Code of Honor #3
Issue(s): Code of Honor #3
They break up, briefly make up...
...but then separate again.
Note the wildly different art styles in those two scans above. The first third of this book has probably the best art in the series.
The middle third is very impressionistic. And the final third is a bit cartoony (see the Abomination picture below). All are ok, but the shift between them is jarring.
That whiteout scene you see in the second scan above is all of the Marvel heroes getting 'ported off to Secret Wars. We'll get back to that.
First, earlier, we see Jeff facing off against the Punisher again. This is a scene that is repeated from Amazing Spider-Man annual #15, so it turns out that Jeff was one of the cops there.
This time the police actually bring in the Punisher. Which you would think give Jeff some closure, but it doesn't.
Also in this issue, Jake "the Rake" Vicuna is arrested, and Jeff unloads on him, venting frustrations both directly related to Jake's supposed corruption of him, and, i think, life in general.
It's not making the character look good, though. He's a bitter and beaten man at this point.
Back to the Secret Wars. This issue adds a major villain uprising into continuity when it's made known that most heroes are missing.
Of course, there are a number of heroes still on Earth, but the implication is that it's not enough.
The Invisible Woman, very pregnant at this time, helps out by contributing weapons from Mr. Fantastic's arsenal.
Jeff's new partner, Chick Hamner, is killed by the Abomination.
Eventually, things calm down and later the heroes return.
Since so much of this series has been focused on bitterness regarding the heroes, i naively expected that this would be sort of a moment of redemption for them. After all, despite all the bitching about how the heroes don't do enough or get in the way, it's pretty clear that they actually do keep the super-villain population in check. But instead when they return, it's "They didn't save my world." I mean, this makes no sense. This isn't me being persnickety about some geeky continuity detail. Within the context of this story, you take away the super-heroes for a while and you get gallons of super-villains attacking the city. How can the response to that be, "Meh, what good are heroes?". No one would act that way; it makes. no. sense.
For the human-side of the story, it's getting dark and i'm not sure if Dixon basically agrees with this guy or if he's trying to show how (as i see it) Piper's earlier lack of any kind of ability to stand up for himself has caused him so much grief today. It's an interesting character study, in any event, even if the painted art and the way we keep jumping forward in time (everyone ages considerably from the end of last issue to the end of this one) makes everything feel a little stiff.
Adding a major super-villain war retcon is a questionable move in its own right - it's a major event that we only see from the perspective of bystanders; generally this series and others like it have been about showing Marvel civilians reacting to actual Marvel events, not inventing new ones. Beyond that, this stuff clearly wasn't being thought out that well. There's a number of "mistake" characters. We've got a bunch that just couldn't exist at this time, including the Brothers Grimm, the Ani-Men, Leap Frog, and Unicorn. The MCP solves the problem by inventing new versions of all these characters just for this appearance, and i'm following their lead here.
Some others aren't as easily solvable. The Abomination should be dead, and his resurrection is complicated and dealt with in later comics. All i can come up with is that the Beyonder wanted to bring the Abomination to Secret Wars because he knew he hadn't picked up enough villains from the Hulk's rogues gallery, and when he found out that the Abomination wasn't available he moved on but subconsciously recreated him. Then he later realized his mistake and put him back where he found him.
This is, of course, ridiculous, but i bet it would have earned me a No Prize.
And then there's Cottonmouth and Slyde, who are appearing here before their actual first appearances, which is undesirable but not the end of the world.
And some, like Rhino, are wearing versions of their costumes that they wouldn't have had yet, but that's the least of our problems.
Angel, who appears in every issue of Code of Honor, just flying by, presumably symbolizing something with his costume, is wearing the Neal Adam's version this issue. The original blue color scheme. Did he ever wear that outside of the Neal Adams issues?
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: There's relatively few references to screw up for this issue. They make up for it with the number of mistakes around the one major reference they do include. I've placed this after Secret Wars, but before Marvel 1985, due to the chronology for Leap Frog II, of all things.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAbomination, Angel, Ape Man III, Batroc, Beast, Black Widow, Brothers Grimm II, Captain America, Cat Man III, Cloak, Cobra, Cottonmouth, Dagger, Daredevil, Doc Samson, Electro, Falcon, Father Delgado, Guardsman II (Michael O'Brien), Hawkeye, Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley), Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Fist, Jake Vicuna, Janet Ruiz, Jeff Piper, Juggernaut, Killer Shrike, Leap-Frog II, Living Laser, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Moonstone (Karla Sofen), Mr. Fantastic, Omnivore, Plantman, Porcupine, Punisher, Rhino, Ringer, Rogue, Scorpion, She-Hulk, Shocker, Slyde, Stilt-Man, Thing, Thor, Tiger Shark, Unicorn II, Vengeance, War Machine, Wasp, Whirlwind, Wonder Man
Slyde's costume was weirdly similar to the Hypno Hustler's.
Wasn't Angel wearing the blue Adams-design when he rejoined the X-Men from #139-#148?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 21, 2011 1:29 AM
No, he was wearing his red-and-white costume.
Posted by: Michael | November 21, 2011 8:00 AM
Angel wore the blue version of his costume during Marvel Fanfare 1-4 which takes place after the first Secret Wars.
Posted by: Jay | May 10, 2012 1:28 AM
Belatedly responding to Jay: Fanfare #1-4 can't take place post Secret Wars. If nothing else, Storm has the wrong haircut. But see the Considerations sections on those entries for more details.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 29, 2012 9:26 AM
Angel was wearing the original white and BLACK costume in GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1 as well. It was changed to red when he was placed in the Champions, editorial declaring that too many Champions characters were already wearing black (Black Widow and Ghost Rider). As far as I know, once he switched to red, he didn't go back until the nineties and after he had aquired blue skin and metal wings. When that happened, the dark portions of the costume were left more open for color and did indeed look blue, but the Adams designed costume was black and was usually inked heabily to reflect that.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 14, 2013 11:53 PM
Two different Jays, by the way. :)
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 14, 2013 11:59 PM
Angel's costume might have been designed to be "black" and white but it's very much blue in Avengers #110 when Magneto steals it back from Angel. This is specifically the costume Magneto had put on Angel back in the Savage Land in The X-Men #62 because it turns out that it was absorbing "mutant energy" from Angel the whole time. Magneto took it back & wore on so those energies would boost his failing powers.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | July 15, 2013 7:51 AM
A supervillain uprising on earth during the Secret Wars doesn't make any sense. A comparatively small grouping of heroes was taken to Battleworld, leaving a longer list of heroes behind. Also, big name villains like Drs. Doom and Octopus were taken as well, so they wouldn't be a factor in any upswing in villainous activity.
I like to think nature abhors a vacuum. Missing heroes would mean other heroes would step up their game due to necessity.
Posted by: Bill | June 3, 2015 11:01 PM
Contrast Marvels: Eye of the Camera #4, where "crime ramped up a little, but not too much. And the Avengers that got left behind kept things from getting out of hand."
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 3, 2015 11:10 PM
Judging by the Eye of the Camera page on this site, Phil Sheldon seems to already be thinking things are getting a lot darker than they used to be. He might have considered Code of Honor's depiction to be the new normal.
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 4, 2015 12:07 PM
Angel used the blue (or blueish black, perhaps) costume in Giant-Size X-Men #1 and Uncanny X-Men #94, albeit only for a very few panels.
Before that, he also used it in a couple of (recent flashback) panels in Captain America #173 or so, happening just prior to Avengers #110.
There are a number of additional appearances around that time, but they are continuity implants.
Of interest is that he was also briefly seem in a Marvel Team-Up #4 and #23, and was using the original black-and-yellow costume at that time. I take it to be part of an effort to keep the X-Men visually consistent with the reprints of early issues of Uncanny.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 23, 2015 7:29 PM
Angel also was in blue right before the Defenders and Secret Wars, when the Morlocks kidnapped him. I think the most likely is he would switch between the two.
Posted by: Jeff | April 28, 2017 3:16 PM
Comments are now closed.
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