West Coast Avengers #37
Issue(s): West Coast Avengers #37
The surprise is that Tigra and Moon Knight decide to go with her. The rest of the Avengers are crushed by an avalanche of words, preventing them from stopping the others from leaving.
Henry also leaves to take care of his first wife, who was found alive during the last arc, and the Wasp also leaves since she's not an official member. But Vision and the Scarlet Witch agree to stay on. But that still only leaves four members. So now's a good time for Mantis to show up.
Unfortunately she's not friendly.
This is the part where she beats up on the rest of the team enough to prove her worth to the audience.
Hawkeye wonders if it's The Voice again...
...and it is.
With that, Mantis is back to "normal" except still without her memories, which is why she came to the Avengers for help.
Not counting annual #3, this is Englehart's second to last issue of the West Coast Avengers. Next issue is a fill-in and then issue #39 is his last, and Englehart claims that issue was actually half-written by Tom Defalco (more on that when we get there).
I still find Hawkeye's attitude towards Mockingbird to be beyond his characteristic pig-headedness and instead just plain stupid, but even though Englehart was "disassembling" (per the title) the team here, it looks like he still intended to pursue the Mockingbird side of things (he has her half of the team getting ready to hunt down Master Pandemonium), and it's possible that if he had continued, he might have eventually reconciled Clint and Bobbi in a way that addressed Hawkeye's attitude. I also think the addition of Mantis here might have been a boost; i don't have a problem with writers having pet characters that they like to write about (i do find her ability to repeatedly trounce Wonder Man in this issue insufferable, though). And it might have been nice to see Englehart's take on the Vision and the Scarlet Witch going back into action after his maxi-series on them. But all this is me thinking about where Englehart could have gone. The truth is that i've found his WCA run to be pretty terrible, and i'm not too sympathetic about his complaints of editorial interference (this is Howard Mackie's first issue as editor but i have to assume he was aligned with previous editor Mark Gruenwald). Anyway, plenty more to say about that as we go through the much slower disintegration on his Fantastic Four run.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after Silver Surfer annual #1. Hawkeye and Mockingbird are still fighting at the start of this issue, but they are back in at the West Coast compound. I assume the idea is that they've been fighting all the way home, so i've allowed a lot of space between last issue and this one. Since it's such a long gap, we can assume they got held up in Budapest for a while, maybe as Henry Pym arranged things for Maria. I've kept other appearances (especially Solo Avengers #10-11) out of the gap. West Coast Avengers annual #3 takes place after this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
Mantis DOES get some good strikes in against Wondy, with her speed and greater agility and fighting skill (not to mention taking him by surprise).
But its worth noting that before Hawkeye has Voice release Mantis from his control, Wonder Man DID already have her subdued--showing that she actually wasn't any match for him once he could get his hands on her.
Posted by: Dermie | July 16, 2014 11:15 PM
Can anyone tell me the 1st appearance of the Vault? I've looked through the search option but nothing came up.
Posted by: JSfan | July 17, 2014 7:29 AM
Avengers Annual #15
Posted by: Robert | July 17, 2014 7:36 AM
Posted by: JSfan | July 17, 2014 9:02 AM
By rejoining the Avengers here, Scarlet Witch sacrifices the civilian life that she had established in New Jersey. She would lose her husband and children because of her choice.
Posted by: Steven Printz | July 17, 2014 12:43 PM
I have to disagree with you, Steven. I think they would have found the Vision wherever he was. As for her children, that was a poorly written story IMO.
Posted by: clyde | July 17, 2014 1:31 PM
Wanda places high import on "the joining of male and female." Kind of odd to put that in the mouth of someone who married a robot. "He's a MALE pile of wires... perfectly appropriate!"
Posted by: cullen | July 17, 2014 3:06 PM
Actually,Clyde, Steven's right. When we get to the John Byrne issues, that will be the excuse used for what happens to the Vision.
And yeah, I agree that Hawkeye was just WAY too angry about this whole Mockingbird thing. I do think that this whole issue might have been Englehart's ham-handed way of deal with the 'ol "Should heroes kill?" debate that super-teams usually engage in (why split up the whole team otherwise?) The worse thing about this that it's the starts the ENDLESS Hawkeye-estrangement-from-Mockingbird subplot as well the start of Bobbi being written erratically (which, again we'll see when we visit the Byrne issues.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 17, 2014 4:24 PM
@cullen- Vision isn't just a robot. His mind is based on a human's and he was enthralled by the Enchantress's kisses, which only happens to males. And in body, he was intended to be very close to human. More on that when we get to Byrne's WCA.
Posted by: Michael | July 17, 2014 7:43 PM
Oh yes, I am aware of all that. I was just snacking on how someone could be a posthumanist but still an apparent gender essentialist.
Posted by: cullen | July 17, 2014 10:36 PM
Posted by: cullen | July 17, 2014 10:37 PM
Also, it's a bit ironic that a writer that that put so much investment in the stability of a superhuman couple is the one responsible for breaking up two long-standing marriages. Matched only by the irony that around the same time the East Coast Avengers were also being broken up (and over similar backstage issues to boot, making it an irony trifecta!)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | July 18, 2014 9:25 PM
Couldn't The Voice have just said "Hawkeye, don't shoot at me"? That's stupid.
Posted by: SVCL | January 7, 2015 7:18 PM
The Voice was afraid that Hawkeye would release the shaft before he could finish a word.
Posted by: Michael | January 7, 2015 9:27 PM
"So now's a good time for Mantis to show up."
Let's be clear on this. It's never a good time for Mantis to show up.
Actually, for a quartet of members, this is a pretty damn powerful one - possibly the most powerful quartet in Avengers history.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 6, 2015 11:30 AM
"Let's be clear on this. It's never a good time for Mantis to show up."
it was why I dreaded Englehart on any book. Sooner or later, the main characters would be shoved aside for his creepy obsession with his creation.
Posted by: Bob | August 7, 2015 1:38 AM
That avalanche or words bit reminds me of the film Crumb, after his brother's mental illness takes over and his comics become nearly all text.
Posted by: Bob | August 7, 2015 1:39 AM
Ha! That page of Mantis showing up with the enormous blank white space above her head - probably one of the most obvious cases of where it's been "rewrote". There's another example of this in Annual #3 I'll post about (if someone else hasn't mentioned it already). Other than that, you will notice a lot of the panels with Mantis are similarly "weirdly" laid out, either with unusually placed speech balloons or a surprising lack of then, which I would say denotes the obvious rewrites.
Posted by: AF | January 6, 2016 3:51 PM
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