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Oct 16 07 7:38 PM
Aug 9 08 1:22 AM
It's nice to be reading Avengers again. So glad that X-Men and Avengers have entered the rotation. I haven't read much SA X-Men, pretty much just
Masterworks V1. (Can't wait for Neal Adams!!!) And only V1-2 of Avengers. Basically I'm glad to be reading these because I'm so looking forward to
eventually getting to Uncanny and to the good Avengers run I hear about that's appearing in current Masterworks. I remember reading Avengers 1 and X-Men 1
in Fireside's Son of Origins of Marvel Comics, so I was pretty darn young and that was my first time reading these two issues. I started with Avengers for
the purposes of this thread; I'll read X-Men next.
The story of Avengers 1 is exceedingly easy to summarize. Loki frames Hulk in order to get Blake to change to Thor and come to Asgard for battle. Iron Man and
Ant-Man/Wasp also respond. Due to Hulk's nature, Hulk and Iron Man fight (3.5-page battle), while Thor goes to Asgard and defeats Loki (4-page battle).
Loki is ready to battle all of them, when he is suddenly captured by...Ant-Man.
I would have liked a better ending, but it's 60's comics so I don't quibble. The story is an excuse for some good fun combining 4+ superheroes (two
of them battling each other), and with pretty good illos and especially good inking by Ayers. Ayers does a better job on Hulk than was seen in most of the
Hulk's own mag. Ayers also inks Thor's face to make him appear older than in JiM, and I like it a ton.
I won't talk much about Ant-Man or the Wasp, because I've grown tired of Ant-Man and the Wasp does nothing other than name the team. Which in itself is
kind of nice since she goes on to lead the team in later years. I love Avengers Forever. Speaking of Jan, she has the hots for Thor, and it's amusingly
ironic that she thinks Iron Man is "hideous!" This betrays a lack of thought on her part, since she has no idea what he looks like under the helmet,
and if she ever saw Tony's face, she'd probably faint and need some ants to give her smelling salts. In fact, it's a good thing Sue Storm isn't
on hand to see Thor and Tony. Reed would probably throw his hands in the air and give up once and for all. The FF does get a nice cameo, making the two Ditko
heroes the only Marvel characters not expressly shown to inhabit the same "world" in Avengers 1. (The "other case" occupying the FF is
presumably the Atlantean invasion which hit newsstands on the same day.)
The issue doesn't feature Bruce Banner at all, although we see Tony Stark and Don Blake. It's a shame in a way. Hulk only lasted a few issues of
Avengers and it would have been nice to see Bruce in #1. But at least I think we see him in #3. The issue sure doesn't tell readers much about the Hulk,
and if they never saw him before, they don't know much about him after reading Avengers 1. For instance, they don't know that he has a sometime human
form of Bruce Banner, and they certainly don't know that when last seen, Hulk had a version of Bruce's own brain and was having weird effects from the
machine he uses to change back and forth from Bruce to Hulk. Hulk doesn't even get a word balloon or thought balloon until page 10, but at least he talks a
lot after that, with some good quotes like, "I speak to no one! I have no friends!" and "No one escapes Hulk!"
As for Thor and Iron Man, it's great to see them in other books besides ToS and JiM. This is the first story longer than 13 pages for Thor (although he
obviously doens't take up all 22 pages), and the first story longer than 18 pages for Iron Man (same disqualifier). Screw Ant-Man. I think these are the
first crossovers for Thor and Iron Man, if "crossover" is the right word (it probably isn't, in a team book, but you know what I mean).
Interaction between all these characters is less than prevalent; even though they all appear to know of each other, the first time any of them even
speak to each other is on page 11 when Ant-Man addresses Hulk. They don't seem too interested in conversing even after they're all in the same room.
Maybe they're overawed by being in the presence of the Teen Brigade. Thor in particular doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word teamwork (as
befits a god), going off on his own to tackle the Hulk without even thinking to mention it to the others in the same room. There is actually no teamwork shown
in the entire issue (unless you count teamwork between AM and Wasp, which doesn't really count for this purpose). I don't know if that was intentional,
but presumably it will grow in future issues.
Loki was a good choice for a villian, not because he's powerful (he doesn't even battle the assembled Avengers, and is "defeated" with
comedic ease), but because he's devious and manipulative enough to create an excuse to get these heroes together and battling each other. A new original
villian would have been fine too, but it was just as easy to use the established Loki who had made more appearances in the Marvel U than any other villian, and
it allowed for the whole Asgard subplot and battle. They couldn't very well use Doctor Doom or Namor yet because fans wouldn't like the treasured FF
villians to be used in the Avengers, it would seem like adultery. And Doc Ock was the only other candidate. Not likely. But it will be cool to see Namor
moonlight as an Avengers villian after all the trouble he's given the FF.
The cover is really nice, although it's not an action shot, it's just posing. But Jack and Dick do a really really nice job, particularly on the inking
of Hulk and Thor. It seems to me like Ayers in particular was given time enough to do a better-than-average job throughout this debut issue.
The splash page is great. It's really atmospheric, and probably the single best illo of Loki yet to be seen in any mag to this point. Loki almost looks
like he was illustrated by Keith Giffen here. And he has the biggest schnozz yet to appear in the young Marvel Universe. The Isle of Silence is a dramatic name
for this locale. Also on the splash, I like the vertical lineup of participating Avengers, it reminds me of the roll call on JLA splashes. Thor in particular
gets a good action pose.
The first panel of page 2 shows a small and removed Loki (a symbolic echo of how he feels) behind large tangled roots in the foreground, which are also a
metaphor for his tangled web of deceit and manipulation. These roots feature much later in the story when Loki uses them against Thor, so that's a nice
foreshadow of sorts. Loki's glaring disembodied eyes are well-done on this page as he searches Earth. As an aside, why does Jane have blonde hair here?
One of Loki's major effects in this issue, which may be lost on non-Hulk readers, is that he undoes the pardon won by the Hulk in his battle with the Metal
Master in Incredible Hulk #6. Sorry, Hulk. Them's the breaks. As consolation for Hulk, he receives great inking for his face throughout the issue, starting
with his first appearance at bottom of pg2. Also the first panel of pg3, bottom of pg 12, bottom of pg19, top and bottom of pg20, and the penultimate panel of
I guess the Hulk appeared at the circus already wearing his clown disguise, otherwise how do the circus owners not recognize him?? But still. The Hulk makes
them pay for their ignorance when he rips the whole main tent out of the ground during the circus performance, a great panel.
Other than the Hulk/Iron Man battle, the other main action is Thor vs. Loki in Asgard. Unlike Journey into Mystery, Odin states that he won't interfere
between Thor and Loki. This is a big change from JiM, and a good one in my opinion. Plus, Odin makes it clear that Loki and Thor are brothers, or at least
step-brothers (it's unclear), something that was only previously mentioned on a JiM cover, not in any previous story to my knowledge. Some good stuff in
the Thor/Loki battle. Most enjoyably for me, they literally face off against each other at bottom of page 16 in a dual silhouette, which is an artistic device
Kirby used in their first meeting in Journey into Mystery. It occurred at the end of chapter one of that first-ever Loki story, when Thor said,
"Loki!" upon first seeing him. (The double silhouette was also used in a later JiM issue, in a panel featuring Don Blake and Jane.) So it's
really a nice touch of Jack's to give us the Thor/Loki dual silhouette again here in a different mag. Artistic continuity?
Loki himself gets another nice silhouette during Thor's thunderstorm at bottom of pg17. And the sea swells are nicely rendered by Kirby and Ayers on pg15.
I'll also make mention of the last panel of pg12 where Wasp is held in Hulk's two "giant" fingers.
Well this brings me to the final two pages. I love pg21 because it's so colorful and finally everyone is together. This is the first time the Thunder God
even speaks to any of the other Avengers-to-be. But at least he shows compassion; he's brought Loki in order to prove that Hulk and Iron Man have no reason
to fight. But Loki proceeds to hold all of them at bay, at least temporarily, by become radioactive. Loki's face is really well-illustrated at the bottom
of the page.
But it's here that the ending leaves me scratching my head. Ant-Man springs a trap door under Loki's feet, and Loki apparently has to fall not just
down, but then also horizontally, in order to fall into a lead-lined tank from which he cannot escape. Double huh? Some "god of evil". And why will
he be so easy for Thor to manage once the tank is opened again? Hmm...anyway.
The final panel of the issue is a great one, with the three heavy-hitters lined up like amigos while Jan names the team. Iron Man and Thor both have arms (and
hammer) raised while Hulk crosses his arms in a classic psychologically defensive or antagonist posture. Maybe he's conflicted; it was certainly waaay out
of character for him to say, "I'd rather be with you than against you!" Thor gives the classic line: "We'll never be beaten!
For we are...the Avengers!" That line sounds pretty darn good to me, especially when you hear it in Thor's deep 1966 cartoon voice.
It would have been nice to see Thor battle Hulk, but I guess there wasn't room in the story and maybe Stan wanted to save that big-time tussle for later. I
think we have to wait for JiM 112 (unless they battle in Avengers 3).
A shame that Hulk would leave the book so soon, but he does work best as a loner. I just wish TtA 60 wasn't 15 "months" away. It will be great to
see him as an Avengers "villian" though in #2 and especially #3.
This book was probably the most important Marvel book since FF 1 and AF 15/ASM 1? Although X-Men 1 was just as important hitting newsstands the same day.
Aug 11 08 12:33 PM
Aug 11 08 11:11 PM
Iron-Man could, uh, make the iron and stop attacks, like Hulk. Hulk can go like, mad and destroy everything, because he really wants to pulverize. So
he would be like an offense-defense guy. Ant-Man and Wasp are like backupstheyre like traps, cause you cant see em. And so, they just set the trap, and then
activate it, and they didnt know who activated it.
And when his head was on planets!
Magneto could move metal. I liked that. Hes a powerful villain.
[Spouse of Storytime interrupts:] Do you think you could defeat him?
What are you talking about?
[Spouse:] With your sonic whine.
I like the way Jean adjusts her beret after manhandling the Beast telekinetically.
With one exception, the Avengers included all of the loose super-heroes Marvel had laying around who were
not in the Fantastic Four. That exception is, of course,
Seems Im bringing up the rear on this thread, as usual
The book never really touches too much upon what is considered a mutant. Sure, most of these powers are of the supernatural kind, but the Beast's
are more of an extension of human abilities than anything else. Would a person with extremely impressive memory be considered a mutant? What about someone
born with three arms? Professor X surely seems more interested in getting his hands on people who possess what would be considered superpowers, but no real
clarification of what the word "mutant" really means is made.
Xavier's idea of making a school for mutants with abilities he considers powerful enough to be able to help mankind really comes across as the
warped idea of a disillusioned man.
[Magneto] forces his way in, then silently marches through while blocking bullents, rendering weapons unable to fire, tossing soldiers all over the
place... all with his mind, and nothing else. Dr. Doom, go home.
The male members of the X-Men are peeking at Jean while she's changing into uniform. Snicker.
even a private jet (which he can guide from the ground by thought impulses... um, how? Didn't he say he could just read and project
Iceman stops the missiles by shooting ice grenades that are attracted by the missiles' speed just like the missiles are attracted by
So how come the Hulk is just jumping around for no reason? Banner did state that he wanted to exercise as the Hulk for some non-reason in Incredible
Hulk #4 (or so), but he's been having so much trouble with his transformations lately you'd think he'd play it safe and not transform unless he
absolutely needed to do so. I'm not really sure about the "no evil in his heart" thing... are we talking about the same Hulk that contemplated
teaming up with the Metal Master and conquer mankind the last time we saw him?
Loki's plan involve tricking the Hulk into killing hundreds of people so he becomes more wanted than he's ever been before, just so Blake
will turn into Thor, giving Loki the opportunity to fight him, since he can't be bothered to wait until Blake transforms due to some non-Loki-rigged
threat? Seriously, that's cold.
I'm not sure where this teen brigade base is, but if it's located in a member's room, I'd love to see the look on the brigade
member's parents' faces when Thor and Iron Man knock on the door, saying their kid invited them.
Sep 5 08 6:01 PM
There is an anachronism here as the commander of the M.P.s refers to H-bombs!
There are a number of extra large panels in this story. This would signal the appearance and increase of such panels in all the Marvel
Jun 15 12 7:00 AM
"Although we are entering a period where Kirby was very busy, I think it's a period where his work is very under-rated. The Roussos and Reinman issues are way too rough. I would love to see these issues re-inked by someone who was good."
"Who can deny that this month was another big push for Marvel: The Avengers #1, The X-Men #1, the entire Atlantian race appears in The Fantastic Four Annual #1, Thor fights a mutant in Journey into Mystery #96, Spider-Man meets Doctor Doom, and Reed Richards guest-stars in Sgt. Fury #3 ... plus we have further evidence that no one at Marvel knows how to spell 'pharaoh'!"
Jun 16 12 6:35 PM
"Although this period of Marvels was ... well, just a lot of fun ... it also had a lot of blunders, witness Jean Grey on page 16 muse, “I never saw the Professor like this before ... so grim, so intense!” when she had just met him."
"Also, in this issue, the phrase, The X-Men and Marvel Girl, is used for the first time. Such chauvinistic comments are not to be uttered for long!"
"This issue, being as it was inked by Paul Reinman, would be a precursor to the seven month period when all of Jack Kirby's work would be inked by George Roussos and Paul Reinman. It is my contention that some very good Kirby was buried by the work of Messrs. Roussos and Reinman. This story has some very good parts in it, attributable to both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Worse periods in the history of the X-Men were to follow."
"Some people contend that The X-Men was based on a late 40s or early 50s Science Fiction book, but Marvel all through the 50s had published mutant stories; for the last of these see Amazing Adult Fantasy #14 and Tales of Suspense #32. I've yet to see any kind of proof that Stan actually read the book in question."
"Stan Lee had conceived of convincing teenage heroes in Johnny Storm, Rick Jones and Peter Parker; but he would fail in this area when it came to writing of the X-Men!"
Jun 18 12 12:14 AM
"If the call to create a super-hero book back in 1961 was based on the Justice League of America, then Marvel waited two years to have the super-heroes to populate just such a book, thus we have the Avengers!"
"The origin of the Avengers is a Jack Kirby tour de force, as most of the super-heroes in the Marvel Universe are brought together to make up this mind-staggeringly powerful team."
"As for Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp; this is the first time Stan Lee has written a story featuring these characters , though that would soon change. This is the last month that the super-hero features in Journey into Mystery, Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish and Strange Tales would be written by someone other than Stan. With the creation of the Avengers, Stan must have felt the need to take over all these writing chores himself."
"As to the story itself; it's a big, fun story; but it is also primarily a Thor story as his fight with Loki (yet again) is a major part of this issue. But bringing these heroes together is another big part, and the challenge of finding a way for them to work together must have been a massive undertaking indeed."
"Seeing them stand side-by-side at the end is like seeing three sumo wrestlers (or line-backers, if you prefer) and two mosquitoes. There is just something incongruous about this, but it would soon change. In one month Ant-Man would become Giant-Man, and in two months Iron Man would get his lighter, faster armor. This would all contribute to the Avengers looking more like a super-hero team, and less like a gathering of behemoths (and two mosquitoes, as I've said). The addition of Captain America (who would get a tryout next month in Strange Tales) would be icing on the cake."
"With one exception, the Avengers included all of the loose super-heroes Marvel had laying around who were not in the Fantastic Four. That exception is, of course, Spider-Man. I can only presume that Stan had special plans for the development of the character of Spider-Man that did not include membership in the Avengers. Spider-Man was certainly not underexposed this summer, appearing in both Marvel Universe annuals."
Jun 18 12 12:50 AM
"This is the first issue in which Jan displays her empty-headed female persona. In a later issue well see Henry Pym chide her for this, saying that he knows this is an act. I am presuming that this behavior was Stan Lee's idea. Much of the banter that would later characterize Hank and Jan seems to materialize in this story. I can only presume that Stan Lee practiced some heavy-handed editing to bring this issue close to what his vision now was for these two characters."
"Another of Henry Pym's flying ants, Torne, is named in this episode."
"Despite his corny name, the Porcupine really is a formidable villain."
"Having re-read the Ernie Hart issues in the last few days, I must say I am still impressed with his writing. It seems literate (not that I doubted if he could read and write, but I mean it approaches real Literature), even poetic at its best moments. I feel his skills were missed in future installments of this strip."
Jun 18 12 1:04 AM
"This issue starts off in well-rounded fashion, as first we see the Howlers capture a platoon of Nazi saboteurs, and then we see them on a pass into town and witness how that usually ends up."
"There is an anachronism here as the commander of the M.P.s refers to H-bombs! There may be other anachronisms that someone more familiar with pop culture history might be able to point out."
"Here we have the second of our crossing guest-star appearances as Reed Richards appears in this issue (and, in return, Nick Fury will appear in The Fantastic Four #21)."
"It seems to me that the story unnecessarily slows down while the Howlers attack the mountain from different directions. We do see them individually, and read dialogue (i.e.: see characterization) from each of them, but its bad for the pacing of the whole story."
"There are a number of extra large panels in this story. This would signal the appearance and increase of such panels in all the Marvel titles."
Jul 1 12 6:53 AM
Joseph William Marek wrote:Aha! It’s revealed in this story that Iron Man has a solar battery. That’s how he would have survived in Cleopatra’s time!
Jul 11 12 8:36 PM
So who exactly let Jean in the front door?
Seeing them stand side-by-side at the end is like seeing three sumo wrestlers (or line-backers, if you prefer) and two mosquitoes.
Why isn’t the Wasp’s name blazoned across the top of the cover with Thor, Ant-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man?
The Hulk’s transformations have deteriorated over the last six months. I don’t feel that Bruce Banner is any longer in control of them. I don’t believe he still uses the gamma machine he built. This will not be resolved for another whole year, not until ... well, you'll see.
As to the Hulk being a clown-faced robot. I feel Banner had nothing to do with this (and may not have “existed” for weeks). The Hulk, being unable to change, chose this method of going into hiding.
"Having re-read the Ernie Hart issues in the last few days, I must say I am still impressed with his writing. It seems literate (not that I doubted if he could read and write, but I mean it approaches real Literature, even poetic at its best moments
There's one thing that you'll never understand - and that's a woman constructed from corpses or electronics.
Aug 5 12 4:29 PM
Aug 5 12 6:35 PM
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