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 a 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. Magneto 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.
Roy Thomas confirms in a text piece in 1990's Black Knight mini-series that bringing back a Black Knight, and tying him to the medieval Black Knight from the Timely era, was his idea. It wasn't even really the intention to kill off the previous Black Knight (Nathan Garret of the Masters of Evil) in his last appearance (Tales of Suspense #73, which was Roy Thomas' first script of a super-hero comic); that's essentially a retcon that's established here.
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.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 269,139. Single issue closest to filing date = 319,500.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Triple Action #39, Marvel Triple Action #40, Marvel Triple Action #41, Marvel Triple Action #42
Inbound References (16): show
Janet's dress actually did exist in 1967, though I can't remember what it was called.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 6, 2011 4:27 PM
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.
Posted by: James Nostack | September 14, 2011 5:05 PM
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)
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | September 23, 2011 3:58 PM
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.
Posted by: Chris | May 13, 2012 4:10 PM
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.
Posted by: Richard Meyer | May 13, 2012 5:51 PM
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.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 12, 2013 7:35 PM
Just found out: Dark Arrow was a proposed creation by Arnold Drake, was strictly native american, and had no connection to the present-day Marvel Universe.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 25, 2013 6:09 PM
Avengers 47 and 49 are the best issues of the series so far. I wish that Buscema had drawn 48. Roy Thomas here does his own version of Disassembled. The second incarnation of the team that began in issue 16 has now ended, and the team now rebuilds istelf.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 4, 2013 3:24 PM
Roy Thomas says that Stan Lee forced him to drop Captain America from the book. Roy wanted to bring back Iron Man and Thor, but wasn't allowed. Now he had to fight Stan to get any of the Big Three on the team.
Posted by: Steven Printz | March 15, 2014 8:26 PM
Janet's fancy dress looks similar to those mid 60's metal and plastic dresses by Paco Rabanne.
Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2014 9:29 PM
I'm with Chris. I came across Black Knight as a part of the 80's team and he was one of my favorite characters. It just took until then before he was used right.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 21, 2015 12:04 PM
Janet's dress is covered in post-it notes...
Posted by: Harry | August 1, 2015 11:46 AM
Scarlet Witch is actually colored purple on the cover of Avengers #49
Posted by: Steven | September 18, 2016 8:46 PM
I have always been *really* underwhelmed by Marvel's version of Typhon, who is basically just a rather large, tall guy. In some of the actual Greek myths Typhon was described as being so tall that he touched the stars, and he possessed 100 snake heads growing out of his main head, serpents sprouting from his hands, and numerous pairs of wings. That sounds a heck of a lot more impressive than what we get here.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 10, 2016 4:08 PM
We get an explanation in Avengers Annual 23 that this human form is just a form that Zeus trapped him in.
Posted by: Michael | October 10, 2016 11:15 PM
Thanks for the info, Michael. I never read that annual. Maybe someone should bring back Typhon in a form much closer to how he was depicted in myths. I can imagine Arthur Adams doing an amazing depiction of him.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 11, 2016 9:35 AM
Ben, have you seen how he's depicted in more recent comics?
Posted by: fnord12 | October 11, 2016 9:44 AM
fnord, nope, I had not seen that before. I've only read a handful of Marvel Comics over the past decade, so I missed that. Yeah, that's rather more effective, and closer to some of the mythological descriptions.
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 11, 2016 12:01 PM
Okay first off I disagree with you on the quality of Thomas' writing as he is one of my favorite comic book writers. I like the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) right out of the gate but he did get better. I wished that they had not killed of his uncle however as he was one of Marvel's best early villains. I agree that Tuska was not as good as Big John Buscema and the unshaven Hercules did look odd. The picture that you scanned looks like something from Tuska's days at Fawcett when he was drawing Captain Marvel and company.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 13, 2016 3:07 PM
Comments are now closed.
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