Issue(s): Avengers #47, Avengers #48, Avengers #49, Avengers #50
Meanwhile, Captain America quits. He wants a life of his own. Recent problems trying to date Sharon Carter were probably a factor, although that isn't mentioned here. Hawkeye takes Cap's resignation pretty hard, and he goes and takes it out on the Black Widow. The Black Widow and Hawkeye are having a tough time in their relationship now that she has given up the super-heroics. She later disappears without telling Hawkeye where she has gone.
Hercules also leaves, the group, heading to Mount Olympus. His plan is to get his exile revoked so that staying with the Avengers can be his choice as opposed to making the best of a bad situation. His face is still clean-shaven, freaking me out. Here he is from issue #48, which was drawn and inked by George Tuska, who isn't as good as Buscema, making Hercules look very cartoonish.
The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver abandon monitor duty upon receiving a summons from Magneto. Magneto captures them...
...and tries to get them to rejoin the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (he is using the 'Evil Mutants' part for the first time himself. Prior to this, he just called it the Brotherhood). While this could have been quite good, Thomas writes Magneto as pure insane evil (and the Toad is even worse - he should have been left out of this altogether). It isn't fair to Thomas to a degree since the real humanization of Magneto won't happen for about a decade, but he could have gotten lot of mileage out of Quicksilver's recent doubts about humanity if Magneto was written a little more rationally. As it is Quicksilver basically humors him a while in order to prevent him from killing them. Magento takes them to the UN where he demands a seat on the Security Council, with full veto rights. When they refuse, as he predicted, things escalate, and Magneto forces a security guard's gun to fire, magnetically making the gun graze the Scarlet Witch. This drives Quicksilver into a frenzy and he agrees to join Magneto.
Backing up a bit, while Wanda and Pietro were being held by Magneto, Janet and Hank were hanging out at a Vegas casino. The Wasp is watching a man named Mr. Desalvio cheat at roulette when they get a call from Jarvis that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are in trouble. They return to the Mansion but along with Hawkeye, don't know how to find the mutants. Suddenly Dane Whitman, wearing a modified version of his uncle's armor, and riding a white Pegasus, shows up.
Whitman developed his Pegasus using the same process that his uncle did.
He also has a sword...
...but favors his uncle's super-science lance during the fight with the Avengers.
His uncle had a deathbed conversion and told Dane to use his devices for good instead of evil.
The Avengers assume Dane is the original Black Knight and attack him. When it's all sorted out they head to Whitman's castle but find that Magneto and co. have already left. Then they get word that Magneto has shown up at the UN, where they fail to stop Magneto and Quicksilver from leaving with the Scarlet Witch.
This is still very much old-school Magneto. He is a total kook, a stereotypical power-mad villain. His appeals to Quicksilver are shown to be entirely disingenuous in his asides to Toad (Quicksilver: I'm standing right here!). Look at this guy; would you trust him?
On the other hand, i love the way Buscema poses Magneto when he sits. He hunches as if he contains vast amounts of power and it is a burden for him . Very cool.
Check out this fight between Hank and Janet. And what in the world is she wearing?
Concurrent to all of this, Hercules has been investigating the disappearance of all the Gods from Olympus. It turns out they were trapped in another dimension when the Titan named Typhon snuffed out the flame of Prometheus.
Hercules battles Typhon but gets banished as well, joining the other gods.
Over Ares' protests, Zeus sends Hercules to Earth, where Typhon is attacking a US battleship. Goliath, Wasp, and Hawkeye track Hercules down and try to help him defeat Typhon, but they really don't contribute much. (The Wasp does nothing at all, and Pym lost his ability to grow when he forced himself to grow past his 10ft limit in the battle with the Black Knight). After the battle, Hercules decides to stay in Olympus after all, leaving the Avengers consisting of three nearly powerless members.
Whirlwind is still acting as the Wasp's chauffeur.
There may be other Greek gods appearing in Avengers #50 but they are not named.
George Tuska fills in the pencilling duties for #48. Buscema handles both inks and pencils for #49 and #50. Tuska's pencils are a little flat, but Buscema's art is good. There are some nice shading/coloring effects as well.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Marvel Triple Action #39, Marvel Triple Action #40, Marvel Triple Action #41, Marvel Triple Action #42
Inbound References (10): show
Janet's dress actually did exist in 1967, though I can't remember what it was called.
Although I generally disliked Roy Thomas's run "The Avengers," I did like most of this arc. One of the really nice things about early Marvel Comics is that you occasionally have, not the super hero, but the super heel: early Thing, homicidal Grey Hulk, date-rapist Sub-Mariner, mentally ill Captain America, and so on. In this arc, Quicksilver joins that club. He was extremely bland in "The Avengers" before now, so it's a welcome burst of characterization.
On the other hand, this arc introduces Dane Whitman as the Black Knight. Dane Whitman is terrible, the Black Knight is lame (is he the first Marvel Silver Age legacy character?), and Roy Thomas can't help trying to cram him into the Avengers at every opportunity.
gotta agree with you on the black knight. the previous villainous black knight was better. (funnily enough, if you read the iron man issue where the original black knight dies, youd have no real inkling that he died that issue. he fell from his horse and disappeared, like every villain has done only to come back later. but this innocent fall later bacame a fatal one to make room for the boring heroic black knight)
My first exposure to the Dane Whitman Black Knight was by Roger Stern's excellent Avengers run in the mid '80s where he is a good character, but I agree that his first appearances leave much to be desired.
Buscema's self-inked work was excellent, and didn't appear that often. I agree that Black Knight wasn't much of a character, but his did have some well drawn appearances by Barry Smith in one of the anthology books (I don't remember which), and some Gene Colan appearances in Dr. Strange.
Tony Isabella has a letter in #50.
There was an announcement in 1968 that Marvel was working on a character called Dark Arrow who was supposed to be Black/Native American, but no indication on if he was supposed to be a superhero or not.
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