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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Avengers 11-20 Cap takes a fall

Avengers #11-20, highlights the personal developments that occur between Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Sure, there's lots of action, but one gets the feeling that for this era, Stan really wanted to make the action the backdrop to the human dynamics, and not the other way around.
We also get “treated” to a lot of anti-communist propaganda as a lot of the throwaway villains are “dirty Reds” Sign of the times I guess

With Kirby now gone, save for the occasional cover, Don Heck has large shoes to fill, but he manages to pull it off. Heck one of the lesser loved Silver Age pencillers is terrific at drawing faces, interiors and the human figure, but all-out action scenes leave him somewhat lacking.
Still miles better than most of the stuff that gets churned out today

In Avengers #16, there is a dramatic shift in the line-up, see the first of many roster changes that would become a trademark of the Avengers.
When you have a group of superheroes as strong as the original Avengers (Hulk, Thor, Iron Man…) it is really difficult to come up with some decent villains, and so Lee and Heck jettison most of the original group and replace them with two of the angriest Marvel superheroes, Hawkeye and Quicksilver. With Wanda thrown in for good measure.
Three new members, ironically all of them being former "bad guys!" Hawkeye, a pest from Iron Man's feature stories in Tales of Suspense, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch

We also witness the first traumatic breakdown of Hank Pym. In issue #15, after the Wasp was accidentally shot in a fight which left her critically wounded, ol' Hank simply can't take the stress, and is an emotional basket case for the rest of the ride. Little did readers know this was only the first glimpse into future psychological problems.

And then the bad guys…well as mentioned still a lot of communist dictators and their cronies, but the quality was improving with Baron Zemo, the Executioner, the Enchantress, the Black Knight, The Melter ,Count Nefaria and the Living Laser all making life hard for the Avengers.

Best part of these stories is the continued bickering and even returning hostility between Cap and Hawkeye. Something DC at the time frowned upon but which was the reason Marvel, the little company that could, outsold the giant each and every week. It took another 5 years before DC would realise people like supermen with a human side, an identifiable side.

Favourite cover of this run ? Avengers #20 without a doubt, you can almost taste the drama in this one.

Oh and as a side note, in Avengers #17 I found a filled-in coupon for the Merry Marvel Marching Society. Luckily the original owner of the book decided not to cut it out, but only to fill in her (!) details. So Wandie Kipchalk of Vancouver, BC in Canada if you’re reading this, I have your book and I’m not giving it back. Besides you just turned 60 this year and fragile as I am there’s no way a 60-year old secretary from Canada can take me. Maybe 40 years ago when you filled out the coupon… who knows ?


Blogger Boomvavavoom said...

great looking into your reviews...I am having a blast here (even though you have no taste whatsoever :p pick up some Vampirella sometimes :) )

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Médard said...

Thanks alot for these reviews. I enjoy them alot.

It's quite tempting to leave you a comment signed with 'Wandie Kipchalk' but I can restrain myself, this time. ;)

8:40 PM  

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