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CSBG Archive

Month of Cool Avengers/X-Men Comic Book Moments – Why They’re the Big Three

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 Thor and Iron Man showing their inner resolve…

At the end of Avengers #215 (written by Jim Shooter with art by Alan Weiss and Dan Green), the Molecule Man seemingly destroys Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Silver Surfer.

In the next issue (same creative team), we learn that they survived. However, Cap’s shield, Iron Man’s armor and Thor’s hammer are all destroyed. Beyond this being the first time that Captain America learned Iron Man and Thor’s secret identities (isn’t that amazing? Twenty years in and Cap didn’t know their real identities. Hell, I bet he didn’t even figure Thor HAD a secret identity! It certainly isn’t intuitive to figure that Thor would have a secret identity). Cap figures that he and Surfer should take on Molecule Man because Tony and Don are powerless. Cap obviously forgot who he was talking to…

You have to love that heroic resolve. I like how Cap even clearly was impressed by their moxie. Very cool stuff.


I love how Blake’s coat makes a perfect loincloth for Tony.

He is serious, Don.

And don’t call him Shirley.

Although Tony Stark secretly enjoyed going “Commando”, with none of the other Avengers the wiser, it occassionally backfired on him. Some days it pays to put on the tighty-whiteys.

@MarkR: I wonder how much R&D was put into anti-chafing coating on the inside of the armor.

That’s also the most Charles Bronson-esque Tony Stark I’ve ever seen.

Although Cap may not have thought Thor didn’t have a secret identity he still very much new who Donald Blake was as he got dragged in every time an Avenger got injured.

Even more amazing, Wasp only found out Iron Man’s true ID a few issues later! Yet somehow by the end of the ’80s even Wonder Man knew.

I always enjoyed the Tony/Don Blake mutual unmasking (“Say hi to Thor if you find him in the same broom closet I found Iron Man.”).

That smile by Cap in the last panel is just creepy. Like if that guy was with me in an elevator, I’d probably get off early.

The end of this story is one of a very few “classic Don Blake” moments ever; the only other ones I can think of are the times Don Blake manages to defeat the Grey Gargoyle in Journey into Mystery #107 and his managing to survive Magneto for a few minutes in JiM #109.

I was 8 or 9 when these issues came out and actually thought they’d been killed in the cliffhanger to #215. Then I realized that the Big Three each had their own ongoing books. Nah.

This was also the first time I encountered the Surfer. He worked well alongside the Avengers here, enough that I’m surprised he’s never been a team member. It was suggested in another thread just the other day, and yeah, he definitely has my vote.

Lastly, even though I’d just started reading the series, I figured that Cap finding out about Thor and Iron Man’s alter egos was a big deal. Cap now had TWO different aspects of Iron Man to disagree with and argue over the ensuing years. I was also sorry when Don Blake was written off Simonson’s Thor and happy as a clam when JMS brought him back. Blake remains the best of Thor’s various identities for my money. So much wasted potential there for the last thirty years.

Doug: “That’s also the most Charles Bronson-esque Tony Stark I’ve ever seen.”

TONY STARK: This ain’t ovah.

Yeah, it’s definitely fun to re-read every Tony line in Bronson’s weird, ’70s Steven Seagal voice. I imagine that line near the end as a full-on “Deathwish” freakout…

“You think Iron Man is just a suit of armor, Cap? Is that what you’re saying? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, YOU SON OF A BITCH???”

The funny thing is that Cap found out that Thor was Dr. Don Blake wayyyy back in 1968’s Avengers Annual #2–not by name, but he witnessed the transformation–but then he and everybody else forgot that whole adventure.

Also classic…how Molecule Man describes taking apart Silver Surfer’s board, Thor’s hammer, and Cap’s shield.

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