Tuesday, July 25, 2006

AVENGERS ANNUAL #16 Marvel Comics, 1987

Alternate Reality Where Everybody Dies Week
continues with this classic Avengers annual where yes, all the Avengers die horrible deaths but at the end everybody gets better and plays baseball together and ha ha ha, isn’t life grand?

Actually, nobody says, “Ha ha ha! Isn’t life grand?” in Avengers Annual #16, but they do play baseball. But before we get to that upbeat ending – everybody dies. Except Cap and Hawkeye, naturally.

For a brief spell in the Eighties, The Avengers annuals were actually really good. This flies in the face of a long tradition of suck-ass Marvel annuals full of second-rate filler material. In this case, a little iconoclasm is a good thing. (Look, I used the word “iconoclasm” in order to appear smart!) For a few years The Avengers annuals were all killer, no filler.

This book was published during the era of the West Coast Avengers, when all that superhero radness could not be contained in one Avengers team and had to be divided between two groups. Once a year, the East Coast playas and the West Coast killas met in the Astrodome for a friendly game of super-baseball.

Are you laughing? Stop! I loved those books! Oh, I see, it’s okay if Cyclops and Wolverine play a game of half-court at Xavier’s, but it’s stupid when Iron Man and Captain America play baseball? In full costume?

Okay, maybe that does sound a little dumb.

Suiting up in state-of-the-art powered armor just to play center field is overkill. Maybe Iron Man is just being prudent, because every single time the two teams play baseball they get attacked by somebody. Come to think of it, the JLA and JSA can’t make it through a Thanksgiving meal, either. You would think superteams would learn and just not socialize in big groups. “Gosh Jan, I’d love to come to your Oscar party, but last time the U-Foes trashed your condo and we never did find out who won Best Picture.”

Picking up from the West Coast Avengers Annual, this book pits a small army of Avengers against The Grandmaster (no relation to Grandmaster Flash or his Furious Five), a nigh-omnipotent cosmic being who is obsessed with, as Hawkeye describes it, “crazy cosmic games.”

The Grandmaster has captured the personification of Death and uses her powers to resurrect a team of dead heroes and villains to pit against The Avengers. The opposing teams are split up into squads and cast across the universe, where they battle one another for possession of five inappropriately named “life bombs.” If the Avengers lose the universe blows up or something, and if The Avengers win… well, the universe still blows up, because The Grandmaster is a total asshole.

Legendary Marvel writer/editor Tom DeFalco handles the writing chores, but each battle is drawn by a different art team. My favorite chapter is the fight in Hades featuring Hawkeye, Hank Pym, and Thor, which has breakdowns by John Romita Jr with finishes by Bill Sienkiewicz. It is beautiful.

That brings us to our first death! During this period, Avenger Hank (aka Yellowjacket, Giant Man, Ant-Man, Crotch Spelunker, Wife Beater) Pym didn’t have an alter-ego or a costume, he was rockin’ an off-the-rack jumpsuit from JC Penney with lots of pockets. Believe me, it was better than the Members Only jacket and parachute pants Pym wore in 1986. Anyway, Pym used his incredible powers to shrink tools and weapons so he could stash them in his jumpsuit. When he needed, say, a grenade launcher he would just pull the tiny weapon out, hit it with Pym particles to make it grow, and within seconds he is armed and dangerous. If you ask me, this is a far more practical application of shrinking powers than making yourself two inches tall.

Anyway, Hank Pym battles the deceased Nighthawk while Thor tussles with Skurge and Hawkeye takes on The Swordsman. Pym holds his own, until her gets distracted by a collapsing roof. Watch your six, Pym! Behind you!!!

Never mind. Hank gets stalagmited from behind, which reminds me of one drunken summer night in Bangkok. That’s a story for another time.

Thor whisks away The Grandmaster’s life-bomb but gets blowed up real good. Only Hawkeye survives this round.

The next chapter pits Tigra, She Hulk, Moon Knight, and Captain Marvel against Drax, the dead dude Captain Marvel, The Green Goblin, and Death Adder in sunny Maui. In reality, the living female Captain Marvel would make short work of the dead bad guys, but this is an Alternate Universe story, so she has to die in an undignified and nonsensical way.

She-Hulk gets taken out by Drax, who blindsides her and breaks her back, despite the fact that she routinely fights guys like him with no injury whatsoever. But here she is fighting both Drax and Tom DeFalco, who both want her dead, so die she must.

Next, Moon Knight gets taken out by The Green Goblin, who doses the all-white avenger of the night with hallucinogen gas and then zaps him. I can handle that – if The Green Goblin can fight Spider-Man to a standstill then he could certainly take out Moon Knight. I’d be embarrassed for The Green Goblin if he couldn’t.

Speaking of embarrassing, Tigra gets poisoned by Death Adder, a third-rate villain who was murdered by Scourge, if memory serves. Then dead dude Captain Marvel, Drax, and The Green Goblin all team up on the living female Captain Marvel and they kill her. Seriously, what is the frickin’ Green Goblin going to do against a woman who can turn herself into light? I call bullshit.

After that, The Silver Surfer goes up against all-powerful jock Korvac, and they both kill each other. I have no idea why The Silver Surfer is in this comic. Does he even play baseball?

The next chapter has fantastic art, with breakdowns by Jackson Guice and finishes by Kevin Nowlan. Iron Man, Mockingbird, Dr. Druid, and The Black Knight battle Terrax, Red Guardian, Dracula, and an earlier and deader version of The Black Knight in the ruins of some alien civilization which looks strangely like a bombed-out city on Earth. I don’t know, maybe the aliens were really into building with brick.

The thing I love about this chapter is that Dracula basically kills them all.

While Mockingbird and Black Knight kick ass on their respective foes, Iron Man defeats Terrax but burns out his red and white Yuletide armor in the process. The unarmored Tony Stark begins working on defusing Grandmaster’s life-bomb while nearby, Dr. Druid takes on Dracula in a hypno-battle.

Pwned! Dr. Druid goes out like a chump, with a Mark V Backhand from Dracula! Looks like Tom DeFalco hated Dr. Druid as much as everybody else.

Iron Man is almost done defusing the bomb when Dracula appears and fucks everything up. Whatcha gonna do when the Lord of Vampires comes for you? Get distracted at a critical moment and blow up one fifth of the universe, that’s what!

Finally, Captain America, The Wasp, and Wonder Man take on Baron Blood, Hyperion, and – God, no! – Bucky, Cap’s dead partner from World War II!

I know what you’re thinking – but Bucky isn’t dead, he’s The Winter Soldier in Captain America! WTF? I have no explanation. Since Avengers Annual #16 precedes writer Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run by nearly two decades, I’m going to say that this book is canon and the current Cap storyline doesn’t count and Ed Brubaker is a big fat liar.

Death has turned Bucky mean, and he kills The Wasp by punching her. You see what I mean about shrinking powers? If you could choose between carrying a shrunken arsenal in your pocket or the ability to shrink to wasp-size, which would you choose? If a 12-year old boy can kill you with one punch, it’s official: your superpower sucks.

Cap is the only person who survives this round, and he joins Hawkeye back in front of The Grandmaster, who announces a change in the rules: now Cap and Hawkeye have to fight all the dead bad guys and all their dead friends, too! See? Asshole!

Hawkeye hasn’t stayed in one piece on The Avengers by being stupid; with the fate of reality at stake, the archer comes up with one last desperate gamble, a game of chance that The Grandmaster can’t resist:

If Grandmaster picks the arrow with the head, everybody dies! If he picks the wrong one, everybody lives! Which one should he pick? Which one?!!

Sucker! Hawkeye cheated! Grandmaster picks the wrong arrow and is so distracted that Death frees herself and casts Grandmaster into The Negative Zone or something.

I have to give that scene a hearty F*&% Yeah! I loved that when I was a kid, that is a straight-up James T. Kirk move right there. Take that, godlike cosmic being! That's what you get for underestimating us humans, punk!

Out of gratitude, Death resurrects the entire team so they can finish their baseball game and ha ha ha, isn't life grand?

Lessons learned: Death can be a kind mistress, never turn your back on a bad guy, keep your mind on your business when defusing life-bombs, and don’t shrink down to punchable wasp-size during a super-battle.


Anonymous said...

But, is Flash related to Grandmaster Flash then?

Good thing the Grandmaster with his incredible Elder powers couldn't hear the snapping of Hawkeye's cheatin'.

Anonymous said...

So per your Bucky Argument, all of the recent, crappy Green Goblin stuff Marvel has done...is also a lie. DAVE FOR MAYOR

I loved the hell out of this comic book when I was younger too. Good stuff, man. Hawkeye was the tits.

Anonymous said...

my grandma bought be this comic from the local drugstore, and i read the hell out of it.

p.s. thanks for the reminder as to dr. pym's coolness. i'm always amazed that he remembered which tool was in which pocket. "You and your batons stand behind that wall, Mockingbird: I'm about to blast Master Pandemonium with my Rocket Launcher...Oh snap, that's my laser scalpel!"

Chris said...

This may in fact be one of the greatest Avengers comics of all time. ESPECIALLY Hawkeye's "Do it! DO IT!!" scene.

Which, of course, translates to "Dave is a man of impeccable taste".

Anonymous said...

This was one of my favorite comics as a kid. But I can't help but think it's lost something now that Marvel's brought back 90% of the dead characters.

Anonymous said...

Grandmaster is such a tool that he's forgotten Giant-Size Defenders #3, wherein, after a long and elaborate contest of violence, the weakest human in the bunch (Daredevil) beats him with a cheap gimmick (coin toss). DD's justification for betting the farm (actually, the Earth) is: because fo his hyper-sensitive touch, their was no possibility for failure. Hilariously, the art is wrong, meaning DD failed. We can only assume he realized his mistake quickly enough to fake out Grandmaster Tool. "uh...Yeah! Earth lives! I win! Really, that's the way I called it!"

I think by the time AA #16 came out, I had sussed that HeroDeath was fake gravitas, and killing everybody is tipping your hand at immediate reset. However, if you set something up nicely, with subtlety, then bitch-slap the reader with an arresting visual, then you can still engage cynical old farts like meself, as Beyond #1 did.

Anonymous said...

Did... did you call Hank Pym "Crotch Spelunker?" That was a spit-take for me.


Bill D. said...

A very large portion of Grandmaster's army got over their individual cases of the death in the years following this book. So according to your math, just about everything that's happened at Marvel since, oh, we'll say 1990, I guess, didn't actually occur.

For the most part, I'm quite okay with that.

Anonymous said...

This was my first superhero comic book and probably the reason I'm still hooked today. The huge variety of characters, the various artists... I dug it so much. Hawkeye remains a favorite because of this issue.

But yeah, what's up with Bucky and the Green Goblin being shown as definitely dead here? Will Busiek reveal all of the Grandmaster's pawns as disguised Space Phantoms someday?

Rob Schamberger said...

See, I say this happened on Earth 616, and the current MU is actually Earth 620.

Anonymous said...

And that's why Hawkeye is the most Airwolf of them all. And why Bendis is a triple douche with a side-order of lame.

Man, I loved those Avengers annuals back then. The year before was good, too, and involved Freedom Force (the former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants working for the U.S. government, eat your evil, blackened heart out Dick Cheney) somehow or another. Oh, yeah, and an andriod Zodiac that had fuck-all to do with the human ones, and Quicksilver in high loon mode. At one point, bearded manly Thor was about to smack the shit out of Hank Pym. And Hank tells the God of Thunder to step off! Guy has sack.

I also remember the WCA annual that led up to this. It had the East Coast and West Coast playing baseball, Hank Pym talking shit to Thor again and Thor telling him to step off, Wonder Man being a douce with a lamentable haircut, the East Coast team dying out in the field, the Silver Surfer blowing up the Astrodome, the Collector (another Elder) tricking the West Coast into drinking THE MOST POISONOUS SUBSTANCE IN THE YOOOOO-NIVERSE!!!! and a subplot with Firebird, who I thought was cool (which may admittedly be more purient interests speaking), that never to my knowledge went anywhere.

And then, of course...BIG AVENGERS FIGHT! I love the big Avengers fights. Hawkeye took out She-Hulk, and that pissed off a lot of readers. Part of it was that the BAF was remarkably lopsided against females (including the Wasp looking like a total punk, the start of her downward spiral). But come on...you're a guy on a team with giant men, super soldiers, creatures warped by science, aliens and FRIGGIN' MYTHOLOGICAL BEINGS, and all you got is arrows?

I bet you Hawkeye had plans of potential ass-whuppins that made Batman look weak. Man, the '80s had some cool comics. Dave, I love you, man.

Brett said...

Silver Surfer was a decent lefty pitcher with a wicked curve ball but he couldn't keep it in the strike zone and his fast ball didn't move so he never made it past the minors.

Marc Burkhardt said...

So Hawkeye can fake out a cosmic being but he can't figure out how to get a pack of exploding arrows off his back.

Yeah, Marvel 2K is definitely takes places in a parallel universe.

Kitty said...

I feel like an ignorant doofus. Who's the guy rocking the "F--- Yeah" in your image there?

Anonymous said...

From the thumbnail I thought that was Spiderman taking out Hank Pym. Fine fine artwork nonetheless.

matt t.: Anyone named Hank has major sack going for them from birth. It's the most manliest of man-names.

David Campbell said...

I have no idea who the F*&% Yeah guy is, it's just something I found through the magic of Google image search. It's not me, I swear to God.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite issues of the Avengers is the one where Hawkeye "fights alone!!!" (it probably says that somewhere on it) against the Collector. Those Elders of the Universe must really hate him. That's two of them this "ordinary human" has owned.

And I always thought this Annual was one long commercial for the Marvel Universe "deceased" issues. It wasn't?

CalvinPitt said...

I can't explain Bucky's presence, but I've got a theory that the Green Goblin is actually the 3rd green Goblin, Harry Osborn's psychiatrist, who died being blown up by his own pumpkin bomb.

Which hurts Moon Kinght's credibility, because it means he got killed by an incompetent, third-rate Goblin, but does circumvent the whole "Norman Osborn isn't dead" thing.

Personally, I prefer Dave's solution.

Also, I love Cap's reaction to Hawkeye's trick. "You. . . You cheated?!"

Anonymous said...

I never understood why the Elders had to be limited to one particular field of expertise. Like gameplaying. Or collecting. Or contemplating. Or gardening. C'mon - you're alive for a billion years and a mastery of plants is all you have to show for it?

If I were an Elder, my trophy room would be totally bitchin'. This is how I'd roll...

"Ah yes, this is the planet of gold I made in the epoch when I mastered molecular manipulation. This giant helmet is from when I mastered Savate, and kicked Galactus' massive arse. He ain't gettin' it back, yo."

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see that episode of MTV Cribs.

lostinube said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My favorite part of this most excellent comic is the epilogue, wherein after spending the afternoon saving the universe, the Avengers resume their interrupted baseball game, but since Hawkeye has told Cap how he saved the universe, Cap tells Thor to keep an eye on Hawkeye because he's a cheater!

Anonymous said...

Dave, I have the audio to go with your new icon:

Oh, what a feeling to drive...
F*&% Yeah!

Anonymous said...

Dave: are you sure this was an alternate universe? It doesn't appear that way from the details in the write-up, but I haven't read the actual comic, so I might be mistaken.

Keep up the good work,

S Bates said...

Dave: are you sure this was an alternate universe?

Yeah - like Roel said. I haven't read this annual but it sounds like this is the usual 616 universe. They all die near the end but are brought back to life by Death!

So this isn't an Alternate Reality Where Everybody Dies. You... cheated?!?

Anonymous said...

For me the best part is the end, just after it was revealed that Hawkeye cheated, and they try to depict Death as laughing.

David Campbell said...

I am not mistaken, for this story takes place in the greatest alternate universe of all... The Human Imagination!

But yeah, Roel is correct, this story technically takes place in the 616 universe. I guess I should have just called it Everybody Dies Week. Ah well! Too late now. Ha ha ha, isn't life grand?

Roel, email me at ddcampbell@gmail.com and I will send you an official Dave's Long Box Un-Prize!

Anonymous said...

Someone brought up the initial "dead Avengers fight each other" that is part one of this two part annual (I think that was the West Coast Avenger one), but didn't mention how stupid the fight was.

Each side believes that they have the only way to get out of the death dimension, so they must fight the other to subdue them so they take them along. Fair enough.

But with the stakes this high, how would you settle this? One team battling the other until only one side is left standing? Not these Avengers! Perhaps still influenced from their baseball game, they face off in one on one contests to make it a best of seven series! WTF?

And sorry, but the battles were lame. Almost all of the battles follow the same pattern: The eventual winning Avenger runs away from the losing Avenger until he pulls a trick out of his butt to save the day. The only exceptions were the Thor-Wonder Man slugfest, and Pym vs. Wasp (which unfortunately Pym did not win by unshrinking a 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor and beating up the Wasp in an alcoholic rage.)

The story also never directly addresses whether the 20% of the universe that was destroyed was also brought back to life by Death, or just the Avengers.

But the absolutely worst part of this travesty is that when they get back, how does each member handle the experience? Is there even the briefest reflection on their mortality, on how what they encountered after their deaths affects their spiritual and religious beliefs?

Nah. "Cap, after everything we've been through, we deserve some fun!" "Mockingbird's right! Let's play ball!"

This was the suckiest annual combo I ever read. It literally turned me off of comics for several years. Boy, it feels good to get that off my chest. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Those arrows were too short to actually be shot out of his bow anyway, so he might as well use them for a parlor trick.

Anonymous said...

This story (and the previous year's annuals) were some of the first comics I read. Loved 'em, and always will! Good to see so many people remember these great comics. Thanks for the review, Dave.

Oh, and Dracula never touched the Black Knight. The Lord of Darkess didn't have to. Ol' Dane was stalemated, fighting his ancestor in a sword battle of equal skill. In the previous part of the story he got tricked and knocked out by Moon Knight. Man, BK really got no love until Bob Harras gave him five o' clock shadow, long hair, a leather jacket, and a lightsaber, and had him lead the Avengers. In fact, I'd say those five things should be marketed as a five-step program to become totally rad.

You forgot to mention some totally @#$% Yeah! moments in this annual:

-Mockingbird putting the beat-down on the Red Guardian. She takes his crimson-spandex-wearing commie self to the cleaners!

-Silver Surfer going out like a total stud. He and Korvac are grappling in outer space. Korvac uses his cosmic powers to melt the Surfer's silver shell right off of him (a pretty sweet move that I don't think anyone else has ever done) and the Surfer begins to die in the vacuum of space. But Korvac forgets that they are grappling on top of the Surfer's cosmic surfboard, which the shiny guy controls with his thoughts. Korvac is all gloating, then realizes that the Surfer is steering them directly towards the bomb! You don't mess with the Silver Surfer, dude! He was all like, "Michael Korvac, you may be killin' my silver butt, but I'm taking your sorry self wit' me!" Classic scene.

-Wonder Man was one heck of a cocky tool during this period of Avenger's history. I couldn't wait to see him get smacked around a little, and this story had it happen not once, but twice. After knocking Thor around a bit in the West Coast annual, he gets a little Mjolnir sandwich and is laid out like a punk. Then in this annual, Hyperion kills Wondy by flying him INTO A SUN. Soon after this Wonder Man became a nice guy again. Having your butt whipped repeatedly tends to have that effect on people.

I thought it was lame how the female Captain Marvel went out, too. Even when I was eight years old and read that I was like, "No way!" Monica should have been able to put the smackdown on Drax, Mar-Vell, Death Adder, Green Goblin, then defused the bomb, while She-Hulk, Tigra, and Moon Knight played cards or something.

I did wonder about the fatal blast the Goblin nails Moon Knight with, though. Why didn't ol' Norman ever do that to Spider-Man?

And I agree, too, that the Wasp started to go downhill at this point. Roger Stern had built her up as a tough-as-nails, take-no-crap-from-nobody heroine with super strength and laser beams that could blow people through walls. Suddenly she began just flitting around, zapping people with "stings" that seemed to be just as effective as shining a laser pointer on them, and being all whiny and annoying. This is the lady who kept Hercules and Sub-Mariner in line, who defeated Absorbing Man and Titania, and who led the Avengers? Every writer since then is guilty of making the Wasp out to be weak and they should be forced to make public apologies for it, by golly. Bendis? Guilty. Byrne? Guilty. Johns? Guilty. Austen? Guilty. I could go on and on. It's like these guys read no Avengers comics except the ones written by Stan Lee or Roy Thomas.

Bully said...

I'm with Dave; this is a totally fun issue.

But, I call shenanigans every time someone tries to paint Captain America as being surprised or aghast that someone would cheat.

The guy fought freakin' Nazis, for Pete's sake. Not only should he know that at one point or another in a battle lots of fighters cheat, he should also know how to do so. To beat a cheater you have to cheat yourself, doncha?

Captain America must therefore really be a big cheatypants. But history is written by the winners, so who cares?

Anonymous said...

I love this comic book. I'm not a fan of Tom DeFalco most of the time, but I LOVE THIS COMIC BOOK.

JG said...

I DON'T love this comic book. I DO love Dave discussing this comic book.

Anonymous said...

Wait... so is Jackson Guice's last name pronounced "Goose"? "Juice"? "Goyce"? "Gwees"?

It used to break my mind as a kid. Still does, actually.

Anonymous said...

I believe "Guice" rhymes with "lice".

Anonymous said...

OK...Geek Trivia time.

I had read...somewhere...in some official Marvel "we don't make mistakes...No. Really." handbook, where it ISN'T REALLY the DEAD that are being brought back.

It's the MEMORY of the character that is BELIEVED to be dead by the living.

SO, you can have "dead" Bucky, Green Goblin and Nighthawk who were all REALLY alive and kickin' and hanging out in Paris with Jim Morrison at the time.

Just for completists sake, I have to mention that NIGHTHAWK, whom no one addressed as being alive, ALSO wasn't dead at the time, just BELIEVED to be dead.

He had really been secreted away to his mansion - where NO ONE would EVER think to go, and he lay in a coma for...years? Months? Gah! Marvel time is whacked.

I was always amazed that the Grandmasters HEARING must SUCK so much he couldn't pick up that "snak" sound effect of the arrowhead being snapped off the shaft.

All that time spent playing the slots can ruin your hearing.

Those damn things are LOUD!



The Mutt said...

I love stories where Somebody Kills all of the Avengers, unless they kill them all in a suburban living room without even breaking the windows.

Anonymous said...

After reading about these baseball scenes, I'm having thoughts of Barry Bonds getting the Power Cosmic. How do you test for that?

Anonymous said...

Man, I'd been seriously collecting comics for maybe a year when this came out. Thank God I'd scored a used copy of OHOTMU Deluxe or I wouldn't have known who half the dead guys were. My partial ignorance also shielded me from knowing how lame some of the defeats were, so that helped. Some good memories:

Pym in his most common sense incarnation, like Dave said. Literally the guy who has everything--like having a Utility Belt that holds a warehouse full of stuff. He even carried a shrunken plane (that talked). But that's not a jumpsuit, it's a speed suit. (Heh.)

Wonder Man being a mullet-headed dick, talking smack to everybody and getting taken down by pretty much the same everybody.

Mockingbird being weak and lame and useless, but you were glad that at least Hawkeye was getting some on a regular basis.

Captain Marvel (female), She-Hulk, and Wasp all demonstrating that no female character will be allowed to get too powerful for too long in the Marvel U. (See also: Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel/Binary/Warbird/Ms. Crotch Spelunker.)

Moon Knight being pretty much out of his league every month. He and Mockingbird could have started a club.

Firebird guest starring with the West Coast team, as matt t. mentioned. She was a hot piece of Latin flava until she met Jesus, covered up the goods, and started calling herself La Esperita.

Dr. Druid proving every month that no man, especially not a middle-aged one, should wear snug red tights with a purple cape.

Hawkeye was the MF'in Man back in those days, putting all those many years of experience to work leading the West Coast team. He was a good guy, but never forget that he grew up as a carny. Rules were made to be broken, and Hawkeye was the closest that any Avenger will ever come to being Bender on Futurama. With all that "Do it! Do it! Do it!", you couldn't rule out the next panel showing Hawkeye goading the Grandmaster into doing a beer bong. And then talking him into mooning Death after he got the blue guy hammered. That was the magic of Hawkeye.

Cap isn't stupid--although some writers always seem to think he is--so he really shouldn't have been surprised at Clint pulling a fast one. He knows him better than that, but maybe having to kill that asswipe Dead Bucky threw Cap off his game a little.

So Bendis killed Hawkeye? Obviously I'm out of touch. That sounds like BS, but Marvel deaths are meaningless anyway, as this annual proved. And it's no more BS than Hawkeye losing to Gambit in Contest of Champions II. (Hawkeye sez: "Let's see, I've got gimmick arrows that can do the one thing you do, but at much longer range. Plus I have 50 other gimmick arrows that do things you can't do, and I've been taking on people way more powerful than me (and you) for my entire career--way longer than yours, by the way--and I'm still standing and cracking wise. But you win because you have an 'X' on your costume?") Stupid fanboys.

Ed Brubaker brought back Bucky? Did he resurrect Uncle Ben while he was at it? Yeesh!

But all of the senseless carnage in this annual could have been forgiven if Grandmaster had just given us a performance of "White Lines". Even Death couldn't resist funk on a cosmic level like that.

Pj Perez said...

Come back, Dave. Come back. Ughh, all we have are the memories ...

Unknown said...
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