AVENGERS #56 and ANNUAL #2 (1968)

On the upside: This book revisits the greatest Marvel comic of all time, Fantastic Four #5–the one where the FF go back in time and Thing gets to be Blackbeard the pirate.  That’s really cool.  

The team finds the old machine. And yeah, it’s incredible that it’s just abandoned. Also, strangely, Dr. Doom seems to have installed a “view only” button on his time machine…

But putting all those issues to one side, the story in Avengers #56 is cool.  

Captain America misses Bucky like mad and has come to believe Bucky really isn’t dead.

So, he recruits the team to go back in time to the moment Baron Zola strapped the duo on a rocket and shot them up in the sky.

Cap gets convinced that Bucky is in fact dead by the end. Of course, he’s not.

Hank Pym trusts Jan to mind the buttons and make sure they get back in time.  But she falls asleep.

And there’s a casual panel here–no fanfare at all–that I’m going to say represents the first Fastball Special.  Even if it’s not called that.

That’s all in issue #56.  They say that it’s to be continued in King Size Special Avengers #2 (aka Avengers Annual #2), but I can’t see how it gets continued there.  

The Annual is a weird time travel story that kind of sucks. You can tell is sucks because Nathaniel Richards is in it and he takes on YET ANOTHER name. Scarlet Centurion.

So, stick with #56 and you’ll have a good reading experience.

1 thought on “AVENGERS #56 and ANNUAL #2 (1968)”

  1. As noted above, the most astonishing- and I do mean ASTONISHING-aspect of this story is the fact that the most incredible invention-and possibly the greatest WEAPON-of all time-Dr. Doom’s incredible time machine- has been just totally ABANDONED FOR THE TAKING by ANYONE WHO WANTS TO COME and GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The idiocy involved here is just mind-staggering. Now, I am aware that the time-machine is eventually relocated to the Baxter Building where it will be ( relatively ) in safer keeping. I don’t know exactly when this transpired, but it did, because I believe the next chronological appearance of the time machine was in Marvel Two-In-One#4. ( 1974, six years later ) Any government on Earth would have the ultimate superweapon with this time machine, but in these issues, it’s being treated as garage sale junk!! W-T-F-?!?!?!?!? Also, don’t be too hard on Jan-Baby for falling asleep at the switch- I seem to recall reading somewhere that this was NOT an arbitrary occurrence, because some malevolent force somewhere wanted the Assemblers to materialize onto this scene, so it-they made Jan go winky-bye, and, somehow, astonishingly, also caused her right hand to fall onto just the right button to make it happen. I don’t remember where I read this-I just did. Also, as with Marvel Girl/Phoenix and Gwen Stacey’s miraculous resurrections, the poignancy of this powerful issue was totally nullified by Bucky’s return from the dead in 2008. What yet another Mighty Marvel shitter.


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