Saturday, July 9, 2016

Avengerous Tales 2.37 - Avengers #140-#141

To read Avengerous Tales 2.36, go here!

I’m sure you won’t be the least bit surprised to learn that one of these covers has a big fat lie on it.  Comics, amirite?
True to the promise at the end of the last issue, Yellowjacket collapses mere minutes after his fight with Whirlwind.  Oh, and it gets worse!

When Puberty Strikes
Well I guess the Marvel universe needed someone to dump on now that the Swordsman finally bit it, and Hank Pym’s been elected.  Again.

The Beast fetches a doctor (they ARE right outside a hospital, after all), but his best suggestion is to bring Yellowjacket inside.  Even though, y’know, he’s 20 feet tall and still growing.  Fortunately, the Beast is a little brighter and takes off for Brand Corp.

If you recall, Hank McCoy works for Brand Corp., trying to find a cure for mutation.  Since we last saw him there, however, he was fired for taking too much time off, AND he found out that his contract with Brand Corporation effectively read “all your work are belong to us lol.”  That’s why you always read a contract thoroughly before signing, kids.

(Except the iTunes contract.  I’m sure that’s not important.)

So Beast is now reduced to breaking into his own former workplace in search of the cure that might just be Hank Pym’s only hope.

Hey, Beast, would you mind reminding Marvel that fantasy should be fun?  Maybe then they’ll finally stop trying to cram Civil War remixes down our throats.  What?  No I’m not bitter.  Why do you ask?

(I’m pretty sure I made this same joke a couple years ago.  Kinda sad how it’s more relevant than ever.)

While Beast grabs the serum and makes a break for it, the Vision and Wanda are flying home after their truncated honeymoon.  As they fly by, they see Hank’s giant body in the street and land at once to find out what the heck kind of trouble the Avengers have gotten into in their absence.  Wanda uses her magic to slow down the rate of Yellowjacket’s growth, but they’ll still need the Beast’s formula to stop it for good.

Beast wants to test the serum out on a sample of Jan’s blood first (since she still has traces of the microbe in her as well—though I’m guessing it’s inactive), but the doctor in charge won’t let him near her until Don Blake shows up to vouch for the Beast.

You know, MOST scientists wear coats and gloves to keep things sanitary.  How sanitary do you think it is in there now that the Beast’s been running around in his underpants shedding blue fur everywhere?  He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t turn Hank into a blueberry at this rate.

Back with Iron Man and Moondragon...

Looks more like oil to me.  Are we sure the thing hasn’t just sprung a leak?  It is pretty old, and somehow I doubt Hawkeye bothered to check if it was still in tip-top condition before running off to the 12th century.

After several hours of work, the Beast completes his miracle cure and hands it off to the Vision who, mirroring the actions Hank himself took to save Vision in the hilarious Avengers #93, renders himself intangible and enters Hank’s body.  No not like that.

“--And it is absolutely disgusting!  I’m glad I’m made of plastic now.”

After some extremely questionable science, the Vision successfully delivers Beast’s cure, and Hank shrinks back to normal size.  And wouldn’t you know it?  Just as Hank gets better, Jan does too, and the two share a kiss while Thor... does whatever the heck this is supposed to be.

Something’s telling me that the hospital is about to discover a sizeable portion of its drug supply has gone missing.

And now, a moment I’ve been waiting for since I started doing these reviews: the first Avengers comic drawn by George Pérez, who much (much) later will become the regular artist on a future Avengers series.  Plus he’s my favorite comic book artist of all time, and I can’t wait to show you his work.  If you’ve ever seen it before, you know you’re in for a treat... even if the inking is kinda subpar.

Yay, Cap’s back at last!  And just in time to help Beast fend off some goons trying to murder him.  Isn’t that a coincidence?

Well, no.  Cap’s been tracking this particular goon squad for a while, since they work for the evil Roxxon Corporation.  Really, is there any such thing as a coincidence in fiction?

So Cap and Beast rush to the hospital where Hank and Jan are still recovering from their respective injuries, and the other Avengers are all gathered ‘round for a visit.  Cap asks to see them all on Avengers business, and so the bedridden Pyms are left to their own devices... for about fifteen seconds.

So who is this person?  Good question.  She’s been making cameo appearances in the past couple of issues, badgering Jarvis and now the Pyms to find out where the Beast is.  We’ll find out who she is in a second, but first, business.

Cap takes the Avengers out for a stroll and tells them his suspicions about how Roxxon and Brand Corporation are somehow connected, which would explain why those thugs from earlier attacked Beast, who recently stole research from Brand.  Their chat is cut short by the return of Iron Man and Moondragon, who report that Hawkeye is missing and that they suspect Kang the Conqueror is responsible because of reasons.  (To be fair, they don’t exactly have a whole plethora of enemies who can travel through time.)

Thor and Moondragon head out to see what they can do about Kang, while Mystery Lady finally catches up with the Beast.

I know very little about this character and had to look her up in Marvel’s wiki.  For my fellow ignoramuses, Patsy Walker is a former model who knew Hank McCoy during his days at Brand Corp.  She even stumbled upon his secret identity and essentially blackmailed him: she would keep his secret if he promised to train her in the art of superheroing.  She is now here to collect on that promise, but since Beast has already told the Avengers his (formerly) secret identity, her blackmailing days are effectively over.

Still, the Beast is an honorable soul, and he decides to honor his promise anyway, asking Captain America if it would be okay to bring Patsy along on their latest mission.  Cap objects on the grounds that it might be dangerous, but he has no choice but to relent when Beast reminds him of all the teenage boys he’s let tag along with him over the years.

So now the fun begins: the Avengers split up.  Moondragon and Thor, still eager to find Hawkeye (for some reason), use Moondragon’s mental powers to summon Immortus to help them time-travel.  Because he’s real reliable, isn’t he?  Immortus guides them into the... timestream, I guess?  It looks a lot like color-changing spaghetti with sprinkles.  And wouldn’t you know it, before they can find Hawkeye...

The Avengers fight back, forcing Kang to flee.  Immortus, Thor and Moondragon follow him to the American Old West—1873, to be specific—but we don’t get to see what happens to them until next issue.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team (and Patsy) break into Brand Corp. headquarters, not realizing that they’re being remotely watched by Brand CEO Mr. Jones and Roxxon employee Colonel Buzz Baxter... who just so happens to be Patsy’s ex-husband.

Not that he cares.  In fact, he cares so little that he immediately dispatches the Squadron Supreme to deal with the intruders.

Wait a minute.  Squadron “Supreme?”  Weren’t they alternate universe—and decidedly HEROIC—versions of the Squadron Sinister?  What happened since Avengers #86?

Hard to argue with that kind of bluntness.

The Avengers manage to hold their own for the most part until Patsy, like a moron, decides she wants to punch someone too.  This distracts Scarlet Witch, who is then knocked unconscious by Lady Lark, and that distracts the Vision, and before you know it everyone’s taking an unscheduled nap.  Cue evil gloating from Jones and Baxter.

Gotta admit, I’m super curious to see how this all plays out, especially with Pérez on board.  Maybe there’s hope for this new direction after all!

To read Avengerous Tales 2.38, go here!

Images from Avengers #140 and Avengers #141

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