Friday, May 4, 2012

Avengers Week! Avenger-ing Through the Groovy Age


Are you excited, Groove-ophiles? Ol' Groove sure is! It's the end of AVENGERS WEEK and almost time to hit the theater to see Marvel's Avengers!  Got my tickets in advance, gonna hit the theater with the family early (for some good seats!), and prepare myself to be taken away into comicbook movie nirvana! Do I have high hopes? YEP! But so far Marvel Studios hasn't let me down, so I find it really (really, really, really...) hard to believe they're going to now. But what to do until showtime? Ah, glad you asked, Grasshopper...

We don't need Dr. Doom's time platform or Kang's ka-razee time-tripping powers! Through the power of pulp and ink and the Internet we can go Avenger-ing Through the Groovy Age? Ready? Let's go!!

When the Groovy Age kicked off, Captain America, Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Hercules were the ones who came runnin' when someone cried "Avengers Assemble!" T'was a good mix of personalities and powers, but they spent too much time on fighting communists and also-rans like the Mad Thinker, Diablo, and Dragon Man. With the release of the first Avengers Special (Summer 1967), Thor and Iron Man returned to the fold (at least temporarily) as our super-team supreme battled a crew of major baddies led by the Mandarin. Now THAT was an epic!

After that things started really popping...Goliath was forced back into his Ant-Man persona in ish #46...

The new, heroic Black Knight made the scene in ish 48...

Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch fell back under the thrall of Magneto in Avengers #49...

Ant-Man went back to being Goliath (and changed the colors of his uniform) in ish 51...

The Grim Reaper made his debut and the Black Panther joined the team in #52...


Jarvis, the Avengers' ever-faithful butler, was forced to turn against the assemblers by Ultron (making his debut in the process) in Avengers 54-55...

In ish 57 the Vision makes his debut, then he  joins in Avengers 58...

Goliath becomes Yellowjacket in issue 59, then marries the Wasp in #60...


Hawkeye becomes the new Goliath in Avengers 63...

We get our first look at the Squadron Sinister in ish 69...

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch return in issue 75...

We meet Red Wolf in Avengers 80, Valkyrie in ish 83, and Squadron Supreme in #85...


The Kree-Skrull War blows up in issues 89-97...

All the Avengers assemble to battle Ares and the Enchantress in Avengers #100...

With ish 104, the incredible Roy Thomas ends his Groovy Age reign as Avengers author supreme, with the phenomenal Steve Englehart taking the ball and running starting with issue 105, with the search for the missing Quicksilver...

Hawkeye quits in Avengers 109...

Black Widow joins in 111, then quits and issue later...

Vision and Scarlet Witch make their love public in issue 113...


Swordsman returns bringing Mantis with him in #114...

Avengers vs. Defenders in issues 116-118...


The Celestial Madonna saga takes off in Avengers 128...

Giant-Size Avengers #2 brings Hawkeye back to the fold, while Swordsman bites the Big One...

Fleshed-out origins for Vision and Mantis in issues 133-135...


Vision and Scarlet Witch marry in Giant-Size Avengers #4...

Yellowjacket and Wasp return to the fold while Beast and Moondragon become Avengers in issue #137...

Patsy Walker becomes Hellcat in ish 144...

Englehart leaves with issue 150, leaving incoming writer Gerry Conway to assemble a new team in issue 151...

...and brings Wonder Man back from the dead in ish 152...

New author (he actually took over with issue 156) Jim Shooter gives us the legendary Korvac Saga which runs through issues 167-177...

Writer David Michelinie takes over and gives us yet another grouping of Avengers (picking from this legion of super-heroes) in Avengers 181...

...and introduces the last great Avengers villain--the Taskmaster--in issue 195!

Whew!  That was just the historical highlights! All that greatness was drawn by the way, by the very best artists comicbooks had to offer: Don Heck, John Buscema, George Tuska, Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, Barry (Windsor-) Smith, Rich Buckler, Bob Brown, Dave Cockrum, George Perez, Dave Wenzel, and John Byrne! Is it any wonder Ol' Groove (and just about every other comicbook fan) was nutso for the Avengers, Groove-ophiles? Who knows, if (who am I kidding?) when they make more Avengers movies, maybe they'll adapt characters and stories from the far-out Groovy Age era of the awesome assemblers, huh?

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!










9 comments:

  1. I know you'll enjoy the movie.
    Wait for the credit reveal about who the next villian is.

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  2. Nicely done sir. That makes me want to tear out my back issues and have a good read. Thanks.

    Rip Off

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  3. I think the storylines from this era are too complicated (in a good way) to put in movie form.

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  4. Besides the Avenger's Big 3, I was always a fan of the other members: Mantis,Hellcat,Bl.Panther, Whizzer &Bl.Knight... Issue #80 with Red Wolf was an early issue I owned & read countless times! Am I the only one who digs Yellowjacket + Swordsman? As always - Great memories!

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  5. I guess I'm in the minority of comic book lovers who's not going to see "The Avengers". I hope that everyone who does enjoys the hell out of it. It's terribly unfortunate that kids today are only familiar with The Avengers through a movie and/or video game. Far too many people don't know who Jack Kirby is outside of fandom yet are devouring films and merchandise made from his work. With very few exceptions (Batman: Dead End being the prime one) live action adults in superhero costumes look dumb no matter how "serious" or "grim" the movie is. Superheroes live and breathe on the comic book page because we breathe life into those panels. Superheros belong in comic books. "Unbreakable" in my mind is the best superhero movie ever made because it cuts right to the essence of what a superhero is. Having said all of that let me end by saying I sincerely hope you all enjoy "The Avengers" and enjoy the hell out of it.

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  6. I've enjoyed your Avengers posts this week, so thanks. The teams been my favorite large super group since the sixties and it's always amazed me how good their original title actually was (for the most part) for the first two-hundred issues. Not many long running series were better done, in my opinion.

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  7. Dear Mr Groove
    After your visit,please tell me;do you and your Groovy family
    recommend seeing the movie?
    /Mr Anonymous

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    Replies
    1. Last night Ol' Groove and 10 family members (ages ranging from 10-60-ish) were first in line to see the 7:00 showing of the Avengers. We ALL loved it! It was fun, it was funny, it was heart-wrenching, it was action-packed--it was everything we love in a super-hero movie and more. All the Avengers had their moments to shine. All were in character based on their own movies. There were nods to the Avengers comics, the Marvel tradition of "we're superheroes so we must fight when we meet" was kept alive... I could go on and on but I don't want to start giving things away...

      So to answer your question, Mr. A-- Ol' Groove and the Groove Clan can't recommend this flick highly enough! In fact we're making plans (all 11 plus adding more friends and family) to see it again--very, very soon!

      And Gary, we did stay to see the villain--my daughter and I (the only TRUE comics fans in the bunch) recognized the him--my jaw literally dropped and I shouted "Holy Crap!" in my best Frank Barone voice. WOW!!!

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  8. Thank you,Mr Groove!
    Sounds great!
    I hope I will be able to go and see it.
    /Mr Anonymous

    ReplyDelete

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