THE AVENGERS #69-71 (1969): 1st Grandmaster and Squadron Supreme

Kang’s not my favorite villain, but this story is an embarassment of riches.  Kang takes the Justice League Squadron Supreme as his heroes in a battle against one of my favorite Marvel cosmic characters, Grandmaster (his debut!). 

But it starts with Wasp throwing a villain in a trash basket. I bet that’s a first.

It’s growing man, who fights The Avengers (who are visiting Tony Stark in the hospital, after he just got his new heart in his own comic). Growing Man keeps growing and we get a cute little joke.

Anyway, he kidnaps Stark and then gets The Avengers to follow him to Kang’s out-of-time lair.

What follows is a big, dumb, fun scavenger hunt, where Grandmaster uses The Squadron and Kang uses The Avengers. And Thor displays a new power set.

He shrinks Hyperion and puts him in a bubble.

And that’s not all!  In the third act, we get to meet The Invaders for the first time.  Recently, in the pages of Sub-Mariner, Namor’s history was retconned so that his WW2 past—with Captain America—became part of the 616 Universe.  Here, Roy Thomas is sewing the threads tighter.  In a lot of ways, these issues represent the movement of the Marvel Universe from a simple “shared” one, where people would walk on to each others’ books, into a truly interwoven tapestry—where every Marvel comic might be essential to another, so to miss one issue of any book was to risk missing something important.

A terrific set of issues that everyone should read.  Even though Black Knight shows up in the middle and adds his useless presence as a formal Avengers teammember.  Ugh.

Yes, sadly, he joins the team.

Leave a Comment