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Avengers (1963) #12 cover

Avengers (1963) #12

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  • Imprint: Marvel Universe
  • Format: Comic
  • Price: $0.12
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4 comments
rodolfofariasjr
rodolfofariasjr member

I think it's funny how Thor smacking a missile with his hammer makes a “splat" sound effect.

JackStamper
JackStamper member

A funny thing happens in this comic, and to understand it, one has to know the "Marvel method of making comics". Basically: The writer (mostly Stan) writes a short synopsis, sends it to the artist, who draws the whole thing, and then sends it back to the writer, who fills in the dialogue. And while Stan did this last step, he must've noticed a continuity mistake Don Heck made: Captain America attacks a group of four gangsters, but when the fight really starts, only three enemies remain. So Cap suddenly says: "One of the thugs ran away!" And to really drive the point home: When the police appears after the fight is over, they immediately say "We captured the one that ran away", without being asked, even though they have no reason to connect the fleeing man to this robbery, unless they were close enough to help Cap.

During the fight we have another case of "poor, weak Captain America", when he says, it's a good thing he tackled them, because Iron Man or Thor could've really hurt them. We also habe Rick Jones tackling a huge, muscly man, only to get knocked away. I might ask, why Cap still hasn't pulled the plug of him becoming a sidekick, even though Rick is little more than a teenager...but I'd rather ask: In the pages of Tales to Astonish, it's been established, that Rick is back with the Hulk, helping him! And he won't leave there for a while...is he just travelling back and forth all the time?

The Mole Man basically plans to kill everyone on the surface and then come back up to kill him. Although speeding up the rotation is an excellent way to kill on a global scale...having the earth stop abruptly not only needs more energy, than should exist on earth, but it would also pretty much wreck the core as well...next to, you know, hurting the integrity of the earth to an insanely degree. Moly, that was poorly thought out.

As was the pacing of this issue: A lot of time at the beginning is spent with everyone laughing at Giant-Man, until he gets captured. Halfway though the issue, Stan takes his time to show off Cap once more while fighting the Thugs (and again he uses low-level villains to glorify Captain America, which by now just hurts...), before they finally descend. And then, in the last third of the issue, he suddenly decides to throw in a SECOND villain with the Red Ghost, who got a power upgrade and got rid of his apes...

Being at least a bit used to rushed endings, the creative team at least managed to keep the last couple of pages in one consistent  fast pace, showing off multiple attacks from one sides and the counter from the other, before letting Ant-Man save the day, surprisingly in a logical, not deus-ex-machina-way. It's all still rushed, but not as bad as they did before...they seem to have caught themselves early enough.

thetrevdor
thetrevdor member

@JackStamper This isn't the first time such a thing has happened, though. If you look at issue #9, wherein the Avengers fight Wonder Man, Captain America is suspicious of Wonder Man until Enchantress ensorcels him. From that moment, Cap suddenly jumps into action saying that they'll save Wonder Man, except that Wonder Man never actually says anything about it. The rest of the Avengers, too, just don't ask any questions, despite the fact that Captain America just basically made up the fact that Wonder Man was in trouble. 


This is the sort of thing that happens all the time in Silver Age comics, and Marvel was particularly bad about it. Also, the discrepancies between where Rick Jones spends his time over several books is something that, really, shouldn't be paid too much attention to. Because of the very nature of comic books, stuff like this happens constantly. The response to these inconsistencies is simply "Hey, it fits where it fits." It's fun to make fun of, but you're also trying to pick apart stuff that's literally 50 years old and was being marketed and sold primarily to children. 


And the issues of pacing really is endemic to pretty much all comics of this era. Comics were supposed to be a complete yarn, and that's what makes these issues so weirdly fascinating: a complete story will almost never quite go the way you expect, except for the return to the status quo and the good guys winning in the end. Otherwise, every issue is a collection of a series of WTF moments, where the entire idea of entertainment came from unexpected and unanticipated plot twists that sometimes work almost completely contrary to all logic. 

JackStamper
JackStamper member

@thetrevdor @JackStamper Of course this stuff happens in comics. Still, it's always fun pointing it out, and it can be made better. 

Also, I never said the pacing is bad, because it has to end after an issue. As I wrote earlier, it was just a bit bad planning, with an unneeded scene for Cap and a secondary villain thrown in close to the end, that made the story longer than they had the space for, so in the end they had to rush anything. Of course this is due to the way they worked back then...nowadays, I think you first write a roadmap for a story, carefully distributing pages to portions of the story needed to be told. The Silver Age comics read, like the artists just got the story and started to draw, occasionally comparing the number of remaining pages to the amount of story left and adjusting their pace. It's just the way things were going back then.