Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Avengers #217 (March 1982)

One final Retro-Review before I get a sweet, sweet pile of new comic books after work tomorrow. Having taken a cursory look at what's coming out this week earlier tonight, I couldn't be more psyched. But that's for tomorrow and New Comic Day. Tonight we take a trip in the way-back machine to 1982 to read some classic Avengers. Onward!

Avengers #217:

Summary: This issue kicks off with the Avengers(who seem to only consist of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Wasp at this point) heading to Avengers Mansion for a meeting. Iron Man arrives first and is told by Jarvis that some goof in armor named the Mechano-Marauder was demanding the Avengers head outside to face him. Iron Man decides to deal with the Marauder himself and the “battle”(if you even want to call it that) is pretty damn funny with Iron Man basically toying with the Marauder while the other Avengers show up for the meeting, greet Iron Man and pay practically NO attention to the Marauder. After having his fun, Iron Man takes the Marauder down and the Marauder tells Iron Man that the reason he challenged the Avengers was because he wanted to look like a somebody. Interestingly enough, this isn't the last time the Marauder pops up, as the man in the armor is Fabian Stankowicz, who attempts to menace the Avengers every now and then, before taking Cap up on a job offer and joining the Avengers staff for a time. Anyway, the Avengers have their meeting at which time Wasp asks to be named Chairperson, since Cap had held the position for such a long time. The other three Avengers have some reservations(mainly that Wasp was still hurting over her VERY recent divorce from Hank Pym), but vote her in unanimously. From there we head to a disheveled and downtrodden Hank Pym, who is wandering the streets of New York, with his life a mess of his own making. Pym tries to call Stark Enterprises to talk to Tony Stark, but gets hung up on by an inexperienced receptionist. From there Pym heads to a bar where he is met by the villainous Egghead. Egghead claims that he wanted to go straight, and says he had created an artificial arm for his niece, Trish Starr. Egghead didn't want to take the arm to the girl himself since she despised Egghead, and asks Pym to do it for him. Egghead practically begs and offers Pym a half million dollars to do this, so Pym agrees to help Egghead out. After examining the arm and finding no threats, Pym takes the arm to Trish and puts it on her, at which point Trish becomes a mental slave to Egghead... Oh poor Pym... Egghead explains that he knew Pym would examine the arm, so he was controlling it by remote control, which is why Pym didn't find anything awry. Egghead then tells Pym that he would force the arm to self-destruct if Pym didn't go to Nebraska and steal a mess of adamantium so Egghead could create an army of invincible robots. Pym reluctantly does as he's asked and steals the adamantium, loading it up in a truck. While driving away with the Egghead possessed Trish, Pym is confronted by an Avengers Quinjet. Pym is pleased to see his former allies, until Egghead tells Pym to defeat his four allies, lest Egghead detonates the arm and kills Trish. Pym attacks the surprised quartet of Avengers, and actually has some success at first... But seriously, Thor, Iron Man and Captain frigging America are there, so Pym eventually loses. Once he loses, Pym shouts at Iron Man to block the signal Egghead was transmitting to Trish, since that would prevent Egghead from detonating the arm. Iron Man scans the area and discovers no outside signals being beamed to Trish since Egghead disconnected from Trish the moment Pym lost. To make matters worse, Trish has no recollection of Egghead possessing her and only recalls Pym forcing her to steal the adamantium with him... Damn, Pym is screwed here! Pym pleads with the Avengers, swearing that Egghead had been behind the whole ordeal, but due to his prior behavior, the Avengers don't buy it, and this issue ends with the Avengers taking Pym into custody and sending him to prison.

Thoughts: This was a really enjoyable read. I mean we had a little bit of everything here. From the comedy portion in the beginning with Iron Man and Fabian(seriously, Cap and Iron Man's conversation WHILE IM was battling Fabian was classic!), to the parts showing just how far Pym had fallen, to Pym getting double-crossed by Egghead, to the tragic end with Pym, this was a strong comic. Yeah, there were a few things that bugged me(if Pym examined the arm, shouldn't he have discovered some sort of explosives since Egghead was threatening to blow it up? Plus, why didn't Pym tell Iron Man to block the incoming signal EARLIER in the battle as opposed to the end?), but overall this was a good read, one that sets the stage for later events which culminate with the death of Egghead himself. Overall? Good stuff.

Score: 8 out of 10.
avengers #217
There goes Pym, smacking Wasp around again...

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