On the other hand...
I now return to The Amazing Spider-Man for two short but profoundly relevant stories, not just for Spidey and Marvel but for the entire American comic book industry. Yes, I've been hinting about this one for a while and we're finally here.
Getting back to Spidey feels like I have come home. While I would say both Silver Surfer and Black Bolt are more inherently interesting characters, Spider-Man's world is the most satisfying of Marvel's Silver Age and therefore generates the most consistently satisfying narratives. I've been away for 52 issues and was keenly aware of how much I'd missed and how eagerly I want to go back and fill in my own gaps. I will at some point.
Before we move on, a quick acknowledgement for the main writer of The Kree/Skrull War series. I don't think he's the one to blame for the broader mess that is the Avengers. Or maybe he is. Regardless, he put in the hours and I shall give credit where it is due.
Roy Thomas was born November 22, 1940 in Jackson, Missouri. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1961. Probably his most important contribution to the industry was the introduction of Conan the Barbarian, previously a pulp magazine hero, to comic books. He is the co-creator of many characters, including Wolverine, Luke Cage, Ultron and Red Sonja. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 201l.
My Recent Reads
The Avengers #92
Originally Published September 10, 1971
Editor: Stan Lee
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Sal Buscema
- A guilty by suspicion story as H.W. Craddock accuses the Avengers, and particularly Captain Marvel, of befriending the invading Kree.
- Col. Fury draws a parallel with the Japanese Internment Camps during World War II.
- Jarvis, the Avengers' butler, is featured.
- Joe Cocker reference!
- The Big Three (Iron Man, Captain America and Thor), disgraced by the accusations, disband the Avengers on the final page.
The Avengers #93
November 10, 1971
Artist: Neal Adams
- Hank Pym, now appearing as Ant-Man, journeys through Vision's android body to find what ails him.
|via Marvel Database|
- Crosby, Stills and Nash are the names of Pym's ants in this adventure.
- The Big Three who dropped the bomb at the end of the last issue were actually shapeshifting Skrulls in disguise. The same Skrulls, lead by the Super Skrull, kidnap Captain Marvel, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksliver.
- "Fire and Rain" reference: the James Taylor song was released in February 1970.
- David and Goliath reference.
The Avengers #94
December 10, 1971
Artists: Neal Adams (parts 1 & 3) and John Buscema (part 2)
- The Inhumans are featured, and fortunately they survive a WMD attack by Super Skrull.
- The Super Skrull brings his three captives to the Skrull king. The king tortures the twins in an effort to extort Kree tech secrets from Captain Marvel.
- Triton appears in the last frame.
The Avengers #95
January 10, 1972
- An Inhumans story! The Avengers save Black Bolt in San Francisco, then take him back to the Great Refuge where he, once again, wrests power away from Maximus.
- Maximus, wouldn't you know it, has aligned himself with the Kree. There are implications, in fact, that all of the Inhumans are descended from the Kree. In the years since, that interconnected history has evolved into something a bit more complicated.
- Featured: Supreme Intelligence
The Avengers #96
February 10, 1972
- The Avengers head to the Skrull world to help their kidnapped friends.
- Mar-vell wasn't really helping after all. He hoodwinked the Skrulls!
- However, a nuclear warhead is heading toward Earth.
- Rick Jones is kidnapped by the Kree.
- Supreme Intelligence sends him into the Negative Zone.
The Avengers #97
March 10, 1972
- You know what this story needs? More characters.
- It turns out Rick Jones has a superpower, or at least one the Supreme Intelligence has granted him temporarily. He is able to summon Marvel superheroes from the 1940s. Included are the old Human Torch and a different Vision, one with a similar costume but a different color scheme (seriously?). Other blasts from the past:
- The Patriot
- Blazing Skull
|via Superhero Wiki|
- The Fin
|via Marvel Database|
- Through means I don't entirely understand, the powers of both sides are diffused.
- Craddock is unmasked as a Skrull.
- All is well.
The Amazing Spider-Man #90
November 1, 1970
- Villain: Doctor Octopus
- Featured: George Stacy, father of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker's current girlfriend.
- George Stacy dies in this issue and Spidey/Peter blames himself. This is a big deal. The readership is put on notice: recurring characters within the Marvel Universe can die, permanently.
- The death would be shocking enough in itself but add to it George's final revelation to Spider-Man while dying in the web slinger's arms: he knew Spidey was Peter.
- I have been away from this series for 52 issues. This was my own introduction to George Stacy - I barely met him before having to let him go. Yet, the emotional impact for me is far beyond anything I've experienced in my time exploring other Marvel series.