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45. “Darker Than Scarlet” Avengers West Coast #56-57, 60-62
John Byrne had been building to a long Scarlet Witch storyline, where the Avenger was manipulated by Immortus to becoming his weapon against the Time Lords (as Scarlet Witch’s reality-altering powers could mess with time itself), but Byrne left the book in a dispute with Marvel editorial after just two issues of the storyline (earlier issues had set up the mental fragility of Scarlet Witch, as she lost her husband and discovered that she had used her powers to create her children), as Scarlet Witch debuts a new look and a new evil personality. This all turns out to be just the effects of Immortus’ influence. Inker Paul Ryan took over pencils upon Byrne’s departure and Roy and Dann Thomas took over writing duties, finishing the story ROUGHLY the same way Byrne was intending to end it (well, the Immortus using Scarlet Witch as a pawn part, at least – everything else was different).
44. “Siege” Siege #1-4
This mini-series drew to a conclusion both specifically the Dark Reign over-arching storyline, where Norman Osborn took control of SHIELD and made true superheroes have to fear for their safety, as well as more generally bringing to a close a rough period in the Marvel Universe, with Civil War, Secret Invasion and the dearth of Captain America. In this series, Steve Rogers has returned and he reunites with Iron Man and Thor and the good Marvel heroes to defeat Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers once and for all, including Osborn’s secret weapon, Sentry, who has given himself over to his evil side, the Void. This was the launch of the Heroic Age. It was written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Olivier Coipel and Mark Morales.
43. “Red Zone” Avengers Vol. 3 #65-70
In this epic by Geoff Johns, Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning, a mysterious red dust is killing people in the middle of America. The Avengers try to stop the deadly dust while discovering that the whole thing was orchestrated by the Red Skull, who has infiltrated the highest level of the U.S. government and is trying to topple the United States government in a sick attempt to make over the country in his image! Can the two Avengers the Skull hates the most, Black Panther and Falcon, stop him?
42. “Absolute Vision” Avengers #251-254
After Secret Wars, the Vision (who had been severely injured during a crossover with the Fantastic Four) recovered and asked to be made leader of the Avengers. He made some sweeping changes, including the installation of a SECOND Avengers team (meant to be the first of many) in California, leading to the West Coast Avengers. As it turned out, all of these moves were part of an overall plan to take over the world for its own protection. Naturally, the Avengers took issue with this and had to take on their own teammate (who, as it turned out, was not quite himself). Bob Hall, Joe Sinnott, Ian Akin, Brian Garvey and Joe Rubinstein drew this story and Roger Stern wrote it.
41. “His Name is Yellowjacket” Avengers #59-60
Roy Thomas, John Buscema, George Klein and Mike Esposito introduced us to Hank Pym’s newest superhero identity, Yellowjacket. They also introduced the concept of Hank Pym being a little mentally unstable, a concept that has been used frequently in the years since. Hank marries his longtime girlfriend, Janet Van Dyne, the Winsome Wasp, in this story.
That’s the first ten! Check back every day to see the rest of the list!
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