web stats

CSBG Archive

Month of Cool Avengers/X-Men Comic Book Moments – The Old Order Changeth!

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.

We finish out the Avengers side of the month with the debut of the first new Avengers lineup in Avengers #16 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers!

It’s hard to quite get across just how dramatic of a change it was at the time for Stan Lee to just abruptly replace the stars of the Avengers, all heroes who were starring in their own titles, with a relatively new supervillain, two former supervillains from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and just Captain America left over from the original team.

I love in this issue how Lee plays it like this is the most solemn transfer of power that you can think of, filled with pathos and high anticipation, all building to that first “Avengers Assemble” shout…

Very well done by all involved. It set a new standard for readers to truly never know what to expect in their comic books.

21 Comments

“He didn’t mention my name, Cap! I guess I’ll–I’ll NEVER be a full-fledged Avenger!”
“All in good time, Rick!”

Yeah, Rick. I recommend that you hold your breath for that one.

I love how the villains are all like gossipy Dancing with the Stars fans.

Stan and Jack started quite a tradition with this issue. It’s the first we see of Cap meeting the members of his incoming Kooky Quartet. Hawkeye, of course, would be a pain in the butt those first few years but move on to become one of Cap’s closest friends and allies.

Ironic how the Hulk was never fully recruited back into the fold. And when they did, it turned out to be a Hulked-out General Thunderbolt Ross.

They ended up recruiting the Hulk to join again during Avengers vs. X-Men. So he’s currently a member of the team.

It’s hard to quite get across just how dramatic of a change it was at the time for Stan Lee to just abruptly replace the stars of the Avengers, all heroes who were starring in their own titles, with a relatively new supervillain, two former supervillains from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and just Captain America left over from the original team.

I love in this issue how Lee plays it like this is the most solemn transfer of power that you can think of, filled with pathos and high anticipation, all building to that first “Avengers Assemble” shout…

I love Lee/Kirby Avengers. I’m guessing this title didn’t enthuse him greatly, or maybe Kirby wanted to leave first and he didn’t want to do it long-term without Kirby, but I still think the Lee/Kirby stuff is the pinnacle of the Silver Age Avengers. What great stuff. What I love is that he had the old team leave but didn’t come up with some really forced crisis to bring it about, like a Civil War or Schism or Infinite Crisis. No over the top arguments, just citing personal reasons and behaving like grown ups.

Isn’t Kang from the future? Why does he need to follow the developments?

Wasn´t Hulk a part of the team in Volume III, under Kurt Busiek and Alan Davis?

Wasn´t Hulk a part of the team in Volume III, under Kurt Busiek and Alan Davis?

No, he just aided the team in a battle against a giant Hulk created by Diablo.

Amusing to see Immortus in the villains panel, seeing as he wouldn’t return for about 100 issues.

I never liked Rick Jones hanging around the team like a groupie and expecting to be treated like a full Avenger (“Fever blister” indeed) but I can’t help but wonder why Rick hasn’t shown up at the Avengers’ doorstep by now asking to be FINALLY made into an official Avenger, now that he’s the hulked-out A-Bomb. If they accepted Ross Hulk, who was an antagonistic arse to several Avengers when he was originally introduced, I can’t imagine Rick being turned down. Hell, if anyone dares to protest he can even throw in their faces that he ended an interplatetary war BEFORE he had Hulk-like powers!

As a bonus we might get to see Hawkeye calling Rick by the nickname “fever blister”. You know you want to see that!

And yeah, it’s kinda weird to see Kang talking about “following developments”. When I want to “follow developments” that happened centuries ago I usually read some history books.But that’s probably the reason I’ll never be a time-traveling conqueror – REAL conquerors avoid spoilers.

On a final note: back then Captain actually thought seven members would be “too many Avengers”? That’s ADORABLE, considering the team’s later formations. Doesn’t the current “New Avengers” have more than ten members, few of which get any character development?

…and of course “interplatetary” should have been “interplanetary”. :(

Curses, foiled again! (shakes fist at the sky)

Has it ever been explained exactly what Wanda’s headgear is? A traditional Wundagorian hat?

I love how the villains are all like gossipy Dancing with the Stars fans.

Amusing to see Immortus in the villains panel, seeing as he wouldn’t return for about 100 issues.

Avengers #16 is truly one of the best comics ever. I first saw the cut-up version in Avengers #150 and #151 in the 1970s. And I thought #16 was cool then. But I didn’t think too much about this panel as I didn’t know who any of them were (except the Mole Man. Probably Kang.)

But later, when I had the whole issue as a Marvel Mileston reprint, I felt differently. This panel – with the talking villain heads – is at the same time one of the goofiest things about Avengers #16 and one of the coolest things about it. Are they talking to each other? Are they just talking into the bathroom mirror? It’s like those man-on-the-street scenes they did all the time in Spider-Man – except that it’s a bunch of super-villains!

(Couldn’t they get the Space Phantom? Was Loki too busy to comment? What about the Red Ghost? Doesn’t his opinion count?)

On a final note: back then Captain actually thought seven members would be “too many Avengers”? That’s ADORABLE,

Yes it is. TOTES!

This panel – with the talking villain heads – is at the same time one of the goofiest things about Avengers #16 and one of the coolest things about it. Are they talking to each other? Are they just talking into the bathroom mirror? It’s like those man-on-the-street scenes they did all the time in Spider-Man – except that it’s a bunch of super-villains!

Stan and Steve Ditko actually did something similar in Amazing Spider-Man #18, the “Spidey quits!” issue, which has a montage panel in which various of the wall-crawler’s villains reacting to the news of their enemy’s retirement.

(Couldn’t they get the Space Phantom? Was Loki too busy to comment? What about the Red Ghost? Doesn’t his opinion count?)

It’s partly meant to be a trailer, since at least three of the baddies shown — Kang, Enchantress, and Mole Man — took on the “Kooky Quartet” over the next year or so.

Also, to add to a conversation upstream, the Hulk unofficially aided the Avengers a few other times over the years, as when the Banner-brained Hulk — shortly after refusing an offer of renewed membership — ended up teaming with the Avengers to stop the Leader’s plot to alter human evolution in the distant past. He also worked with them during the Secret Wars almost immediately after that.

Later, the Beast blackmailed the “Joe Fixit” incarnation into helping the team during the “Evolutionary Wars” crossover, but that’s hardly a real recruitment/rejoining either.

I have to say, “Yes. Hulk will smash for you.” was the single coolest moment of the umpteen zillion A vs. X books, by far.

The Hulk Smash Avengers mini from last year, while not really a “Hulk as an Avenger” book, still dealt with his relationship with the team over the years. Good stuff.

I guess there IS a precedent for talky Bendis Avengers stories.

The Hulk was re-recruited for the big Avengers reunion in issue 100 but had quit again by the end of the issue.

Over here there is a weekly part-work series which is a sort of encyclopedia on Marvel in a weird arbitary order (which I am reading seeing what errors I can spot – like when they misspell LLYRA in the Frightful Four page or categorise Apocalypse as a hero). They spent the first 27 issues going through XMen line-ups (including XFactor, XForce, New Mutants, Excalibut, Young XMen and others) at a rate of 2 per issue and are now on Avengers. This time they seem to be going out of their way to list any change as a seperate line-up so 1-the original team, 2- with Captain America, 3-Wonder Man, 4-Hawkeye, Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch
I suppose next week it’ll be 5-Swordsman and 6-Goliath (If I remember right)

Has Stan ever really spoken about his selection process for the “new” Avengers? Of all the characters in the whole Marvel Universe, even back then, he picks three villains, one only sorta bad from Iron Man, but two from the X-Men? What made him take such unrelated characters and throw them in to replace Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, and the Wasp? How close were we to the Radioactive Man, Trapster, and Medusa as your new Avengers? They’ve become mainstays of the Avengers but it seems like it easily could have gone very differently.

Lee has noted that he always intended Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to eventually become good guys. I imagine it was a case where he had them in the bag and Hawkeye just seemed too interesting of a character to keep as a bad guy (similar to Black Widow).

I first read this in Marvel Triple Action from about 1973 and it was rather intriguing as at that time I was unaware that Hawkeye, Quicksilver & the Scarlet Witch were all originally villains. Also, from the dialogue of Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp you’d think they’d all been Avengering for ages but at the time this story came out they’d only been Avengers for about a year and a half and none had been in the superhero game at all over three years yet going by real time in this era before there was any need for “collapsed Marvel time”. Anyhow, this was a very unique, bold move for Lee to make, and as he was the editor of the entire line I’d guess it had to be entirely his idea as part of a means to build a realistic tone in the Marvel universe by avoiding having characters appear regularly in two or more ongoing series set in the same era. Of course, that pretty much went out the window by 1971 when Cap, Iron Man & Thor all became regulars again and Spider-Man became the prime co-star in Marvel Team-Up. But in 1965, with this powered down version of the Avengers, with members who did not look up to Captain America as the iconic ideal superhero and Cap himself expressed doubts about his ability to handle the young hotheads he suddenly found himself in charge of, this was a very different team concept than any other around at the time, even if on the surface Quicksilver and Hawkeye seemed like knockoffs of the Justice League’s Flash and Green Arrow. Ironically, in just a few years Green Arrow’s personality would be changed to be a little bit more like Hawkeye’s.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives