Marvel Super Heroes #9 (AWC)
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #9 (Avengers West Coast story only)
Cupid shows up at the West Coast Avengers' compound, looking for "my own true love, the mortal known as Psyche". USAgent answers the door and laughs that he's in the wrong place, but it turns out that he's looking for Mockingbird, who he says is the reincarnation of Psyche. He initially thinks that the other Avengers are her eunuchs.
But things get less funny when it turns out that he's disabled all of the Avengers' security devices, and he starts blasting people.
He eventually knocks out all of the Avengers at the compound, shooting most of them with his arrows. We see that Cupid is being manipulated by Venus.
Cupid then makes his way to a building in Los Angeles where Hawkeye and Mockingbird are trying to reconcile.
Cupid explains the myth of Psyche: Psyche was a mortal so beautiful that Aphrodite's temples fell into disrepair because people were so enthralled with her. Cupid was sent to put a stop to her, but he fell in love and married her instead. That was said to be the birth of romantic love.
But Mockingbird still doesn't "remember" being a reincarnation of Psyche. So Cupid tries to kidnap her and "make" her remember. Hawkeye challenges Cupid to an archery contest, and Cupid accepts. Before going to the contest, Hawkeye calls up Hercules on the East coast and asks for some help.
Hawkeye then goes to the Avengers compound and finds that all of the Avengers are dead because of Cupid's arrows except for Iron Man and a very distraught USAgent, who is crying about how he should have saved them.
But then Hercules shows up and just pulls out the arrows to wake everyone up.
Cupid returns and overhears a little bit of Hawkeye explaining to the others what is going on, and he thinks that Hawkeye isn't planning an honorable contest, so he attacks.
The fight is ended with a punch from Hercules, who then tells Cupid that if Mockingbird really were Psyche, she'd remember it by now. Cupid agrees, and then realizes that he's being manipulated by Aphrodite, who was recently given an Amulet of Amuk by Ares. Hercules leads everyone to Olympus to deal with Venus. Venus is currently enthralling Zeus.
Cupid tries to shoot Zeus with an arrow to undo her enchantment, but Zeus dodges it. After much fighting, Hawkeye takes one of Cupid's arrows, and unlike Cupid he's able to make the shot.
Since Venus was enthralled herself, Zeus just takes the power away from the Amulet of Amuk, saying that whoever was really responsible will eventually pay dearly. Cupid has to admit to himself that Psyche probably won't be returning, and as thanks to the Avengers he gives Hawkeye a magic arrow to keep.
The first couple of pages of this story feels like something Dwayne McDuffie would write, with some nice humor. But after that it just gets very dry and by the numbers.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote says that this story takes place prior to Avengers West Coast #53. The MCP place it after Avengers West Coast #52 but before the Whackos start appearing in Atlantis Attacks (since things start happening with the Scarlet Witch directly after Atlantis Attacks ends). The usual ambiguity regarding the appearance of Venus applies.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCupid, Hawkeye, Henry Pym, Hercules, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Scarlet Witch, USAgent, Venus, Vision, Wasp, Wonder Man, Zeus
this story is almost good. You gotta love Cupid kicking Wonder man and US Agent's butts. Then Herc shows up and embarrasses them by beating Cupid easily.
Of course Hawk-eye and Mockingbird were not on the team at this point.
Wonder what Cupid did with Mockingbird to try to persuade her that she was Psyche. They had a hour alone together. Poor Hawkeye, kinda tough to win your wife back from the god of love.
Posted by: kveto | May 11, 2016 7:40 PM
As garbled a mess as the whole Venus/Aphrodite thing is...
Since she isn't depicted as wearing the Golden Cestus here, this would definitely be considered an appearance of Venus. Although, as I've noted, the Cestus "fix" is wholly broken (she'll wear it one issue then refer to a past appearance where she didn't wear it, etc.). But that was Parker's attempt at fixing what he broke.
But the easiest way to approach it is just it was always Venus. Let's be honest, she's always called Venus and her magazine was called Venus and she could just as easily fashion a fake Cestus to complete the illusion of being the Greek Goddess of Love. Parker even says her imitation had fooled Zeus and Hercules, and Aphrodite is written as having abandoned her role a long time ago in favour of her own hedonistic pursuits. So you have a very good excuse for why Venus continues to get away with the charade for so long.
Or, we have the case that Aphrodite actually used her Greek name, as opposed to her Roman name. So maybe the character consistently being referred to as Venus is a better indicator of who it is than the Cestus ever was?
Posted by: AF | May 14, 2016 3:44 AM
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