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 #80, “The Coming of Red Wolf!” by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer, the Vision had quit the Avengers, but then he saw a new costumed vigilante named Red Wolf trying to murder some dude, so Vision stopped him and he didn’t know what else to do but to bring Red Wolf to the Avengers.
And that brings us to now…
Brian Cronin: As the Vision arrives with Red Wolf, the Avengers, of course, are in the midst of one of their dumber arguments.
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Brian Cronin: Thomas is not even bothering to come up with reasons for the Big Three being together anymore
Brian Cronin: They’re just there as regular members now.
Brian Cronin: And Cap decides that the team has to drop everything else that they’re doing to concentrate on investigating the newly re-formed Zodiac.
Brian Cronin: While Black Panther thinks that the Avengers should take on organized crime.
Brian Cronin: But as he does so, he says it is the most nebulous terms possible.
Brian Cronin: To the point where I have no idea what he actually expects the Avengers to do
Eileen Gonzalez: He almost seems to be criticizing them for being superheroes.
Brian Cronin: Right?
Brian Cronin: And then Scarlet Witch agrees with him for no good reason
Brian Cronin: And turns it into this whole “thing.”
Brian Cronin: And Clint’s head just hurts trying to think of stuff
Eileen Gonzalez: It’s a very weird argument. And of course, Vision doesn’t help by bringing in this weirdo.
Eileen Gonzalez: I like how Red Wolf thinks he has a shot of beating up Vision after what just happened.
Eileen Gonzalez: In the presence of the Avengers, no less.
Brian Cronin: And then we get the origin you alluded to earlier.
Brian Cronin: All full of very generic Native American stuff.
Brian Cronin: And again, it’s nice to see Thomas trying to expand the scope of the Marvel Universe
Brian Cronin: But it would have been nicer had it been done less generically.
Eileen Gonzalez: I don’t think they even name what tribe or state he’s from, do they? It’s just Generic Native American Reservation.
Eileen Gonzalez: With Generic Native American Traditions.
Brian Cronin: There’s an awesome bit where Thomas puts in an editorial note
Brian Cronin: And it is to explain the term “The People”
Brian Cronin: And it’s like, was anyone unclear about what they meant there?
Brian Cronin: Also, the Red Wolf God is a total dick
Brian Cronin: Sending a female wolf so that Red Wolf can kill her and adopt her pup?
Brian Cronin: What the what?
Brian Cronin: Why not just send a pup for him to adopt?
Eileen Gonzalez: That whole bit was something else. Why doesn’t Red Wolf God actually do something instead of just standing there? Or maybe the Red Wolf God was just a hallucination brought on by grief and the gunshot wound. It’s implied that’s possible, right?
Brian Cronin: Good call.
Brian Cronin: That’s actually a nice bit, now that you mention it.
Brian Cronin: It’s not like Red Wolf suddenly has powers, right?
Eileen Gonzalez: Yeah, he just sees/thinks he sees the Red Wolf God, who tells him to go out and get his own vengeance. Which is an interesting scene, if Red Wolf God is a hallucination, but kind of rude if the god actually exists and could have done something but chose not to.
Brian Cronin: Yeah, but I’m liking your “hallucination” reading.
Brian Cronin: It makes the murder of the she-wolf better.
Brian Cronin: As it was just Red-Wolf reading into a random event.
Brian Cronin: So, to recap, Van Lunt tried to destroy Tony Stark three issues ago.
Brian Cronin: He also was a total dick to the Avengers, to the point where they didn’t accept the money he owed them (that sure showed him!).
Brian Cronin: But now, when they learn that Van Lunt ordered the murder of Red Wolf’s family
Brian Cronin: Iron Man’s response is, “Let’s not start a race riot here!”
Brian Cronin: What in the what?
Brian Cronin: This is not “let’s just fight organized crime”
Brian Cronin: This is a straightforward mission here
Eileen Gonzalez: Iron Man was too busy being mad for no reason to notice that a) here is a chance to get back at Van Lunt, and b) Red Wolf is making a good point.
Eileen Gonzalez: Wow, Goliath is super touchy-feely all of a sudden. He just like… grabs Red Wolf to show his support. That’s not how you tell a person you support them, Clint!
Brian Cronin: Cap’s speech here is all over the point.
Brian Cronin: But still good.
Brian Cronin: And it, of course, then ends with him saying, “And I’m not going to help.”
Brian Cronin: “Not because of weird plot-induced reasoning, just…because.”
Brian Cronin: And Panther is just off to go somehow fight organized crime by himself.
Eileen Gonzalez: He will fight crime through high school education!
Eileen Gonzalez: It makes sense!
Brian Cronin: It’s fascinating how Thomas sort of has his go-to Avengers he likes to write
Brian Cronin: Vision, Clint and Scarlet Witch
Brian Cronin: And just sort of comes up with reasons why they’re together on missions.
Brian Cronin: How unconvincing, though, is that ending?
Brian Cronin: That is a dreadful cliffhanger
Brian Cronin: The Vision literally just returned to the team.
Brian Cronin: They’re obviously not breaking up for good.
Brian Cronin: And even if they somehow were, they have a four-person team right here!
Brian Cronin: As Quicksilver will obviously join them if they ever split off.
Brian Cronin: It’s such a drama-free plot point.
Brian Cronin: The cliffhanger could just be, “We’re finally going to take Van Lunt down! Yeah!:
Eileen Gonzalez: Yeah, that was bad. More than anything, I think it speaks to what you’ve mentioned before about how Iron Man and Thor are here for the big, high-flying adventures in space and whatnot, while the rest of the team is more of a “street team.” They seem to have largely broken up along those lines.
Brian Cronin: Yeah, pretty much. Even when it stretches credulity.
Eileen Gonzalez: Oh yeah, this was definitely not presented well.
Brian Cronin: Like Cap saying, “Whoa whoa, how can we call ourselves Avengers if we don’t help this man avenge his family?”
Brian Cronin: “I mean, NOT ME, of course, but some of us”
Brian Cronin: I should note one other thing, that splitting up Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver for this mission does serve another purpose.
Brian Cronin: Setting up some one-on-one time for the Vision and the Scarlet Witch.
Brian Cronin: That might go somewhere.
Brian Cronin: WHO KNOWS?
Brian Cronin: Just like, it is POSSIBLE that the two factions will discover that their separate missions actually overlap next issue
Brian Cronin: PERHAPS
Eileen Gonzalez: Now wouldn’t that be convenient?
Brian Cronin: Quite so.
Brian Cronin: If it were to happen.
Brian Cronin: We shall have to find out.
Okay, folks, join us next time as we discuss Avengers #81. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any thoughts about these Avengers issues and/or discussions.
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