Monday, October 1, 2012

Avengers #35

"The Light That Failed!"

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: Don Heck
Letterer: Sam Rosen
some guy named Lee edited it, with his name at the top.

this is Roy Thomas first Avengers story.  and as that, I can't quite believe the huge mistake that happened in the first two pages of the comic.  what the heck was he thinking?

yes, it really is that boneheaded.  it's probably what caused the invention of the famous "no-prize" for readers to try to explain it away, and I'd love to see how it was done.  'cause I just can't grasp it.
anyway, the Living Laser has Hawkeye and Cap trapped inside an ever shrinking laser cell.  Cap decides that using his shield is the only way to get out of it, but alas, the shield completely disintegrates from being tossed into the laser beams.  "as if it were papier-mache`" to quote Cap directly.  fortunately, Goliath arrives and saves the heroes.  they head back to the Mansion to figure out their next course of action.

meanwhile, the Wasp wakes up and the Laser tells her about his delusion of love.  he also meets with some would be revolutionaries from Costa Verde to "help" them overthrow the current dictator.  he's smart enough to know they are merely replacing one bad government with another, but all he wants is money and fame.

then he decides to take over Costa Verde.  who didn't see that coming?  we are on page 8, and the rest of the Avengers are headed south to retrieve the Wasp.  mysteriously, Cap has a new shield. Hank was gone for a while, and won't tell the others what he was doing.

the battle begins and there's a lot of action.  finally, when the chips are down, the "big change in Goliath" promised on the cover happens- he can shrink again!  he rewires the Laser's cannon and saves the day.  as they return to the Mansion, Bill Foster is still his lab assistant and Natasha is mad at Clint for going to a luxury spot like Costa Verde without her.  then Cap is greeted by a mysterious guest...

not a bad debut for Roy, overall.  the characterization of the women isn't great, but the boys do well.  I like that the Laser isn't blind to the revolutionaries and doesn't care, and the Avengers don't want to interfere in the local decisions (though it's wrapped up pro-democracy anyway).  the shield thing still amazes me.  was it ever explained away?

next: "The Ultroids Attack!"


C. Elam said...

This was before the shield was established as being indestructible, much less that it was special. There is an earlier issue of either Avengers or Tales of Suspense where it's been hollowed out and gadgets placed inside it (courtesy of Tony Stark, natch).

I think the hollowed out shield was retconned into being a replacement for the original, and that would serve as an explanation for why the shield went pfft here. It just wasn't the "real" shield.

David McRobie said...

yeah, I am sure they eventually did that, but to not even address it in the story? that's where the problem is! I can only imagine the readers LOC. those would be awesome.

C. Elam said...

As I said, the shield wasn't portrayed as indestructible at that point. Well, maybe sometimes, but not consistently. It's only through the prism of what we know is coming that it looks odd. I'm sure the thought was, "Oh, he just got a new shield," and that he had backups in reserve. Though, maybe readers asked about it?

For what it's worth, the Marvel Wikia says, "In Cap's early adventures with the Avengers, the shield appeared to be destroyed a number of times, only to appear whole again in time for the next adventure. It was later explained that the curious Stark had frequently borrowed the unique shield for analysis and provided a steel replica for Cap to use each time." So apparently it happened more than once.