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The Past Was Close Behind: Wolverine Will Never Be An Avenger!

This feature spotlights moments, exchanges, etc. from older comics that take on a brand new light when read in concert with later comic books. Here is the archive of previous installments.

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Chardin C., we look at a 1986 Captain America story where Cap makes a guarantee that he later fails to back up.

In 1986′s Captain America Annual #8 by Mark Gruenwald, Mike Zeck and John Beatty, Captain America and Wolverine team-up together to take down some bad guy who is trying to avert World War III in a problematic fashion…

Pretty definitive response by Cap, right?

(By the way, Since the bad guy did not actually die, Cap probably only cried for, like, a day MAX).

Fast forward nearly two decades to 2005′s New Avengers #6 (by Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch and Danny Miki). Cap, Iron Man and a disparate group of heroes (including Luke Cage, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman and then, later on in the story, Wolverine) get tangled up in a conspiracy involving a super-villain prison break, a secret weapons project in the Savage Land and a possible anti-superhero faction within SHIELD. Cap vows to get to the bottom of things and decides to re-form the Avengers, who had disbanded following Avengers Disassembled (when one of their own, the Scarlet Witch, went nuts and destroyed the team from within). The team’s membership was a bit surprising…

Wolverine has been an Avenger ever since.

73 Comments

Good old 80s. When Cap still acted like Cap and Wolverine was still Wolverine.

IIRC, there’s an issue of Thunderbolts, the one where Hercules comes to kill Atlas, where Hawkeye says that heroes don’t kill, Moonstone offers the exemples of Wolverine and the Punisher, and Hawkeye answers that none of them are nor wil be avengers.

Whatever happened to Mike Zeck?

Oh, so he’s a samurai warrior. That’s why the X-Men could just shrug when he offed all those people. Hand-waving with regards to Wolverine is always pretty funny.

saying heroes don’t kill is bullshit. sometimes a hero does kill because it’s necessary, whether it’s a war or a law enforcement situation.

One of the many reasons why I miss the Avengers.

Strikes me as just one more ridiculous thing that our government’s okay with “in our post 9/11 world”.

Even Superman kills nowadays…SNAP!
As does Wonder Woman…SNAP!

Heck, Cyclops advocates killing too…ZAPT!

Heroes who kill when necessary is okay these days.

The Joe Q era is not the era of Stan, Jack, Steve, or Romitas, Buscema, Byrne, Stern, Claremont, Simonson, or any other creators that worked at Marvel pre-Quesada/Jemas. One could even make the argument that things started changing as the Image gang rose to prominence.

Certain rules that guys like Roy Thomas, Mark Gruenwald, and others created or followed were replaced by “the Cool Factor”. Spider-Man was always too much of a loner to be an Avenger. Wolverine’s questionable past and the fact that the X-Men was his family as opposed to a super hero team that he was a member of made him un-Avenger worthy. Charles Xavier didn’t have questionable ethics (even though certain stories where he faked his death and used his powers to influence people have given justification to things like Deadly Genesis). Bucky was dead and was Captain America’s cross to bear. Then Rock Star Writers starting coming to Marvel and to appease them, the rules were loosened and what we have now is what I assume Joe Q was shooting for: The Cool Factor. You can argue the merits of it vs. the Old Fanboy Mentality but I would argue that the Old Fanboy stuck around because of those old rules, continuity, and consistency in character. Today’s reader might like a lot of what Marvel is doing but will they still be there in 2 years, much less 20-40, or will they move on to the next thing the moment that a creator moves on?

This was one of the early steps toward Marvel’s current “throw all names into a hat and make a team” approach to their books. It’s cost them close to $50 a month from me over the last 6 or seven years.

IMHO there is a difference between killing and murdering. “Thou shall not kill” – I’ve heard some scholars say, should actually mean, “Thou shall not murder.” Police kill; doctors kill; soldiers kill; butchers kill; ordinary people kill (in self defense) – what they can’t do is murder.

Regardless, the taking of a life, again IMHO is always a serious event and should be scrutinized each and every time it happens to guarantee that the intent was one of self-preservation when faced with a ‘no-win’ situation and not one of methodical planning to extinguish another person’s soul.

Wow, Secret Wars (I) Wolverine and Captain America. Nice.

Speaking of Secret Wars, there’s also a dialogue about this subject there.

I don’t know if it is previous (some months) to the occurrence in Captain America Annual – I don’t think so – but, as it was already said here, it’s clear that that view was prevailing in that time, regardless of being dictated by Shooter or Gruenwald or both.

Anyway, the occurrence in Captain America Annual is a lot more emphatic, indeed.

But, well, I don’t think the dialogue by Bendis in New Avengers is so problematic. At least, he REMEMBERED the fact… that’s a plus when speaking of him! hehe

Marvel comics were and are very cool… each time with its own zeitgeist! ;ob

I had forgotten about Tony’s speech. It is certainly odd. Is he claiming that Wolverine is needed in the New Avengers? That just ain’t so.

…And stuff like this is why I hardly ever read Marvel Comics any more.

How often does Wolverine kill? He and the X-Men have a pretty healthy rouges gallery; it is not like he always kills. I have not read all of his X Force books and do not read a lot of his solo book, so really, how much/often does he kill, and how often are the kills non combat?

Dan Ahn’s 9/11 comment reminded me, Captain America killed a terrorist in Captain America vol 4, the 2002 one by John Ney Rieber. Punched the guy and broke his neck, right.

On a mostly non related not, I personally do not like the ‘Spider-Man is a loner not an Avenger’ argument. Spider-Man is one of the least loner super heroes out there. I hope when Peter returns he is in the Avengers again (and that he is used on the team…).

@MegaGearMax:

Heroes who kill when necessary is okay these days.

That debate is pretty well settled, for better or worse. Superheroes act as judge, jury and executioner all the time. It is barely noteworthy. Still, it seems like Steve Rogers shouldn’t be on board with Wolverine’s “methods”.

@ ShawnKane:

… Then Rock Star Writers starting coming to Marvel and to appease them, the rules were loosened and what we have now is what I assume Joe Q was shooting for: The Cool Factor. You can argue the merits of it vs. the Old Fanboy Mentality but I would argue that the Old Fanboy stuck around because of those old rules, continuity, and consistency in character. Today’s reader might like a lot of what Marvel is doing but will they still be there in 2 years, much less 20-40, or will they move on to the next thing the moment that a creator moves on?

That is a good point.

The Rock Star effect really started with the Image guys (Lee, Liefeld, McFarlane, etc) during their time at Marvel. They were given broad latitude to change stuff up visually and then became the writers as well with the expectation of the same latitude (irrespective of their actual abilities in crafting plot and script). They extended the same courtesy to the creators they hired at Image. Someone like Bendis just sort of expects a lot of freedom from the rule established by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Jim Shooter, et al.

I think that the last 20 years of comic history has shown pretty definitively that is not nearly as sustainable a business model as the one Stan Lee created in the sixties.

With that said, I am basically fine with it. Continuity is irrevocably broken at DC and is in pretty poor repair at Marvel. Rock Star creators jumping on an A-list (or interesting B-list) are pretty well the only thing that gets me to buy Big Two comics anymore. I am in for their story, run or whatever. I literally do not care what happened the issue before or the issue after anymore. It is better when Captain America acts kinda like Captain America, Wolverine acts kinda like Wolverine and the basics are more-or-less what I expect (Cap is the leader of the Avengers and works for S.H.I.E.L.D.; Wolverine lives in the X-Mansion and travels around getting into trouble over his bad taste in women). If it is too far “off model”, then I stop reading and chuck it in the trash. You almost never have to refer back to bad comics anymore.

Honestly, it is kind of better than the old days.

kdu: Well, Wolverine has spent a lot of time recently leading a team (X Force) whose SOLE PURPOSE is being willing to kill, WHILE being an Avenger and heading the Jean Grey School. So it’s not like he’s dialed back the killing at all. But yeah, he still kills a lot, ostensibly so other people don’t have to.

So him being an Avenger isn’t really an indication of how much he’s changed or even how much Cap’s changed. It’s just Marvel editorial not really giving a crap about consistent characterization.

Spidey not being Avenger material was always really a measure of how his life wasn’t ever anywhere near in order enough for him to be a reliable team member. He was inclined to join every now and again over the years, but it always came down to them feeling he was unreliable or him deciding he didn’t have room for that kind of commitment. He’s not a “loner” in the sense that he didn’t team up with people on the fly every single month, it’s just that not being able to keep his life together is a core part of his personality and storytelling engine. Here again Marvel just doesn’t give a crap. He’s popular, so just don’t ask how he could be in the FF and Avengers and eight different other adventures at the same time.

But it’s true that Wolverine doesn’t really kill in Avengers titles (where he’s lovable curmudgeon team guy) or in Wolverine and the X-Men (where he’s conflicted mentor guy), whereas he kills up a storm in his solo books and in X Force. Here again, inconsistent characterization. It would be really inconvenient for him to kill in an Avengers book, because then they’d have to confront the whole question of why he’s an Avenger at all. But if it happens in some other book, the Avengers can (and do) simply pretend it never happened. Pay no attention to the claws behind the curtain.

Logan has quite the body count but, aside from when he was brainwashed, the kills were generally justified. Anyone Wolverine and company killed in X-Force (Cyclops’ X-Force) had it coming, for example.

I never bought into the “heroes never kill” thing even when I was a little kid (in the 80s) so I would have thought Cap was being ridiculous. But Wolverine shouldn’t be an Avenger because it isn’t good for the character. He shouldn’t be a schoolmarm for the same reason.

Spider-Man was a “New Avenger Reserve Substitute” back in Avengers #329 (Vol. 1). Additionally, two other members were specifically called out as probationary members (Sandman and Rage), while everyone else on the UN Chartered team was designated a full Avenger. So Spider-Man had been an Avenger since then. Heck, he was even allowed in the voting room, where only full members were allowed to be. The idea that Spidey was a loner is just not true.

Well said, Shawn. I agree with Fisk and Luis, too.

Let’s hear it for the days when heroes were heroic.

I totally agree with the Cap (I mean, Mark Gruenwald, Patron Saint of Marveldom). To make everyone an avenger nowadays is one of the worst editorial decisions ever.

Making Spider-man kill a lot of people, on the other hand, would be cool and sell a lot. Let’s ask Rob Liefeld which kind of gun should he use. And Jeph Loeb could write the after-kill wisecracks.

They’re currently tackling the dichotomy of Wolverine the killer/Wolverine the hero in Uncanny Avengers. It’s having consequences, to put it mildly.

I have always been a huge Avengers fan and a big X-Men fan.

Without breaching the kill subject, the issue now is that the Avengers lack exclusivity. Who’s not an Avenger: Longshot, Cloak & Dagger, Power Pack, Speedball…

Having a questionable member or two (Hulk, any X-Man, Namor) has it’s place. However, keeping the Avengers elite is nearly as important as keeping the Fantastic 4 to just four.

So was Captain America upset that Wolverine didn’t use his claws to catch Overrider? The sequence reads as if Cap is pissed off that Wolverine didn’t kill Overrider. And that’s the version of Cap that people are saying was against killing?

Personally I think the no kill rule has more to do with the business side of the company as killing off all the villains would result in needing a constant stream of (inferior/subpar) replacements or the end of a lot of comics. Readers want The Joker not The Joker’s Daughter or what have you.

Plus, it would be a headache constantly dealing with updating copywrite and Trademarks and however else you safeguard the Intellectual Property you bought.

@kdu2814 The X-Men only have a healthy rogues gallery because when they die they come back to life.

The Joe Q Cap looks like an homage to Rob Liefeld’s Cap.

I would like to see Wolverine with Captain America during World War II as part of The Invaders. I would think this rivalry goes back a long way…

The sequence reads as if Cap is pissed off that Wolverine didn’t kill Overrider.

It’s a testament to how cavalier Marvel has been for decades about Wolverine killing that it’s even possible for you to say that. When this comic came out, there was no confusion possible. Cap clearly just wanted Wolverine to catch the guy–normally, with his hands. Wolverine popped his claws out, intending to kill the guy, then decided to take a middle path and just not catch him. When I look at those pages, that’s still the only possible interpretation. But when everybody’s used to Wolverine chopping people up all the time (and being gored on a regular basis himself) what would have been a shocking notion (Cap wanting him to shank a guy) now seems pretty normal.

Wolverine hasn’t killed an innocent in forever.

Everyone he kills is trying to kill him

Get a clue

Oh yeah, for sure, people try to kill superheroes all the time. And the main thing that makes heroes different from the people trying to kill them is that they don’t kill them in return.

” I’m an X-Man. [...] With them, killing is a last resort. With me, it’s second nature. I take the world as it is, and give better than I get. Come at me with a sword. I’ll meet you with a sword. You want mercy. Show a little first. [...] Some of those folks died fighting… some praying… some accepted their fate… some cursed it… some begged for their lives… most were terrified. Details don’t matter. What’s important is that they died. And those scales have to be balanced. In kind.”

I’m not sure what he’s saying in those last two sentences, Neil. That he himself should be put to death, if anyone can possibly figure out a way to do that?

interesting that tony said the missing ingredient for the new avengers was wolverine given he did not kill overrider way back then and cap saying he will not be an avengers guess cap wound up eating crow . though always thought wolverine was a ronin not a samuri .

OK, my two cents—THINGS CHANGE.

The characters created back in the 40′s, the 60′s, and every other decade must evolve. Otherwise, they lose their relevance to their audience. While it is true there was a “Cool Factor” considered here, It’s because the Cool Characters resonated with the audience. In the 40′s Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were made in that age and reflected the pulp/noir era (As a note, these three racked up body counts back then, before the arrival of the Comics Code). But heroes in the 60′s to 80′s were bound by a Comics Code that forbid heroes from killing. Even villains couldn’t kill anyone on-screen without some serious editorial work.
While fans can argue that one era was better than another, the one thing that Marvel touted for its characters was change. While their heroes would remain recognizable, none would immune to character development. The same must hold true of its team franchises. While The X-Men was a hot brand, the Avengers, even after an amazing run by Kurt Busiek, was in danger of becoming stagnant. Marvel’s two most popular heroes at the time, were not Avengers, and Grant Morrison’s run on JLA proved that you can do a team book with your best if your editorial staff can get its shit together and stop saying, “He can’t be part of the team because…”. So Marvel needed to refactor The Avengers.
The results are obvious–The Avengers is a billion-dollar franchise, more popular than they have ever been, even without the presence of Spidey and Wolverine in the movies or TV. This required BMB to have a character moment here and there. But the article ignores the fact that in 20 years, Cap himself went through some changes that made him adjust his outlook from super-hero to super-soldier, a man who concentrated on getting the job done. And for those who want to nitpick about Wolverine’s body count, the Black Widow was not named for her outfit–and Cap had no problem with her. So that argument falls apart anyway.
I think what I see here are a bunch of log-time fans who want things go back to the way they were. To those, I answer, nostalgia is nice, but everything either grows or it becomes stagnant and dies. I’d rather read an interesting book with heroes I can relate to, rather than something that hearkens to another era that means less than it once did. I prefer to enjoy today’s stuff, and look forward to what’s next–otherwise, why should i care what happens? If they’re going to be the exact same character as they were 30 years ago, why I am reading it?

I generally like the heroes don’t kill mentality, but the whole Cap disapproving of Wolverine’s methods just makes him look like a grandpa. It’s not the fact that Wolverine kills that is the problem; it’s that he’s ruthless when he does it. But Wolverine has evolved as a character where that’s no longer his mentality, so it makes sense that he’s an Avenger now.

This more so highlights the difference between the X-Men and the Avengers. The X-Men exist in reality and the Avengers are more about living up to an ideal. There’s a reason why Avengers never participated in mutant matters before; if they did, they would have realized they need a Wolverine as well. Hence, after Disassembled, Wolverine is exactly the type of Avenger they need.

@Neil Kapit
Exactly.

Heroes not killing is about as logical as thinking that covering a 1-inch radius around your eyes will keep people who know you from recognizing you. Or that this piece of clothing will somehow change your voice.

Superhero comic books in general don’t make any sense in today’s world. This is why no one in the Avengers movieverse actually has a secret identity. Rogers, Stark, Barton, Widow, Banner… everyone knows who these people are. Their costumes are just symbols.

Think about it. If a close buddy of yours knocked on your door dressed up like a Super Hero, and spoke to you with his regular voice, would you not recognize him immediately?

There’s a reason 95% of these books are purchased by people who grew up on them in the 80′s. They made sense back then. The world has since grown up. Comics haven’t.

“The X-Men exist in reality” No,actually. They exist in a world where the only alternatives an oppressed minority can conceive of are a)violent revolution and b)suffering nobly until the majority realize how good they are. That has nothing to do with reality.

The world hasn’t “grown up” at all; it just likes to think it has.

For instance: people trying to apply “logic” and real world examples to comic books intended as an escapist form of modern day mythology/ fables/ fairy tales.

And of course everyone knows everything about their neighbors in today’s world… oh, unless you’ve actually seen any major news story in the last 5 years or so, then you realize people are most observant in hindsight. It’d be nice if people actually were that observant, might cut down on crime… and traffic accidents.

But go ahead, please keep trying to make comic book superhero stories more “real”. It’s obviously been so much “better” for the medium than all those kiddie stories from back in the days before rape and girls in refrigerators became acceptable plot devices.

Airdave–if you want to see Cap and Logan as rivals in WWII, check out the arc of WOLVERINE: ORIGINS called “Our War.”

Let me just say that I for one am so glad that Brian made sure to get a “cryin’ Cap” reference in here. Oldie but a goodie.

And while I won’t get in to a whole big thing, I definitely agree with the commenters suggesting that it is more heroic to NOT kill. Especially since the whole “only as a last resort” bit seems to skip a whole ton of steps in between trying to stop a bad guy, failing, and then saying, guess we have to kill him.

Um, “only as a last resort” skipping steps NOWADAYS. As in, more recently the “last resort” seems to come by very very quickly.

BMB’s Cap hates Logan.
Ellis’ Logan hates Cap.
Aaron has everyone get along.
Hickman has the 2 plan a team together.
I’m sure I’m missing plenty, but damn, lots of inconsistency.

it looks like Cap was only angry because technically he would be the murderer of that villain…
what sort of tactic is that?? throw the shield, make him fall, and then expect him to be caught by someone else? and then get angry cause he didn’t catch him? what a dork…

Yeah, imagine Cap expecting a guy with enhanced abilities and reflexes to be able to do something mildly extraordinary. I mean, really. I bet even Superman might’ve had problems with that fall.

The Hulk was a founding member of the Avengers. Consider that. Think back to Hulk’s characterization back when he joined, as a rogue persecuted by authorities (and who at first only became Hulk for a certain period of the day, so Banner locked himself inside a vault in a futile attempt at imprisoning the monster) and tell me it made sense for *that* very hostile Hulk (with that period’s characterization and storytelling engine) to EVER come back for a second meeting. No, of course it didn’t make sense with his “characterization”, yet for some unfathomable reason Hulk showed up to several meetings, where he was always disruptive because of course he would be. But Hulk was included in the original lineup for the exact same reason Spider-Man was introduced to the team: popularity.

The difference is that one of them didn’t play well with others as a matter of characterization, while the other actually works brilliantly with others, and his traditional comic relief plays very well off others’ personalities in an ensemble format.

Hulk’s storytelling engine and characterization chafed at his presence among the Avengers so eventually he was written out. It made no sense to have that period’s Hulk volunteering his time to show up at meetings, never mind the others accepting a rampaging monster with temper issues among them. Spider-Man, on the other hand, is (or was until he took his current vacation) a friendly character with truckloads of experience collaborating with others. Being an Avenger doesn’t mean he can’t be a hard-luck hero, multiple Avengers have led depressing lives along the years. Looking at the respect Spider-Man had among his superhero peers (most of whom don’t share the Daily Bugle’s views and are aware that he’s an upstanding guy), it actually made MUCH more sense to have Spider-Man join than it ever did with the Hulk.

About “Wolverine being a killer, onoes, Cap shoulda never allowed it”… I’ll just say that despite the enormous respect I have for Mark Gruenwald as a creator, not even as a kid did it make ANY sense to me that a hardened WW2 veteran would be squeamish about killing in battle. I mean sure, by all means let’s not murder shoplifters; but if you’re fighting a battalion of HYDRA soldiers armed with advanced weaponry whose boss intends to devastate entire cities, I’m pretty sure it’s not “murder” to kill an armed opponent in the course of a battle to save countless lives. Also, did Cap ever talk to Thor about the frost giants he killed in battle? Hell, did Cap ever talk to his longtime friend Thor about the Asgardian belief that killing/dying in battle is NOT dishonorable? Did Cap really go through WW2 leaving a path of “unconscious” nazi platoons tied up with ropes as he moved along battlefields? Would Cap disapprove of a soldier who kills? Yikes, that must make for some awkward moments in those veterans’ dinners that Cap sometimes visits.

Even the argument that superpowered heroes supposedly “should always have another option” doesn’t hold water if we consider that these superpowered heroes frequently fight equally superpowered villans, many of whom are serious threats. The idea that a veteran soldier – a man who HAD to have learned the necessity of using lethal force in high-stakes combat – would have such a naive position against killing in combat is just ludicrous. I remember laughing out loud when I read that silly Gruenwald story about Cap’s DEEP ANGST! over having killed a terrorist who was threatening civilian lives when he had no other choice.

Frankly, that “no killing EVER otherwise you’re just a KILLER” position is vaguely insulting to real-life heroes who DO have to kill in some situations. It just made Cap look like a disingenuous dumbass. The next time Cap comes up with a holier-than-thou speech Wolverine should tell him “Oh yeah Steve, I’ll swear to never kill anyone again – as soon as you tell Thor he has to make the same promise of never killing dark elves/frost giants again. Go there and explain to him how dishonorable it is to kill in combat, I’ll wait right here”.

Another thought about Spider-Man: those who wish he weren’t on the Avengers may get their wish if/when “The Superior Spider-Man” ruins Spidey’s reputation to a point where the other heroes wouldn’t accept him anymore, which would logically lead to Peter (when he returns) being kicked out of the Assemblers.

And for a while after Peter inevitably returns, every “team-up” he gets into will begin with an old-school superhero fight, which is a very Marvel way of doing things (in recent years they’ve been especially good at creating situations where some of their heroes won’t trust others, which led to various entertaining conflicts between former allies – so we got to watch Thor beat up Iron Man because of the CloneThor thing, Wolverine and Cyclops going from allies to ideological enemies, among others).

@Les Fontanelle:

Your argument over why ‘asking Hulk being asked to be an Avengers is not a good idea but asking Spider-Man is’ sounds logical, except for one thing:
When Hulk joined the Avengers, it was when five random heroes defeated a powerful villain together, then decided ‘maybe we should be a team’, and afterwards realize the Hulk is unreliable. Whereas when Spidey joined, it was after the Avengers had been a team for years, and they knew for a long time that Spidey was an upstanding heroic guy who deserved to be a member.

Captain America fought Nazis in WWII. Are you trying to tell me he never killed any of them?

And for those who want to nitpick about Wolverine’s body count, the Black Widow was not named for her outfit–and Cap had no problem with her. So that argument falls apart anyway.

A good point by Chris H. How many people has Natasha killed over the decades? What did Cap think the Widow was doing all those times she was assigned to covert, top secret missions in foreign countries on behalf of Nick Fury and SHIELD?

I also have a lot of respect for Mark Gruenwald, but his declaration that Cap had never, ever killed anyone before issue #321 was absolutely ridiculous. Stan Lee & Jack Kirby showed several flashbacks to World War II where Cap & Bucky killed tons of Nazis. In issue #113 by Jim Steranko, Cap deliberately crashed a motorcycle with a tank full of explosive fuel into a bunch of Hydra agents and then ordered Rick Jones, a teenage civilian of all people, to shoot at it, blowing the bad guys to smithereens. In issue #254, Cap used his shield to decapitate Baron Blood.

Yes, Cap really does not like killing, and whenever possible he does try to find non-lethal solutions. But he was trained as a soldier, and if he is in a situation where the only way to stop the villains and save innocent lives is to use lethal force, he will do it.

The Hulk lasted all of two issues with the Avengers before leaving the team and becoming a kind of antagonist for the Marvel Universe in general. Also, saying that he was added to the team because he was popular isn’t quite true, either. He didn’t even have his own title at the time and wouldn’t have a series to himself again until the next year.

Funny thing is, the guys doing these bad fanfics nowadays are also responsible for putting the movies together. So you get Winter Soldier/grown-up Bucky in the next Captain America movie. So it’s unprofessional across the board.

Les, I think part of the Hulk’s presence may be due to Stan Lee not having figured things out. The original six issues of Hulk try to present him as a tragic, misunderstood monster but reading the Essential Hulk he comes off as a dangerous thug instead.

Chris H:
“I think what I see here are a bunch of log-time fans who want things go back to the way they were. To those, I answer, nostalgia is nice, but everything either grows or it becomes stagnant and dies. I’d rather read an interesting book with heroes I can relate to, rather than something that hearkens to another era that means less than it once did. I prefer to enjoy today’s stuff, and look forward to what’s next–otherwise, why should i care what happens? If they’re going to be the exact same character as they were 30 years ago, why I am reading it?”

Long time fans such as Joe Quesada and his three genies?

Something that surprises me the most about fandom…with all the hatred toward One More Day for being a betrayal of Spider-Man’s principles, or the wife-beating episode with Peter Parker, I’m shocked more people aren’t upset with New Avengers for being a major betrayal of Iron Man and Captain America’s principles. Most people seem to get mad at it for not being the “real” Avengers or for having trendy members who don’t belong, but none of that to me seems as bad as Iron Man and Captain America basically saying the reason they specifically want Logan on the team is so he can kill for them and they don’t have to get their hands dirty themselves. That’s INSANE. First, that they would start including killing in their mission statement, and second that if forced to go that far they would be squeamish about doing it themselves.

I don’t mind if they had him join and said “Oh, he barely kills anymore and besides with him on the team at least we can keep an eye on him and maybe turn him around.” ANYTHING besides, hey, we need him to do the killing that we can’t do. Even dumber is they never broach the topic again to my knowledge. We never see these instances where they “need” to set him loose to kill. It’s basically a speech designed to sound badass and drive home these aren’t your parents’ Avengers but it’s meaningless.

I 100% agree with T on the matter of Wolverine as the killer Cap and Tony can’t be. That in itself is utter moral cowardice. You either accept that killing is acceptable or you don’t. Weasling around it is not something superheroes should do. I mean, in the end it’s just a way to get Wolverine on the team because he’s popular I guess, even if it doesn’t many sense from just about any other standpoint.

As for heroes not killing, I think it’s a good standard to uphold, even if I think it’s okay to break once in awhile. Frankly, superhero stories are pointedly unrealistic and that’s okay. I love Alan Moore as much as anyone, but forcing realism onto a genre that’s patently impossible only makes it weaker and uglier. Heroes aren’t killers because they can afford not to be. Police and soldiers have to kill in combat because there’s usually no other way for them to survive. Superheroes on the other hand usually have crazy abilities that protect them from harm and allow them to incapacitate large numbers of foes without death. I doubt Cap or whoever is saying anyone who has ever taken a life for any reason is on par with Carnage, but if the good fight can be fought without taking life, why is that a bad thing? As for Cap himself, my personal thought on the matter is that he killed during the war, and never again since. But that’s debatable in the actual comics I guess.

To be honest, I blame the post-9/11 zeitgeist in America for a lot of this. A lot of people have just decided that the ends justify the means, that awful things must be done in the name of justice, and this is something we should just be okay with. While it may be impossible to avoid this in real life, I’d rather heroes held to a higher standard than expedient amorality. Captain America in particular needs to not fall victim to this.

“But Hulk was included in the original lineup for the exact same reason Spider-Man was introduced to the team: popularity.”

The Hulk wasn’t popular at the time. The initial Avengers were a bunch of characters who had regular appearances in anthology books that Marvel was trying to promote better, or trying to recycle into one book (depending on who you believe).

“I remember laughing out loud when I read that silly Gruenwald story about Cap’s DEEP ANGST! over having killed a terrorist who was threatening civilian lives when he had no other choice.”

It’s pretty funny how the people on here complaining the loudest about Captain America thinking heroes shouldn’t kill people have all pretty clearly never been anywhere remotely near a situation where they had to kill anybody.

there’s an issue of Thunderbolts, the one where Hercules comes to kill Atlas, where Hawkeye says that heroes don’t kill, Moonstone offers the exemples of Wolverine and the Punisher, and Hawkeye answers that none of them are nor wil be avengers.

IIRC that story comes after Operation Galactic Storm, doesn’t it? We already had the Avengers kill angst storyline…even involving Hercules.

@Jon You are so right. Movies with secret identities don’t work at all anymore. If only Spider-man would take off that mask he could have as many movies as Thor. No one would think a movie with a cowled guy like Batman was any good. How easy would it be to see through the X-Men as not just a school? A movie with them would be a one off. I’m glad we’ve grown up to the point where a movie where a guy’s disguise is only glasses (or a beard!) would never be seen by enough people to get a sequel.

They’re currently tackling the dichotomy of Wolverine the killer/Wolverine the hero in Uncanny Avengers. It’s having consequences, to put it mildly.

I just read that this morning, and see, that’s actually a good way of using Wolverine in the Avengers. Not just having him as one of a zillion Avengers and never addressing it, the way it was done in the Bendis era. Having Cap say, “You and your group of assassins murdered a CHILD???” (a case that was in fact straight-up murder) and be in no way OK with that is exactly right. If you’re going to have these stories coexist, don’t just pretend they never happened. But it’s only being addressed because Remender is the one who wrote both those stories.

Though even Cap doesn’t pretend to be shocked that Wolverine would actually do such a thing–he just thought Wolverine had promised to cut down on stuff like that.

@Iam Fear – there’s actually a pretty entertaining issue of I think one of the early Spidey annuals where the Avengers first sort of ‘interview’ Spider-Man to see if he would make a good Avenger.

not bringing it up to argue any point, either way, but if anyone hasn’t read that one, they should seek it out. just checked it was Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3.

Anyways, it’s funny, the whole thing quickly turns into a full on brawl in Avengers mansion and along the way you get to hear different Avengers ideas about why or why not they should even consider him in the first place.
It was Hawkeye, too, that ends up being the catalyst for it coming to blows.

but even after that, i think they kinda recognize as what just happens at Avengers new member ‘interviews’ and they propose a task for him. He has to go bring them Hulk, who I believe was in trouble with them for some reason. The story goes on from there, and it’s actually really good from how I remember the last time reading it. so I won’t spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t…

but I think for a long time that probably served as some people’s explanation for why Spidey’s didn’t join the Avengers for so long.

That Spider-Man annual was kinda funny. The Avengers invite Daredevil over to talk about him. I bet DD was all “Hot damn! Now it’s Daredevil’s turn! Oh what?? Spider-Man? Yeah, he’s cool I guess.” To this day, he’s still one of the few not to be an Avenger (I think). Poor ol’ Daredevil.

DD did join in the previous volume of New Avengers.

Nothing is sacred anymore. At least Bucky is dead. They’d probably bring him back as a brainwashed cyborg assassin or something.

No, the brainwashed cyborg assassin was Uncle Ben. I think.

Cap was a soldier in WW2, To assume he never killed anyone is just wrong. That’s right up there with the idea that The Hulk never killed anyone during his rampages. You can’t pick up a tank, lob it half a mile, and expect the crew to survive.

Cap was a soldier in WW2, To assume he never killed anyone is just wrong. That’s right up there with the idea that The Hulk never killed anyone during his rampages. You can’t pick up a tank, lob it half a mile, and expect the crew to survive.

Did the Hulk ever do that in the old days? I’m pretty sure they usually had people scramble out of tanks or bail out of air vehicles before the Hulk destroyed them.

T., I read an article on using the pre-FF monsters in the Marvel RPG (or the RPG current at the time, I’ve no idea if it’s still around) and the writer points out this is true of most of those monsters: they don’t try to kill people, they just smash lots of buildings and gloat how invincible they are as everyone runs off screaming (“Flee, puny humans! Your mightiest weapons are nothing to the might of Vangoom/Droom/Fin Fang Foom/what was it with those word endings?”).
I’m on the Don’t Kill side myself. What they’re doing isn’t comparable to a war, even when they’re going up against killers. And they operate with considerably less supervision and oversight than cops or soldiers, which makes “any means necessary” a dangerous policy. One thing I liked about Justice League Elite was that it actually considered the possibility teams of superhuman beings answerable to no-one might not work out well in practice.

And if we want to talk realism, well realistically if they start killing people, they’re going to kill innocents, either by targeting the wrong person or through collateral damage. Because that’s how it works in the real world.

Who drew “fat” Cap in that first picture? How was that allowed?

Wow, Cap is trying to be a moral compass. Really miss those days.

Wolverine in the Avengers is among the stupidest developments in the Marvel U ever. I guess I missed the issue where Grant Morrison gave him the secondary mutation of being able to be on every super-hero team on Earth at once.

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