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Avengers #142: Review

Dec 1975
Steve Englehart, George Perez

Story Name:

Go west, young gods

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Avengers #142 Review by (March 26, 2014)
The Official Index lists the last chronologically previous appearances of the cowboys. As all their series had finished by then or gone into total reprint mode they were able to choose the last non-reprint story and assume the Avengers tale happened later. For Kid Colt it lists Giant-Size KC#3. In this case the Marvel Continuity Project has a better idea - the later KC#201 which was the last to include a non-reprint story (and the last of all the cowboy non-reprints). And coincidentally published in the same month as Av#142. Night Rider also has GSKC#3 which included a KC/NR team-up. This was the last *published* story of Carter Slade. But there is at least 1 CS tale which has to occur later, as I will explain next issue. On the other hand Rawhide Kid is given KC#201, his last published non-reprint appearance, in this case a KC/RK team-up. Ringo Kid is taken all the way back to Gunsmoke Western #53, his last published new appearance. (His 1970's issues were all reprints.) Two-Gun Kid has #104 of his own series, the last to contain a non-reprint story.

Kid Colt may be the longest-running cowboy comic character, with his own series lasting from 1948 to 1979, though with mostly reprints in the later years, and lots of other appearances. Rawhide Kid had his own series in the mid-50's, and revived in the early 60'. His series too lasted until the end of the 70's, again with many reprints. Ringo Kid was also a 'child' of the 50's, but stayed there. His 70's series was a reprint of the original. There was *a* Two-Gun Kid in the late 40's, even preceding Kid Colt. But *this* Matt Hawk Kid Colt was invented in the early 60's. He was the 1st of these heroes to maintain a secret public identity. Night Rider is also an invention of modern Marvel. He was originally Ghost Rider in his own series in 1967. But he's been renamed here to avoid confusion with the later motorbike-riding supernatural hero. Later he'll get called Phantom Rider. He also had an active secret id Carter Slade.

Despite being part of the Serpent Crown story this issue and the next will concentrate on Kang and the cowboys. The cover is misleading, showing the cowboys fighting the Avengers (including Hawkeye). And Iron Man's included when he's not in the Wild West past. Moondragon and Thor don't do anything during the attempted robbery. In fact they don't do much the rest of the issue either. This story really spotlights Hawkeye and the cowboys.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #142 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue concentrates almost exclusively on the Wild West adventures of Hawkeye, Moondragon and Thor, leaving the Avengers in the present day to stew in captivity.

Immortus has brought Moondragon and Thor back to 1873 to find the missing Hawkeye. But at the end of last issue they were accosted by someone we didn't see. This issue it turns out to be Night Rider accompanied by Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid, Ringo Kid and Two-Gun Kid.

Thor impresses them by calling down rain and lightning. Moondragon hears them mention Hawkeye and they persuade the cowboys to take them to him. Thor impresses them even more by flying.

They arrive in Tombstone, Two-Gun Kid's home town, and he takes them to the law office of Matthew Hawk (his secret ID) where Hawkeye is hiding. The archer tells the Avengers how he got here.

Clint left the Avengers Mansion in #137 intending to bring ex-Avenger Black Knight back from the 12th Century. He used Dr Doom's time platform, but was ambushed by Kang during his time trip. They fought and were both knocked off course, and Hawkeye wound up here.

He found Tombstone, but was surprised to see a futuristic building in the middle and locals talking about men from Mars. He sneaked into town and contacted Matt Hawk, whom history told him was Two-Gun Kid. Two-Gun rounded up the rest of the gang.

Immortus confirms that Kang is here. He intends this time to conquer the 20th Century by conquering the 19th. (Possibly he's still trying to get control of the Celestial Madonna, as #129 said all his attacks on the 20th Century were aimed at.) Immortus doesn't object when Thor threatens to kill Kang (even though Kang is his earlier self). Hawkeye has a plan.

In the present the other Avengers and Patsy Walker are prisoners in a cage constructed by Dr Spectrum's Power Prism. They have been captured by the Squadron Supreme, heroes from another timeline working for Roxxon Oil's CEO Hugh Jones. Patsy tries to goad her ex-husband Security Chief Buzz Baxter, but it does no good. But Captain America too has a plan.

Hawkeye knows that the Pecos train is carrying uranium from a mine. In this age uranium isn't thought of as expensive enough or dangerous enough to warrant guards. But Hawkeye knows that Kang will want it. So he plans to ambush any ambushers.

Moondragon and Thor go on the train in disguise as passengers, while Hawkeye and the cowboys ride parallel to the track on horseback. Sure enough a group of outlaws attack the train, and Hawkeye shoots a fire arrow as a signal to his fellows. He and the cowboys capture the whole gang (led by a guy called Ace whom Rawhide Kid knows, but I don't know that he is from any specific adventure). There's movie stunts like leaping from your horse to knock a baddie off his horse. Hawkeye fights 2 guys on top of the train. Half-native Ringo Kid reacts badly to slurs against 'injuns'. Night Rider does his ghost impression in a dark cave. And Two-Gun Kid in particular takes a big risk leaping from a cliff, trying to measure up to the Avengers.

Another fire arrow alerts Moondragon and Thor to break cover, and Thor takes them both into the sky. And Hawkeye wants to know how the outlaws were going to meet up with Kang.


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> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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George Perez
Vince Colletta
Janice Cohen
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Marv Wolfman.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hellcat
Hellcat

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Buzz Baxter, Dr. Spectrum (Squadron Supreme), Golden Archer, Hugh Jones, Hyperion (Squadron Supreme), Immortus, Kid Colt, Lady Lark, Moondragon, Phantom Rider (Carter Slade), Rawhide Kid, Ringo Kid, Two-Gun Kid, Whizzer (Squadron Supreme).