AVENGERS #227 (1983): Captain Marvel joins

After creating her in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, Roger Stern immediately scripted this Avengers story in which the new Captain Marvel becomes an Avenger. You’ve got to love that cover: “See: The Wasp Take a Lunch!”

And appropriately, the woman who first called the team “The Avengers” gets a lot of facetime.

She’s trying to recruit more female members.

Hawkeye is not a fan. Captain Marvel is stronger than him, and a woman.

The story is mostly development of the Captain Marvel character–the team literally tests her powers, she learns about the original Mar-Vell (who makes an appearance via a videotaped autobiography), etc.

We also get some nice character work with Wasp, who meets Reed and Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four for lunch. The married couple are worried about everything she’s been going through with Hank. Moments where heroes act completely human are what makes a Roger Stern script so different–and so much better–than just about everyone else’s.

And, of course, from there we get a shot of Hank in jail, which turns into an extended replay of his history.  Including where he recently betrayed and fought his own teammates.

It takes several pages because he’s got one of the more complicated pasts compared to other Marvel heroes.

There’s humor too.

And then, in the end, we see that Egghead, who framed Hank, is still scheming to destroy him…

The trial of Hank Pym is one of the best Roger Stern stories of all time.

1 thought on “AVENGERS #227 (1983): Captain Marvel joins”

  1. Agreed! The amazing Roger Stern could take a grade-Z character like ‘Omega the Unknown’, or the Martian Manhunter, and turn them into the next ‘New X-Men’-level sensation. His concentration on the human side of superhumanity is his trademark, like Stan Lee’s flawed superheroes, and Chris Claremont’s UN -flawed female characters. However, in this issue, I found Reed Richard’s concerns over the Wasp’s marital problems to be a tad out of character for Mr. Fantastic, who is ALWAYS concerned with the Bigger Picture, like the Big Bang Theory, planetary survival, and/or the next alien invasion. Sue, yes, but NOT Reed. Reed wouldn’t even be married himself, if Sue hadn’t been on her last gasp before snagging Reed. ( a rich husband! Of course! Remember, Susan Storm is NOT a ‘Claremont Chick’, and, as a matter of fact, IS a product of pre-sexual revolution America, where every American girl’s goal was to find a rich-or at least well-to-do husband!! ) So, Sue’s concern over the Wasp’s marital problems is well-in-character for her, but not Reed. The new Captain Marvel is RIDICULOUSLY powerful, and Stern works extremely hard in this story to sell her to Marveldom Assembled. Remember also- this was 1982- a clear forty years ago- a time when the comics-reading public was not as anxious to embrace minority/woke characters as it certainly is today. This is NOT to convey that I do not like Captain Marvel/Spectrum. I think she’s great, and certainly easy on the eyes, it’s just that I prefer superheroes who are not quite so godly and all-powerful in aspect. ( Captain America, the Black Widow, the Black Knight, Hawkeye, Daredevil, Batman, Nightwing, and the Black Panther are all good examples ) Even if I were a black chick, I would find Spectrum and Storm totally unrelatable. Misty Knight, yes, but not goddesses on Earth like Storm and Spectrum. Was Monica Rambeau’s obvious connection to the late Mar-Vell ever explained-?? The title, and especially, the chest-insignia on CM’s blouse, are clear indications of some kind of connection between the two. I’d like to know what it is, or was. Remember, Monica’s transformation into her godhood includes mentally creating a costume for herself with a chest-insignia that is identical to that of Mar-Vell. Of course, that COULD have been sheer coincidence, but I doubt it. Spending time on Hank Pym’s crisis was also appropriate. Dr. Pym’s downward spiral during this period ( the early Eighties ) is something that could befall ANY of us, under similar circumstances, and, unlike the majority of Marveldom Assembled during this time, I was, and still am, in Dr.Pym’s corner. Contrary to very popular belief among the Marvel Faithful, Hank Pym is NOT a wife-beater. I will not explore this issue here, except to say that what happened on that particular day between Dr. and Mrs. Pym was due to a confluence of events which could happen to any of our pious selves, under the same circumstances. This event fits in perfectly with Roger Stern’s trademark mastery of the Human Condition. This type of thing happens in marriages, unfortunately, and Marvel’s courage in illustrating it at the time is further evidential proof as to why Marvel is, was, and will continue to be the pace-setter in the field of comics. So- ‘Avengers’#227- a fantastic character study of characters who are given to us to show us the way. Bravo.


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