AVENGERS #10-11 (#425-426) (1998): Wonder Man returns

This story starts with a parade. And it’s fantastic. For many, many reasons.

Here’s five of them.

1.  This piece of the cover. 


This baseball cap is a testament to how much Busiek and Perez loved comic books.  I wonder whose idea it was?

A fan has a hat with a bunch of letter-column titles written on buttons.  “Let’s Rap With Cap” and the others are pretty easy, but what is “Single File” from?  It’s tough one.  Anybody know? [Answer at the bottom of this post]

2.  The fans are actually in the comic. 

avengers 425 parade

A little kid in a black panther onesie sucking on a Captain Marvel lollipop.  And a dude with a cap with wings on it asking to see Deathcry.  Busiek, nerd is thy name.

Note: This is also foreshadowing.  Busiek would be incorporating the criticisms of fans who said that Avengers was too monochrome by incorporating a racism theme into the comic.  Good stuff.

3. Crosspromotion! 

In the grand Stan Lee tradition of a shared universe, which quickly turned into a Marvel Corporation tradition for content-placed advertising and cross-promotion, Busiek manages to work in not one but two mentions of other series in the same panel.

avengers 425 cap and iron man

I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

Similarly, there are two fantastic splash pages–one of all heroes, one of all villains–in this comic.  I wish I had posters of them.  Nobody does encyclopediac pictures like George Perez. Stunt Master–from Daredevil–even appears at the parade.

4.  The Marvel Zombies!

This issue wasn’t the first issue where Grim Reaper resurrected the dead, but it was the first one where the undead Marvel characters really looked like the Marvel Zombies.

first marvel zombies mockingbird

5.  The Return of Wonder Man!

return of wonder man avengers 425

One of my favorite Avengers returns.  And Busiek does it right, too. 

Okay. Now, as for the story: Grim Reaper creates a new version of the Legion of the Unliving (see above), but this time he uses the dead Avengers themselves–Captain Mar-Vell, Doctor Druid, Hellcat, Mockingbird, Swordsman, Thunderstrike, and Wonder Man.

However, Wonder Man–being made of ionic energy–wasn’t actually dead, and after he is conjured by Grim Reaper, he is able to shake it off, get the unliving to turn on their maker and Scarlet Witch uses her power to permanently restore Wonder Man to “life.”

So, we end up with Wonder Man back on the team.

And he cuddles with Wanda (who is currently broken up with Vision).


To keep the major heroes out, there’s a bubble around part of the city. It’s a tribute to this issue of Avengers…

Now, for the answer to trivia question above: Answer: “Single File” was the name of the letter page for Avengers Spotlight.  But you knew that, didn’t you?

Note about the character tags: Just about EVERYONE appears in this issue. I’m mostly tagging the characters most necessary to the main story.

#10 and #11

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