Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Avengers 141 to 144, 147 to 149

Avengers 141 to 144, 147 to 149 

Hello, George Pérez.
Did I mention George Pérez?
 George Pérez. Damn right.
Captain America; Steve Rogers
Moondragon; Heather Douglas
Scarlet Witch; Wanda Maximoff
Thor; Donald Blake

Featured Allies
Beast; Henry "Hank" McCoy
Hellcat; Patsy Walker
Two-Gun Kid; Matthew Hawk

Disabled List
Wasp; Janet Van Dyne
Yellowjacket; Henry "Hank" Pym
     This sequence of issues features the first Avengers artwork from one the giants in the series, George Pérez. He had been an assistant to former Avengers artist Rich  Buckler, and after some other Marvel work, like Creatures On the Loose, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, and various other issues, he became the regular Avengers artist. He would continue to work on the series off and on for over 25 years and worked on a variety of crossovers with other companies, like Avengers/JLA and Avengers/Ultraforce.
     Avengers editor Marv Wolfman would have a long working relationship with Pérez. They would go on to create the extremely popular New Teen Titans series in 1980 as well as the maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985 for DC Comics, where Pérez had to draw practically every character in the DC stable. He didn't shy away from group books, and he would go on to work on the flagship group series for DC and Malibu Comics, Justice League of America and Ultraforce as well.
     Writer Steve Englehart had left the Captain America (1968) series a few months earlier, but he played out one of the storylines here and brought Captain America back to the team to finish it. Cap's investigations into the Roxxon Oil company got tied into storylines Englehart had also written regarding Beast's former employer from Amazing Adventures, the Brand Corporation. He also tied in
the Marvel counterparts to DC's Justice League of America, the Squadron Supreme. They hadn't been seen since issue 86 of Avengers, and they had parted on good terms with the Avengers. In typical superhero fashion, their second meeting resulted in yet another brawl. This time, we would get to see a bit more of the dark side of their universe and the sinister forces at work in their social order. Despite Englehart writing a Marvel version of the Justice League, DC must not have been too upset, as they hired him to start writing the Justice League of America comic starting with the February 1977 issue. Alas, he would not still be writing Avengers at the same time.
     We also get a taste of a Western adventure. It might seems strange to mix Western characters with superheroes, but this was 1975, and Western comics were on the wane, but still in the public eye. Marvel was still publishing Kid Colt, Outlaw; Two-Gun Kid; and Mighty Marvel Western, and those series featured several of the characters that were chosen to appear in Avengers. Englehart had planned to write a revival series of the Ringo Kid character as well. The first issue was drawn and scripted, but plans to publish it were abandoned.
     Since issues 145 and 146 can't take place storywise in between the whirlwind of events in issues 144 and 147, they'll be featured in the next cycle.

Avengers Vol 1 141

 Avengers 141
The Phantom Empire!
November, 1975
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Vince Colletta
Lettered by Tom Orzechowski
Colored by Janice Cohen
Beast is attacked by a group of costumed men on the streets. Captain America had been following this group during his investigations of the Roxxon Corporation, and he joins the battle, sending the men into retreat. Beast takes Captain America to the hospital, where the rest of the team is visiting the injured Yellowjacket and Wasp. The team returns to the mansion, where they meet up with Iron Man and Moondragon, back from their trip to Castle Doom. Iron Man reveals his suspicion that Kang has kidnapped Hawkeye as bait. While the heroes trade information, Patsy Walker arrives, reminding Beast of his promise to involve her in the world of super-heroics. Moondragon decides that she and Thor alone, as the gods on the team, will seek out Hawkeye and Kang. They summon Immortus mentally and ask for his help to travel through time. On their journey, they encounter Kang outside the timestream, and they manage to overpower him. Kang flees, and they follow him into the Old West in the year 1873. The remaining members of the team try to sneak into the Brand Corporation, but they are discovered. Brand's security includes five members of the Squadron Supreme, Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, Whizzer, Golden Archer, and Lady Lark, who attack the Avengers. The Squadron subdues the Avengers, and our heroes are readied for captivity.
Iron Man: "We've been had by Kang the Conqueror!"
Vision: "Again? This is getting monotonous!"
Thor: "I must insist that thou dost mention my godhood no more!"
Moondragon: "You dislike being called a god before men, eh? You are so--so--egalitarian!"
  • This issue marks the first by artist George Pérez and also colorist Janice Cohen.
  • The cover is incorrect as to the Avengers' foes. The Squadron Sinister are a villain team from the Avengers' world. The next few issues feature the Squadron Supreme, who are the preeminent heroes of an alternate Earth.
  • Steve Rogers has returned to his Captain America identity, giving up the Nomad hero identity.
  • The Roxxon Oil Corporation was created by Steve Englehart in the Captain America series. It would become one of the premier corrupt businesses in the Marvel Universe.
  • Patsy Walker hopes to blackmail Beast into complying with her by revealing his secret identity to the Avengers, but since they already knew it, this plan fails. Beast takes her along anyway.
  • Moondragon demonstrates the ability to mentally sense others through time.
  • Some of the Kang and Immortus plots were meant to lead into a story for Giant-Size Avengers 5, but that issue printed a reprint, so the story instead played out in the regular series. Kang and/or Immortus had already been in three of those four Giant-Size issues.
  • It's apparently pure coincidence that Patsy Walker accompanies the team on a mission to infiltrate a complex that is guarded by her ex-husband, Buzz Baxter.
  • Wyatt McDonald, the Squadron Supreme member formerly called Hawkeye, mentions he changed his identity to Golden Archer since he wanted to avoid confusion with the Avengers' member, Clint Barton. Barton took on the identity of Golden Archer one time in Captain America 179 to keep Captain America from recognizing him. Somehow McDonald found out about this and took on that persona for himself. His new name also more clearly parallels his Justice League inspiration, Green Arrow.
Avengers Vol 1 142

Avengers 142
Go West, Young Gods!
December, 1975
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Vince Colletta
Lettered by Tom Orzechowski
Colored by Janice Cohen
Immortus, Moondragon, and Thor find themselves faced with not Kang, but a posse of heroes from the American West. They discover that Hawkeye is alive and holed up in the nearby town of Tombstone. The Western heroes take them to town to meet up with Hawkeye and hear what happened to him. Hawkeye had encountered Kang on his trip through time to the 12th century, and a trick arrow's explosion had thrown them both to 1873 Tombstone, where Hawkeye discovered that Kang had built a futuristic fortress and enslaved the town. Hawkeye slipped away from Kang's men, and, remembering the identity of the Two-Gun Kid from history, he sought help from him at his law office. After hearing this tale, Immortus shares that Kang's plan is to conquer the 19th century as a pre-emptive strike on the 20th. Hawkeye suspects that Kang will try to rob a train that services a nearby uranium mine, so the heroes, past and present, set out to defend it. Thor and Moondragon disguise themselves as passengers while Hawkeye and the Western heroes stand guard nearby. As Hawkeye predicted, a group of Kang's men attack the train, but the robbery is foiled, and Hawkeye proceeds to interrogate them as to Kang's next move.
Kid Colt: "Listen, ma'am, ah ain't ridin' nowhere with a bald-headed female up behind!"
Moondragon: "If you'd have me fly, Kid, I cannot! Ride on!"
Patsy Walker: "I guess you can't scare folks with words these days, huh?"
Captain America: "Sorry. It takes actions, just as it always has."
  • Although Iron Man appears on the cover, he does not figure into the 1873 adventure at all. Kid Colt's horse is named Steel, though. Close enough?
  • The Western heroes include the Rawhide Kid, the Two-Gun Kid, Kid Colt, Night Rider, and the Ringo Kid. All five had started their own series in the 1940s and 1950s, so they had been around far longer than the Avengers. Most of those adventures are not set in Marvel continuity. They are explained as fictional dime-novel adventures written about the "real" heroes.
  • Night Rider had previously been called Ghost Rider, but his name had been changed to avoid confusion with Marvel's modern supernatural motorcycle character. He would not keep the Night Rider name for long, as that term also referred to members of the Ku Klax Klan. He would later be renamed Phantom Rider.
  • Although Night Rider and Hawkeye fight together here, Lincoln Slade, then named Phantom Rider and losing his grip on sanity, would later kidnap Hawkeye's wife Mockingbird and sexually assault her. Englehart would write those tales in 1987 issues of West Coast Avengers (1985). It doesn't end well for Phantom Rider, but though dead, his spirit would still possess his descendants and cause trouble for Hawkeye in the present as recently as 2010.
  • This is first appearance of Two-Gun Kid in Avengers. He will become a reserve member of the Avengers during his upcoming travels through time.
  • The Rawhide Kid would later be revealed as a gay character in the series Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather in 2003. This was part of a Marvel line of books aimed at older readers.
  • In issues 4, 5, and 6 of the 1998 series Avengers Forever, Yellowjacket, Songbird, and Clint Barton in his Goliath persona come to this same time period to track down a chronal anamoly. That mission takes place just before the events of this issue. They observe Kang enslaving the town and battling the Western heroes. Songbird stops her team from interfering, because she knows from her history that Thor and Moondragon will soon arrive to take care of Kang. We do see the Western heroes' attempts to fight Kang, but they are outmatched by mind-controlled townspeople and a giant mutated Gila monster. The events of Avengers 142 take place after the Western Heroes had retreated from the town in these stories.
  • Thor states in this issue that he detests firearms.
  • Moondragon is excited to go back in time and see an old-fashioned train robbery, as she is experiencing what she considers her human heritage for the first time.
  • A brief interlude shows us that the Avengers in the present have been imprisoned at the Brand Corporation in a cage constructed by Doctor Spectrum.
Avengers Vol 1 143
Avengers 143
Right Between the Eons!
January, 1976
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Sam Grainger
Lettered by Tom Orzechowski
Colored by George Roussos
Kid Colt gets the password to Kang's citadel from Ace, the leader of the outlaws. Hawkeye, Moondragon, Two-Gun Kid, and Thor in his Donald Blake guise approach the tower in Western garb, but even they doubt they can surprise him. Kang appears on a viewscreen and welcomes them inside, having seen through most of their deception. He reveals that he had hoped to trap all the Avengers, but he'll settle for the few he did ensare. He lets loose a mutated coyote that has become a towering biped monster. Donald Blake slips away during the melee and manages to get to Kang's control center while the others battle the creature unsuccessfully. Blake transforms into Thor and attacks Kang physically, hurling him from the tower. Moondragon recovers from a stunning blow and shuts down the mind of the coyote creature. Outside, Kang uses a dissolution beam from his gauntlets to attack Thor. When they fail to defeat him, Kang increases the energy flowing to the weapons, but it too much for his own armor to handle, and he disintegrates himself. Upon Kang's seeming death, the citadel also disappears, and Immortus has a few moments to say goodbye. He reveals that he had hoped for this outcome himself, to be freed of the burden of all his past misdeeds before he also fades from sight.
Iron Man: "Every day, I see more wisdom in having helped found this team!"
Thor: "He destroyed himself! But if I've learned naught else in my immortal life--such is the way of the warrior!"
  • The cover is a bit confused. It features the five Avengers from the present fighting the mutated coyote that is the threat to the Avengers team in the past. They never meet in the actual issue.
  • All the Western heroes except Two-Gun Kid end their involvement with the Avengers in the first few pages. Two-Gun claims that since Tombstone is his town, he's in it to the end.
  • The FOOM sound effect makes a return when Thor strikes Kang's force field with his fist.
  • While in distress, Kang cries out, "By Lovah--!" I'm unsure what this refers to. There was a John Lovah who lived in 17th and 18th Century France who was claimed to live to 128 years old, but records can't support that claim.
  • The normally frosty and reserved Moondragon is quite upset when Immortus dies and even cries about it. She appears to consider him another god, like Thor and herself.
  • A short interlude shows the Avengers in the modern era escaping from Doctor Spectrum's cage. Although Vision cannot pass through its energy bars, Captain America jams his shield into the energy matrix, and Vision is able to pass through the matter of the shield and free the team from outside.
  • Kang and Immortus only appear to be destroyed. Their nonlinear time travel and multiple versions mean they can still be active characters at any point afterwards even though this one set of beings dies. Immortus next appears in 1979 in  the Thor (1968) series. Kang would not appear again until Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars in 1984, but no one must have thought he was truly dead, as he gets a full entry in 1983's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe in the section for living characters.
  • Stan Lee first talks about plans for Spider-Man and Hulk feature films in this issue's Bullpen Bulletins. The actual theatrical films wouldn't come out until 2002 and 2003, but the characters would get TV series in 1977 and 1978 respectively.
Avengers Vol 1 144
Avengers 144
February, 1976
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Mike Esposito
Lettered by Denise Wohl
Colored by Petra Goldberg

Although the Avengers are free from Doctor Spectrum's cage, they are still inside a Brand Corporation complex that is filled with security devices and surveillance. Among the devices are missiles that target the team. Iron Man dismantles their guidance system, and they blast through the exterior of the building, causing a public disturbance. The Avengers are separated while defending themselves. During a brief respite, one group discovers a costume similar to that worn by a previous superheroine, The Cat. Iron Man and Captain America, with some misgivings, suggest Patsy Walker use the costume, and she happily agrees. After the Avengers regroup, the Squadron Supreme is dispatched to their location for a rematch. The local police begin to arrive to investigate the missiles, so Hugh Jones, President of Roxxon Oil, who is monitoring events, sends the Avengers and Squadron through the dimensions to the Squadron's Earth to keep the police from finding them at Brand Corporation.
Patsy Walker: "I know you think I'm just a silly female, but what you don't know is I've waited all my life for this moment! You couldn't stop me with a team of wild horses!"
  • A Cat costume was used previously by Greer Nelson. She has since been transformed into the Cat Person called Tigra, so she no longer had any need for the costume.
  • The Avengers don't know where the Hellcat costume came from and assume it was The Cat's. Dozens of the outfits were made in the experiments that created her, so this could be any of those. It was later explained that the Brand Corporation was one of the funders of the original experiments featured in The Cat issue 1, and all the property from it is legally theirs.
  • Greer Nelson had gained superhuman power from her Cat costume only because she was also experimented on in other ways to increase her physical abilities. Despite Hellcat thinking she has also became enhanced, it's later said the costume does nothing for her but increase her confidence in her own natural abilities. Her impressive feats over the next couple of issues suggest that Englehart intended her to have enhanced abilities. This was probably revised later, and that writer ignored her being able to fight superhumans easily in these stories.
  • When Patsy Walker is thinking of her history, credit is given to the designer of one of swimsuits she's wearing in the flashback. Having readers send in designs for outfits and giving them credit was a common practice for romance and similar types of comic books in the seventies and earlier.
  • Patsy admits she had a crush on Mister Fantastic and slept with his picture by her pillow. She appeared as one of the onlookers at his wedding in Fantastic Four Annual (1963) 3.
  • Captain America has second thoughts about Pasty playing Cat, and he mentions Bucky and Roscoe as examples of what could happen. Bucky is still thought dead, and Roscoe Simons was a fill-in Captain America while Steve Rogers was the Nomad. He died in Captain America 183, prompting Rogers to return the Captain America identity.
  • Iron Man says, "This is another fine mess you've gotten us into." He's misquoting a line associated with comedians Laurel and Hardy. The actual phrase was "nice mess," but since once of their films is titled Another Fine Mess, people often use "fine" instead.
  • Hawkeye tells Thor that he's quitting the team when they get back to the present.
  • The Avengers in the past get set to return to the present in Kang's Time Sphere. This seems odd since all of Kang's equipment disappeared when he did. In the later-printed Avengers Forever, there is a second Time Sphere that Kang had confiscated from the second group of Avengers that had already left 1873. If the Avengers Forever team left 1873 in Kang's first Time Sphere instead of their own, they would have left behind a working Time Sphere that was not tied in any way to Kang's existence, and this team might be using that one.
  • When Vision calls Hellcat "Ms. Walker," she asks him to call her "Miss Walker." The use of "Ms." as an address had been used historically before, but became more prevalent as an official choice for women to use in 1972 after the launch of Ms. magazine in 1971. Rather than seeing this exchange as Hellcat refuting "Ms." as too modern, she is probably more focused on the fact that she was just divorced from her husband and has returned to her maiden name. She does however admit to being "not a big women's-libber" in issue 148.
  • The letters page features letters from Peter B. Gillis. He would later write comics for Marvel, including a Moondragon tale for Solo Avengers and a run on Defenders (1972) that featured Beast and Moondragon.
  • The letters page also has a letter from Mary Jo Duffy, who would become an editor and writer for Marvel Comics.

Avengers 147
Crisis on Other-Earth
May, 1976
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Vince Colletta
Lettered by Denise Wohl
Colored by Petra Goldberg

The five Avengers and Hellcat realize they have been transported to a city street, but the Squadron Supreme's demeanor convinces them they have gone to the Squadron's home world. The two teams begin a battle, but the Avengers back down when the army begins to arrive, along with the President of the United States, Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller is openly wearing a Serpent Crown on his head, clueing Captain America into the fact that the authorities are also going to be antagonistic. Vision goes to a low density and is able to remove the crown by surprise, giving it to Scarlet Witch. She threatens to harm the Crown, so the Avengers are allowed to leave. Despite being disconnected, Rockefeller is still under the Crown's thrall and can communicate with anyone else who has ever worn a Serpent Crown, so he contacts Hugh Jones on the Avengers' Earth to plot out his next move. While moving through the streets, Scarlet Witch feels a compulsion to wear the Crown, but knows not to do so. However, her internal battle causes her to collapse unbeknownst to the rest of the team, who unknowingly leave her behind. Vison doubles back to her, and she becomes verbally abusive to him due to the Serpent Crown's dark influence, attacking him when he suggests she hand it over to him. Hyperion, Lady Lark, and Golden Archer discover the two Avengers and attack. Vision manages to hold them off with a last-minute assist from Scarlet Witch, who has barely regained control of herself and surrenders the Crown to Vision.
Captain America: This whole world is a near-replica of Earth."
Golden Archer: "Or your world is a copy of ours, eh, Yank?"
  • The story title beginning with "Crisis on..." is a bit of comic tradition for parallel Earth stories. It started appearing with great frequency in the sixties in Justice League of America (1960) stories by Gardner Fox that featured that team traveling to alternate Earths, just as the Avengers do in this story.
  • Beast begins using his, "Oh, my stars and garters!" catchphrase in this issue. He may have used it before in Uncanny X-Men or Amazing Adventures, but this is the first time I noticed it in Avengers.
  • The President of the United States on the Squadron's "Other-Earth" is Nelson Rockefeller. In 1976, he was our Vice President. We don't know what happened to Other-Earth Gerald Ford.
  • Captain America is familiar with the Serpent Crown from his previous adventure with it in his own series. The version here is from the Squadron's Earth, but it is similar to the one he dealt with. In later years, we find out there are hundreds of them scattered across various alternate dimensions.
  • Two sunbathers on the Squadron's Earth, a brunette and a redhead, are named Lois and Lonni. This is very close to Lois and Lana, the two best-known love interests of Superman who have the same hair colors. Hyperion is later said to have had a relationship with Lonni Lattimer, a fellow news reporter.
  • Lady Lark and Golden Archer are revealed to have a romantic relationship, just like the Black Canary and Green Arrow relationship in the Justice League.
  • Hyperion cries out "Helium and Argon!" when he's surprised. These two elements belong to a group of six elements called the noble gases. Another noble gas is krypton. Although Hyperion at this time believes he is from a planet named Argon, he will later find out he is an Eternal from Earth.
  • Hyperion mentions his villain "Burbank." Emil Burbank, also known as Master Menace, does appear in later stories. Rather than being bald like Lex Luthor, Superman's nemesis, his hair grows at an accelerated rate due to an accident caused by Hyperion's atomic vision. Perhaps Burbank's name was selected to refer to noted botanist Luther Burbank as a sideways reference to Lex Luthor yet again. 
  • Hawkeye and Two-Gun Kid head west for their own adventures outside the Avengers. An editorial caption says they will show up in the anthology series Marvel Spotlight, but they never did.
  • Vision calls the Serpent Crown a "damnable ikon." This is an alternate spelling of icon, but it may have been an intentional choice by Englehart. In his later Ultraverse series, he was particular in the use of the spelling "magick" rather than "magic," though he has yet to adopt that practice in these Avengers issues.
  • The letters page has a letter from Fred Hembeck. Hembeck was a cartoonist who wrote and drew parody strips mocking both Marvel and DC characters. He wrote and drew the full-length Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe for Marvel and was a long-time contributor to their Marvel Age (1983) news magazine.
Avengers Vol 1 148
Avengers 148
20,000 Leagues Under Justice!
June, 1976
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Sam Grainger
Lettered by Tom Orzechowski
Colored by Hugh Paley 
President Rockefeller addresses other captains of industry and reminds them how their rule of the country is due to the missing Serpent Crown. Back in the city, Captain America, Iron Man, Beast, and Hellcat realize that Vision and Scarlet Witch are missing, so they split up to search for them. Beast and Hellcat are attacked by Squadron members Cap'n Hawk, Tom Thumb, and Amphibion, but the Avengers team is able to win over the three despite being outnumbered. Captain America and Iron Man skirmish with Doctor Spectrum and the Whizzer and also manage a victory. The three pairs of heroes reunite and realize how dangerous the Serpent Crown is and how it has affected the Squadron's Earth. The Squadron Supreme meet at the White House with the President, who bluntly reveals how corporate interests are secretly running the country. This strange behavior is explained by the fact that the Avengers got there first, and Beast had used his mastery of disguise to impersonate the President and talk to the Squadron. There is a machine capable of traveling to the Avengers' Earth in the White House, so the Avengers make use of it and escape. Hyperion is ready to follow, but the rest of the Squadron feels Beast's words had a ring of truth, and the team decides to deal with their own Earth's problems first, letting the Avengers go.
Captain America (to Whizzer): "You rely too much on not rocking the boat! You have your definition of a hero, and I have mine--and mine includes being a lot more aware!"
  • Hugh Paley will color only this issue and the next of Avengers.
  • Original Avengers artist Jack Kirby returns to do the cover for this issue and 8 of the next 10 issues. He hasn't done any art for the series since corrections on the cover for issue 33 in 1966. In a strange coincidence after this return, deadline pressure will cause pages Kirby did breakdowns for in issue 16 to be reprinted in issue 150, so he'll soon be presented on the interior pages as well.
  • The cover has Iron Man's faceplate with no nose and Thor fighting the Squadron Supreme. Neither is in the issue. Thor didn't travel there.
  • The cover boasts the price is "Still only 25₵." The price will increase to 30 with issue 151 soon. DC had already raised their prices to that level in April of 1976.
  • This is the first cover to use a UPC, universal product code, on the front. UPCs were in use for other items since 1974. The first 10 digits, 71486 02458, are exclusive to Avengers comics, and the last two digits, 04, will increase by one with each subsequent issue. The 02458 number has actually been on the cover since issue 89 in 1971, and it remains there under the issue number and month of publication.
  • The opening page of the issue has the teams' rosters lined up in columns. Similar "roll calls" were more often seen in previous Justice League of America comics. The center panel never comes to pass and is not part of the actual story. The alternating blue and red lettering of the Squadron's name in the narration box is also evocative of the red, white, and blue Justice League of America logo.
  • The issue title just happens to have "Justice" and "Leagues" in it, in case you forgot who the Squadron Supreme is meant to evoke.
  • The Squadron's headquarters is called Rocket Central and is an orbiting satellite similar to the Justice League's satellite headquarters. Don't worry. The Avengers will get their own satellite headquarters eventually in Secret Avengers, as well as other off-world outposts.
  • Whizzer claims he'll capture some Avengers "in a flash" in case you forgot which JLA member he represents.
  • Hyperion admits he is excited for the teams to fight, as he wants to prove the Squadron is superior.
  • Cap'N Hawk was formerly known as American Eagle in his last Avengers appearance.
  • A brief interlude of Thor and Moondragon shows her accusing him of "slumming" with his weaker teammates in the Avengers.
  • This is Amphibion's first appearance, as the Squadron didn't yet have an Aquaman analogue. His name is spelled with an "O" here and for several years, but he will later use the more standard "Amphibian" spelling.
  • Iron Man reuses an old tactic from Iron Man 64, employing ultraviolet light to defeat Doctor Spectrum. He tells Spectrum, "I'm sure you remember it." The Doctor Spectrum in that issue was the one from the Squadron Sinister, not the same person at all. Iron Man may know at this point that this Squadron does have files on the Avengers' past battles, so that may be what he's referring to.
  • An interlude shows that Wasp is eager to return to the Avengers, but Yellowjacket is not sure he wants to.
  • The capital of the Squadron's United States is Capitol City, and the President still does live in the White House. Another city in the Earth-712 universe is mentioned as Knickerbocker City.
  • By the next appearance of the Squadron's Earth in Defenders (1972), the team has forced Rockefeller out as President, and one of their members, Nighthawk, had been elected President.
  • The letter column features letters from future Marvel staffers Peter Sanderson and Mary Jo Duffy.
Avengers Vol 1 149

Avengers 149
The Gods and the Gang!
July, 1976
Written by Steve Englehart
Art by George Pérez and Sam Grainger
Lettered by Tom Orzechowski
Colored by Hugh Paley 
Thor and Moondragon finally return to the Mansion and find the others still missing, so they go to Long Island. The rest of team are there at the Brand Corporation fighting a security team after returning from the Squadron's world. They defeat the multitude of soldiers, but all six Avengers are knocked out by a surprise punch from one new adversary. They are taken into captivity just as Thor and Moondragon arrive. The mystery foe is revealed to be Orka, and the two new arrivals begin their assault. Moondragon is downed by one punch, leaving Thor to fight alone. Hellcat is the first hero to awaken, and she finds the Avengers are tied up in a machine that is set to disintegrate them. She breaks free and overpowers Buzz Baxter, the Brand security chief. Thor gets Orka outside and summons a storm to successfully incapacitate Orka. Moondragon reveals she let Thor fight alone intentionally so Thor could discover that he could defeat a foe that had singledhandedly defeated the other Avengers by himself. Hugh Jones orders the Avengers to be killed, but he finds the Avengers had been freed while he watched the fight outside.
Thor: "Aid is always welcome when a warrior doth venture into the unknown, woman! But mark me well, prattle is not!"
Hugh Jones: "...even a god has his limits...while a corporation doesn't!"
  • The "Foom" sound effect is used for either Iron Man's jets or Scarlet Witch's hex blasting a goon. The poor guy is certainly in the wrong place. It also surfaces when Mjolnir plows into Orka's face.
  • Hugh Jones contacts Rockefeller for help, but the Squadron is no longer supporting Rockefeller.
  • The disintegration equipment meant to destroy the Avengers is called the electro-incinerogram.
  • Baxter tells Hellcat to tell her emotional problems to Mary Hartman. The parody soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman had begun airing in 1976 but would end soon in 1977. It would still have some influence, ranking 21st in a list of cult television shows in a 2004 TV Guide.
  • Thor admits that he has made a habit of holding back his full strength in the interest of not killing mortal enemies or embarrassing his mortal allies with his superior might.
  • Orka is an enhanced Atlantean whose villainous exploits were shown in previous Sub-Mariner (1968) issues. He is able to absorb extra strength while he is near actual whales. Orka is his original Atlantean name, not a code name. Orka is an ally of the Atlantean Krang, another villain who has worn the Serpent Crown, which explains his presence here. Orka won't be seen again until Avengers Annual 18 in 1989.
  • Buzz Baxter will long harbor a grudge against Hellcat. The Secret Empire will give him superhuman abilities, and he will take the costumed identity of Mad-Dog in Defenders 125 and attack Patsy's wedding to Daimon Hellstrom. His sanity will start to deteriorate, making him truly match his code name. This Mad-Dog character is not the same as the Mad-Dog character featured in the situation comedy about a comic book creator, Bob, although Marvel will publish a comic book titled Mad-Dog of that television creation in 1993.
  • Hugh Jones is not done with the Serpent Crown. (or vice versa.) He will appear next in Marvel Two-in-One 66 in 1980. George Pérez will also be the artist on that issue.
  • The letters page features a letter from future Englehart collaborator Richard Howell.
  • The Bullpen Bulletins announces that Englehart will be writing a comic book based on the 1967 Prisoner television series. Unfortunately that never came to pass, as Englehart leaves Marvel soon after. Jack Kirby would later take over the project, but it was not published. All indications are it was not an original story, but an adaption of the first episode of the TV series. DC did eventually publish an original four-issue series using that property in 1988.

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