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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 128

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at “The Bride of Ultron” from Avengers #161-162, by writer Jim Shooter and artist George Perez.

Enjoy!

Okay, right off the bat, let me note that I’m not a big fan of the way Jim Shooter placed Hank Pym down the path that ultimately ended up with Pym slapping his wife, Janet, in the face because she thought an idea he had to avoid getting censured by the Avengers for blasting a surrendering villain in the back (the idea was to build a robot to fight the Avengers that he would stop and therefore make Cap and the gang like him again and not want to censure him or kick him off the team).

However, besides that aspect of his Avengers writing, Jim Shooter did a top notch job on the book (when he was the sole writer, at least).

He was so impressive that I’m actually picking a story that REVOLVES around Hank being a crazed nutjob!

The story opens with Hank attacking the Avengers, thinking that he is showing up for the very first Avengers meeting.

Perez does an awesome job on the action here, as Ant-Man surprisingly does pretty well…

Okay, so then Ultron shows up to attack the Avengers…

How awesome was that sequence?

The next issue has cool lines galore!

Check out Black Panther’s line in the last panel of the next issue here…

“Three Ultron MIGHT have killed, live to seek vengeance.”

Awesome.

Here’s another cool one as Thor gives a verbal smackdown on Wonder Man for doubting Hawkeye’s importance…

Gotta love how important Shooter makes T’Challa.

He also gives T’Challa a great badass entrance here, as he goes toe-to-toe with Ultron…

I won’t spoil the ending, but just note that it shows that even back then, Iron Man went about things a bit differently from his superhero teammates and even then conflict about his methods existed. He and Black Panther clash a bit. It’s strong stuff.

So great action, a lot of cool lines and great Perez artwork. No wonder this made The Greatest George Perez Stories Ever Told (it was #8)!

14 Comments

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Some truly great stuff in this pick, Brian. A few random comments:

1. Perez: He delivered some really outstanding art in these issues. I have always thought that the dark, “battleship” steel (Yeah, I know that Ultron is composed of adamantium) aspect that Ultron has in these issues is his definitive look.

2. Ant-Man: Shooter did a marvelous job demonstrating how truly formidable Ant-Man (usually depicted as a joke character) can be.

3. Shooter: The guy has taken a lot of heat over the years, but he was on the money with these issues.In particular, note the spot-on characterization (Wonder Man’s doubts, Iron Man’s more ruthless approach, Thor’s warrior God certainty, etc.).

Pedro Bouça

May 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

My favorite Avengers run, by far. The David Michelinie/John Byrne run that followed was great as well. At the time Avengers was easily my favorite series.

What I don’t understand is why the Nefaria story by Jim Shooter/John Byrne that followed isn’t as well regarded. It’s actually better than this one and one of the best superhero slugfests EVER! Is that just a consequence of the very low regard fans have for both authors nowadays?

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Brian Cronin

May 9, 2010 at 7:34 pm

What I don’t understand is why the Nefaria story by Jim Shooter/John Byrne that followed isn’t as well regarded.

I thought that that two-parter WAS very well regarded. I’ve always heard good things about it. I featured it in a Year of Cool Comic Book Moments!

A Year of Cool Comics? I like it. I like the picture storis

even though really did not like Jim shooter on avengers liked the story for it showed from the begining that Ultron is one real dangerous Villain not to mention Scarlet witch showed she is not one to be weak. plus lthor laying down a verbal smack down on wonder man. is priceless

Brian, the paragraph that begins “Okay, right off the bat” looks like it’s missing some words in the middle – doesn’t quite read right.

Reprinted in Essential Avengers 7 this year.

Love the Shooter Avengers run, it’s great stuff. But the Byrne drawn stuff that follows is better.

“I thought that that two-parter WAS very well regarded. I’ve always heard good things about it. I featured it in a Year of Cool Comic Book Moments!”

Well, this story has been reprinted a bunch of times. The Nefaria one? Not even once!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

I’m probably in the minority here but this story features my favorite Wonder Man costume. Alas, it only lasted one more storyline (another good one, though).

Is it just me, or did the 70’s perfect the “one-powerful-villain-mows-down-a-team-of-heroes” action sequence? This is a great example, and is followed by Nefaria, then Korvac, and of course Magneto over in X-men. I used to love scenes like that (especially the classic overhead shot of the “body count” as shown here and a year later in the Korvac saga.

The Shooter run was great, and this Ultron story is a terrific sample.

Nah, the Wonder Man costume to beat is the red safari jacket one!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Heh. And I had planned on saying “And to think that people bitch about Wonder Man’s “safari” costume.”

Also, I quite agree that the eventual culmination of Pym’s mental issues (though early incidents like this made for quite good stories) in the infamous spousal abuse scene is one of the earliest incidents of needless character-ruination in an effort to look “kewl” and “realistic” in a cheesy proto-grim n’ gritty clunkfest, not the “classic” some people seem to think it is.

I know it occurs a lot (understatement) in Secret War but was ending nearly all sentences in exclamation marks Jim Shooter’s writing style in the ’80s? I don’t notice it so much here because there is so much happening.

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