Tag Archives: Rick Jones

Days of Thunder – July 1978 Captain Marvel #57

“Star Burst”
The Beginning of the End, as recorded by: Roger McKenzie, script * Pat Broderick & Bob Wiacek, art * John Costanza, letterer * Don Warfield, colorist * Jim Shooter, Editor

Captain Marvel 57

Captain Marvel is the formal name of Mar-Vell, a Kree warrior with cosmic super powers not unlike those of Warlock. He posesses the Nega-Bands, two bracelets that give him a connection with the Negative Zone

Mar-Vell has come to make the Earth his home, and is a sometime ally of the Avengers, and a friend of Rick Jones. Recently, Captain Marvel combined forces with the Avengers and Warlock to defeat the mad Titan Thanos, preventing him from killing countless lives. Both Warlock and Thanos died in the battle.

Mar-Vell has become feverish, and Rick has taken him to see Doctor Donald Blake. Blake can do nothing for him, and in mid-examination the Kree bursts out of Blake’s office. Blake transforms into Thor and gives pursuit.

When Thor catches up with Mar-Vell, the delirious hero begs Thor to kill him. Before Thor is willing to take that step, he demands an explanation. Mar-Vell explains that before he died, Thanos tampered with the Sun of Earth and the other planets in the Solar System. It is causing the cosmic physiology of Mar-Vell to overload , which will cause a chain reaction leading to the destruction of the entire universe.

Thor has a hunch and hurls Mjolnir at Marvel’s Nega Bands. It strikes both of them, opening a portal to the Negative Zone. Such are the strange properties of the Negative Zone, that Marvel’s excess energy is sucked into the Negative Zone, creating a new star. Afterward, both Mar-Vell and the Sun seem to be fine.

 

Days of Thunder– February 1965: The Avengers #13

The Mighty Avengers Trapped In… “The Castle of Count Nefaria”

Rather Exceptional Story by: Stan Lee/ Somewhat Distinctive Art by: Don Heck/ Fairly Compelling Inking by: Dick Ayers/ Moderately Clear Lettering by: Artie Simek

avengers 113

In the past few months the Avengers have faced threats such as the Mole Man, leader of a race of subterranean monsters and Robo Spidey, an evil robot Spider-Man. This month they are focusing their attention on people stealing fur coats from the back of trucks.

The Avengers have been putting a big dent into the operations of the Maggia, which is a worldwide crime cartel not unlike the Mafia. The leader of the local Maggia operations is a wealthy European noble named Count Nefaria. I know I am profiling but if you meet a man named “Count Nefaria” you can safely assume that he is a supervillain.

Nefaria has a quirky policy of never directly harming his enemies, apparently out of a belief that this insulates him from prosecution. In order to indirectly deal with the Avengers, he pays to have his castle moved brick-by-brick to New Jersey. Once the castle has been relocated, he invites the Avengers to visit his castle for a charity event. Once they arrive, he captures them in time transcender beams and scans their bodies, allowing him to create three dimensional images of the team.

With the Avengers still transcending time, he sends his holographic duplicates to the Pentagon, where they claim that they are taking control of the country. As Fake Giant Man puts it, “Within one hour we shall cancel all existing laws and issue our own!”

The President refuses to be cowed. He mobilizes all available armed forces to combat the Avengers. He also declares martial law for the duration of this State of Emergency. The newspapers tell readers to shoot the Avengers on sight, while posters are posted with the following message: “Wanted! Dead or alive: The Avengers! Warning: They are armed with the most awesome powers known to man!”

Nefaria then releases the Avengers from their transcendance. Upon leaving the castle they are immediately attacked by both the Army and the Air Force. The Avengers are forced to retreat so that they do not harm their military assailants.

They finally figure out that Count Nefaria was up to no good, and they turn the fight to him, eventually tricking him into confessing his duplicity in front of an Army General. It appears that the Count will be deported.  The Avengers reputation is seemingly restored.

First Appearance: Count Nefaria, The Maggia

Days of Thunder – November 1964: The Avengers #10

“The Avengers Break Up!”
Story superbly written by: Stan Lee/ Art adorably drawn by: Don Heck/ Inked by darlin’ Dick Ayers/ Lettered by stalwart Sam Rosen

avengers 10

Once again Zemo, The Enchantress and The Executioner are deliberating on how to destroy the Avengers when the Enchantress receives a mental probe from another time. Using that mental connection as a beacon, Immortus, Master of Time appears before them. Immortus is the ruler of Limbo and he has decided to throw his lot in with this crew as part of his larger goal of conquering the 20th century.

Immortus uses his Time Mastery to attack the Avengers by summoning various historical warriors. He enlists Attila the Hun, Goliath, Merlin the Magician, Hercules, and Paul Bunyan. This time-displaced Merlin is presumably from a point in time prior to when he meets Thor in in Journey Into Mystery #96, although curiously this Merlin has white hair and beard as opposed to the black haired one who tried to get a job working for JFK.

Each hero faces a different foe and Thor fights Hercules. Herc puts up a good fight, but Thor defeats his Greek opposite, who honorably yields when the fight is lost. In this story featuring Thor, Hercules, Paul Bunyan, and Goliath, it has now been established that the world that Thor lives in is a literary universe where several different mythological traditions are all treated as real.

The Avengers are more than a match for the villains even with their expanded historical roster.  When defeat is imminent, The Enchantress casts a spell around her, The Executioner, and Zemo that rewinds time to just before Immortus was about to make contact with their little cabal. She breaks contact with the Master of Time thus preventing this adventure to have happened anywhere but in the minds of the three of villains. Maybe Immortus will remember it too, since he is a time master but we are given no indication that this is the case.

First Appearance: Immortus, Attila the Hun, Goliath, Paul Bunyan

Days of Thunder– August 1964: The Avengers #7

The Mighty Avengers! “Their Darkest Hour!”
Magnificently written by: Stan Lee/ Majestically Illustrated by Jack Kirby Masterfully Inked by Chic Stone/ Meticulously Lettered by: Art Simek

Avengers 7

A lot has happened since we last checked in with the Avengers. The Hulk quit the team. A World War II-era superhero known as Captain America was revived from suspended animation and has joined the team. Iron Man and The Wasp have new costumes.  Ant-Man has developed a second identity as Giant Man, gaining the ability to grow large as well as as small.

The Avengers have fought an assortment of villains in the interim, including The Radio-Active Man, who apparently survived nuking China, and other Lava Men, but not the original Lava Man, who has learned to respect Thor and the surface world, and who is named Molto. They have also fought an old enemy of Captain America’s, a former Nazi named Baron Zemo with a purple woolen mask permanently glued to his face.

This issue starts with Odin exiling the Enchantress and the Executioner to Earth as punishment for attacking Thor a few months back. He seems to not realize or care that their attack was a direct result of his own orders to seduce Doctor Don Blake.  This hardly seems just.

On Earth, the Enchantress casts a spell on Thor temporarily making her will his own. Once he is enchanted, she compels him to drink deep of a special brew. He soon finds himself asleep, beset by horrible visions of his compatriots on the Avengers as horrible monsters, with only valiant Thor able to stop him.

Avenger 7 dream

Thor awakens, convinced that the Avengers are pure evil! Thor fights Giant Man, Iron Man, and nominally the Wasp. He seems more powerful than the three of them combined, but they are likely pulling their punches. When asked for an explanation for his attack, Thor retorts “I shall do my explaining with my avenging hammer!”

Eventually Iron Man uses a blinding light to break the spell.

Meanwhile, the Executioner has been helping Baron Zemo fight Captain America because the Enchantress didn’t want him to harm Thor who she totally has the hots for. Their fight smashes into the existing fight and ultimately, as the three villains try to escape in a rocket, Thor uses his hammer to create an all-consuming space warp. None can say where a space warp will lead to, maybe a different city, maybe a different universe.

First Appearance: a space warp

Days of Thunder – September 1963: Avengers #1

“The Coming of the Avengers!”

Written by Stan Lee/ Drawn by Jack Kirby/ Inking by Dick Ayers

avengers 1

The stories of Thor depicted in Journey Into Mystery have stood alone until this point. However, as of the publication of this comic magazine entitled  The Avengers, Thor becomes established as living in a overarching fictional universe shared by other heroic characters prominently featured in other comic periodicals published by what has come to be known as The Marvel Comics Group.

This story features several characters originating from other magazines. Ant-Man and The Wasp are two heroes capable of shrinking to the size of insects. Iron Man is a wealthy arms dealer wearing a transistor-powered suit of armor that secretly powers his crippled heart. The Hulk is mild mannered scientist that regularly transforms into a giant green tragic monster. Rick Jones and the Teen-Brigade are a bunch of teenage radio enthusiasts with affiliations with the Hulk. The Fantastic Four are the greatest superhero team of all time.

Despite the addition of all of these characters, this is essentially a Thor story. It begins when Loki tries to menace Thor by using Hulk as his catspaw. Follow the chain on Loki’s plan: In Asgard, Loki uses his magic to make the Hulk smash some things, which seems like the sort of thing that Hulk routinely does without divine intervention. In the Southwest, the newspaper reports that Hulk is at it again. Rick Jones reads about this in the paper and freaks out. He dispatches his Teen-Brigade to radio the Fantastic Four in New York, in case they haven’t read the paper. Loki diverts the message to Doctor Don Blake’s office radio but somehow it is also heard by Ant-Man, Wasp, and Iron Man, as well as the Fantastic Four. Mr Fantastic blows off the news, but all the other heroes show up.

Thor assumes that this must be the work of Loki because basically everything that happens to him is either the work of Loki or communists, so he heads to Asgard to confront his brother. He fights his way through a gauntlet before confronting Loki, who ambushes him with his troll allies. The trolls are apparently the natural enemies of the gods, and have an unbreakable grip. Thor beats the trolls and Loki runs away but Thor uses his hammer to soak up the strong flow of magnetic currents which apparently is what the Trolls eat, snaring Loki who is apparently magnetic. This probably has something to do with the mental link Loki shares with Thor’s hammer, established in Journey Into Mystery #85

Meanwhile, the Hulk has been hiding in the circus and we the readers are treated to maybe my favorite image that Jack Kirby ever drew:

mechano 2

The Hulk dressed as a sad clown, juggling a horse, elephant, and seal.
The heroes attack him in the middle of his act, surrounded by circusgoers. The Hulk, totally the wronged party, runs away.

As Hulk and his persecutors continue to fight, Thor returns to Earth with Loki to explain that this is the real bad guy of the story. Loki uses his magic to turn radioactive, but unfortunately for him, he happened to be standing on a trap door, which Ant-Man’s ants spring open, dropping him into a tank for storing radioactive waste.

Almost as an afterthought, the Wasp suggests that they form a team, which they do, Hulk inclusive. They call themselves the Avengers.

First Appearance: Trolls, The Avengers, Mechano