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Drawing Crazy Patterns – The Avengers’ Quinjet Crashing!

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In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

Today we take a look at the Avengers and their ever-crashing means of transportation, the Quinjet! Both crashes and other types of Quinjet destructions…


We really should have known what to expect when it came to the Avengers’ personal airplane (designed by the Black Panther), the Quinjet, when it debuted in Avengers #61 (by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and George Klein)…

and was destroyed for the first time in the very next two panels…

In Avengers #103, Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Joe Sinnott have the Quinjet deliver the Avengers to Australia, but no further…

In Avengers #116, Steve Englehart, Bob Brown and Mike Esposito put the Scarlet Witch in danger while she is flying a Quinjet near a volcano…

David Michelinie, John Byrne and Dan Green gave the Quinjet an extended crash sequence in Avengers #187…

The Quinjet is no match for the might of Terminus in Avengers #257 by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer…

John Byrne and Mike Machlan treat the Quinjet poorly in Avengers West Coast #47…

In Avengers #360 by Bob Harras, Steve Epting and Tom Palmer, the Black Knight narrowly avoids being in a Quinjet crash…


(Click on the image to enlarge)

Read more, including a notable usage during Avengers Disassembled…

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“The nickel of time”? Who the hell says the nickel of time? The expression is ‘the nick of time’.

Was Tony drunk, or is he just that obsessed with money?

Love those opening pages to Avengers 187, fab stuff

Which has crashed more times, the Quinjet or the SHIELD Helicarrier?

Great list.

This even out-does the X-Men’s history of crashing aircraft, especially during the early Claremont/Cockrum-Claremont/Byrne days…

…or does it? Could we have a list of great X-Men crashes next? (at least four or five pop to mind right off the bat).

I like Hawkeye’s stripper outfit from the 1970’s. I wonder if Fraction will make him wear it in an upcoming issue of Hawkeye.

Shouldn’t an inventor of Tony Stark’s caliber equip the quinjets with ejection seats and parachutes? Fighter aircraft have had those for decades. And not all of the Avengers can fly — if Iron Man, Thor, Falcon, or Ms. Marvel aren’t available, things wouldn’t go well for Cap, Beast, Hawkeye, or Scarlet Witch.

“And that, as they say, was in the nickel of time.”

Yeah, Tony/Roy, they don’t actually say that.

The Englehart/Surfer one is odd because we don’t even see the Quinjet before it gets destroyed, not really. (Presumably we do before the panels shown here, though.)

Yeah, I agree with Michael P. There should definitely be a Drawing Crazy Patterns of the SHIELD Helicarrier crashing / getting destroyed. God, thinking about it, how much does it cost to build one of those things from scratch? No wonder taxes are so damn high!

Oh, wait, Brian already did that one a couple of years ago:


He missed the times that the Hellicarier was destroyed by Godzilla and the Sentinels, though!

Spidey’s comments in NA #4 seem to be more poking fun at how everybody crashes in the Savage Land, not just quinjets. But quinjets sure do crash a lot. I assume this was somewhat inspired by the most recent Avengers issue?

Reading this one(especially the Quinjet crashing right into the Avengers mansion) reminds me, have you done a Crazy Pattern for how many times the X-Mansion gets destroyed? The Sidri, Mr. Sinister, Xorneto, M-Day, etc

Ha, glad to see that Nickel of Time thing bothered someone else. Wonder if that was the phrase back in the day and just got shortened down to nick, which still makes no sense to me.

Too lazy to google for answers.

The odd thing is that none of these crash stories were written by Chris Claremont.
How often would the Quinjet crashes be if he wrote the Avengers?

You can’t tell me that I’m the only one hearing Ron Burgundy screaming out “By the Snows of Kiliminjaro!!”


Well I’m certainly going to use it the next time something startles me.

I find it really hard to believe that the Silver Surfer, of all people, could not control an exploding volcano. The Surfer has done a lot more impressive stuff before and since.

I had not realized how often the QJ crashed. It really does seem to be one of the most reliable of the Avengers’ plot devices. BTW, didn’t the plane the Avengers were using in the movie crash too? I suppose that it may not, technically, have been a quinjet, but it still continued the Avengers’ tradition.

Did like in that story, shortly after they crash, they run into Wolverine who matter-of-factly says “Yeah, I crashed my plane a mile off,” keeping to the gag.

Blackbirds crash. Quinjets crash. Fantasti-Cars and Pogo Planes don’t.

Ben Grimm really is the greatest pilot in the Marvel Universe.

Now that Daredevil has learned the meaning of Soulpain, perhaps he could explain it to me.

Heck, Joss crashed a Quinjet in Avengers 1!

^i was about to point that out…

The helicarriers crashing and ‘how much do they cost to replace?’ questions reminds me of scene in one of the Damage Control mini-series where Nick Fury provides Mrs Hoag with the money to buy control of Damage Control and casually mentions that he’s hiding the cost in SHIELD’s helicarrier budget.

During Avengerd Disassembled, Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch and Danny Miki had the Scarlet Witch make the Vision crash a Quinjet into Avengers Mansion…

Avengerd. I kind of like that. Sort of shorthand for Avengers Nerd.

Isn’t “in the nickel of time” just an awful metal-based pun because, y’know, he’s Iron Man and nickel’s a transition metal?

Zerak the Blue Destroyer

September 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

@Gareth A

Bad Iron Man pun was exactly what I was thinking. That and too much coffee; Englehart was a busy bee in those days.


After reading Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, I’m not sure it was coffee fueling Englehart back then.

Englehart was a busy bee in those days.

That was Roy Thomas not Englehart.

There were a lot of bad puns in the early 70s (Roy Thomas, I think, was responsible for about 85% of them) in a painful way to shorthand that our heroes were hip and contemporary. Iron Man was one of the most consistent victims iirc.

It’s funny that the Quinjet was never the most inspired of designs, but not of the modernizations have really improved on the look.

And Andrew, Grimm might be a really good pilot, but the FF’s first flight didn’t go so well…. ;-)

Funny how many aircraft Marvel plows into the ground for dramatic effect, whereas I don’t think that’s a DC trope at all. Invisible plane, Batplane, Blackhawks, even Superman’s got a plane, but I don’t recall them crashing even rarely. That seems like more than just an editorial mandate but a whole different mindset.

Now THAT would be a terrific series of articles: ways that Marvel and DC consistently stay on opposite sides of a storytelling fence. “Our heroes have to constantly relearn the pain of losing a family member” vs. “Hell, it’s in the origin story, we don’t need to rub his nose in it”.

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