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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 338

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the end of the Avengers/Defenders War!

Okay, in the first five parts, the Avengers and Defenders have fought over pieces of some device – the Evil Eye – or whatever. Now the Dread Dormammu has the powerful weapon, and the Avengers and Defenders have to team-up to stop him, which is a tough task.

So here is the dynamic conclusion of the battle, courtesy of writer Steve Englehart, artist Bob Brown and inkers Mike Esposito and Frank Giacoia, in Avengers #118!

“The” moment for me here is, no matter how cool the Scarlet Witch stuff, the scene where the Avengers, well, assemble right in the face of seeing all the Defenders taken out.

Great stuff.


This is batshit crazy. And awesome. Love that art.

“—and simultaneously driving him totally insane!”

Eh, the real “moment” from that story is Hulk and Thor grappling with each other for a whole hour. That was fucking metal.

That Avengers Assemble panel is pure grooviness. I wish I had that on a t-shirt.

Loud Mouth Buffoon!

i just gotta start using that somewhere’s!


i have to go with the scarlet witch continuing to fight Dormamu proving that she is worthy of being an avenger and some one who should not be messed with. that and the watcher asking the vision why he froze in the quick sand.

“The humanity of these “superheroes” makes them even more fun to play with.”


Oh if only Bendis could write some Avengers like this :(

Bob Brown did the art for these issues. He died of leukemia in 1977 after decades of working at various companies. It’s a shame that nobody has posted a web page in his memory. I don’t even know what he looked like, but I understand that Bob was held in high regard by his peers at the time of his passing.

I have Defenders #11 (which isn’t very good, unfortunately), but I never got to see any of the epic story leading into it until now. Wish there was more of it here.

Englehart’s dialogue seems kind of stiff here compared to the later Avengers issues I’ve read. I guess he was still getting the feel for it at this point.

If I’m remembering a reference in #132 (I think it was) correctly, the reason the Vision panicked and froze up in the quicksand was because of the buried memory of the time the original Torch was trapped inside of cement, or something like that. Since John Byrne rewrote the Vision’s origin later (shame on him!) and it was revealed that he was never actually the Torch, has anyone ever gone back and explained the ‘real’ reason for the Vision’s panic attack?
(This is why you should never contadict established history. There are always details left unexplained.)

The art is “groovy” in a “this looks like an insane children’s colouring book” kind of way.

Since John Byrne rewrote the Vision’s origin later (shame on him!) and it was revealed that he was never actually the Torch, has anyone ever gone back and explained the ‘real’ reason for the Vision’s panic attack?

Busiek later explained that there was a divergent timeline, so Vision was the Torch AND the Torch was the Torch, so both stories stay the same.

(This is why you should never contadict established history. There are always details left unexplained.)

Agreed, Bucky clearly survived World War II, yet Stan Lee contradicted this when he killed him off in Avengers #4. He should have never done that.

Glad somebody else thinks so. That’s one of the things about Avengers #4 that always bugged the hell out of me.

Thank you, Brian.

I must be honest, Engleharts run isn’t my favorite (I’m surprised he didn’t have Mantis-Sue whup Dormammu on her own), but this very fun. My favorite moment? Wanda taking time out to critique Iron Man’s literary skills…

This is exactly what I was talking about before. This is almost totally unreadable to me. You’ve got a writer throwing more words on the page than at all necessary and weird-looking art. Ugh. It’s like badly dubbed anime “LET ME NOW EXPLAIN WHAT I AM DOING WHILE I DO IT OH HO HERE IS A LITTLE QUIP FOR YOU AS WELL BUT OH MY I AM WORRIED DEEP DOWN INSIDE”

Purple prose when the art should be telling the story.

I gotta agree with Joe Rice. I loved this when I was 10, but it hasn’t aged well at all.

Look at all that text! It’s like reading Cathy. ACK!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

December 6, 2009 at 10:33 am

In fairness, could anyone reasonably be expected to follow page 30’s events without the captions?

With less verbose captions, probably. But, again, that’s not exactly a good thing. If you have super people punching each other and the art can’t convey what’s going on, you might have a problem.

Remember, Steve Englehart came onboard after Roy Thomas, and the over-abundance of words words words with endless literary and pop culture references was practically an Avengers tradition.

Yet, compared with what Don McGregor was doing around this time, Englehart’s prose is practically Spartan.

Jesus H. Christ! That’s awful to consider.

Obviously there’s nothing inherently wrong with a lot of prose in a comic. It depends how it’s used. The art isn’t meant to tell the story. A combination of words and art is.

Some of these older comics are over-narrated, true. “The others quickly flounder in the mire!” Fair enough; the art conveys that point well enough and all the narration from that panel could have been stripped away. But then it may have taken more panels to tell clearly. The whole “decompression” thing. But I agree simple descriptive narration doesn’t add much and I would remove most of it myself.

The dialogue? We disagree on this point, but I think the dialogue works, for the story, for the characters: to me it’s what carries the page. Not all of it is great, but none of it seems terrible and it mostly serves rather than hinders the flow of the scene.

Purple prose? “She is the only one of the original fourteen left– the sole survivor of the strongest group ever gathered…” More melodramatic than meaningful, certainly. But that’s the point and the strength of a lot of great superhero stories. To get you caught up in high drama of cool people doing cool things. And that prose does that. Ditto the Watcher’s final speech.

This isn’t one of my favorite comics ever, nor my favorite Avengers comic, nor my favorite Englehart Avengers comic, but overall I do obviously like this scene more than you do. And the basic style of it is the style of the time, which often works rather well for these stories and their goals.

In particular, I’ll take this comic over the best issue of Bendis’ Avengers any day.



Methinks Loki was insane long before he got zapped….

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