Thursday, April 16, 2015

Avengers - it was the best / worst of times

A few days ago I was commenting one one of Terry Hooper´s post on the excellent COMIC BITS ONLINE blog ( which you can find on the blogroll and need to check out every day ) that the Vision in the new AVENGERS - AGE OF ULTRON movie reminded me a lot of how the android looked in the godawful AVENGERS : UNITED THEY STAND cartoon from the 1990s.

The 90s were not a good time for the Avengers. They had the Gatherers storyline and I guess I´m one of the few readers that liked this alternate universe mish mash. What most comic readers didn´t know back then was that this was still the good part. Yes, the worst was still to come.

Then came THE GATHERING, one of the worst stories ever where Tony Stark goes totally mental and tries to wipe out all the Avengers. In the end it turns out that Kang was behind it all and after Tony sacrifices himself he gets replaced by teenage Tony Stark. Well, THE GATHERING was so bad that Disney decided to give it the omnibus treatment which shows that they will put anything into an omnibus for a quick buck.

Speaking about a quick buck that´s exactly how much you had to pay for the 99 cents series AVENGERS UNPLUGGED. It was one of the 99 cent books Marvel was experimenting with to see if they could sell cheap comic books. The only 99 cent book that really sold was UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER - MAN because unlike the Avengers book the only cheap thing about it was the price. I´m really surprised people payed for this.

Although as bad as this was it was in the final issues of the preceding series that somebody had the brilliant idea to turn Janet VanDyne into a real insect like creature, to sell some toys or fit some weird fetish.

You might think that the team roster is strange but that´s because the company that was doing the cartoon wanted to do an Avengers show but because of licensing right they could not use Thor, Captain America or Iron Man so they took the team roster of the Avengers West Coast.

Or West Coast Avengers which is how the book was called until somebody realized that if they changed the title it would be much nearer to the top if comic book stores put their comics alphabetically. In any event naturally the cartoon was neither called West Coast Avengers nor Avengers West Coast because as always the tv people know better than the comic people.

AVENGERS WEST COAST had it´s great moments especially under writer / artist John Byrne who started things off with the brilliant VISION QUEST storyline that tried to clear up a few things about the Vision´s previous origin story although it ultimately just served to further complicate them.

At least until the whole mess was sorted out in one of the best limited series in Avengers lore ever, the aptly named 12 issue maxi series AVENGERS FOREVER written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Carlos Pacheco.

Yes, there was a time when the Avengers didn´t suck. Although - case in point - this comic and the cartoon happened around the same time since according to wikipedia the relationship between Wanda and Wonder Man was based on the storyline from the Busiek and Perez AVENGERS restart where Morgana Le Fey transforms the whole planet into a medieval world.

Now one reason why I just had to post the AVENGERS : UNITED THEY STAND cartoon was that the Vision in the new movie looks a lot like the one in the cartoon so maybe somebody owes these guys some royalties.

The other reason I post this is that by sheer luck ( or bad luck depending on how you see it ) I saw the first two episodes of the cartoon show just the day before I saw pictures of the new Vision. To my eternal shame I have to admit that I never saw an episode of the cartoon ( which might have something to do with my mental stability )  and when I finally found the first two episodes they were so bad I have to find the whole show.

There are so many things wrong with the show - Hawkeye REALLY looks like somebody from a carny, Wonder Man is as big as the Hulk, and is that really how americans think the Scarlet Witch speaks ? - anyway, I made a promise to Terry to put the first episode into one of my next posts.

And since it ends on a cliffhanger and I don´t like to leave you hanging here´s part 2. Let´s see if the new Avengers movie is better than this.

Since this post is about Marvel movies I want to start the video section with one about their most successful one, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

For more classic Star Lord check out this post by Old Groove to read the entire issue of MARVEL SUPER SPECTACULAR 10 that has the story " World in a Bottle " by Doug Moench, the great Gene Colan and Tom Palmer.

And if you still haven´t had enough about the original Star Lord fly by Peter Doree´s THE BRONZE AGE OF BLOGS for MARVEL PREMIERE issue 61´s " Planet Story " by Doug Moench and the wonderful Tom Sutton.

It´s been quite some time since this blog had some Doctor Who related content so I´m posting the classic comic relief episode " The Curse of Fatal Death " which I haven´t watched until last week. It´s really not as bad as I had feared, Rowan Atkinson does a really good Doctor as does Hugh Grant. There are some jokes I didn´t like but it´s very much in the same tone as some of the episodes I´ve seen with the Master, I think it´s hilarious through how many regenerations the Doctor goes through in a really short amount of time and we get the first female Doctor Who.

Speaking of Doctor Who, I know that fedoras are all the craze with Whovians but Power Girl Kristi Thinks has some bad news for us.

And last but not least here´s another video from SWITCH RELOADED with Martin Hill as N24´s Tatjana Ohm. I know I already put one in my last post ( my 125th post, yay ) but these things never last very long on YouTube.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

That Avengers Unplugged cover -is that supposed to be Count Nefaria? Also, it is VERY badly drawn -how the hell can Nefaria, facing the reader and grabbing a character in one hand and doing something to the Vision with the other shoot power beams from his eyes to hit Goliath BEHIND him?????
ALMOST as bad as that Avengers cartoon. I've watched 7 on You Tube but I had to watch pornography after to make myself feel clean.
Yeah, when I saw Wasp as an insect lady (?) and Stark murdering people I just thought..."this will end badly". Nice art but the story -as with Avengers West Coast towards the end that were AWFUL (written by Andy Lanning? I can't remember). I wear a trilby hat in the cold and wet. A fedora...WHO wears a fedora?? Mind you.....

SUBZERO said...

Yes, that´s definitely Count Nefaria, very badly drawn.