1981 · The 80s

June 1981: Avengers 211 – Or, we’re going to need some more chairs.

 

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Synopsis: Avengers 211 was written by David Michelinie with pencils by Gene Colan and Dan Green on inks and opens with Captain America deciding that there should only be six Avengers and some of the people living at the mansion are going to have to leave. Standing behind Steve (Captain America Rogers) are Thor and Tony (Iron Man) Stark and in front of him, clearly the only members on the block, are Vision, Dr Henry (Beast) McCoy, Simon (Wonder Man) Williams, Janet (The Wasp) Van Dyne, Wanda (Scarlet Witch) Maximoff and Jocasta, the bride of Ultron.  Wonder Man immediately thinks that this is a good time to leave and Vision declares that he and Wanda will stay or leave together Captain America adjourns the meeting till later and everyone saunters out.

 

Wonder Man and Beast mess about, before having a conversation about whether being an Avenger is actually a good use of time Wonder Man never felt like a real hero and Beast has left behind his scientific life to be a joking lothario. Jocasta tries to connect with Vision, pointing out that they are both robots. Vision takes that badly and is actually something of a d**k to Jocasta, pointing out that he has many human characteristics, including a wife, he passes through the walls to see his wife, leaving Jocasta full of doubts and self loathing, wondering why she is so alone.

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A cab stops outside the mansion and Dr Donald Blake exits, he goes to the alley and strikes his walking stick on the floor, it becomes the Asgardian hammer Mjolnir and he becomes again the Mighty Thor. The taxi drives on a bit and we find that the driver is Jake Lockley, the occasional identity of Moon Knight, who following some compulsion dresses in his costume and walks into the mansion.

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As he walks in, he is joined by a plethora of other heroes…. (taking a breath)… Hercules, Clint (Hawkeye) Barton, Natasha (Black Widow) Romanoff, Warren (Angel) Worthington III, Dr Henry (Yellowjacket, presently) Pym, Alison (Dazzler) Blaire, Greer (Tigra) Nelson, Robert (Iceman) Drake and the Black Panther who have all followed this same compulsion. Both Iceman and Moon Knight have no interest in being an Avenger and go to leave, only to find themselves in battle with one another under the control of the real reason that the heroes have gathered, Moondragon.

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Heather (Moondragon) Douglas has gathered them all to organise the Avengers, because she feels that she’s the right person to do so, thinking of herself as akin to a goddess. The irony is, the person who takes most offence to her arrogance is Thor, who as well as being quite proud and arrogant himself was prayed to in his younger days. Hawkeye then leaves, pointing out he has an actual job and isn’t interested. Black Panther and Black Widow leave too, both more interested in their current responsibilities. Moondragon dismisses  Dazzler, so she can resume her quest to become a disco star, before being attacked by the main body of Avengers. Feeling unwanted, she leaves, followed by several of those she summoned, but Tigra stays and asks to join up. Wonder Man and Hercules bond of their indifference to the Avengers lifestyle and their strength after Hercules punches Wonder Man through a wall. The two depart as friends, off to Hollywood to producers, wine and women. Vision and Scarlet Witch also leave, hoping to start a new life among regular people (Yeah, that’ll go well) and Jocasta, feeling ignored also leaves. Beast decides to go as well and that leaves Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and Wasp, leaving a spot open for Tigra and a returning Yellowjacket, the Avengers then announce their new lineup.

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Notes: This was another in the long tradition of Avengers line up changes. They are by and large interesting, if not very action packed, but this had a bit of both. Moondragon taking charge and deciding everyone’s fate is an interesting one, leading to us seeing that many of the Avengers and other heroes view this life differently. I find Iceman wanting to be an accountant rather than a super hero amusing, working with accountants in my own life.

As it often does, this line up change also raises the question of who gets to be an Avenger, Tigra is an unknown at this point but is welcomed in once Hercules points out that her bravery should be enough, while Yellowjacket re-ups because he’s not getting far with his other job.

Michelinie’s writing nails a lot of the characters as they were at this time and he carries the character pieces smoothly and while I feel that Gene Colan’s art isn’t at it’s best here, he still draws pages that look like no one elses and it’s all interesting to look at.

Overall this was a good issue, while not very action-packed, it does address one of the more interesting differences between the Avengers and say the X-Men. Their entire existence is artificial, so their roster changes are also more significant and at times more radical. The X-Men are always the mutants at Xavier’s mansion, the Fantastic Four are mostly the family living in the Baxter Building, but the Avengers, it could be anybody at any time and this team are if I remember correctly in for an interesting couple of years.

 

Next time: An insect, a primate and our favourite arachnid.

 

 

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One thought on “June 1981: Avengers 211 – Or, we’re going to need some more chairs.

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