Avengers Fridays

Avengers Fridays: The Old Order Changeth #8

Re-live another changing of the guard and the frightening fall of a founding Avenger!

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By Jim Beard

"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"

As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!

So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!

 

How do we know for certain when the "old order changeth"? When it says so, right on the cover! AVENGERS #211 heralded another change-up in the

AVENGERS #211 cover
line-up and though this new membership only graced the book's pages briefly, it brought with it a terrible turn of tragedy. It began and ended with Moondragon...

Captain America invoked his right as chairman of Earth's Mightiest Heroes to limit the number of members in AVENGERS #211, and a bevy of heroes waltzed in to apply. It all turned out to be a masterful manipulation by the so-called "goddess," Moondragon-known to the Avengers as a pain-in-the-butt-and one she retracted once realizing her folly. Alas, the team gained a new line-up in the wake of the Titaness' desire to call the shots: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket and the she-cat known as Tigra.

Though serving the team well during their stay, the Beast, Wonder Man, the Scarlet Witch, the Vision and Jocasta all took a walk to clear their heads and re-assess their lives and careers. In hindsight, they stand as the lucky ones; what came next represented one of the lowest points in the history of the Avengers' membership.

AVENGERS #213 cover
When the rage of the Elfqueen threatened Washington, D.C. in AVENGERS #212, Yellowjacket buzzed around liked he owned the place and jumped the gun, resulting in near-disaster. Cap blew his stack and brought founding member Hank Pym up on charges of reckless behavior in the field; Yellowjacket received a suspension until a formal court martial and, in turn, the Wasp received a black eye from Hank's rage over the incident. AVENGERS #213 told the sordid tale.

Pym's arc rolled out in ever-increasing erratic fashion, his demeanor one of insanity and his actions a blot on his Avengers record. Designing and building a giant robot to attack the team so that he in turn could "save the day" backfired in his face and the Avengers found themselves forced to expel a charter member, a hero until that tragic day. The ultimate tragedy arrived in AVENGERS #217, wherein Yellowjacket's old enemy Egghead tricked Hank into invading SAC headquarters out west; Hank claimed he'd been duped, but the Avengers saw only guilt. Pym wound up in jail.

AVENGERS #216 cover
By that point, the team stood at only three active members: Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. Tigra tried hard to live up to the standards of her peers, but quit in AVENGERS #216 after a harrowing encounter with the malevolent Molecule Man. Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, took a leave of absence after all the trouble with Hank Pym, and when the dust cleared Earth's Mightiest Heroes took a cold, hard look at themselves and saw a skeleton of a team.

The menaces still attacked, of course. During this line-up's tenure the usual cast of cretins crawled out of their holes to prove themselves against the team: elfqueens, ghost riders, molecule manipulators and ageless immortals unable to die. Then, Moondragon reappeared and dragged the heroes off to the alien world of Ba-Bahi to fight a war for her sake. The Avengers resisted, naturally, but the bald-headed beauty insisted and drove them to battle armies of alien warriors on her behalf in AVENGERS #219.

AVENGERS #220 cover
By AVENGERS #220, it became clear that three or four super heroes just didn't cut the mustard as a competent, qualified team of Avengers. Their ranks needed replenishing and Avengers Mansion once again needed to ring with the sounds of new members finding their places in history. And so it came to pass...

 

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1 comments
sarahpaul
sarahpaul

As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on [url=http://givehimpleasure.org/]@$!@%#-*@[/url] the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!