Monday, June 27, 2005

THE AVENGERS #198 Marvel Comics, 1980

Does Wolverine even smoke anymore?

I mean, sure, he guts people like fish, but does he smoke and drink anymore? Back in the day Wolverine smoked like a frickin' chimney and could often be seen in bars trying to pick a fight or get in somebody's pants - now he just kills people. Am I off base, here? I don't really read a lot of Wolverine or X-Men comics anymore, on account of them sucking so much ass, so maybe I'm out of the loop. It used to be that Wolverine would smoke and drink but he’d never kill anybody or he’d only kill “androids,” (wink wink) but now it seems like he can Go Manson on people but doesn’t have any other vices. Because, you know, he’s a role model and stuff.

That’s why I like The Avengers #198; because the comic starts with Wonder Man and The Beast just shit-faced drunk after an all-nighter.

Now that’s what I want to see more of: drunken superheroes! And not Tony-Stark-tragic-drunk-superheroes – I’m talking about wacky, fun-loving drunken superheroes! It’s just something we don’t have enough of these days. I would draw the line at showing The Beast snorting a line of coke off a hooker’s ass, but I don’t begrudge the guy a drink now and then. Hell, if I had to fight Ultron or somebody I would be hitting the bar afterwards and boring everybody with my war stories and making people buy me drinks. “I just saved all your asses! Who’s buying Wonder Man a drink?”

Ok, let’s move on to the other thing I want to see more of: giant robots!

This issue, written by David Micheline with art by George Perez, pits The Avengers against a rampaging giant robot named Red Ronin, who was built to fight Godzilla.

Let’s just let that sentence sink in for a minute. How can this not be a great comic book?

Here’s Hank and Simon, still drunk, spotting Red Ronin (or as the cover refers to him, Red Ronan).

“That’s not the booze talking, Wondy…”

Red Ronin has been ‘jacked by the insane Dr. Cowan, who has designed a cybernetic helmet that allows him to control the giant robot from within. His plan? He wants to start World War III to bring humanity together or something. That makes a lot of sense, Dave said ironically.

Anyway, The Avengers intercede. Captain America knows that he can’t do jack shit against a giant robot, so he sends the two Avengers who are actually weaker than him into the robot. Now that is what I call leadership.

Okay, to be fair, Yellowjacket and Wasp are tiny and they can get inside the robot, whereas Cap cannot. They both get blasted out by high-powered vents shortly after entering Red Ronin.

You know, if I was Captain America I’d put my foot down and say, “It’s great that there are so many shrinking heroes, but we’ve got to put a limit on how many we can have on our team. Maybe we could have one full-time shrinking hero and have the rest on-call in case we need somebody to hunt for rats in The Avengers Mansion or recover lost quarters or something.” I mean, the Pym particles that allow Yellowjacket, The Wasp, and the various Ant-Mans to shrink also allow them to grow, too. Would you rather have a teeny-tiny Avenger or a 75 foot Avenger when you have to fight a giant robot? Seems like a no-brainer to me, but Cap’s a tactical genius, so what do I know?

I loved this issue when I was a kid because, hey – giant robot! I have always loved giant robots, though not as much as some people. When I was a kid I had the Mazinga Shogun Warrior figure and I dearly wanted to be little Johnny Sako and have Giant Robot at my beck and call. Alas, in the real world giant robots are rare and not available to children, so I had to turn to the world of fiction. I still want to get one of these, though – I think that’s as close as you can get.

But you know, as this issue clearly demonstrates, if you build a giant robot like Red Ronin, you run the risk of it getting ‘jacked by somebody like crazy-ass Dr. Cowan. How crazy is he? Check it out, his cyber-control helmet has a “destroy” setting:

Clearly he is out of his frickin’ mind.

If it were me, I’d hook up the loudspeaker on Red Ronin and spread a little fear while I was at it:

Giant robots? Drunken superheroes? It is on, indeed!


Devil Doll said...

This was fabulous. The world needs more shit-faced superheroes.

Sadly, since Joe Quesada banned smoking in all Marvel comics, Wolverine et al are no longer allowed to light up, so no stogie to go with that beer.

Ian said...

I sat Wolverine, Howard the Duck, J. Jonah Jameson, the elf who hung around Adam Warlock, Nick Fury and The Thing should all stage a smoke-in at Marvel's office as protest.

Granted that would not happen because those people aren't real but Quesada walking into a smoke filled room with a dismebodiesd voice declaring "if ya's don't likes it, lets us smoke in our own books!" would change things.

Anonymous said...

So Wolverine is allowed to horribly maim and evicerate like 80 guys per issue, but he can't light up? JOEY DA Q, YOUSE A GENIUS!

Anonymous said...

I think all super-villains should yell, "Oh, it's on! It is ON!" I would even buy a Venom comic if he talked like that.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Puck must've knocked a few back in his time. It would explain a lot.

thekelvingreen said...

Red Ronan? I didn't know the Marvel Universe was full of giant Irish robots...

"Ah, saints begorrah, t'be sure, KILL MAIM DESTROY!"

I don't know why Marvel aren't making more use of Red Ronin/Ronan. If I were writing Avengers, I'd have him turn up all the time, because everyone loves giant robots!

I seem to remember Wolverine smoking during Grant Morrison's X-Men run, but I might be making that up.

"I would draw the line at showing The Beast snorting a line of coke off a hooker’s ass..."
I'm sending that to Bendis. You know he'll love to use that in an upcoming issue.

thekelvingreen said...

"Ok, let’s move on to the other thing I want to see more of: giant robots!"

Google "Mega Morphs #1" to see Marvel grant your wish...

Some dangers are too big for even the Marvel Super Heroes--and that’s when they activate Tony Stark’s newest inventions: the Mega Morphs! Super-powerful high-tech transforming robots piloted by the unlikely team of New Avengers’ Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine--along with Ghost Rider and the Hulk?!

Coming in August, True Believer! :)

gorjus said...

Yah, ol' Wolvie smoked in the New X-Men--rather disturbingly in an early issue, the smoke came out of all the holes in him.

On another note, the art in this old Avengers? Is RAD. It's what I thought comics Were Supposed to Look Like.

Brian Cronin said...

I cut Quesdada slack for the smoking ban because, well, his dad was a big smoker and he died of lung cancer, so it clearly is a really personal issue to him.

And I cannot say that HAVING people smoke in comics is a personal issue to ME, so I am fine with deferring to his interest.

Brian Cronin said...

One of the most amusing things about Red Ronin to me is that it is yet ANOTHER Marvel character that was created to tie-in with a Marvel licensed project.

The only problem with that is that licenses do not last forever, so suddenly you have these new characters with connections to characters you can't use anymore.

And that leads to funny stuff like when Marvel did a comic starring the Rom the Space Knight characters that Marvel had invented, but managed to avoid saying "Rom" in the comic...hehe.

thekelvingreen said...

I love superhero safari suits! Perez had Hank Pym wandering around in a safari suit/woollen turtleneck combo for a while, as I recall.

Perhaps the Long Box needs to do a superhero fashion special?

David Campbell said...

THAT is a brilliant idea - A Super Fashion Show! Two points for kelvin.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of licensed books, I hope Dave has a copy of that issue of Godzilla where the Big G is shrunken down to human size and fights Dum Dum Dugan.

Kevin Church said...

Please say that Dum-Dum totally wails on the Big G. Please.

And this is the stuff I really, really want in an Essential Avengers package. Class!

Shon Richards said...

When I run a superhero role-playing game I have just one rule: Sometime, somewhere, no matter the power scale, the heroes will one day fight a giant robot. It just wouldn't be superheroes without a gaint robot.

DougBot said...

Man, you are a man after my own heart. Not enough giant robots for my taste.

The recent ones (Tokyo Storm Warning) were really quite disappointing.

(Wasn't there a Shogun Warriors / FF tie-in? I vaguely remember one.)

Anonymous said...

Re: smoking Wolverines - the Silvestri one in the Wizard preview of NXM #151 had a fat 'gar, but whn the comic came to be published he did not.

Anonymous said...

THIS is where I came into comics: George Perez on the Avengers. Sure, I had the occasional Marvel and from the grocery store every when I was little (I received my first comic when I was four, and I still have it!), but this title? I walked down to the convenience store every month SPECIFICALLY to get the Avengers. This issue, I enjoyed with a Slurppy and a Snickers on the walk back home, and I read it again and again once I made it there. Didn't occur to me then Hank and Simon were sloshed at the time, but it was soooo cool to see the Avengers and SHIELD hooking up to take out the Earth man's answer to a Shogun Warrior. Later in this story arc, Iron Man plugs into the Helicarrier. If I remember the panel correctly, he inhales deeply, and lights up the sky with some serious robot-frying voltage.

It didn't stop Ronin though, but the sight of a wiped-out Iron Man, dangling from lotsa cables after giving all he, that's an image that's stayed with me.

DougBot said...

Ha! I was remembering correctly.

Heck, I may even have this issue, now that I think about it.

Anonymous said...

One of the first titles I collected was "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", where Red Ronin debuted. He was awesome. Built to fight Godzilla, but a plucky young Japanese kid hijacked him to protect Godzilla. You just can't talk to the big G, though, and of course they end up fighting.

But that just led into the three-part saga where Godzilla and Red Ronin fight the BETA-BEASTS! And one of them chops Ronin's head off.

Yeah, that's right. Not just a giant robot, but one that gets DECAPITATED!

Sadly, as GKOTM wound down, they realized that giant lizards are kinda one-trick beings, so yeah, they shrunk down Godzilla and had him fight a rat, Dum Dum Dugan, and the Fantastic Four. It was pretty much downhill from there.

Still one of my favoritest serieses ever though.

Anonymous said...

After you get your Ewok Crusher, get a Badonkadonk.

I tried to put a link here but I got no html skillz. Just google it.

Dan said...

Now this is the kind of post I read Dave's Longbox for.

I would draw the line at showing The Beast snorting a line of coke off a hooker’s ass, but I don’t begrudge the guy a drink now and then.

While I agree in principle, this would be great to see.

Ok, let’s move on to the other thing I want to see more of: giant robots!

Me too. There just aren't enough giant robots in comics anymore. Now that the bloom is off the Gundam series, the world seems a much smaller Giant Robot deficient place.

Alas, in the real world giant robots are rare and not available to children,

You really should put this in the Longbox header, you know for posterity.

Great post Dave!

Anonymous said...

Sign me up for the "More Giant Robots!" crusade. That's one of the things I've disliked about the X-Men over the past decade or so, that it has been EXTREEM! to move the Sentinels away from their Giant Robot-ness. First it was that Bastion/Nimrod "Operation Zero Tolerance" (*shudder* bad 90's crossover titles) thing where the Sentinels were actually people or something. Then, aside from the Genosha massacre (which was awesome for its Giant Robot-ness), Grant Morrison made the questionable decision to go for Nano-Sentinels and Sentinel-Bugs and Sentinel-Animals (wait, that was WE3).

My first X-Men comic was Uncanny #381, an awesome (if very Image-y) arc where the last hurrah of Giant Robot Sentinels included them crashing through the roof of the Reavers' Australian base and toasting them, then following Donald Pierce to New York where they take on the Hellions, the Hellfire Club, and the Gold Team X-Men, in the process doing something very bad to Jean Grey and coma-tizing Emma. Dammit, the Sentinels are bas ass! There's no need to "cool" them up, they're already cool. Big. Robots. Bad Government. Adaptable to powers. What else does an awesome villain need?

*End Rant*

Ah well, at least Joss Whedon remembered and gave us a Giant Robot Sentinel.

Anyway, all this Godzilla talk also reminds me of how little we've seen of Giant Monsters recently, as well. Again, Joss Whedon gave us one (and a nifty X-Men/FF team-up) and Bendis had a T-Rex show up in New Avengers, but what the hell happened to guys like Fin Fang Foom and Fafnir? Where's the return of Giant Monster Island Krakoa? Hell, when was the last time someone other than Bruce Banner had to deal with a rampaging Hulk?

*End Rant #2*

Man, I need a drink...

thekelvingreen said...

The Sentinels popped up towards the end of Busiek's Avengers run. The US Government sends them after Kang, only for him to take control of them himself (because he turns out to actually be Bolivar Trask or something) and use them to torch Washington DC.

As for Fing Fang Foom, I agree. Let's have him back in the Marvel Universe too!
(although didn't he turn out to be the Midgard Serpent? Or did he come back after that?)

David Campbell said...

Fin Fang Foom kicks all sorts of ass, as does the Badonkadonk (thanks Jay!). I might as well put in a plug for the excellent animated movie Iron Giant, which is a must-see for any giant robot fan. It rooolz!

Anonymous said...

Fin Fang Foom was in the last Hulk arc, in issue 79.

Giant robots are awesome. Giant transforming robots are even awesomer *as long as they are not taken too seriously.* Please, please, please Mr. Modern Superhero Comic Book Writer, we don't want grim n' gritty Go-Bots or soliloquizing Sentinels.

gorjus said...

I thought Thor killed the Midgard Serpent? In that awexxome issue with all the one-page splash panels?

If you like giant robots, Mark Millar gave Wolverine a Pet Sentinel in the past few issues . . .

Devil Doll said...

The ban was announced in fall of 2001--September 4th, if this is right--though there have been instances where it's slipped through. Most recently in ASM #520.

thekelvingreen said...

Yeah, the current Wolverine-and-his-pet-Sentinel arc is quite fun, and deliciously drawn by the mighty John Romita Junior.

Thor did kill the Midgard Serpent in that all-splash-pages issue, but it's a bit unclear if it was really Fing Fang Foom, or whether the Serpent was just pretending to be FFF.

This is further confused by the fact that FFF appeared in the is-it-in-continuity-or-isn't-it JLA/Avengers. Also, the Serpent may have returned to life as I'm pretty sure it was mentioned as an upcoming threat by Kang during Busiek's final Avengers arc, and Busiek doesn't normally make that kind of continuity gaffe.

The Foom that appeared in Hulk recently was an illusion I thought. I didn't read the whole arc, just one issue, but the impression given was that all the monsters on the island were illusions.

Anonymous said...

D'oh! Forgot about Peter David's monsteriffic Hulk (he also had Hulk fight--underwater!--some giant sea creature (squid? shark? Aquaman? I forget.))

Didn't quite get the bad-assness of Wolverine's Sentinel, despite JRJr's cinematic action. Overall, Millar has a neat plot going on, but he's going so over the top with the details that it's desensitizing me to everything. Wolverine's dangerous enough without giving him James Bond gadgets, Cable's old personal transporter ("Professor, Bodyslide by one!"), and an army of undead superheroes and ninjas. So when pet Sentinels show up, I'm less impressed than I'm wondering, "What, he couldn't find a pet Galactus?"

Still, Wolverine fighting a shark--underwater!--cool (makes one wonder, with all this underwater action going on, why Namor and Aquaman aren't more vogue).

Re: Thor. Honestly, I don't know if anyone associated with Asgard can be considered dead anymore. Or alive, for that matter (save Beta Ray Bill). I'm kinda holding out hope that the Midgard Serpent is one of the Young Avengers.

Alfred said...

wolverine is smoking a cigar in the latest Amazing Spider-Man, #520, but Aunt May yanks it out of his mouth and puts it out in his beer

David Campbell said...

Yeah I just read that (thanks Devil Doll) and was amused by the Wolverine vs Aunt May scene.

But man, Wolverine is really, really hairy in that comic. He needs to get some manscaping done.

Anonymous said...

I think Wolverine gets a pass on the smoking because he has that healing factor. For Nick Fury and the Thing, though, smoking is verboten.

The DC smoking ban started in the early 90s, yeah?

Anonymous said...

Thats typical DC for banning smoking & making sure everything is good n clean.
More ROBOTS ! I still have my dicast Shogun Warrior " Vanguard Ace" before they enlarged them & made them plastic. Loved the classic 80s Avengers cover.
Ditto with SWs comments on bringing back memories of my entry into the comic kingdom. Only I always bought a Marathon candy bar. What happened to them?
Dave needs to do a robot segment. Shogun Warriors, Micronauts, Sentinals, yada, yada yada. KEEP UP THE GREAT YARNS DAVE.

Anonymous said...

My snowboarding helmet definately needs a "DESTROY" button.

Yail Bloor

thekelvingreen said...

Hey, add Reed Richards to the list of nicotine-withdrawn heroes. I seem to remember him smoking a pipe back in the Kirby days. No wonder Sue preferred Namor.

Anonymous said...

Hi David, I came across your site while doing a search on Comic book super heroes. Even though I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, your site was a lot of fun to read. Keep up the good work!

lazy_cg said...

personally i want to see a drunk hulk it would either be hilarous or disasterous.

though it would take a shit-load of booze to get his 2 ton ass drunk

Anonymous said...

借貸指南 借貸指南 借貸指南 票貼指南 票貼指南 票貼指南 票貼指南 票貼指南 票貼指南 票貼指南 二胎指南 二胎房貸 二胎車貸指南 借錢週轉 融資信貸網 借貸9797 借錢888 借貸9797 票貼急救網 借貸指南 借錢888 借錢888 借錢888 借錢888 借貸9797 借貸9797 當舖指南 當舖指南 票貼優質網 票貼優質網 票貼急救網 票貼急救網 票貼急救網 票貼急救網 融資聯盟網 票貼優質網 借錢 借貸9797 票貼急救網 借據範本 借據範本 票貼優質網 借錢指南 借貸指南 二胎 二胎指南 貼現指南 貼現指南 借貸9797 借貸9797 借貸9797 借錢 票貼指南 借貸 二胎 二胎指南 票貼指南 借貸 借錢 借貸指南 借貸指南 借貸指南 票貼急救網 票貼急救網 借貸指南 票貼指南 借款指南 借貸 借錢 借貸 借錢 票貼 票貼 借貸指南 借貸指南 借貸9797 借貸9797 借錢888 借錢888 借貸指南 網站搜尋 網站名錄 網址目錄 directory 網站登錄 網站目錄 網站指南 台灣網站指南 網站搜索 交換連結 借錢 借貸