Tag Archives: The Scarlet Witch

Days of Thunder – May 1978 The Avengers #171

 “…Where Angels Fear to Tread”

Jim Shooter, Writer/Editor /George Perez, Penciler/ Pablo Marcos, Inker/ Denise Wohl, Letterer/ Phil Rachelson, Colorist

Avengers 171

Thor, that is to say, the real Thor, is helping his comrades in the Avengers fight Ultron. The nature of the seemingly false Thor remains unknown.

Joining the Avengers is Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel is a human who’s DNA has been merged with that of a member of the alien race known as the Kree. This fusion has granted her superhuman abilities. Ms. Marvel is both a a superhero and a liberated woman. One of her abilities is precognitive visions,  and she has recently had a vision that compels her to help the Avengers in their fight against Ultron.

The conflict against Ultron leads the Avengers to a church. Thor is uncomfortable entering the church. He explains that some Christians consider his very existence to be an affront to their belief in a single supreme deity.

This church has for some reason been chosen as Ultron’s lair. Ultron wishes to murder his father, and imprint a robot with the personality of his father’s wife and then to fuck that robot. Ultron, not one for subtlety, names his would-be robot bride “Jocasta.”

Jocasta awakens and finds herself deeply conflicted between her programmed love for Ultron, and how deeply skeeved out she is by him.  Confused, she tries to murder him. She fails, but this distracts Ultron long enough for the Scarlet Witch to crack open his armor. Once this happens, Thor uses Mjolnir to suck out all of Ultron’s life force before ejecting it into the cosmos.

Days of Thunder – April 1978 The Avengers #170

“…Though Hell Should Bar the Way!”

James Shooter, Writer/Colorist /George Perez, Artist/Co-Plotter / Pablo Marcos, Inker/ Denise Wohl, Letterer/ Archie Goodwin, Editor

Avengers 170

After Thor’s recent realization that that he was slumming by participating in the Avengers, he reduced his role to that of an associate member, to be called upon only in times of emergency. There have been some other membership shakeups, and the current full-time Avengers roster now consists of Iron Man, Captain America, The Wasp, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision, and the Beast (formerly of the X-Men).

Wonder Man, a reformed villain with a brief former stint as an Avenger who is also the human template for the Vision, has been returned from the dead via vague arcane means. He now serves as a member of the Avengers although he has not been officially made an active member.

Since taking his leave of absence, Thor has seemingly dropped by to assist the Avengers on three separate occasions. However, he now arrives at the Avengers Mansion, claiming to have never done any such thing. He is very confused. It seems that the Thor that has been fighting alongside the Avengers as of late has been an Impostor.

Days of Thunder – April 1976 The Avengers #146

“The Assassin Never Fails!”
Tony Isabella, Guest Writer/ Keith Pollard (pages 1-3) & Don Heck (pages 6-32), Guest Pencillers/ John Tartag, Inker/ Dave H., Letterer/ Petra G., Colorist/ Marv Wolfman, Editor

Avengers 146

An assassin has critically wounded Captain America, poisoning him with an unknown form of radiation. Doctor Blake is performing surgery on his fallen friend, inserting counter-radiation capsules inside of Cap.

While Blake performs the surgery, the Avengers stand watch in the hospital. Iron Man has become concerned that it is too easy to form a connection between Doctor Blake and Thor, so he has created a lifelike android duplicate of Thor, known as a “Life Model Decoy” or “LMD” for short. The Android poses as Thor to cover for Blake.

The Assassin and her agents disable the Avengers guarding the operation, including the LMD. The Assassin discovers that “Thor” is a robot, confirming what her research has lead her to suspect: Thor and Blake are one and the same. She had poisoned Captain America in order to flush out the elusive doctor, who is much more susceptible to bullets than his godly alter ego.

However, the unconscious Avengers recover, causing the Assassin to flee, only to be accidentally killed by her own men.

Blake successfully completes the surgery, saving Captain America.

First Appearance: Thor LMD

Days of Thunder – December 1973 The Avengers #118

“To the Death!”
Steve Englehart, Writer/ Bob Brown, Penciler/ Frank Giacoia, and Mike Esposito  Inkers/ Roy Thomas Editor

vengers 118

The Avengers and the Defenders have discovered that they have been manipulated and are now teamed up. However, Dormammu has seized the completed Evil Eye and has begun to suck the Earth’s dimension into his own.

The combined teams attack Dormammu. During the battle, Dormammu defeats the heroes one-by-one. He transforms Thor into Donald Blake, revealing his identity to his comrades, and leaving him unable to revert to Thor. He does similar to Iron Man, stripping him of his armor, outing  him as Tony Stark.

Eventually, all that remain standing against Dormammu are the Scarlet Witch and Loki. Together, they wrench the Evil Eye from Dormammu. The Evil Eye discharges a terrible blast of energy into Loki’s face. This blast restores Loki’s sight, but also seems to drive him mad, leaving him with the mind of a child.

In the aftermath, Blake reverts to Thor. Without waiting to see how anyone felt about the matter, Doctor Strange uses magic to make all present forget Blake and Stark’s identities. It is unclear if this spell undid the knowledge  for those who already knew one or more of the other’s identities.

Loki is left in the care of Tom Fagan.

 

 

Days of Thunder – November 1973 Defenders #10

Steve Engleart, Author * Sal Buscema, Artist * Frank Bolle, Inker * Tom Orzechowski , Letterer/ P. Goldberg, Colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor
Breakthrough! The Incredible Hulk Vs. The Mighty Thor!
Chapter 9″

Defenders 10

Over the past few issues of The Avengers and The Defenders, various members of the teams have been squaring off in battle. Now at last it is time for the main event: Thor vs. The Hulk. This has been long time coming, after their previous fight back in issue #112 proved inconclusive.

This battle also proves inconclusive.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1973 Avengers #116

Ten Years ago this month, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created… The Mighty Avengers! Today, Steve Englehard and Bob Brown continue the standard of excellence that has always marked Marvel’s mightiest, most exciting group–/Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Johnny Romita, art director/ Roy Thomas, editor
“Chapter 2: Betrayal!”

Avengers 116

Dormammu and Loki have tricked the Defenders (currently consisting of Doctor Strange, Namor, the Hulk, Valkyrie, the Silver Surfer, and Hawkeye) into believing that the Evil Eye is the key to releasing the Black Knight from the stone prison that the Enchantress left him in. Now they search for the six scattered parts, guided by Strange’s magic.

Loki is having second thoughts about this plan. He has realized that if Dormammu would succeed in conqueroring Earth’s dimension, he would have the power and the vantage to launch an attack on Asgard. While Loki has no respect for his father’s rule, he does not wish to see his home conquered by an outsider and so he leaves the Dark Dimension in order to warn Thor of the threat to Earth. This is the very first time a Marvel comic has depicted Loki thinking or doing anything that was not entirely selfish and craven.

However, Loki cannot bring himself to be honest and admit culpability for this threat. Instead, he paints the Defenders as villains, seeking the Evil Eye for their own nefarious ends. Given that five of the six Defenders have track records as villains, this is plausible enough. And so the Avengers split up to fight the Defenders and keep them from re-assembling the Evil Eye.

This issue makes it clear that Earth and Asgard are in separate dimensions. The nature of what exactly a dimension is, remains shaky.

Clearly, this entire Avengers/Defenders crossover takes place either before or after Thor’s recent trip into space.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1973 The Avengers #113

“You Young Men Shall Slay Visions!”
Steve Englehart, Script/ Bob Brown, Art/ Frank Bolle, Inks/ John Costanza, Letterer/ David Hunt, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

avengers 113

Since we last checked in with the Avengers, Hawkeye and Quicksilver have both quit the team. The Black Widow briefly joined only to quit almost immediately.   Also, the mutant Scarlet Witch and the android Vision have become openly involved with each other romantically.

When the paparazzi catches wind of a relationship between a human and a robot, most of the public seems heartwarmed by the revelation. However, there is a small group of people so blinded with hatred at the prospect of an Android thinking himself to have personhood that they form a group of suicide bombers dedicated to killing the Vision.

The so-called Living Bombs send a manifesto to Avengers mansion: “only the lord Jehova can create life! Androds are agents of the devil, and will Bring hellfire and Brimstone to america! Wize up befor its to late! Androds have no soles!”

Soon after that message is delivered, a bomber manages blow herself up near the Vision, badly damaging him. The Avengers quickly form a team to repair their fallen friend: Noted scientist King T’Challa, renowned engineer Tony Stark, and established android expert Dr. Donald Blake.

As the three men work to repair their friend, the Scarlet Witch and Captain America patrol the grounds, anticipating another attack. As they patrol, the two heroes wonder where Thor and Iron Man are, being unaware of their teammates’ civilian identities.

More bombers do attack. Tony Stark, not needed to repair the Vision at that particular moment, excuses himself to “search” for Iron Man. Iron Man fights for awhile, until Stark returns to the “surgery.” He returns suggesting that Blake (wink, wink) search for Thor just like he (wink, wink) had searched for Iron Man. Blake grins at Stark’s piercing of their mutual charade before slipping out and turning into Thor.

Thor creates a vortex that spins the hatemongers high into the air, who all detonate themselves rather than be captured. Stark and T’Challa complete the procedure. The Vision will pull through.

First Appearance: The Living Bombs

 

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Avengers #101

“Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow!”
Stan Lee Presents: Wonderment anew by: Harlan Ellison (story/plot), Roy Thomas (adaptation/script), Rich Buckler (art)/ Dan Adkins (inker) * Jon Costa (letterer)/ (Based on an original story © 1964 by Harlan Ellison and used with permission.)

Avengers 101

Still no gap in The Mighty Thor’s narrative.

A Russian chess grandmaster becomes the poisoning victim of an assassin hiding inside a cutting-edge chess computer named “Nimrod.” He is rushed to the hospital, but the prognosis seems grim. One of the doctors can’t help but wish that they had some way of contacting the mysterious Doctor Donald Blake. “There’s something… uncanny about his diagnoses. Almost as if there were some spark of divine in him.”

The doors swing open dramatically! Standing in the doorway, seeming to radiate light and power is none other than Doctor Blake! He treats the patient and later uses his knowledge of rare toxins to help the Avengers find the assassin.

Doctor Blake has become a mythic super-doctor. Rarely seen, when he emerges, he saves the lives of magicians and gods. Seemingly without any Earthly ties, he is spoken of in hushed tones: “I heard his best friend is Thor from the Avengers.” “I heard he built an atomic-powered android!”

Days of Thunder June 1972 The Avengers #100

“Whatever Gods There Be”
Stan Lee presents, ponders, and presides over a centennial super-spectacular by: Roy Thomas, writer/ Barry Windsor-Smith, artist/ Inked by: Barry Windsor-Smith, Joe Sinnott, and Syd Shores/ Lettered by John Costa

Avengers 100

There has not been a break in the action of The Mighty Thor since issue #183. The Infinity story segued directly into Loki seizing control of Asgard which led directly to the unleasing of the Mangog, which led to Odin’s semi-death, which lead to the current attack by Pluto.

Published concurrent to these events, Thor has had an active role in the pages of The Avengers, where he and his teammates had been swept up into a major intergalactic conflict known as the Kree-Skrull War. All of his appearances within The Avengers for the past year and a half, including his appearance in this issue, presumably take place some time after the current issue of The Mighty Thor.

Other recent events of note within these pages:  Hawkeye has abandoned his Goliath persona, taking up archery again; The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have begun awkwardly courting each other; and it seems that Ares, the Greek god of war is up to something.

In this special centennial issue, every single living member of the Avengers past and present unite to face a dire threat. That lineup consists of Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, The Wasp, The Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Black Panther The Vision, The Black Knight, Hercules, and the Swordsman. Rick Jones and Black Widow are excluded, having never formally been offered membership.

It turns out that the Enchantress did not die in her previous encounter with the Scarlet Witch but merely found herself lost in another dimension. Now, the Enchantress and Ares have joined forces and gained control of the Ebony Blade, a powerful sword forged by mutant charlatan Merlin. They have conquered Olympus and plan to start a nuclear holocaust on Earth in order to rip open a passageway to Asgard. Ares desires to conquer Asgard, but the Enchantress has a darker goal: She wishes to unsheathe the Odinsword and end all things, owing to a drastic, suicidal desire to humble Odin.

The Avengers learn of the villains’ plans and confound them. Asgard and Earth are protected, while Olympus is freed. The Enchantress and presumably Ares are turned over to Zeus’ custody.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1971 Amazing Adventures #8

“An Hour For Thunder!”
San Lee, Editor/ Roy Thomas Writer * Neal Adams Artist/ John Verpoorten, Inker/ Arite Simek, Letterer

Amazing Adventures 8

Lionel Dibbs, a patient of Doctor Blake’s, has contracted cancer.  Blake has diagnosed him as having less than two years to live. He decides to go out in a blaze of glory and destroy the slums in which he grew up.  To that end, he gets a gun for a hand and enlists the help of a man posing as Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, husband of Medusa. Thor stops Dibbs and inadvertently kills the Black Bolt imposter.

Presumably, this story either takes place around issue #183 of The Mighty Thor or some time after the current Loki story.

Days of Thunder – December 1970 The Avengers #83

“…The Revolution’s Fine!”
Stan Lee Editor * Roy Thomas Writer * John Buscema Artist/ Tom Palmer – Inker/ Herb Cooper – Letterer

Avengers 83
Since Avengers Day, Thor and Iron Man have taken on the role of  part-time Avengers.  Many other things have transpired.   A noble android named the Vision, created by an Evil android named Ultron, in turn created by Goliath, joined the team. Goliath changed his name to Yellowjacket and then he and Wasp took a leave of absence to do science in Washington. Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch have returned to the fold with no consequences for their previous villainy. The Avengers recruited a new member named the Black Knight who disappeared without a trace immediately upon accepting their invitation to join. And Hawkeye took over the name and powers of Goliath, abandoning archery and becoming a size-changer.

In this issue a militant feminist hero named The Valkyrie creates an all-woman super hero team named the Liberators, consisting of Scarlett Witch, The Wasp, Black Widow, and Madame Medusa, queen of a secret race of superpowered beings known as the Inhumans (the previous stars of a short-lived backup strip in the pages of Thor.)

The Valkyrie has convinced the other lady heroes to defeat the male Avengers for the benefit of womandom. After a complicated battle between the Liberators, the Avengers, and the Masters of Evil, the Liberators are the victors.

It is at this point that the Valkyrie reveals herself to actually be the Enchantress. After her failed attempt to invade Asgard, Odin banished her and the Executioner to the most barren of Nether Worlds, warning that if they flee that world, their powers would be halved. Eventually, she was abandoned by the Executioner, who left her for the mist-woman queen of that murky world.

Spurned and alone, the Enchantress swore revenge upon all males and returned to Midgard, where she subtly influenced the Liberators into joining her cause. After the Enchantress tells her story, the Scarlet Witch turns on the villain and blasts her into seeming nothingness.

Freed of this influence, the Liberators free the male Avengers, causing Goliath to comment “I’m glad of one thing… you birds finally learned your lesson about that Women’s Lib bull!”

First Appearance: The Valkyrie

Days of Thunder – October 1967 The Avengers #45

“Blitzkrieg in Central Park!”
Stan Lee personally presents and polishes a Roy Thomas – Don Heck melee of matchless Marvel magnificence! Delineated by the proud pinpoint of Vince Colletta/ Lettered by the fumbling fingers of Sam Rosen

Avengers 45

Thor joins his fellow Avengers for Avenger Day, a celebration held in Central Park honoring the Avengers for their recent victory against the Mandarin. Thor attends reluctantly, grumbling, “Must the mighty Avengers be reduced to mere clowns– strutting and fretting for the benefit of mortals?” He makes an early departure, before the team can surprise Hercules by formally inviting him to join the team. (They had wanted to invite Black Widow as well, but she has decided to retire from superheroics.)
There is a footnote in this issue indicating that it take place before the events of Thor #145. That means that it and last month’s annual must take place shortly before the events of Thor #143.

Days of Thunder – November 1966: The Mighty Thor #134

 The Mighty Thor! “The People-Breeders!”
A Stan Lee * Jack Kirby Fantasti-Classic! Inked by Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen/ We have spoken!

thor 134

Several months prior to this story, in the pages of Stan and Jack’s other fantasti-classic series, Fantastic Four, a character named Galactus was introduced. Galactus is a giant cosmic presence beyond good and evil from the other side of the center of the universe. This being travels from world to world, feeding on the energy of planets, reducing them to lifeless husks. Galactus had intended to feed upon Earth in this manner, but Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four threatened to destroy the universe if Galactus tried, and so the cosmic devourer agreed to forever leave Earth in peace.

Thor and his buddy the Recorder return to Rigel, where the Collectors honor their agreement to mark the Earth as off-limits. As they leave the Black Galaxy, they unwittingly pass Galactus as he heads into the Black Galaxy, intending to feed upon Ego.

Thor returns to Earth as Tana Nile departs it. She may have lost the Earth, but she returns to Rigel, where she has been chosen by the High Commissioner to be his wife. Thor, meanwhile, has been left with a Psyche-Search Gauge with which to find his hypnotized beloved.

He finds her in a bizarre compound in Europe known as Wundagore, which is guarded by animal-people riding rocket sleds. The leader of these people is known as the High Evolutionary, a man who has developed a technique to re-write the genes of animals, advancing their evolution one million centuries, which turns them into humanoids with animal heads. Since this is not remotely how evolution actually works,  I would suggest that that this explanation is meant as a metaphor for the actual process at work.   A lie-to-idiots, if you will.

The Knights of Wundagore attempt to restrain Thor from barging into their compound, but the God of Thunder will not be restrained.  Thor finds Jane,  who has taken a job teaching the animal-folk created by this weird science. Thor mistrusts this science stuff, but Jane is a woman of science, and assures him that there is nothing inherently evil about experimenting on animals to create a race of New-Men. Good on her.

Thor’s breaking and entering and shouting and fighting has distracted the High Evolutionary at a critical moment,  and he has accidentally over-evolved a wolf! This combination of supreme man and supreme beast has created a hate-fuled Man-Beast, enemy of all that is living!

First Appearance: The High Evolutionary, Wundagore, the New-Men, The Man-Beast, Psyche-Search Gauge

Days of Thunder – September 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #120

The Mighty Thor! “With My Hammer in Hand…!”
Written in the Fire of Inspiration by… Stan Lee/ Drawn in the Flame of Dedication by… Jack Kirby/ Inked in the Heat of Devotion by… Vince Colletta/ Lettered in the Other Room by… Artie Simek

jim 120

Thor has come to the great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh so that he might mend his mighty Uru hammer.  Which he does.
After successfully repairing it, he stops in a a forest, where he counts the Norn Stones one last time before returning to Asgard. Little does he realize he has dropped one of the stones.

In Asgard, Thor clears his name and then proceeds to plead his brother’s case, claiming that Loki cannot help but to be evil. This appears to be selfless and noble on the part of Thor but later he fumes that he cannot exact revenge on Loki while he is already being punished by Odin.

Little does Thor realize that Loki has already freed himself, trapping the warlock Ularic in a Suspended Animation Mist and sticking him in a time vault. Loki then seizes control of Ularic’s enchantments, adding their power to his own.

Thor gets permission from Odin to return to Earth, and at long last he does just that, only to discover that in the months that he has been away, Jane has gone missing, the doctor across the hall has stolen all Doctor Blake’s patients, and the landlord is threatening to evict the doctor if he isn’t promptly paid the back rent.

Naturally, it is Foster’s disappearance that alarms Thor and he heads to the headquarters of the Avengers to seek their aid in finding the missing nurse. However, what he discovers is that the team that he knew has disbanded, replaced by a pack of obnoxious young upstarts. Thor is too irritated by this to ask the new team for help.

Back on Asgard, Loki uses macro-meson particles to re-solidify the Absorbing Man and his ball-and-chain, sending the criminal straight toward Thor. Meanwhile, Jane Foster appears to be in the clutches of an unseen villain, who tells her to forget all about Doctor Blake.

First Appearance:  The great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh

Days of Thunder – October 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #109

The Mighty Thor! “When Magneto Strikes!”
Written by: Stan Lee, the monarch of the Marvel Age, at the peak of his power! Illustrated by Jack Kirby, the prince of pageantry, at the height of his titanic talent Inked by: Chic Stone, the dean of line design, at the peak of his prowess! Lettered by S. Rosen, the sultan of spelling, at the little table in his studio!

jim 109

One of the concepts established in the larger Marvel Comics shared universe is that of the “mutant.” In the fictional world in which Thor stories take place, there is a genetic offshoot of humanity who develop random superpowers at the onset of puberty. These people are referred to a “mutants” or “homo superior”. Merlin is a mutant. Sandu, Master of the Supernatural was probably one also.

The larger cultural issues of a world with mutants are primarily explored in the pages of a comic magazine entitled X-Men. The titular team in this book consists of  a group of teenagers indoctrinated into becoming paramilitary mutant rights radicals by the charismatic leader of their private school, a secret mutant with mind altering powers.

The X-Men’s greatest enemy is a man by the name of Magneto. He is a powerful mutant with the the power to control and alter magnetic fields, and the leader of a team quizzically named the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Magneto believes that mutants should use their natural powers to overthrow the human race.

In this issue Magneto causes a ruckus in New York looking for the X-Men and Thor comes to investigate, even though that means Don has to break a dinner date with Jane. Magneto mistakes Thor for a mutant and tries to recruit the Norseman to his cause, offering to share wealth, art, and treasure with Thor. Thor hears him out, but is unimpressed, considering such beauty to be mere irrelevancies. When Magneto gets to the conquer-the-human-race part of the pitch, Thor condemns the mutant as a villain, and the two of them fight.

The two have a protracted fight, ending undecisively when the (off-panel) X-Men arrive to fight Magneto. The villain retreats in fear and Thor leaves, having accomplished nothing of import.

After the battle, Blake seeks out Nurse Foster, asking her forgiveness, which she grants. The two flirt and banter and it is delightful. At one point, Jane calls Blake a “silly goop.” For the first time in 26 issues, these two are actually shown to act like a young couple in love with each other. This brief exchange is the warmest and most human the book has been to date.