That Avengers Week Back in the 80s

AVENGERS #275, Marvel Comics, January 1987
Candy strippers of DOOM!So now that we've been teased with the possibility of an Avengers movie in 2011, starring various big guns each to have their own movie before then, I should really do an Avengers Week. You know, for people who don't know very much about Marvel's premiere super-team. The problem is that I don't read any of the Avengers titles currently on the market. Maybe if I ever see one without a crossover logo on it... So let's go back to the 1980s when I WAS reading the Avengers and their members' solo titles. It's 80s Avengers Week!

Random pick: Avengers #275. Ok, not the Avengers' greatest triumph. Sometimes, the bad guys have to win one I guess. That's the crux of this story arc of the Avengers by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer (one of the best teams to work on this book) as the most recent version of the Masters of Evil, led by the most recent version of Baron Zemo, attack and take over Avengers Mansion. Never have villains been so bold, and they very much catch our heroes with their tights down!

Here's the set-up: In the previous couple of issues, the villains have captured the mansion, tied Jarvis up, and set an ambush for arriving Avengers. The Black Knight is beaten up first, followed by Captain Marvel being sent to the darkforce dimension. Then, Captain America is captured. And to top it all off, the mighty Hercules is beaten to a pulp by more than half-a-dozen super-strengthers. Cut him some slack, he was drunk out of his gourd at the time. Who's left? Oh... just the Wasp. Start worrying.

So Hercules has just been ejected from the Mansion, left for dead. But he's not really dead, is he? Well, the Wasp can't feel a pulse! And then the doctors can't resuscitate him! You will believe even a god can die!
That's right, keep your hands up thereBelieve it? Well, we got you, cuz a couple pages later, they discover his heart beating once every ten minutes. I guess his real problem is now filling out his insurance papers. Next of kin: Zeus?!? (No kidding, this is a scene in the comic!)

Back at the Mansion, Baron Zemo's lording it over Cap, ripping his favorite pictures of Bucky and having Mr. Hyde crush his original WWII vintage shield:
There should be a law against this"I'll remember this, Zemo." You don't destroy Captain America's keepsakes, dude. That is just uncalled for! In fact, I peeked ahead a few issues, and these actions made Cap cry. Awww. And just to make things worse, Zemo has Hyde beat poor ol' Jarvis to a bloody pulp (this does not, however, make Cap cry). Zemo is one cold mo-fo, I tell ya.

He's also sent Absorbing Man and his girlfriend Titania to the hospital to take care of Hercules and the Wasp. As seen in one of the panels above, Ant-Man (not her ex-husband, but the guy that replaced him) has joined her. 1987 ALERT: Here's what Ant-Man has to say about their chances against these two heavy hitters...
Ant-Man and Wasp... At the Movies"We have as much chance of stopping those two as Spielberg had of winning an Oscar." He will wind up eating those words. (Ant-Man must be a solid movie nut though, since he later compares himself to Burt Reynolds in "Hooper" and Titania's "no Sally Field".) Anyway, a battle ensues and the tiny duo has some surprisingly effective tricks. The Wasp starts things out by shooting the Absorbing Man... in the eyes!!!
Just like a dragonflyAnt-Man later shrinks Titania to his size and the Wasp blows her through a wall (stands to reason that if a gas can shrink you, it can shrink others - good shot, Ant-Man). If you still think the Wasp is a lame Avenger who was only given chairwomanship to have her do all the paperwork (much like Wonder Woman's secretarial duties in the Justice Society), she gets big and zaps the hell out of Absorbing Man.
One thing the Wasp hates: FrumpinessThat's right. Same guy that's taken down Thor. Now THAT's how you write the Wasp. And that's why she was one of the founding Avengers. And now she's coming after the Masters of Evil. They should start worrying. Cuz guess what. Ant-Man was right about those odds... and Spielberg won 2 Oscars.
And then the mansion blew up


Matthew Turnage said...

This is one of my favorite issues of Avengers ever. I got to meet Roger Stern at the only comic convention I ever went to, and had the opportunity to tell him that. His whole run of Avengers is great, and the Mansion Siege storyline is truly a classic.

Plus Buscema and Palmer! Tough to beat!

Siskoid said...

Before I got used to it, I found Buscerma and Palmer's style to be offputtingly dirty, but the more I read, the more it grew on me.

Unknown said...

Buscema and Palmer's artwork was awesome during that run. And Roger Stern is so underrated it is criminal.

I really need to track down a few dollars so I can get the Avengers collection DVD.

Austin Gorton said...

This is probably my all time favorite Avengers run. As awesome as the Under Siege story was, there's a certain old school charm to the following one (in which the Avengers battle the Greek gods over their role in Hercules's injuries) that I really enjoy.

This was, I think, one of the first runs to really show what Wasp was capable of in a variety of ways. She was shown to be not only a great Avenger, but a great leader, too.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine