Issue(s): Avengers #40
Meanwhile, the Sub-Mariner goes after a Navy vessel for launching experimental torpedoes at coral reefs in his kingdom. After trapping the sub, he heads to the Navy's base, determined to stop these attacks once and for all.
Waiting for Wanda to recover, the Avengers watch television and see Cap declare that he's now working for the Red Skull. A few minutes later, Cap sneaks off from the Skull in order to send the Avengers a message - he's not really working for the Skull and they have to trust him, but in the meantime, since the Skull is back, they had better go and find the Cosmic Cube that the Skull dropped in the ocean the last time he and Cap fought.
Leaving Quicksilver to tend to the Scarlet Witch (after commenting that Hawkeye's opinion of Cap has changed since his early days on the team), the remaining Avengers head off in their 'astro-car'. As they are searching, they discover Namor attacking the naval base and wonder if he is after the Cube.
What is it with people not remembering that Namor can fly (see Tales To Astonish #79)? Goliath goes after Namor but is surprised when Namor flies and defeats him in the air.
Then Hercules and Namor fight, and Hercules gives away the fact that the Avengers are looking for the Cosmic Cube. Namor lets himself get thrown in the water, and he finds the Cube, creating a monster (Amalga-Beast) for the rest of the Avengers to fight so he can continue his duel against Hercules.
The Wasp figures out that Namor has turned the Cube into a necklace, and she knocks it off of his neck. Namor leaves the scene.
The Cube falls down a crevice and lands at the feet of the Mole Man, who discards it as a worthless bauble.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Concurrent with Tales Of Suspense #88-91.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Triple Action #32
Inbound References (4): showBlack Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Henry Pym, Hercules, Mole Man, Quicksilver, Red Skull, Scarlet Witch, Sub-Mariner, Wasp
This issue would have seemed more epic if it had been drawn by someone other than Don Heck.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 4, 2013 7:52 AM
"Why do I stand here gazing thus...?"
Beats me Moley, especially since you're *blind* and shouldn't be able to "gaze" at all...
Posted by: Gary Himes | August 23, 2013 5:52 PM
The Mole Man is usually written as having very poor vision but not actually blind, so he could "gaze".
Posted by: Michael | August 23, 2013 7:37 PM
without Doubt comment number one is on point. This issue has some potentially game changing story ideas (Cosmic Cube) Prince Namor guest starring, mole man etc.. And it needed Big John Buscema to take us home, especially TO DRAW Hercules and Namor, which would have made this visually epic! this Avengers #40 book is more important than it has been credited due primarily to the flat artwork.
Posted by: rocknrollguitarplayer | July 26, 2016 1:10 AM
Don Heck's work started looking worse IMO once Marvel moved into their big muscle phase. His male figures have seemed much more barrel-chested, exaggerated, and out of proportion over the past several issues.
Posted by: James Holt | September 23, 2016 9:28 PM
@James, i find interesting that "Big Muscle Phase" concept you´re mentioning. It was obvious that Kirby and Ditko weren´t into drawing muscular bodies. Perhaps was the Peplum movies fad the reason behind that trend? OTOH i suppose that John Buscema´s style was pivotal too.
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | September 27, 2016 10:47 AM
@Jay, Maybe the Gene Colan style was pivotal too, I don't really know. In the Marvel Age beginning, editorial (Stan Lee) said he wanted the Marvel heroes to be a little bit different and more realistic, and this is reflected in the early Marvel Age style, where Lee was striving to portray what "real people" would be like if they acquired super-powers. As time went by and the Marvel heroes became more popular, Lee started asking his artists for more muscular heroes, at least according to a Ditko interview IIRC, but I can't site references, nor easily find any with an internet search right now.
Fictionally speaking, maybe Reed was using his stretching power to make himself appear more muscular and handsome as time went by? I've seen that theory offered before, but it doesn't really explain why Johnny Storm and Peter Parker became more muscular. It's reasonable to think that just working out and doing the strenuous work of being a super-hero would make anyone more muscular as the years passed.
From reading these issues in real time, one popular fan opinion was that success had spoiled Marvel, and that they had "copped out" to the "status quo" that had been set by their "Distinguished Competition." That was a common sentiment among my friends. Maybe there were letters from other fans wishing for more muscular heroes, who really knows? Pressure might even have come from Martin Goodman who by some accounts became more meddlesome as the mass popularity of Marvel continued to grow.
Posted by: James Holt | September 27, 2016 9:08 PM
@James, the idea of Reed using his powers to himself to appear more handsome makes sense. However, i can't help but wonder why would he do that. I mean, he is a very self-absorbed scientist who most of the time doesn't even bother to look at his wife's face when they're having a conversation...perhaps he was subconsciously trying to overcompensate himself in front of all that flirting between Sue and Namor....
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | September 29, 2016 12:58 AM
@Jay, Reed seems to be more like a Silly Putty man than a Stretch Armstrong toy man which always snaps back into a default shape. During Hickman's run on the FF, the Future Foundation kids pointed out that Reed's elongated body tended to stay in the same shape, usually stretched out all over the landscape, whenever he was knocked out. During Byrne's run, Reed and Sue adopted secret identities as a suburban couple for awhile, and Reed could go all day while holding onto his secret identity face, seemingly with little or no effort.
Reed seems to stay in the same shape until he consciously molds himself into another shape. I agree that his early jealousy over Sue and Namor might be a motivation for him to keep himself pretty for her, but I'm not at all convinced of that. I think it was more about artist's choices and styles, and maybe editorial mandates too, but I have no direct evidence I can readily cite.
Better artists do give different characters different body types, but many or most artists adopt more of a cookie-cutter approach. They were paid by the page and worked hastily under almost constant deadline pressures, so it's understandable that they should repeat standard poses and styles for different characters, especially if editorial was trying to impose elements of a "house style."
Posted by: James Holt | September 29, 2016 8:22 AM
Again the reference to the Mole Man's war with Tyrranus. I found the Namor Hercules battle of the egos as interesting as the physical fight. Roy did well with their dialogue but was nowhere close to Stan's dialogue for the Hercules Thor fight.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 11, 2016 6:32 PM
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