Issue(s): Avengers #298
Jarvis is sitting home with his mother, who is a pro-wrestling fan, when the television goes out.
He offers to go out and find a television repair person.
He finds, however, that television repair people are in short demand due to widespread reports of problems. Instead of going directly home to mother, Jarvis decides to head to the museum to clear his head. On the subway ride there, the power goes out. He catches another passenger...
...and then helps organize an orderly exit from the subway tunnels, although one guy panics and touches the third rail and dies. The woman who he caught introduces herself as Glory Garsen and tries to ask him out on a date, but Jarvis heads it off and continues with his trip to the museum.
Unfortunately, the museum turns out to be closed. Walt Simonson and/or Dr. Jim Power tells him that the building doors shut, and the fire department can't break them out.
Moving on, Jarvis notices some bricks falling off the Daily Bugle building, and runs to help. He's given some secret assistance by Spider-Man.
Eventually things get weird enough that Jarvis recognizes that it isn't just a series of bizarre coincidences, and he needs to call someone in. The Avengers are disbanded, but Jarvis knows another number he can call. Once he can get the phone to cooperate.
We then see an incognito Captain entering the server room where his hotline computers are stored, and finding that they've become activated with weaponry.
In the meantime, though, Jarvis finds Glory in trouble again. She's pinned by two cars. Instead of using force, he makes the cars let go by poking one of their "eyes" out.
It turns out Glory was following him. "I've seen the inside of too many singles bars to let someone like you just walk away just because he was shy." However, the car Jarvis parked isn't done with him.
The Captain shows up to rescue him.
After taking care of the Car, Jarvis convinces the Captain to try to reform the Avengers and take care of what's going on in the city. Cap agrees.
Jarvis is afraid that Glory is so impressed with the original Captain America that she'll no longer have interest in Jarvis, but he finds that it isn't true.
It's a fun story. Between this and the annual, i'm convinced that Walt Simonson could have had a great run on the Avengers once he settled into a cast that he was comfortable with. Walter Lawson made a good point about the Simonson/Buscema combination in the comments for Avengers #295-297, but i think this story is better suited for Buscema's style.
You could complain that the depiction of Mrs. Jarvis isn't consistent with what you'd expect (which is the point) or her previous brief on-panel appearance, but i think it works well for humor purposes. And while there's a lightheartedness to all of this, it does effectively build up the backdrop for Inferno as well.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Captain America appears here after seeing his computer hotline messed up in Captain America #348, and he next appears in Avengers annual #17. By necessity, this is one of the earliest parts of the Inferno storyline, because it occurs before Avengers annual #17, and the Beast is absent from X-Factor #34 due to that, whereas X-Factor's official participation in Inferno doesn't begin until X-Factor #36.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showCaptain America, Glory Garsen, Jarvis, Mrs. Jarvis, Spider-Man
What a fun issue.
Posted by: JSfan | August 9, 2014 6:18 PM
It blows my mind that Inferno started while the Evolutionary War was still going on! Poor Cap; talk about a busy fella! He's running around between his own title, the Avengers and the Avengers annual and jumping from reclaiming his position of being Captain America, helping to end the Evolutionary War and fielding a new team of Avengers.
No wonder he was a non-factor during Inferno. That guy already had a full plate and then some!
Posted by: Bill | August 9, 2014 6:42 PM
He shoulda taken some lessons from Wolverine and Spider-Man. ;)
Posted by: ChrisW | August 9, 2014 9:22 PM
HA! Good call.
I think Cap would have been running on fumes by the time he could even get to think about Inferno. Actually, Inferno happened at a fortuitous time for the demons involved, since the Avengers had been disbanded, the FF was down to 3 members, X-Factor was down to 4, the X-Men were in Australia and Daredevil was lying half dead in a ditch. With the West Coast Avengers, Iron Man and the Hulk all out west, there wasn't as many heroes running around New York as in any other point in time.
Posted by: Bill | August 9, 2014 11:28 PM
I believe Peter Parker's appearance here takes place between Web of Spider-Man #46 & Amazing Spider-Man #311 according to the MCP. You'll need to shift some Spidey-stories back a bit. The heat-wave & inanimate objects begin moving are mentioned/shown in Amazing Spider-Man #311.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 10, 2014 6:05 AM
Peter's appearance here is completely context free so i didn't see a need to line up with the MCP. And Spider-Man's chronology has dependencies on Avengers annual #17. Spider-Man is in Las Vegas in Web of Spider-Man #44/Hulk #349/Web of Spider-Man #45. And Hulk #349 goes directly into Hulk #350, the ending of which takes place during Avengers annual #17, after Jocasta's call goes out to reservists. So Web of Spider-Man #46 really can't take place prior to this issue.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 10, 2014 9:32 AM
I agree, Fnord: Big John's realism is perfect for this issue, given that Jarvis is the focus. Between this and the Harras-written recovery issue, Jarvis has become a standout character in this book, and I've always regretted that he fades into the background again after this.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 10, 2014 3:27 PM
Man, that next to last panel is worth its weight in gold. Cap never looked so awesome and his opinion of Jarvis' worth is spot on. Jarv really had what it took to chair the team whenever the chips were down.
Posted by: Clutch | August 12, 2014 2:57 PM
Bill, purely speculation on my part, but given that mega-crossovers had started becoming an annual event by now, is it possible that the Marvel editors had been able to have as many titles as possible directed to cover the upcoming X-event a few years out? "Disband the Avengers and give a new team a reason to form," "Get the characters out of town if you don't want anything to do with it," or even timing the return of Dr. Strange to his own title with a story that blatantly looks like Inferno (at least on the cover) and hope to trick some people into buying it.
Purely speculation, and I'm not saying it worked perfectly. It's tough to imagine Steve Englehart's FF being directed by the imminent crossover, although the fact that Marvel immediately reversed long-running "Avengers" and "FF" storylines right after "Inferno" at least suggests some form of, uh, demon possession. ;)
Posted by: ChrisW | August 12, 2014 6:15 PM
By "long-running Avengers and FF storylines" I mean that (although I didn't read either series) my understanding is that the Avengers break-up was built-up somewhat, and I know that Englehart's FF was moving along in his particular interests. Sue and Reed quit the FF, and suddenly they're members of the Avengers, and then they're yanked back after "Inferno" and Walt Simonsen is off the title.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 12, 2014 6:17 PM
Chris, basically what happened was this- when Englehart was writing FF, he wrote out Reed and Sue. Simonson asked if he could use Reed and Sue in the Avengers and Englehart agreed, since he had no plans to bring back Reed and Sue in the near future. Unfortunately, then the FF sales collapsed and the editors demanded that Englehart bring back Reed and Sue in an attempt to stem the bleeding. So Reed and Sue were yanked back into the Fantastic Four and as a result Simonson and Englehart both quit, although Englehart wrote another 8 issues under a pseudonym.
Posted by: Michael | August 12, 2014 6:32 PM
I always thought it was loopy how Reed and Sue joined the Avengers and then left after a whopping 3-4 issues on the team. Reading it in real time felt like whiplash! (and this isn't taking into account how Gilgamesh only lasted an issue or two longer himself!)
Posted by: Bill | August 12, 2014 6:37 PM
Little old ladies who love wrestling are quite real. One of my managers at work is this tiny woman, polite but if a customer gets rude she can take care of herself and she just loves watching boxing.
Posted by: david banes | August 12, 2014 6:49 PM
Walt Simonson had the chops that he could have written a great Avengers run, if allowed to do what he wanted. But under the editorially mandated restrictions, it was just awful and I hated it.
Stern had created the core of one of the classic Avengers team in my mind:
It doesn't get the press that other classic line ups get, but as the core of the Stern run, this is MY team. It was incredibly painful to see it fall apart. I know it is not Simonson's fault, but I don't look upon his era fondly.
Jarvis is a great supporting character though. Always good to see an issue where he shines. Supporting characters are very hard to have in team books. Claremont always screwed them up in X-Men by making them demons, magicians, or other nonsense. FF too often ignored them. Avengers only had one and often ignored, but Jarvis did well over the years.
Posted by: Chris | August 13, 2014 2:30 AM
Michael, that's exactly what I mean. Even without reading more than a handful of Englehart's FF, I knew that Reed and Sue left the team to raise Franklin (and I've just checked on this website to be sure I wasn't missing anything.) So, yeah, they decided to devote their attention to raising their son for a change, and then join the Avengers???
I have no objection to treating Inferno (or any other big event) as a crisis that would bring Reed and Sue running to help, but (searching for an analogy) this is like Lennon and McCartney announcing they've left the Beatles to devote time to Yoko and Linda, and then a few months later they've joined the Rolling Stones. It's not going to give them any more time with their wives, and the fundamental wrongness of the entire concept should have sent up red flags from the very start. "Hey, you know who would make a good Avenger? The leader and founder of the Fantastic Four!"
Englehart had no plans to bring Reed and Sue back, but he completely ignored the reasons he provided for them leaving the FF to say 'sure, they can join the Avengers'? Sure, Jarvis could watch over Franklin, but so could Alicia and Agatha Harkness.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 13, 2014 8:41 PM
Amazing how two of the best single issues in this era are Jarvis issues in between storylines. This was a great issue, with good humor and great art. I agree with Clutch - when we finally see Cap, it's incredible.
After the mess of disassembling over the previous few issues, to see Cap right there, ready to reform the team, that was just reassuring beyond belief.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 12, 2015 12:06 PM
I like the characterization of Jarvis's mother, but Simonson should have done a little research to make her sound like she came from somewhere in the U.K., instead of "generic American old lady" (see Urania Bliss). Some of her diction could be interpreted as Irish or Cockney, but there's no other way to read "dagnabbit."
The "injury to eye motif" Jarvis mentions is a reference to "Seduction of the Innocent," by Frederic Wertham.
Posted by: Andrew | June 28, 2017 8:15 AM
@Andrew- the eventual explanation is that she's American and Jarvis's dad was British.
Posted by: Michael | June 28, 2017 8:19 AM
Yeah, in the continuity buffet that was Avengers Annual '99, but that was a post-hoc explanation. I just wish Simonson was thinking continuity first and humor second.
Posted by: Andrew | July 5, 2017 10:20 AM
I have to concur with most of what ChrisW was saying here. I remember the Englehart FF stories, which were not my favorites by any means, but, as a fairly obsessive FF near-completist, I read them all at least once anyway, as back issues, some number of years after they were published. More firmly in my more recent memory, I've just read or re-read most of the Avengers issues from #266-300 during the past 2 weeks, paying particular attention to the Kang related stories in my overly-ambitious, doomed-to-fail scheme to unravel the paradoxes of time-travel. There were only a few of those issues that I didn't read, but I did at least read the entries on this site, for all of them.
All of the past dozen or so Avengers issues have shown strong evidence of increasing editorial supervision/interference/meddling (take your pick). In particular, #291-298 have thrown most previous developments right out the window, and could well be said to have been leading up to the Inferno crossover-- for instance-- there was the ham-handed dissolution of what I thought was a very good Avengers lineup-- a very forced removal of very good and well-established characters, like She-Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Captain Marvel, in the space of just a few issues, a few pages, or even just a few panels in She-Hulk's case, and all of it, just in the nick of time to get the ball rolling towards Inferno, which starts definitively in this issue, #298, and leads up to the formation of a whole new team in #299-300.
Posted by: Holt | November 17, 2017 9:37 PM
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