Tag Archives: The Wasp

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 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 – 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 – April 1968 Avengers #51

“In the Clutches of the Collector!”
From the Sanctum Sanctorum of Smilin’ Stan Lee comes this Roy Thomas-John Buscema Two-Man Tour De Force!/ Inked and Embellished by: George Tuska/ Lettered and Relished by: Sam Rosen

Avengers 51

In the six months since Avengers Day, The Black Widow has disappeared, Hercules has returned to Olympus, Captain America has abruptly quit, and Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch have re-joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, although in her defense, the Scarlet Witch appeared to be suffering from a head injury when she re-joined.

Now, the three remaining core Avengers have been abducted by a villain named the Collector who wishes to own and imprison the Avengers for his collection. He has also captured Thor and fed him an Asgardian Obedience Potion, which compels Thor to obey all of the Collector’s commands.

The Collector commands Thor to bring him Iron Man, but Thor, eternally a letter of the law kind of guy, reasons that the easiest way to bring in Iron Man will be to kill him first. The two battle, and it is clear to all parties that Iron Man is simply no match for Thor, and that’s with Thor unaware of the fact that Iron Man has a damaged heart.

This conflict ends with the following bit of purple: “Then, amidst the shattered wreckage… as swirls of dust begin to clear… only one form stirs… that of Thor, the immortal who has become a murderous puppet… while the unmoving, battered figure of Iron Man can only lie in silence… and contemplate his own death–!”

Meanwhile the Avengers proper break free of the Collector and fight his Robotoid, while the Collector flees to a Sidereal Time-World. When the Collector exits our Time-World, Thor’s mind is freed so that he might help his fallen ally. He does so, and also helps the Avengers with the mop-up.

Afterward, Captain America calls the Avengers and asks if his friend The Panther can join. Anyone Cap vouches is good enough for the Avengers, and probably the fact that they are down to three members is also a factor in the vetting of The Panther. This is great news, because The Panther is best superhero of all time.

First Appearance:  The Collector

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 – September 1967 The Avengers King-Size Special #1

“The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!”
Stan Lee lovingly lords over a Roy Thomas – Don Heck landmark of literary luminescence! Inked by George Bell! Lettered by Artie Simek!

avengers king 1

Since we last checked in with the Avengers, Black Widow, a former red spy and girlfriend of Hawkeye,  has informally joined the team, as has Hercules, who has been banished to Earth for a period of one year. Also, the Wasp has inherited a fortune, The Scarlett Witch and and Quicksilver have gotten power boosts, and The Enchantress has fallen in love with Hercules.

This issue’s story is a sprawling superhero epic where Thor and Iron Man pitch in to help the Avengers fight a veritable army of supervillains: the Enchantress, the Executioner, the Living Laser, Power Man, the Swordsman, and Ultimo, led by a Yellow Peril mastermind named the Mandarin.

There are a bunch of fights on different fronts. There is a great bit where Thor dives for his hammer as his sixty-second window closes, turns into Blake mid-air, smashes into the ground, rolls, grabs his stick and, stamps it to the ground in one fluid motion.

The story culminates in a showdown on the Mandarin’s secret privately-owned space station, powered by a four-foot-tall diamond. There is a fight that ends with the Mandarin being sucked out into the vacuum of space. Afterward the Avengers decide to blow up the space station, despite noting that it might have been “the stepping-stone to the stars.” As they rocket home, Thor and Iron Man agree that they need to make an effort to involve themselves with the Avengers more often.

Days of Thunder – November 1966: The Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special! #3

“…To Become an Avenger!”
How’s this for a zingy combo? Scrip Writin’ by Smilin’ Stan Lee/ Layouts by Jazzy Johnny Romita/ Pencilin’ by Dashin’ Donnie Heck/ Inkin’ by Mirthful Mickey Demeo/ Letterin’ by Adorable Artie Simek

Spider Annual 3

It seems that even though he is no longer an active member of the Avengers, Thor still attends important meetings covering Avengers business, and votes on matters such as accepting new members. Since last we saw the Avengers, The Wasp and Giant-Man re-joined the team. Giant Man changed his name to Goliath after being forced to stay permanently 10 foot tall. The Enchantress ditched the Executioner. Rick Jones and his teen brigade seems to have fallen out of touch with the group.

It is the matter of a new member that brings Thor to the Avengers now. The team is considering whether to offer membership to Spider-Man, a young, mysterious superhero with spider-powers. After some debate and checking of references, Thor tracks down Spidey and offers him the opportunity to test for membership.

Spider-Man’s test is to bring the Hulk to the Avengers but ultimately he doesn’t trust the Avengers to treat the monster-man well, and so he tells the Avengers that he couldn’t find the Hulk and passes on the membership.

As was the case with the recent Thor Annual, it is unclear when exactly this story takes place in relation to the stories in Thor’s own magazine.  One presumes it would slot-in during some near-future break in the action of Thor’s main title.  Within the Avengers timeline it takes place during a period when Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were visiting Europe due to the temporary loss of their powers.

First Appearance: Spider-Man

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 – January 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #112

The Mighty Thor Battles the Incredible Hulk!

A Stan Lee – Jack Kirby Marvel Masterwork! Inking by Chic Stone * Lettering by S. Rosen

jim 112

Thor happens upon an unruly pack of youngsters arguing amongst themselves over who is stronger: the Mighty Thor or the Incredible Hulk. Thor can deduce that this is the topic of debate because they are snarling at each other as if they are about to come to blows while each side brandishes giant wooden signs shaped like the heads of the respective nominees.  It is an amazing tableau.

112 splash

Thor sits down with the youths and tells them of the time he battled the Hulk, specifically in the pages of The Avengers #3. Not much of interest happened in that issue, but apparently, between panels, there was a thirteen page fight between Thor and Hulk.

The end result of the fight ends up being inconclusive.

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 – October 1964: The Avengers #9

“The Coming of the… Wonder Man!”
Sensationally Written by: Stan Lee/ Superbly Illustrated by Don Heck/ Selectively Inked by: Dick Ayers/ Sufficiently Lettered by Art Simek

avengers 9

The previous issue of The Avengers had the team fighting a master of Space and Time named Kang the Conquer. It was light on the Asgardian action.

The Enchantress, The Executioner, and Baron Zemo have been trapped between the sixth and seventh dimension ever since Thor trapped them in a space warp (Avengers #7) The Enchantress now uses her sorcery to pull their ship back to Earth.

When they return, the three of them are determined to destroy the Avengers. I’m not sure why.   Zemo hates Captain America, but it almost seems like the Asgardians are simply going along with Zemo because they have nothing better to do while in exile.

These villains  find a guy with a grudge against Tony Stark, give him super powers, and make him pose as a superhero named Wonder Man so he can worm his way into joining the Avengers. Wonder Man discovers he likes being a hero and when the bad guys attack, he double-crosses the bad guys and dies in the ensuing fight, while the bad guys escape.

First Appearance: Wonder Man

Days of Thunder –September 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #108

The Mighty Thor! “At The Mercy of Loki, Prince of Evil”
Written by Stan Lee, The Idol of Millions! Illustrated by Jack Kirby, The Toast of the Town! Inked by Chic Stone, The Man of the Hour! Lettered by Art Simek, The Peoples Choice!

jim 108

Oh man, so much happens in this issue! It starts with Thor hitting the New York sidewalk with his hammer so hard and so precisely that a truck about to hit a child flies into the air, sailing safely over the child. Of course, this stunt does tons of property damage, but Thor tells a nearby cop that he will reimburse the city, not with his own money but with Tony Stark-provided Avengers money.  Then he flies off, assuming everything is cool.

Later, Thor finds Doctor Strange badly injured after barely winning a fight with some enemy of his named Mordo. Thor calls the hospital and fifteen minutes later, operates on Strange  as Doctor Blake, musing that it is only Thor’s unearthly knowledge that gives Blake the ability to save Doctor Strange through surgery.

It is at this crucial moment that Odin summons Thor to help him battle some unspecified enemy. Blake ignores the Allfather and completes the life-saving operation. Afterward, Strange makes it clear to Blake that his magic services are at the lame doctor’s disposal, should he ever need them.

Upon returning to his office, Blake meets an older man with a walking stick, complaining of leg pain. The man falls to the floor, knocking Blake’s stick out of his hand. Obviously this is a bit of sleight of hand, but well executed. After returning the wrong stick to Blake, the stranger stands up straight and tosses Blake’s cane out the window without even looking. It’s a total badass move.

The stranger is a disguised Loki, who had escaped Asgard while Odin was out fighting whoever it was he tried to get Thor to help him fight. Loki knocks out Jane with some “slumber mist”, punches Blake in the face, and runs away with the sleeping nurse in his arms.

Blake runs down the stairs to find his cane but it is slow painful going because running is not something Blake can actually do. By the time he reaches street level, the cane has vanished. In desperation, Blake telepathically reaches out to Odin but apparently Odin can only be reached by mental link while he is within the halls of Asgard and thus he does not hear Blake’s plea.

When Odin fails to bail out Blake, he immediately visits Doctor Strange to cash in that favor he is owed. Blake asks the sorcerer to help him find his walking stick and Strange uses his magic to do just that.

A vagrant has found the walking stick and is using it as a fishing pole. In a scene that surpasses the Peanut Gambit to become the all-time greatest Thor moment, Doctor Blake starts a fight with a hobo, trying to steal his fishing pole.

He would have lost that fight too, because he is a disabled weakling. but Doctor Strange pretends to be a ghost and scares away the pack of vagrants that Doctor Blake attacked. Once more in possession of his walking stick, Doctor Blake becomes Thor once again.

It is around this time that Odin returns to Asgard victorious. He puts on his Robe of Conquest and mentally contacts Thor. His success has lifted his spirits and he decides to cut that knucklehead son of his a break. However, Thor is pissed off that Odin failed to respond earlier, and he gives his all-powerful, wrathful father the kiss-off. Then the Avengers cameo and he tells them to take a hike also.

Thor is looking for Loki by himself.  All the gods of Asgard emit an aura of free-flowing electrons from their person, which can be detected by another immortal.   Oddly, In this case, it isn’t Thor himself that can detect Loki’s aura, it is his hammer that does the detecting.

It is an odd detail. Combine it with Loki’s special bond with the hammer and with the sixty second rule, and it seems like the real divinity lies not within the person of Thor, but in the hammer. There are interesting connotations at work here, poorly fleshed out and conjecture-heavy as they may be.

At any rate, Loki tries to block the electron-based detection, but Thor eventually finds him. They fight. Thor wins. Loki releases Jane from Limbo, where she had been held. Loki gets ready to fight some more, when an unnamed Asgardian appears through magic mist, grabbing Loki with an arm enchanted by Odin, dragging him back to Asgard. Thor and Odin make up, but even as they do, Thor is tending to Jane’s well-being to the frustration of his father.

First Appearance: slumber mist, The Uru Hammer’s ability to detect the aura of free-flowing electrons emitted by Asgardians

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