This is “From a Different Point of View,” a feature where I discuss a comic book series with another writer. In this case, it is Eileen Gonzalez who will be going over the history of the Avengers with me, story by story!
When last we checked in with our heroes in Avengers #76, “The Blaze of Battle, The Flames of Love,” by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, were back into the comic, as Quicksilver approached the Avengers to help him rescue his sister. She was kidnapped by Arkon the Magnificent. Arkon was the leader of a dying planet in another dimension, as the energy rings around the planet were slowly dying. They noticed, however, whenever Earth set off a nuclear bomb test, it would power their planet for another year. So their plan was to destroy Earth entirely with a nuclear bomb blast so big that it would power their world forever. He was distracted by Scarlet Witch’s beauty and also kidnapped her to make her his bride, but then he kidnapped the world’s top nuclear scientists.
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Scarlet Witch tried to convince Arkon to not destroy the Earth, but in the end, the Avengers resolve it by fixing his issues withOUT, you know, destroying the Earth. So Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are now back on the team. Let’s see what happens next in Avengers #77, “Heroes For Hire!” by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer.
[We’re going to try a different format this time around, more similar to our original setup – BC]
Brian Cronin: Their use of “embellisher” for Palmer suggests that Buscema isn’t doing full pencils in this issue.
Brian Cronin: But the pairing still looks quite good.
Eileen Gonzalez: Yeah, I liked the art for this issue. I also liked the title, though I can’t help thinking that Power Man and Iron Fist are going to come after the Avengers for this.
Brian Cronin: Thomas co-created the original Hero for Hire, Luke Cage, with Archie Goodwin and George Tuska (the creative team on Luke Cage #1) and John Romita (who designed Cage’s costume).
Brian Cronin: So I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this was an influence on that.
Eileen Gonzalez: That makes a lot of sense.
Eileen Gonzalez: I can just see Thomas going “ooh I like this title!” and putting it to another use.
Brian Cronin: I think we discussed it last issue, but if not, this issue really highlights the way that Thomas sort of treated this particular Avengers lineup.
Brian Cronin: It was almost as if he saw the team as being two different teams
Brian Cronin: A street level team and then the cosmic team.
Brian Cronin: The cosmic team would have Thor, Iron Man and Cap involved.
Brian Cronin: And when they’re not there, then the other Avengers would get up to street level adventures.
Brian Cronin: The Sons of Serpent and now, working as heroes for hire.
Eileen Gonzalez: This is definitely a lot more down to Earth than the past two issues with Arkon. Here our main villain is an evil rich guy.
Brian Cronin: And if we’re down to Earth, you know what that means…
Brian Cronin: BUSCEMA BYSTANDERS!
Eileen Gonzalez: Yes! Featuring Disapproving Granny and Weird Hippie Man.
Brian Cronin: For a moment there, I thought Weird Hippie Man was our old friend, Swain!
Brian Cronin: But Swain looked nothing like him, sad.
Brian Cronin: So I guess Avengers #60 remains Swain’s first and last appearance.
Brian Cronin: And just like a standard Marvel citizen, they all automatically assume the Avengers are now evil.
Brian Cronin: And are just destroying a building just cuz
Eileen Gonzalez: I can’t decide if that cop is hilariously brave or hilariously stupid. Threatening to arrest Goliath? How do you plan to do this exactly??
Eileen Gonzalez: You got some jumbo-sized handcuffs in your patrol car?
Brian Cronin: Like the famous Spidey Super Stories where the cops just handcuff THanos
Eileen Gonzalez: Get that guy on the phone.
Brian Cronin: That leads us to the hook of the issue.
Brian Cronin: Which makes absolutely no sense
Brian Cronin: Which is that Cornelius Van Lunt is having a stock battle with Tony Stark.
Brian Cronin: And in order to fight him off, Stark needs to collect on all old debts
Brian Cronin: Including the back rent on the Avengers Mansion.
Brian Cronin: Which is BONKERS.
Brian Cronin: There has NEVER been any indication that they pay rent to Stark for the use of the Mansion.
Brian Cronin: It’s ludicrous.
Eileen Gonzalez: What is the nature of their arrangement exactly? Tony just lets them use his house and his butler for free?
Brian Cronin: It has to be. He probably has a trust fund designed just to pay for the mansion
Brian Cronin: The idea that they had no idea what the rent is is another bonkers bit.
Brian Cronin: Because it basically establishes that he never actually told them that they owed him rent all of this time
Eileen Gonzalez: I guess the implication is that Tony was willing to let them use the place for free, but now that he’s run into money troubles, he has to rescind the offer and charge rent?
Eileen Gonzalez: Even though none of them have jobs, apparently.
Brian Cronin: If it were that, that’d be one thing.
Brian Cronin: But it’s BACK rent, too.
Brian Cronin: That’s the thing that makes NO sense.
Brian Cronin: Especially because, yes, he knows that none of them have jobs.
Brian Cronin: He is obviously PAYING them, as well!
Brian Cronin: Which is why it is so ludicrous.
Brian Cronin: By the way, now we know why Jarvis didn’t go to Tony for money, Tony probably has “stock battles” every other month and Jarvis forgoes his salary every other month.
Eileen Gonzalez: I’m always boggled by the fact that T’Challa is literally a king with more resources than Tony, and yet he doesn’t just give him the money because, oh no, so sorry, can’t use my Wakandan money except on the Wakandan people.
Brian Cronin: Yeah, that was another ridiculous plot contrivance.
Brian Cronin: “Oh, yeah, I can’t give us the money for…uh…reasons.”
Brian Cronin: How weird is the reaction to Panther saying he was going to be a teacher?
Brian Cronin: “Why would you want to do that?” is something that would make sense
Brian Cronin: But not “Are you qualified?”
Brian Cronin: What the what?
Eileen Gonzalez: This whole sequence is confusing. It’s not helped by the fact that we are now in a flashback within a flashback: the Avengers flashed back to why they’re working for Van Lunt, and now we’re flashing back to T’Challa going to university.
Brian Cronin: Hah! Good point.
Brian Cronin: It’s also kind of weird how little the Avengers apparently talk that T’Challa told no one else about his new job.
Brian Cronin: Also, it is interesting that just last issue, Vision’s all, “I’m ashamed to say that Quicksilver was once an Avenger.”
Brian Cronin: And now it’s, “Oh, hey, yeah, Quicksilver is an Avenger again.”
Eileen Gonzalez: I feel like we missed an issue somewhere, where we resolved all this stuff with Black Panther being a teacher and Quicksilver settling back in with the team.
Brian Cronin: I mean, they went along with Yellowjacket marrying the Wasp after saying he murdered Goliath.
Brian Cronin: So I think that the Avengers are really sort of the “go along to get along” sorts.
Eileen Gonzalez: Fair.
Brian Cronin: “Quicksilver is the scum of the Earth!” “He’s now on the team!” “Fair enough.”
Eileen Gonzalez: I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the fact that Goliath has his own GIANT teacup now, and I should have.
Eileen Gonzalez: It’s so unnecessary but it’s great.
Brian Cronin: Just like how he has his own GIANT ARROW to practice archery.
Brian Cronin: Instead of, you know, just an actual bow and arrow
Eileen Gonzalez: The Avengers need to have an intervention. “Clint, I know you like being big, but this is getting out of hand.”
Next time…you won’t want to miss the Split-Second Squad! Okay, you MIGHT want to miss them, but you shouldn’t, because they’re hilarious. Hilariously silly, but that’s still hilarious!
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