The Spider-Man Project

Avengers Vol. 1 059, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2 005, Avengers Vol. 1 060, Avengers: Earth’s MIghtiest Heroes Vol. 2 006, 007, 008

Posted by dave, November 20, 2007 at 8:49 pm · No Comments ·

Avengers Vol. 1 059The Name Is…Yellowjacket!
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema
Inker: George Klein
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Originally published: December 1968

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2 005Writer: Joe Casey
Pencils: Will Rosado
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Wil Quintana
Originally published: March 2007

Avengers Vol. 1 060…Till Death Do Us Part!
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema
Inker: Mickey Demeo
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Originally published: January 1969

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2 006Writer: Joe Casey
Pencils: Will Rosado
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Wil Quintana
Originally published: March 2007

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2 007Writer: Joe Casey
Pencils: Will Rosado
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Wil Quintana
Originally published: April 2007

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2 008Writer: Joe Casey
Pencils: Will Rosado
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Wil Quintana
Originally published: May 2007

In Avengers #59 a new super-hero, the mysterious Yellowjacket, shows up in town and tackles a few crooks. The next morning, Goliath – Hank Pym – doesn’t show up for an Avengers meeting. Just as everyone starts wondering where Hank is, Yellowjacket appears claiming that’s he killed Goliath. He kidnaps the Wasp, then makes out with her and lets her go. The rest of the Avengers show up as she’s leaving and they attack Yellowjacket – until Wasp stops them! When they ask her what’s up, she says she’s going to marry him! WTF?!

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #005 starts in basically the same spot as Avengers 59. There are some crooks, Yellowjacket shows up and trounces ’em. (This time it’s a hell of a lot bloodier, which is sweet. Yellowjacket really seems like a lunatic.) It covers basically the same events, but shows much more of the background that’s going on – continuing investigation of Vision by SHIELD, Hawkeye’s relationship with the Black Widow, T’Challa’s secret life as a school teacher. When Yellowjacket shows up in Avengers Mansion in this issue, we see Jarvis scan the intruder and determine he is none other than – Hank Pym, Goliath! In this version of the story, all the Avengers realize it’s Hank but don’t let on at first. They suspect that he’s had some sort of breakdown (he has) and doesn’t really realize who he is (he doesn’t).

This is a nice retcon. It’s pretty insane to believe the Avengers wouldn’t recognize their teammate, and I like how this book handles it. They even have a SHIELD psychologist around who tells them to humour this new personality, so as not to harm Hank’s obviously fragile mind. This goes a long way towards explaining why the Avengers actually fight Yellowjacket in Avengers 59. Cool.

The issue ends right before Hank kidnaps the Wasp.

In Avengers #60, we continue the elaborate charade. To be honest, the retcon doesn’t work that well in this issue – there are still some moments when it’s painfully clear that the Avengers have no idea who Yellowjacket is. It works well enough, though, that will a little bit of suspension of disbelief, a little bit of slack, we can buy the whole thing. Sort of.

Anyway, because the story of Wasp apparently abandoning Hank for this Yellowjacket character – his supposed murderer – wasn’t enough for those 1960s action-hounds, there’s a whole other mess thrown into the mix. At the wedding ceremony, the caterers turn out to be the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime! Man, talk about nutty. The event is hella rolodex, as weddings in the Marvel universe tend to be: there are super heroes up the wazoo.

This issue is actually shockingly lame. The fight with the Circus of Crime is really stupid, the big reveal is really stupid…I don’t know, it just kind of a huge let down.

Switching back to Earth’s MIghtiest Heroes, we again get to see the events of the wedding. This time we learn that whole wedding is a SHIELD operation. Everybody on staff, including the minister, is a SHIELD agent. The point? The Wasp seems to think it will snap Hank out of his psychosis. Everybody – the other Avengers (active and otherwise), SHIELD – is pissed at the Wasp for doing it, but they still go along with it.

Meanwhile, that Death Tiger character is still after the Black Panther. He shows up outside the wedding and is stopped by SHIELD agents on patrol. The issue ends with Princess Python’s dumb snake jumping out of the dumb cake.

EMH 7 continues, with Yellowjacket flipping out and revealing himself as Goliath – basically the end of Avengers 60. Once the smoke has cleared Hank gets carted off by SHEILD for a thorough examination, and we learn that SHIELD lost some agents. Knowing full-well that the Circus of Crime are a bunch of lame douchebags, they wonder how that could be…but we know it musta been bad ol’ Death Tiger. The Black Panther, God bless him, figures it out pretty quickly after seeing the bodies.

A couple days later, Death Tiger shows up at the public school where Black Panther is teaching, but doesn’t do anything really..at first. Later, this bullied kid that the Panther is trying to help goes off the deep-end. He’s preparing the blow the brains out of his tormentor when Death Tiger shows up again, this time in the school. Death Tiger and the Black Panther fight like crazy in the middle of a classroom and, after the Panther ends up getting knocked out of window, out in an alley (I think…). The Panther puts up a good fight, but is eventually knocked down. Just as the Tiger is about to finish Panther off, the nutso kid with gun shoots the Death Tiger! Yeah!

The obvious message is that all schoolchildren should carry guns and, hopefully, be capable of murder. Right? Actually, the Panther looks pretty shaken up and disappointed in the kid. But whatever.

Back at the Avengers mansion, Vision is down in the dumps about all the humans in the city hating him. In the last page of the issue, he goes up to the roof and runs into the evil escaped adaptoid.

Finally we reach the end of this saga. EMH 8 opens with the crazy-gun-kid in the police station, and the Black Panther showing up (in super-hero costume, rather than teacher-costume) to talk to him and chastise him. He ends up revealing to the kid who he is, and does thank him for his actions. He tells the dumb kid to accept the consequences of his actions like a man, and to use them as a source of strength. Nice, I guess.

Back at the mansion, there’s a big-ass fight with the super-adaptoid. The adaptoid mostly picks on Vision, and tries to get him riled up with insults and attacks on innocent bystanders. Vision wipes the floor with him in a very anti-climactic fight, but it does warm the public’s opinion of him.

After that, it’s just a bit of wrap-up. T’Challa’s still teaching and becomes Avengers chairman, Hawkeye and Black Widow break up, and Captain American and Iron Man hug. It’s all warm and fuzzy.

Spider-Man shows up to heckle J. Jonah Jameson at one point in Avengers 59, and at the wedding in Avengers 60 and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes 6.

Ok, so overall these issues were OK, but sorta boring. The wedding thing really threw the whole story off in my opinion, but I don’t know who to blame for that. It was in the original series, so it can’t really be ignored. Then again, Casey chose to write about this point in Avengers history… I didn’t mind reading this series, but I certainly wasn’t as enthralled as I was with the first series.

Rating:

XXX/_

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