Issue(s): Avengers #228, Avengers #229, Avengers #230
Frankly, Egghead, who is presumed dead, should have just sat back and let Pym take the rap for the crime he forced Pym into, but he's got a more convoluted scheme. He sends his new Masters of Evil to "rescue" Pym at the courthouse, pretending that they're acting on his orders.
One of my favorite scenes from a comic is in this issue, right before the jail break. Tiger Shark, after stumbling into Egghead's headquarters while engaged in a pointless fight with the Shocker...
...sees Radioactive Man in his civilian form and says, "Hey! What's this big gook doin' here?".
Dr. Lu transforms into the Radioactive Man, impressing the hell out of everyone in the room and leaving Tiger Shark stammering out an apology.
The Avengers respond to the MoE's attack, but the bad guys have the upper hand. Radioactive Man is able to generate gamma rays that convert the She-Hulk back into Jennifer Walters.
He then causes Thor's hammer to hit Captain America.
Basically, the Radioactive Man is a badass. The Masters of Evil get away, but the Shocker is left behind, deliberately, because it turns out he's a patsy, and Egghead planted a post-hypnotic suggestion in his head that makes him confirm that Pym is their leader.
Egghead tries to convince Pym to join the Masters of Evil. Pym, looking desperate and ruined, seemingly goes along with it.
But instead of building the gadget Egghead wanted, he actually builds a device that allows him to singlehandedly defeat the team.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye deliberately enrages Jennifer Walters to help her turn back into She-Hulk.
And Captain Marvel gets the idea to use a device on the Shocker to see if he's been brainwashed.
With all of that settled, the Avengers head out to Egghead's base in time to find the bad guys defeated. But while Pym isn't looking, Egghead pulls out a gun to shoot Pym.
Hawkeye shots an arrow into the gun's barrel, causing it to explode, killing Egghead.
Afterwards, there is an official Avengers inquisition on both Pym and Hawkeye. It's confirmed that Pym wasn't under any kind of mind control when he hit Janet and launched the fake robot attack. But Hawkeye is absolved of any guilt for killing Egghead.
Pym leaves the Avengers, with some well-written heartfelt drama as he says goodbye to the team and to Janet. He leaves behind his Yellowjacket suit.
Great characterization from Roger Stern again. I especially like his She-Hulk. Of Captain America, she says at one point: "Yeah, he does pretty well for a guy with no powers, but I could take him!". His Moonstone is really great, too (it's his character, of course).
But Stern is really good all around at making all of the team talk and act like real people.
During the course of these issues, Iron Man goes missing.
Two additional developing sub-plots: Plantman is escaping from prison...
...and Captain Mar-vell's former girlfriend Elysius releases Eros of Titan from the vow he made to Mar-vell that he would look after her after Mar-vell died.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Vision & the Scarlet Witch are shown watching coverage of the trial from their home in New Jersey. Iron Man goes missing from the Avengers this issue, so he shouldn't appear as a member of the team in any other books.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (10): show
Is Egghead still considered dead? I seem to recall his showing up in some Defenders stories later on, but no explanation was given has to how he survived his death here. Personally I'd prefer he stayed dead -- how does one take seriously a villain named after a Looney Tunes character?
Posted by: Gary Himes | July 7, 2013 10:45 PM
He was alive last I saw. He was a member of that group of genius-level villains, with people like The Leader, from the pages of some Hulk comic.
Personally, I heard he was named after a Fritz Lieber novel.; )
He's Hank Pym's arch-nemesis, he can never die. heh
Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2013 10:57 PM
I believe he's actually still dead. The Intelligencia stories featuring him were all flashbacks. Wikipedia and Marvel's wiki seem to confirm.
There was a new robotic Egghead introduced in Young Avengers but he doesn't seem to be a resurrection of the original.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 7, 2013 11:01 PM
"Egghead" was also a derogatory term for extremely educated people in the 1950s(and probably before). A "Miss Egghead" villainess appeared in Dick Tracy in 1958.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 12, 2013 5:17 PM
I always liked how badass Radioactive Man came off in this storyline (although he gets his clock cleaned too easily by Pym--I can buy Pym beating Tiger Shark and Beetle, but not Radioactive Man). Radioactive Man should be an A-lister really--he's got amazing powers and he's a genius! But he's always been a henchman type, for whatever reason. I swear his dumb name is what killed him.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | August 8, 2014 10:33 PM
I still remember the last page of Avengers #227 when Egghead says something like "It was smart of me to let the world think I was dead! No one looks for a late fugitive!" Always made me wonder if he somehow faked his death here.
I think it'd be interesting to reveal he actually did fake his death, but has been doing things behind the scenes this whole time (possibly for AIM, HYDRA, etc.), and that he deliberately still wants the world to think he's dead because he doesn't want interference from heroes anymore.
Posted by: mikrolik@ | April 20, 2015 11:30 AM
These were the start of my brothers Avengers collection and thus the first issues of Avengers I ever actually read (other than Avengers #1 in Son of Origins). It really set the mark for me with the characters.
I think perhaps this is why I am so much a bigger fan of Hank Pym and Hawkeye than fnord is. With Hank, this is his redemption at the end of the storyline, and, without powers, he manages to just about single-handedly take down the Masters of Evil (although, an awesome panel fnord doesn't have is Thor taking out Beetle, but that's after Hank sent him out of control). For Hawkeye, I loved his cockiness, but also his seriousness, when he has a court-martial in #230 and talks about what it means to be an Avenger.
I never thought about it much, but this is a key moment for Captain Marvel - she shows that she thinks about these things and she doesn't go with the assumptions that the older characters make and she has some pretty good conclusions.
Fnord - you don't seem to have Starfox actually tagged in these issues.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 7, 2015 10:42 PM
Whoops, added Starfox. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 7, 2015 10:45 PM
Aaaaaand, Egghead has now been revealed to be alive, as of Ant-Man Annual Vol. 2 No. 1.
Posted by: mikrolik | November 23, 2015 10:17 PM
Is this where people started treating Shocker as a joke? Because he's actually really cool.
Posted by: david banes | January 7, 2016 1:32 PM
david banes: Unfortunately, I'd probably say yes, which is a shame since the Shocker is my favorite Spider-Man villain.
Different writers and stories have varied on their treatment of Shocker over the years, ranging from "credible threat" to "lame joke character Spider-Man has no sweat dispatching."
In a way, I think the rise of the "classic villain is now a laughable failure" trope happened in the eighties, particularly when Scourge was created. One of the worst examples was Porcupine in CA 315 (not a Scourge death, but shown the Porcupine in a pretty sad light).
The Shocker wasn't killed by Scourge, but he was scared of him in Deadly Foes of SM, and in CA 394, a Scourge confirmed an attempt on Scourge's life, so I wonder if Shocker was on Mark Gruenwald's possible victims list, but was miraculously spared?
Posted by: mikrolik | January 14, 2016 11:35 AM
That should be "a Scourge confirmed an attempt on Shocker's life," sorry.
Posted by: mikrolik | January 14, 2016 11:36 AM
Trish Starr also flashes back to Egghead's scheme to drain her mind from her first appearance in Marvel Feature #5.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 20, 2016 7:18 AM
Added it to the references, thanks Omar.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 13, 2017 8:21 AM
I think the term "egghead" was popularized by the opponents of Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President in 1952 and 1956 against Eisenhower, who would later be appointed by JFK as Ambassador to the UN. Of course, those who remember the campy, 1960's "Batman" will remember Vincent Price's guest shots as the created-for-TV villain Egghead.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 15, 2017 4:19 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|