remember last review when I said that Captain America’s battle with Red Skull
in Tales of Suspense #88 wasn’t
relevant?Well, now it is, so listen up:
waaaay back in Tales of Suspense #81,
Red Skull got his hands on a doohickey called the Cosmic Cube (nowadays known
as the Tesseract) that granted him unlimited power.Cap knocked the Cube into the ocean, and
Skull supposedly drowned trying to retrieve it.Obviously he did not, as he returned in Tales of Suspense #88 with his Robo-Bucky.
defeats Robo-Bucky in Issue Eighty-Nine, Red Skull turned to Plan B: kill
Captain America some other way.After
that failed in Issue Ninety, he turned to Plan C: he threatened to use his
deadly bubble weapon (he should probably think about rebranding) to destroy New
York unless Cap announced his allegiance to the Red Skull.On live TV, no less. Captain America wasn’t
about to let his adversary go on a rampage, so he did so swear.
In Tales of Suspense #88, Captain America
received a distress call from someone who appeared to be his lost sidekick,
Bucky (the original, not the wannabe).Obviously he dashed off alone to the location “Bucky” gives him, even
though it’s a foreboding-sounding island.Cap was the only one surprised when it turned out that Red Skull had
created a fake Robo-Bucky (RoBucky?) to reel him in.But the rest of that adventure is irrelevant for
the purposes of this review.All you
need to know is that Cap will be AWOL for a few issues starting with Avengers #38, but first, let’s jump
straight into Issue Thirty-Seven.
and nerdlings, to a very special
edition of Avengerous Tales.Or at least
it would be special, if the writer
wasn’t so outrageously stupid.
***The first half of this review contains depictions and discussion of racism and racially motivated violence. If you'd prefer to avoid that, don't start reading until you see "Now that Marvel's gotten that..."
And now, we
return to the Forbidden Land, featuring inhabitants so magical that they can
speak Standard English despite being hidden in the wilds of South America for
hundreds of years.Ooooooh… *wiggles
***The second half of this review contains depictions and discussion of racism and racially motivated violence. If you'd prefer to skip that, stop reading at "now we can get to issue thirty-two."
Time for a
little back story here, since this is the first time the Black Widow will
appear in an Avengers comic, and the context of her appearance won’t make much
sense if you don’t know about her previous exploits.
debuted in Tales of Suspense #52.She was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck as
yet another “red” adversary for ToS
star Iron Man.After failing multiple
times to bring Stark Industries secrets to her superiors behind the iron (hee)
curtain, she teamed up with budding criminal Hawkeye, who immediately fell in
love with her and agreed to do whatever she wanted, even though he wasn’t a
communist himself.It all went south in Tales of Suspense #60, when Widow’s superiors
have enough of her failing and mooning over Hawkeye and take her back behind
the curtain for “interrogation.”
As we learn in
Avengers #29, Black Widow was taken to “the Orient” where she was
brainwashed to eliminate any “weakening” effects her time among those pansy
capitalists may have had.
As I’m sure
you’re beginning to realize, Hank Pym changes his nom du guerre more often than
P. Diddy.Or Diddy, or Sean Combs, or
whatever the heck he’s calling himself right now, I don’t know anything about rap.You get my point.
It’s been a
while since we had to check out a different comic to better explain what’s
going on in The Avengers, but I think
I remember how to do it.
In Tales to Astonish #77-#78, we find out
what Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne have been doing since they left the team:
performing vital drilling experiments in the middle of the ocean, trying to
figure out the origins of life.However,
their drill is causing serious damage to Namor’s kingdom, and he destroys the
instead of explaining that the drill
is wrecking his city, Namor just tells them to go away because he’s a prince,
dammit, now do what he says!Hank, Jan,
and the rest of the crew don’t take kindly to that, and one of them gets
trigger happy and shoots at Namor, setting the whole ship on fire instead.They get it under control fairly quickly, but
right then, a villain named the Puppet Master decides to take control of
Namor’s mind and compels him to swim to New York.With the radio gone and with Hank unwilling
to leave the job of fixing his equipment to others long enough to become
Giant-Man and walk to shore, that leaves Jan to shrink down to wasp-size and
fly to New York to alert the Avengers.
Got that?Good.Now stick a pin in it and save it for later, because we have one issue
left before you’ll need to remember all that.