AVENGERS #214 (1981): vs Ghost Rider

Folks can hate on Avengers #214 on the ground that Ghost Rider basically beats the crap out of the entire team, as well as the mutant Angel from The X-Men and The Champions. I admit, it’s kind of ridiculous how overpowered he is in this story. But this is one of the most fun mindless battle issues ever.

Warren “Angel” Worthington–a millionaire by inheritence–is joyriding in the mountains when Johnny Blaze sees him and gets off his pity pot to attack.

He decides he wants to race.

Of course it turns violent, and the Avengers come in.

One by one, Ghost Rider outsmarts the team.

I love Ghost Rider’s smart approach to beating Thor–he outruns Mjolnir until it reaches its limit and boomerangs back, then he grabs it and rides it back to the thunder God, and then blasts him with hellfire. No, he doesn’t lift it, but it’s close.

The Avengers finally regroup and realize they’ve been uncoordinated and underestimating Ghost Rider.

They make formation.

I love that Tigra is full of insecurity and fear because she should be. It’s about time a writer started looking at the significantly less experienced and powerful members of the team.

On a similar note, Jarvis has a few words to say about the culture of “everybody gets a trophy.”

But today, this reads a little bit like White privilege.

There’s also a sequence where, in the aftermath of Hank Pym being kicked off the team, Tony Stark hits on Janet Van Dyne-Pym.  But not until after Hank crawls to apologize and she says no.  Kudos to Marvel for showing her with her eye swollen shut–usually we don’t see injuries form issue to issue, but this one is a critical plot point.

I know Jim Shooter was a controversial leader of the Marvel bullpen, but he writes the hell out of Avengers.

I read this issue probably over a dozen times when I was a kid, and I still love it.

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