AVENGERS #212-213 (1981): Hank Pym court-martialed

Yes, there’s a story with an Elfqueen and yodda yodda. That’s not why these issues are great.

But she does try to lift Mjolnir.

And they’re not great because Tigra’s sexpotism is getting out of control, either, although the above scene with Jarvis is pretty funny.

Hank starts being a complete tool.  I love this storyline.  It was adapted by Mark Millar in The Ultimates, but the version told in these issues of The Avengers was much better.  It was also way ahead of its time to show spousal abuse and its effects on close friends of the couple.

Hank is losing control. He starts by being upset about Jan having more money than him. And then Jan saves his life during a battle (with the Elfqueen).

Now in the oldest, earliest appearances of this couple, Hank was always chauvinistic and always making fun of Jan or belittling her. So all this makes sense.

Hank’s stress makes him shoot Elfqueen in the back, when she was getting ready to surrender to Cap…

That makes Cap and the rest of the team mad.

To recover, Hank hires a robot to attack the team so he can save them.

Not his smartest move.

From there comes the famous backhanded slap…

Jan’s eye swells up, and Yellowjacket is kicked off the team.

This leads the Avengers to take disciplinary action and they begin the proceedings for a courts martial.

I don’t understand why he’s court martialed in #213, since The Avengers aren’t military, but the story was cool. It would have been even better if it had been more decompressed. Everything happened pretty quick. But back then, they didn’t really do long-running stories very often.

I also kind of wish they’d court martialed him for hitting Jan–adding the fake-villain-robot story is a layer that takes away from him being a batterer.  That should have been serious enough on its own.

Truly powerful issues written by Jim Shooter.  Next issue is a just a rocking done-in-one fight, to move away from all this heavy stuff.

Also in this issue, we learn that Tony Stark pays the team a salary.

Hopefully she will use the money to buy another bed.

I mean what’s with her furniture?  It’s tiny.

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