whole Aunt May thing, so that that got grafted on as the kindly grandmother. Making the character African-American was third down on the list, but it fit very well, and I changed the rest to make it all fit."
That's from a piece at Comic Book Resources - https://www.cbr.com/comic-book-legends-revealed-364/
Posted by: Ben Herman | June 5, 2018 1:54 PM
A Billy Batson teen character like “Rage”/Elvin Halliday introduction into the Marvel cinematic universe has massive appeal and would bring storytelling from a teenager Dealing with the complications of being a superhero through the lense of the inner city
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | June 13, 2018 1:20 AM
Rage most definitely needs a costume rebirth prior to becoming another Marvel movie franchise
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | June 13, 2018 1:24 AM
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