AVENGERS #419/#4 (1998): 1st Warbird, new Avengers lineup

This is a pretty important issue, and it’s in the grand tradition of “Old Order Changeth” stories. These issues are so much fun I created a tag, below, about it.

After issues #1-3, there are almost 40 Avengers.

It’s too many! Just identifying and tagging them all took hours! This issue starts with a quick fight against Whirlwind…

avengers 419

…In which the team literally bump into each other because the battlefield is so crowded. (Note that Whirlwind was one of the villains in a prior, classic Avengers lineup change–issue #221.)

From there, it’s back to the mansion to cull the lineup. Nearly every member gets some individualized screentime, with some of it being pretty important. First, we meet Duane Freeman–the new government liaison–who hears the explanation for why so many people call Captain America a “founding member…”

Moondragon, Tigra(?!) and Starfox appear to head off into space together. Firestar joins.

So does Justice.

Hank Pym becomes Ant-Man again and he and Wasp fly off together. Vision’s body is damaged and he temporarily becomes a hologram.

Carol Danvers decides she needs a new name.

And eventually will settle on Warbird.

Lineup changes are always lots of fun, and credit Kurt Busiek for coming up with an idea that nobody had ever thought of: Too many Avengers is bad for practical reasons!

I love this issue so much, I’m inspired to do a top ten: The best lineup change issues of The Avengers!  It’s here. Note that issue #4 is a good number for a lineup change.

This issue also has some much-needed Vision/Scarlet Witch stuff. Vision took a lot of damage in the opening arc to this book, so he needs to rebuild.

He has an interesting take on wedding vows…

And I guess they’re broken up?

Or at least on a break.

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