Avengers: Timeslide #1: Review

Feb 1996
Bob Harras, Frank Toscano

Story Name:

Timeslide

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Avengers: Timeslide #1 Review by (April 11, 2011)
These Comment blocks are in reverse order.

This is all based on Marvel time matching real years for the first 3 years. Any attempt to allow even more real years to elapse between FF#1 and DD#1 leaves even less of the 10 year gap to for the rest of Marvel history into. (I won't go into the thorny problem of how to cram the whole of the Marvel era into a few years. Better men than I have already made valiant attempts at it.) **** An alternative of course is to ignore the Marvel era problem, but say the Avengers have gone back further than FF#1. Ignore Howard Stark's newspaper, and say the meeting Sue and Ben are rushing to isn't about an imminent spaceflight. This allows some more time for Tony and Peter to grow up, and Matt to get his law degree. **** The online Unofficial Chronology to the Marvel Universe agrees with this theory. It has Stark inheriting his father's business (aged 21) 4 years before FF#1. This puts Timeslide at 6 years before FF#1. At this point Peter Parker would be about 10, which fits somewhat better with his depiction here. And in their scheme Matt Murdock has already started at Columbia University, which doesn't interfere with his presence here in New York. **** The fly in this ointment is Sue and Ben going to see Reed about *anything* at that time. In the UCMU Ben would be in the Air Force, and Sue hasn't seen him or Reed since she met them when she was 12. **** There is a related problem in that Jarvis says this is the day Maria Stark dies (in the main Marvel timeline). However all the respected authorities say that Howard and Maria died together, 2 years later. I wonder if this is an attempt to absolve the Avengers from any blame for shortening their lives in this timeline.

The claim that the Avengers have gone back 10 years is presumably meant to fit in with the general idea that Fantastic Four #1 always happened 10 years ago. And Howard Stark's newspaper says the FF's fateful spaceflight is imminent. **** However I have some problem accepting this. Not just because this would make older Tony now only 29, when he was clearly depicted as mature (and probably older than 29) when Iron Man started. But also because of some of the other appearances that have been shoe-horned in. **** Matt Murdock is described as teenaged, but by depiction he is at the 20-end of teenage. Even if Marvel time travels at the same speed as real time for the first few years, this doesn't give him long to get a law degree in time to open his law office for Daredevil #1 less than 3 years later (from FF#1 Nov 1961 to DD#1 Apr 1964). **** Peter Parker is clearly shown as a pre-teen in short trousers. Not only would this make him somewhat dubiously less than 20 at the time of the Crossing crossover, but would make him younger than claimed (a High School kid) when bitten by the radioactive spider in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug 1962). **** Even Tony Stark's life story causes problems. His trip home from M.I.T. fits with him having just graduated at 19, having entered college at the tender age of 15. But the online Marvel Universe and various editions of the Handbook of the Marvel Universe agree that his parents were killed 2 years later in a car crash when Tony was 21. Tony inherited his father's company, but this would mean Iron Man's debut in Tales of Suspense #39 (Mar 1963) must happen very soon after. And 21 year old Tony must already be a debonair man-about-town. **** Note that Iron Man: The Iron Age #1 might support this reading. It doesn't say how long elapses between Stark taking over the company and ToS#39, but gives the impression that it isn't very long. And it has Tony already a proficient playboy before 21.

The script makes it sound like the Anachronauts have occupied Avengers mansion for a long time. No previous issue makes this claim. The mansion was walled off by Stark's 'security towers' in Avengers #392 because they couldn't stop enemies coming through the door in the basement. And in my timeline subsequent issues of the crossover happened in a few days following this. Since then only Neut has been seen to actually come through the door, in Iron Man #322. **** The Iron Man hologram at the door must somehow have been left by his good side. While his bad side was secret, his good side didn't know what was going on. But after his bad side took over in Iron Man #323, he still seemed to have traces of his good side, supposedly due to teenage Luna's earlier intrusions. Perhaps his good side could occasionally take control to do things like this hologram. **** Malachi and Tobias keep referring to themselves as 'this one', which would fit with their being raised by Mantis. But this one is the only issue they do it in. **** The reason the Avengers embark on the events of this issue is to get hold of young Tony Stark to help them against his older self. They don't mention that they need a version of Tony before he is corrupted by Kang. Nor that they expect him to be the only person able to understand his future self's technology. **** The fact that they take young Tony to the future and don't bring him back (and that his parents'?death is different from the main Marvel timeline) means that the Avengers have created a divergent timeline to take Tony from.

This issue of the Crossing crossover follows from Avengers #394. **** This is Thor's only appearance in this crossover. Where does it fit within his own series? He wears the minimalist costume he donned at the end of Thor #493 and kept for several issues through #496, which is part of the First Sign crossover which follows the Crossing. At the end of #495 the Avengers recruit him into their post-Crossing ranks. And in the middle of #495 Thor rings Jarvis and asks how young Tony Stark is, so that scene must follow this issue. At the beginning of #495 Thor loses his godly powers, and becomes just a very strong mortal. His weakened state in this issue could refer to that, although #495 isn't written with any suitable gap in time for his brief visit to happen. There is another alternative. Thor was also weakened during the Worldengine storyline in #491-494. This appearance could occur between #493 and #494 within the Worldengine story, and he doesn't stick around for the rest of the crossover because he has to rush off to #494. **** Captain America does stay with the Avengers to see them through to the end of the crossover. His position is easier to pinpoint. He was assumed dead in Captain America #444. #445-448 detailed how Red Skull saved him from death, for his own purposes. #449 is part of the First Sign crossover. So Cap arrives here fresh from #448.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: Timeslide #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This part of the Crossing crossover continues from AVENGERS #394.

The Avengers (Black Widow, Crystal, Giant-Man, Hercules, Vision and Wasp) plus Century and Thor are attacking their own mansion, which is occupied by Kang's Anachronaut army.

These Anachronauts are members of Kang's new army. None of them are original Anachronauts from the Citizen Kang crossover. Compared with the squad that attacked in Avengers: The Crossing, which didn't include Malachi and Tobias, this bunch all look like clones of the twins, particularly of Tobias.

Moonraker and Swordsman have been severly injured, But there is no reason given why Deathcry, Hawkeye, Masque and Quicksilver don't accompany the rest of the heroes from Avengers #394.

The Avengers have to break through Stark's 'security towers' to get at the mansion, set up in Avengers #392 ostensibly to keep in any enemies who broke in through the mysterious door in the basement.

Captain America joins them, which confuses the crowd because they thought he died in Captain America #444.

The Avengers see Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) appear briefly. Rita is nearing the end of the time hops that brought her back from an alternate 31st Century, as seen in Avengers: The Crossing.

Thor is in a weakened condition due to the Worldengine story in Thor #491-494, and is bested by Tobias.

The other heroes make it the door in the basement, along with Jarvis, the Avengers' butler. Hercules uses the security code teenage Luna left in his mind to open it. Teenage Luna from the future accosted Hercules during one of her brief manifestations in Avengers: The Crossing, and left something in his mind. The information was somehow extracted using an image inducer in Avengers #394. It is only now that we are told it was the combination to the door. The door has been lurking, unusable, in Avengers mansion basement since Avengers #382 (and behind the scenes since #375). Iron Man opened it in The Crossing, letting Kang's minion Neut through.

A hologram of Iron Man congratulates the Avengers and urges them on, as Tobias catches up with them.

The door sucks everyone into the timestream, but Giant-Man stops Crystal, Hercules and Wasp from following the rest. Century uses his teleportation staff Parallax to guide Black Widow, Captain America, Jarvis and Vision to when they want to go, but doesn't follow them. Unfortunately Tobias does follow.

Black Widow, Captain America and Jarvis wind up in the mansion '10 years ago', and meet a younger version of the butler. Before it was Avengers mansion it was the Stark family home. Jarvis insisted on coming on the mission because he's the only one young Tony Stark is likely to believe. Younger Jarvis agrees to help them. Older Jarvis realises this is the day Tony's mother Maria dies.

19 year old Tony Stark is on his way home from M.I.T. with his girlfriend Meredith (who will reappear later in his life as Meredith McCall and Meredith Alden). They drive past pre-teen Peter Parker with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Tony mentions being taught by Prof Slaght. This professor turned up recently in Iron Man #314-318.

Tobias has landed outside the Baxter Building before the Fantastic Four live there, and is seen by mailman Willie Lumpkin.

Blind teenage Matt Murdock finds damaged Vision in an alley, and helps him to the Stark place, passing as-yet-unpowered Sue Storm and Ben Grimm on their way to a top secret meeting with Reed Richards. He wonders what Stick would make of Vision.

Tobias confronts Howard and Maria Stark, demanding to know where their son is. Black Widow and Captain America rush to their defense. Matt Murdock and Vision arrive at the mansion just as the fight starts, and Vision leaves Matt outside.

Tony gets there and rushes in, followed by Matt, just as Tobias flies off with his parents.

After Jarvis convinces Tony about what is going on, Tony tracks his mother via a communicator he built for her, to Latveria where Dr Doom has just taken over. Tobias has gone after Doom's time machine, to get back to the present.

Black Widow, Captain America, Vision, old Jarvis and young Tony follow him. Tony dons a SHIELD-agent-like suit with a metal gauntlet and power pack he has invented. Matt Murdock wants to accompany them, but Black Widow stops him. Black Widow's exchange with Matt (who will of course become Daredevil) has overtones because of their on-off romance in years to come.

The heroes attack Tobias, but Tony's parents get killed by falling masonry. Malachi rescues Tobias in Luna's time-chair, which he had found difficult to control. It doesn't say how Malachi got hold of the time-chair, after dying Luna left it with the Avengers in Avengers #394.

Dr Doom, who has recently taken over Latveria, sends the heroes back to the future via his time machine, to get them out of his way.

This leg of the Crossing continues in IRON MAN #325.

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Frank Toscano
Scott Koblish
Mike Thomas
Roger Cruz (Cover Penciler)
Luke Ross (Cover Inker)
Plot: .

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Daredevil
Daredevil

(Matt Murdock)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Anachronauts, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Howard Stark, Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Space Phantoms, Willie Lumpkin.