Issue(s): Avengers #231, Avengers #232
Jasper Sitwell takes over a SHIELD base and takes Ronald Reagan hostage, demanding a billion dollars (Reagan claims the Federal Budget can't take that much added strain).
Sitwell is actually a clone created by the Plantman.
The Avengers perform a well coordinated rescue operation.
They are a member short, since Iron Man called earlier to quit the team (it was actually James Rhodes calling, because Tony Stark is fighting his alcoholism).
But Captain Marvel has been promoted from Avenger-In-Training to full member.
Meanwhile, Eros of Titan arrives at Avengers Mansion looking to join the team. He rather easily convinces Jarvis to tell him where they currently are.
He shows up in time to finish off a giant plant monster...
...and says that he wants to join the Avengers.
Hawkeye's leg is broken during the fight...
...and he's not too happy to have Eros show up as an instant replacement. Eros is given Avengers Trainee status. The Wasp gives him the codename "Starfox" because Eros is too "provocative", and he's a "pretty foxy guy" who's been "out among the stars".
Eros agrees when he learns that they all have code names.
For his first training assignment, he's sent with Thor and Captain Marvel to catch the Plantman. Eros, a close friend of the original Captain Marvel, makes a careless comment indicating that Monica may not be worthy of her title.
Plantman is unable to stop the Avengers from catching him...
...especially due to the fact that the equipment he is using was built by the Wizard, who created a "failsafe" trigger that is actually designed to kill the Plantman if he ever becomes desperate enough to use it.
Meanwhile, Captain America and the Wasp drop in on Tony Stark, but they're unable to convince him to stop drinking.
Later, the Wasp offers to take She-Hulk apartment hunting...
...but walking the streets of New York they encounter a mysterious force field.
Ronald Reagan spends most of issue #231 asleep, which i think is less political commentary (although his naps were a source of "controversy" at the time) and more finding a way to not have to write a real-world character into the plot too much.
Roger Stern finds a perfect balance between great character writing and solid super-hero plotting. He's able to take a C-list character like Plantman and turn him into a credible threat without de-emphasizing his C-list nature. And there's some great handling of the Wasp as she deals with the twists and turns of her leadership role, such as Tony Stark's drinking problems. Finally, there's obviously some very tight plotting across the Marvel line, with the Iron Man scene occurring simultaneously here and in the Iron Man comic, an acknowledgment of Jocasta's death from Marvel Two-In-One ("none may know the tortured thoughts of the Vision"!)...
...and the forcefield scene at the end tying in directly with the Annhihilus story in Fantastic Four.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The phone call between Iron Man and the Wasp is shown in issue #231 from the Wasp's perspective and in Iron Man #170 from Iron Man's, so the two issues must take place concurrently. The barrier story at the end of issue #232 is picked up in FF #256 and Avenger #233. Avengers annual #12 and Thor #232-233 take place during this arc. I'm assuming that the barrier scene, which is shown at the end of #232, takes place after the annual and Thor appearances.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBeast, Captain America, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Hawkeye, Henry Peter Gyrich, Jarvis, Jasper Sitwell, Nick Fury, Plantman, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Starfox, Thor, Vision, War Machine, Wasp, Wizard, Wonder Man
I don't have this issue, but you've got to suck pretty hard for the Wizard to want to kill you. His best friend is Triple-P! He has voluntarily associated with Klaw, Hydro-Man, and Texas Twister. But he thinks the Plantman doesn't deserve to live. There you have it.
Posted by: James N. | August 26, 2011 11:59 AM
Even thought the caption in the scene where Wasp offers to take Jen apartment hunting says "some minutes later", there has to be a gap in this issue somewhere. Avengers Annual 12 features a story where Starfox is an Avenger, the Vision is walking around and She-Hulk is not yet a member of the FF. There's no other place where such a story can take place, unless one wants to try to squeeze it in between pages of Avengers 242.
Posted by: Michael | August 26, 2012 3:40 PM
It doesn't say how many minutes! ;-)
I noticed that the MCP also has Cap annual #7 in this gap - do you happen to know if there's a reason for that? Maybe a reference in the Avengers annual?
Posted by: fnord12 | August 26, 2012 4:12 PM
Maybe they were trying to move it back before Cloud's first appearance? I'm not sure.
Posted by: Michael | August 26, 2012 5:37 PM
So did Roger Stern coin the name Starfox or did Starlin always intend that name? I ask because he had that "fox head" logo on his outfit from the beginning, which seems like an odd icon for someone just named Eros.
Posted by: S | February 16, 2014 6:58 PM
One of the first Avengers issues I ever read and I was so intrigued by Jocasta's funeral, wondering who she was, how she had died, why Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast and Wonder Man were no longer on the team... Ah, memories.
But even then, I knew there was an error with Rhodey's hands. It's been over 30 years and it still bugs me.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 9, 2015 10:04 PM
Al Migroms art is strangely good during these issues run - for his standards.
Good to see Roger stern fixing all the crap other people created in previous recent issues.
Posted by: FlipPhone | April 6, 2018 12:05 AM
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