AVENGERS #136-138 (1975): Beast joins

Avengers #136 is a reprint of Amazing Adventures #12, where the blue Beast first met Iron Man. It was foreshadowing the introduction of Beast to the team. The team needs members, so we get one of the popular “old order changeth/new order cometh” issues. Also joining: Moondragon (the bald chick from outer space) and Yellowjacket. Lots of cameos as folks like Black Widow reject the offer to join.

Agatha gives her opinion of Scarlet Witch:

And on their honeymoon…

Vision wears a speedo.

Steve Englehart writes romance.

These kinds of issues could be formulaic, but they were always fun.  We would get to see new interactions between characters, and there were always a few people who would reject membership.  Lots of great stuff in this issue: Hawkeye storms off in a huff after saying there lots of other groups around and “we’re not the only game in town;” Thor, Iron Man and Cap are identified as “part timers;” and, I think, it’s the first time Beast says “Hiya, kids!  Hiya! Hiya!”

The new team fights The Stranger in the last few panels, and the battle is continued into #138.

Nobody likes The Stranger anyway.  Right?  It’s also the return of Toad, who is on Stranger’s spaceship.

toad dancing

Beast is a wiseass, which is reason enough to post this panel.  It was really Steve Englehart who laid the foundation for a distinct voice for the Beast character, who before his run with The Avengers was basically the lamest X-Man.  Beast also brought a much-needed sense of humor to The Avengers. He quickly became my favorite member, and then later when Wonder Man joined the team and they became best friends it all got even better.

And I love how George Tuska draws The Toad, above–he has to be consciously referencing Rumpelstiltskin, doesn’t he?

It’s a jam-packed two issues. The only problem was that there was no “Assemble” shot of the new lineup. There was this public reaction to the first time Beast appeared with some teammembers.

This is one of the best Avengers Lineup Change issues of all time.

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