Avengers annual #20 (Vision/Thor)
Issue(s): Avengers annual #20 (Vision and Thor back-ups only)
The story is still trite filler, though. And it's not like the art is actually good; it's just distinctive.
The Thor story is offensively bad. A kid whose father is dying from cancer prays and takes the fact that Thor passes by as a sign.
So he goes to Jarvis, who callously pushes him away.
But the kid finds Thor and makes his case. And Thor prays to Odin, but Odin tells Thor to forget about it.
Then the Absorbing Man attacks.
And during the course of the fight, the kid's father shows up and tries to stop the Absorbing Man from hurting his son.
And for some reason, Absorbing Man decides to absorb the father's "power".
And so the Absorbing Man gets cancer.
To avoid dying of cancer, the Absorbing Man absorbs the air and floats away. But somehow, absorbing the father's cancer causes the father to go into complete remission.
I'm just going to go ahead and call that ridiculous. First of all, there's no reason why the Absorbing Man would even bother trying to absorb the power of an ordinary man attacking him with a stick. Then there's the idea that the Absorbing Man would get cancer in this way; even if if he actually tried to absorb a cancerous tumor directly, it should give him the "power" of that cancer (like the ability to rapidly multiply, i guess?), not make him sick. And the biggest whopper is the idea that doing this would actually cure someone's cancer. When Absorbing Man absorbs a block of steel, it doesn't "cure" the block of steel from being steel. The steel doesn't even stop being steel for the duration that the Absorbing Man has absorbed it.
I mean, i guess we can assume that the father's remission was a complete coincidence, or else the Absorbing Man could have gone into a very profitable and valuable business of curing people's cancer (quickly absorbing something else after each cure). But that of course defeats the point of the story. Which is fine with me; i only wish we could defeat it to the point that it never existed.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Vision story can take place any time. For the Thor story, see the Considerations for Thor #436. That story seems to show him returning to Earth for the first time since Quasar #5, but there's already one other appearance contradicting that, and i theorized that the Absorbing Man may have been blinking back between Earth and the dimension he was trapped in. So this could be another case of that. This definitely takes place before Thor #436, since this is the beardless real Thor. But this takes place after the Avengers Mansion is rebuilt, circa (but not necessarily after) Avengers #332.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
In all of fairness, the dialogue seems to indicate that Absorbing Man simply assumed that the "ordinary man attacking him with a stick" had some kind of superpowers as opposed to believing somebody would dare make such a move against him without them.
As for Absorbing Man freaking out about the cancer, I'm gonna take a no-prize approach and guess that maybe he thought that this guy had the power to give cancerous effects or that he, having no certain idea how his own powers work (remember, he didn't even know he could reattach limbs until Secret Wars) didn't want to take the chance that he had contracted it. Of course, maybe he really did contract the cancer, what am I a Nightnurse?
Posted by: Max_Spider | October 16, 2015 7:03 PM
And much later we get a story where Titania is dying of cancer and the Absorbing Man keeps trying to kidnap doctors to help her. I guess he should just have absorbed it himself!
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 1, 2015 9:46 AM
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