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CSBG Archive

Month of Cool Avengers/X-Men Comic Book Moments – Captain America Makes a Promise

All month long we will feature brand-new Cool Avengers and X-Men Comic Book Moments in celebration of their fiftieth anniversaries this month. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

Today we look at Captain America making a promise to a young boy…

Avengers (Volume 3) #65 is the first part of the “Red Death” storyline (written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Olivier Coipel and Andy Lanning). The issue opens with a chemical attack on Mount Rushmore. Hundreds of innocent tourists are killed.

Coipel and Lanning make the scope of the terror seem more real when you see the many choppers carrying afflicted people…

One husband and wife valiantly try to save their son. The husband dies and the wife drives away with the son covering his face with a cloth. She succumbs to the chemicals and her son seems to be nearing death, as well, when, well, someone shows up…

The moment is so awesome that I manage to forget the fact that the “happy ending” here is that the kid lives but as an orphan. That’s definitely better than the alternative, but it also isn’t exactly uplifting, ya know?

Since I doubt I’ll feature this as a separate installment, I think it only fair to point out the cool follow-up to this scene with the Vision and the boy…

VERY cool back-to-back sequences by Geoff Johns.

14 Comments

How does Vision fly while carrying someone? Doesn’t his power of flight depend on his ability to make his body lighter than air?

My favourite moment from this arc is when the Red Skull (spoilers for anyone who didn’t read it or doesn’t watch EMH) is gloating over Black Panther and talking about how great America is for a guy like him, then Cap smashes through the window:

“Skull… don’t you DARE salute that flag.”

Ok, I really need to give Geoff Johns’ run a shot here. I’d been hesitant to pull the trigger on Comixology, but these moments right here sold me.

I hate it when artists draw Captain America’s eyebrows showing through the eyeholes in his mask. It always looks silly.

I love the Cap part, but not the Vision follow up.

I wish the soldiers doing disaster support had found the way to make things work instead of the Vision’s heavy-handed actions. Or that the Vision had at least been less harsh about guys putting their lives on the line and surprised to have him appear like a ghost.

It was called “Red Zone,” not “Red Death.”

Definitely cool moments, though.

Was so bummed when Busiek was out, and this Johns guy replaced him, but Red Zone was good, if a tad slow

I’m partial to the later moment in the arc when Black Panther removed his gloves so as to fight the Red Skull with his bare “filthy hands.” (Skully’s words, not mine.)

I agree with Tom, under the circumstances the Vision’s a little harsh.

“Red Zone” is probably one of the last Avengers stories that I really, truly enjoyed. Geoff Johns did a great job, and I was thrilled to see the Red Skull as the Big Bad. It was also great that it wasn’t Captain America who took him down, but the Black Panther.

Then everything seemed to go off the rails. John’s next few issues seemed really aimless & padded out. Then he signed up for an exclusive contract with DC, abruptly departing Avengers before he could write a reputed final story arc he had planned to do with either the new Zodiac or the Masters of Evil. And who followed him on the book? Chuck Austin, that’s who! I really, really tried to be open-minded about those issues, but, wow, they were awful. And then Bendis came onboard. I finally gave up after about a year of his New Avengers. His dialogue tics were just so wrong for the book, and the padding just got more & more excessive. And at this point Marvel shifted over to their current approach of having one major event or story arc leading into another, and then another.

Actually, thinking it over, I did also enjoy Dan Slott’s Might Avengers a great deal. That was the first time I felt like I was reading the real Avengers in several years. Other than that, though, I’ve hardly picked up any of the books since.

Okay, sorry, long digression. If you haven’t read “Red Zone” yet, I recommend it.

One thing worth noting about Geoff Johns’ Avengers; it still reflects the Jemas-Quesada “Nu-Marvel” era in which it was published. The stories are written as though these issues are someone’s introduction to the Avengers, so the secondary characters are thoroughly explained as they appear– serving both to make them accessible and provide a contemporary “high concept” for the characters. The plots remain firmly in Marvel continuity, but the focus is on the immediate story at hand, not where it’s placed within the larger shared universe framework, or what past stories are addressed. Johns’ Avengers feels as though it’s written to convince readers that the Avengers are the biggest and baddest of superheroes– good for new readers, and for old readers who actually tire of comics harping on other comics they’ve already read. These pages serve as a particularly epic example of Captain America and everything he stands for, even out of context.

The zeitgeist would shift back towards continuity and line-wide crossovers shortly after, with Bendis’ Avengers Disassembled heralding a new age of “comics about comics” (as Joe Quesada derisively called them back then). Johns too would fall victim to this, unfortunately, with stories like Flash: Rebirth and Infinite Crisis that are absolutely impenetrable and ultimately irrelevant.

It was called “Red Zone,” not “Red Death.”

Yeah, I can see how that was confusing. I meant to say that it was the storyline ABOUT the “Red Death,” but now I see that it looks like I was saying that it was CALLED Red Death.

Mr. Cronin, thank you for printing these pages.

One doesn’t have to read many of my posts or my Deck Log entries to know that I haven’t so much as looked at a comic book in the last thirty years or so. In the late ’80′s, I was so dismayed at the direction they had taken that I walked away and never looked back.

I agree with poster Tom above that the sequence with the Vision and the helo soldiers should have been handled better, but those first three pages you posted . . .

. . . that’s the kind of moment that fills you with inspiration. It reminds me of why I started reading the four-coloured adventures of these costumed heroes in the first place, and it’s something which I believed had been lost for good.

Thank you for showing me that it hasn’t.

Mr. Cronin, thank you for printing these pages.

One doesn’t have to read many of my posts or my Deck Log entries to know that I haven’t so much as looked at a comic book in the last thirty years or so. In the late ’80?s, I was so dismayed at the direction they had taken that I walked away and never looked back.

I agree with poster Tom above that the sequence with the Vision and the helo soldiers should have been handled better, but those first three pages you posted . . .

. . . that’s the kind of moment that fills you with inspiration. It reminds me of why I started reading the four-coloured adventures of these costumed heroes in the first place, and it’s something which I believed had been lost for good.

Thank you for showing me that it hasn’t.

It’s funny, that’s exactly how Neil just sort of described it, that it was sort of designed to be the embodiment of everything cool about Captain America. I’m glad it came across that way to you.

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