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Avengers #99: Review

May 1972
Roy Thomas, Barry Smith

Story Name:

Whom the Gods Would Destroy ... They First Make Mad

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #99 Review by (February 14, 2012)
Now Hawkeye takes Scarlet Witch aside and professes a long-simmering love for her. Vision overhears and pointedly leaves them to it. But Wanda brushes Clint off and goes to see her brother Pietro. Quicksilver confronts her with his suspicion that she is in love with Vision. And she admits it. Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are now attacked by Olympian demigods Kratos and Bia, sent by Ares to get Hercules, who seems unwilling or unable to fight back. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the fight, followed by Hawkeye. Vision is expressing his angst to Jarvis, who has also noticed the sparks between him and Wanda. But then he hears the commotion and rushes to aid his comrades. But he arrives to find his love unconscious, and does nothing to stop Kratos and Bia taking Hercules with them, but just cradles her body. Angry Hawkeye accuses Vision of dereliction of duty, and Vision admits that he couldn't do anything while Wanda was hurt. His feelings are now out in the open. But Wanda is disappointed in the 'man' she loves. The Avengers agree to table the discussion for now, and invade Olympus for answers.

At the end of last issue Clint Barton returned in his old identity as Hawkeye (but in a new costume), accompanied by Hercules amnesiac but spouting a prophecy that last issue's villain Ares would enslave Earth and Asgard. The Avengers now fail to restore Herc's memory. Including contacting Black Panther and Ant-Man for scientific advice. Meanwhile Hawkeye explains how he got here. He was last seen in #96 infiltrating a Skrull spaceship that was intent on destroying the Earth. He was still costumed as Goliath, but without any growth serum. So he jury-rigged a makeshift bow and arrows, and used his old skills to destroy some machinery which resulted in the ship exploding. Clint escaped in his one-man craft, and made it back to Earth. He found himself in Yugoslavia, and joined a travelling circus as an archer. Whose strong man turned out to be Hercules, whom they'd picked wandering in Greece without his memory. When the carnival reached Belgrade Clint tried to phone the Avengers, but got no answer. So he tried Tony Stark and got Kevin O'Brien (in Guardsman armour), who arranged a flight home to the US for him and Hercules. (Kevin has since died in Iron Man #46.)

In a fit of stupidity I've just added my synopsis as Comments.

Roy Thomas has been building the Scarlet Witch/Vision relationship for a year and a half. The first signs were in #81, but they didn't declare their love to each other until #91. None of the other Avengers knew about this, and Vision suppressed his feelings because he thought himself not worthy. Quicksilver was angry at how cold Vision was acting towards his sister in #93, but he possibly suspected even then what was really going on. Wanda seemed to accept Vision's coldness as rejection. Vision temporarily allowed his worry over kidnapped Wanda to cloud his judgement in #95. Cap began to wonder about Vision's feelings in #96, and Vision brutally beat a Skrull trying to find out where Wanda was. Last issue Vision deliberately stopped himself from rushing to her aid. But this issue his control fails. Hawkeye fancied Wanda from at least #25, but she had a crush on Cap from at least #23. However Hawkeye's attentions were redirected when his old love Black Widow reappeared in #29, until she dumped him in #76. I don't think he has turned back to Wanda since then until now. I think the old Cap/Hawkeye/Wanda triangle was just a rote plot device. Dr Don Blake had his delicate relationship with his nurse Jane Foster and Tony Stark with his secretary Pepper Potts, as would later Matt Murdock with Karen Page. Bruce Banner fell in love with General's daughter Betty Ross, probably the only woman on the military base, or at least the only unmarried one. All these heroes were involved with the one woman their story presented them with. Translated into the team books, where teams had one and only one female member, that woman had to be the centre of the relationships. The X-Men had Scott and Warren vying for the affections of Jean Grey. Fantastic Four couldn't have Sue's brother or Reed's best friend threatening their romance, so Sub-Mariner was brought in to fill the bill. In the early Avengers Jan was Hank's established girlfriend, so the best that could be m

I'm not doing very well in this issue. I've tried to enter too much in a Comment again, and it's chopped the end off. The back end of the Comment below should be:- In the early Avengers Jan was Hank's established girlfriend, so the best that could be managed was having her flirt with the others to make Hank jealous. But when the old order changethed, Wanda was free to fill the standard role. This role also extended to being the object of desire for guest stars, eg Hercules. And for villains, eg in #75-76 Arkon wanted Wanda to be his queen. And it was also a standard response that Wanda was tempted (see also Sue and Namor).

Barry Smith again pencils this 2nd part of the Avengers 100th anniversary story. Kevin O'Brien was one of Tony Stark's scientists, introduced in Iron Man #31. He rapidly became Stark's right-hand man, and learned of his Iron Man role in IM#37. Hawkeye contacting Kevin and Kevin's reported death mean that the continuous sequence IM#41-47 must occur between the end of the Kree/Skrull War in #97 and this trilogy starting last issue. In that storyline Stark gave Kevin the Guardsman armour to help defend Stark Industries (before IM#43). But Kevin was in love with Stark's girlfriend Marianne Rodgers. The untested armour amplified his emotions and he turned against Stark. Guardsman died in battle with Iron Man in IM#46. The Indexes indicate that Clint's phone call takes place between IM#45 and #46. The Guardsman armour will later be worn by Kevin's brother Michael. And even later it will be duplicated all over the place. Hawkeye says his bow and new costume belonged to an archer that used to work for the carnival. The Avengers Forever limited series will take him from his carnival stint, with the bow but still wearing his old Goliath duds. Thor made no appearances between the Kree/Skrull War and now, because the long storyline he is currently involved in during Thor #182-205 is considered to happen after this. Iron Man founded the Illuminati in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 before IM#41-47. The only other member's appearance thrown into the gap is part of Captain America #144. This makes me wonder why there was no answer at Avengers Mansion when Hawkeye called. Not even Jarvis was there? Black Panther left the Avengers in #88 to protect Wakanda from Dr Doom in Astonishing Tales #6-7. After that he showed up in Fantastic Four #119. Ant-Man was here as recently as #93, and since then has had a backup tale in IM#44. Rick Jones is also in the issue, not doing much, just hanging around so he can be in #100. Kratos and Bia have previously appeared in #

Oops! The system's cut the end off my Comment again. This time it's just the number 50.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #99 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

At the end of last issue Clint Barton returned in his old identity as Hawkeye (but in a new costume), accompanied by Hercules amnesiac but spouting a prophecy that last issue's villain Ares would enslave Earth and Asgard. The Avengers now fail to restore Herc's memory. Including contacting Black Panther and Ant-Man for scientific advice.

Meanwhile Hawkeye explains how he got here. He was last seen in #96 infiltrating a Skrull spaceship that was intent on destroying the Earth. He was still costumed as Goliath, but without any growth serum. So he jury-rigged a makeshift bow and arrows, and used his old skills to destroy some machinery which resulted in the ship exploding. Clint escaped in his one-man craft, and made it back to Earth.

He found himself in Yugoslavia, and joined a travelling circus as an archer. Whose strong man turned out to be Hercules, whom they'd picked wandering in Greece without his memory.

When the carnival reached Belgrade Clint tried to phone the Avengers, but got no answer. So he tried Tony Stark and got Kevin O'Brien (in Guardsman armour), who arranged a flight home to the US for him and Hercules. (Kevin has since died in Iron Man #46.)

Now Hawkeye takes Scarlet Witch aside and professes a long-simmering love for her. Vision overhears and pointedly leaves them to it. But Wanda brushes Clint off and goes to see her brother Pietro. Quicksilver confronts her with his suspicion that she is in love with Vision. And she admits it.

Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are now attacked by Olympian demigods Kratos and Bia, sent by Ares to get Hercules, who seems unwilling or unable to fight back. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the fight, followed by Hawkeye.

Vision is expressing his angst to Jarvis, who has also noticed the sparks between him and Wanda. But then he hears the commotion and rushes to aid his comrades.

But he arrives to find his love unconscious, and does nothing to stop Kratos and Bia taking Hercules with them, but just cradles her body.

Angry Hawkeye accuses Vision of dereliction of duty, and Vision admits that he couldn't do anything while Wanda was hurt. His feelings are now out in the open. But Wanda is disappointed in the 'man' she loves.

The Avengers agree to table the discussion for now, and invade Olympus for answers.


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Barry Smith
Tom Sutton
?
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Barry Smith (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man

(Hank Pym)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Guardsman (Kevin O'Brien), Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Kratos and Bia.