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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

X-amining "Acts of Vengeance" Part 2

Amazing Spider-Man #327, Avengers #312, Avengers Spotlight #27, Avengers West Coast #53, Captain America #365, The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #9, Thor #412
December 1989

In a Nutshell 
The West Coast Avengers realize the team is under attack and heads east while the eastern Avengers deal with the fallout of the sinking of Avengers Island. 

Amazing Spider-Man #327 by David Michelinie & Erik Larsen
Avengers #312 by John Byrne, Paul Ryan & Tom Palmer
Avengers Spotlight #27 (second story) by Dwane McDuffie & Dwayne Turner
Avengers West Coast #53 by John Byrne
Captain America #365 by Mark Gruendwald & Kieron Dwyer
The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #9 by Terry Austijn & Mike Vosburg
Thor #412  by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz & Joe Sinnott

Plot
Thor #412: Working with the New Warriors, Thor is able to defeat Juggernaut by transporting him to another dimension. Cloak & Dagger #9: As the Avengers hold a public forum to discuss the Superhero Registration Act, they're attacked by a group of villains led by the Jester. Amazing Spider-Man #327: Testing out his new, increased powers, Spider-Man is attacked by Magneto, believing the powers may be an indication that Spider-Man is a mutant. But he breaks off his attack when he realizes the sheer breath of Spider-Man's abilities mean he cannot be a mutant, and Magneto leaves hoping to find another way to utilize Spider-Man's powers for the betterment of mutants. Captain America #365: The Red Skull is offered a place with the Prime Movers, and while he stews on the offer, his agent Crossbones enlists the Controller in setting Namor the Sub-Mariner against Captain America. Dealing with the loss of Avengers Mansion, Captain America is attacked by Namor. During the fight, he manages to damage the Controller's control disc, knocking Namor out but leaving the disc attached. Meanwhile, the Red Skull decides to join the Prime Movers.


Avengers West Coast #53: The Avengers are debating what to do about the nearly catatonic Scarlet Witch when they're attacked by the U-Foes. Dr. Pym is able to snap Scarlet Witch out of her fugue state by telling her the Vision is in danger, and she turns the tide against their foes. Having reached out to the east coast Avengers and received no response, Dr. Pym splits up the team, sending Wonder Man and Iron Man to pursue the U-Foes while everyone else heads East. Avengers Spotlight #27: Investigating the underwater wreckage of Avengers Island, Stingray is attacked by the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android. Reaching the surface, the Awesome Android attacks the Avengers helping the salvage operation. Black Widow radios for backup, but with most of the Avengers caught up in fights of their own, only Captain Marvel responds. Together, the Avengers shutdown the android, but Black Widow worries what's happening to the rest of their teammates. Avengers #312: Working out of the mansion's old subbasement, the detatched West Coast Avengers and Falcon are attacked by Blob, Pyro and Avalanche. When the battle goes against the villains, they attempt to use their status as Federal agents to turn the gathering crowd against the Avengers, but when Captain America arrives and announces that the Freedom Force members are acting on their own, without authority, they flee, leaving the Avengers angry they still don't what's going on.

Firsts and Other Notables
Spider-Man spends most of "Acts of Vengeance" with new cosmic powers granted him by Captain Universe, a cosmic being which bonds with different hosts, providing them with increased abilities to help them protect Eternity. "Cosmic Spider-Man", as this iteration of the character is known, was immortalized in the first set of Marvel Universe trading cards.


Kingpin (who is ENORMOUS in the issue) is shown to be one of the Prime Movers in Amazing Spider-Man #327, as is Magneto, though he's less concerned with vengeance and more with preparing for the upcoming war involving mutantkind.


The Red Skull is offered a place amongst the Prime Movers in Captain America #365, which he accepts by issue's end.


This leads to tension between him (a Nazi) and Magneto (hater of Nazis) in Avengers #312, tension that will be followed up on in later issues of Captain America.


Namor is also offered a place amongst the Prime Movers, but he declines it, having long ago forsook his war on the surface world.


The Vision, having been dismantled and rebuilt sans emotions in John Byrne's first Avengers West Coast storyline, is sporting the "all white" look he'll have throughout the early 90s (this is how I first encountered the character, making me think A. He was all-white a lot longer than he actually was and B. That his far more traditional red-and-green look was weird). He announces in issue #54 that he's going to relocate to the team's East Coast branch for the sake of Scarlet Witch, his ex-wife.


Scarlet Witch, meanwhile, is nearly catatonic at the start of Avengers West Coast #53, having recently had her husband effectively destroyed and her children revealed to be magical constructs created via pieces of a demonic soul. She comes to her senses in the course of the issue, but isn't really right in the head, and her breakdown will continue post-"Acts of Vengeance". 

Hank Pym tries to contact the east coast team but is unable to do so (because Avengers Mansion is underwater), prompting a trip east and the presence of Hank, Wasp and Scarlet Witch, as well as Vision, in Avengers #312.

Stingray, the marine biologist-turned-Avenger from whom the Avengers leased Hydro-Base, discovers the "Heavy Metal" robots to be missing following the sinking of the mansion, a reference to Roger Stern's last Avengers story in issues #286-290, in which the Avengers battle a conglomerate of robotic foes, including the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android. It's actually an underrated little story, marred a bit by the fact that Stern was fired from the title after plotting it but before he could script it.

Cloak and Dagger #9 deals with the Avengers response to the proposed Superhero Registration Act,  a piece of legislation intended to build on the Mutant Registration Act (which is still technically in effect, even if no one really talks about it anymore) by requiring superheroes to register their identities with the government. The bulk of that subplot is dealt with in the "Acts" issues of Fantastic Four (where Mr. Fantastic successfully talks the government out of implementing it), but it does pop up in a few issues we'll be covering.


Fenris, whom the X-Men battled in Uncanny X-Men #200, are amongst the villains attacking the gathering of heroes in Cloak and Dagger.


Meanwhile, Blob, Pyro and Avalanche, following their appearance in Uncanny X-Men #255, pop up in Avengers #312 basically just looking to pick a fight. They are said to be acting on their own as free agents (and not Federal agents) and it's implied that they are no longer part of Freedom Force and that Freedom Force itself might be disbanded, but later stories will show neither of those implications to be true, and Incredible Hulk #369 will follow up specifically the events of this issue.


Scarlet Witch refers to the ersatz Freedom Forcers as "fellow mutants" and suggest she'd rather not harm them as a result, more setup for her post-"Acts" story arc in Avengers West Coast featuring Magneto. 


A Work in Progress
Thor #412, the first extended appearance of the New Warriors, ends with them declaring their superheroic raison d'ĂȘtre.


Spider-Man's cosmic powers include increase strength, flight, mental manipulation of his webbing, and the ability to generate blasts of energy. 

Believing Spider-Man's new powers could be the result of a late-hitting mutation, Magneto notes that his own mutant abilities didn't manifest until later in his life.


He ultimately decides Spider-Man isn't a mutant, due to the wide variety of new powers he displays, saying mutants only get one power, which isn't quite true even in 1990 and certainly has been contradicted by the later idea of Secondary Mutations.


Magneto is able to control Spider-Man via the "magnetic salts" in his body, a different take on the old "iron in the blood" trick.


In Avengers West Coast, Byrne draws Magneto in the "M"-emblem costume from New Mutants #75, though Larsen draws his traditional attire in Spider-Man.

In discussing the Superhero Registration Act, one bystander points out the high insurance rates in New York caused by the constant super powered battles.

At the end of Avengers Spotlight #27, the few Avengers on hand to defeat the Awesome Android ominously note how few Avengers were able to respond to their call for help.


Captain America learns of the sinking of Avengers Island in Captain America #365, which is also where the idea of using the former subbasement of Avengers Mansion as a temporary headquarters is suggested. 


As of Avengers #312, the team is operating out of that subbasement, though in that issue, it is being staffed mostly by West Coasters having temporarily come east.

Mystique is noted to be grieving following the death of Destiny (allowing Blob, Avalanche and Pyro to wander off on their own), while Avalanche's injuries at the hands of the Reavers is noted.


The Avengers mention that if the X-Men weren't dead, they'd contact them for tips in dealing with Freedom Force. The Avengers come out okay, but that's a possible unintended side effect of the whole "fake our deaths" thing. 


It's said that Avalanche's power doesn't work on living tissue, which I don't think has ever been established before. He is able to affect the inorganic parts of Vision though, in a somewhat disturbing panel (though Vision quickly gets better).


Blob is able to manipulate his mass, which I also don't think is entirely accurate (he's just really fat and can't be moved unless he wants to be, but I don't think he's able to, say, make himself lighter or heavier at will).

In a nice touch, when Dr. Pym shrinks Blob down, his density forces him to sink through the ground. 


I Love the 80s
New Warrior Night Thrasher has a skateboard as part of his costume, because of course he does.


Young Love
Spider-Man notes that he doesn't know what he'd do without Mary Jane's strength, a clear indication that he'd never possibly sell that marriage to some kind of devilish figure.


Teebore's Take
Though the narrative spine of the crossover remains as half-formed and ethereal as ever, this batch of issues makes"Acts of Vengeance" feel like more of a traditional crossover, with references to specific events allowing a chronology of sorts to be formed, while Avengers and Avengers West Coast begin to read like chapters in the same story (ie in the latter, a detachment of West Coast Avengers head east, and they then appear in the former). Things are still a bit loose, as it's unclear where the reserve Avengers from Avengers Spotlight are when Freedom Force attacks, or where Falcon came from, but the narrative continuity is definitely tighter. Plus, these issues also introduce (to us) the idea of the Superhero Registration Act, a subplot that runs throughout "Acts of Vengeance" which deals with the heroes reaction to the idea of being registered by the government.

If that sounds an awful lot like Marvel's 2004 event, "Civil War" (which is, in turn, serving as the inspiration for the third Captain America film) it should; it's pretty much the same thing. Only here, almost all the heroes are routinely opposed to it, even the staunchest supporters (like Iron Man and Mr. Richards) of the later act. Which, if feeling charitable, can be handwaved away as characters' opinions changing over time. But it still rankles that in the entire course of "Civil War", the fact that Marvel had already done the exact same story already is never once brought up. "Acts of Vengeance" may not be the most tightly-constructed or Earth-shattering of Marvel events, but that's still a pretty glaring oversight for a narrative universe that draws so heavily on its own history.

Next Issue
Tomorrow, Excalibur #17 and Friday, Wolverine #19. Next week, Wolverine meets the new Psylocke in Uncanny X-Men #257.

Collected Editions

20 comments:

  1. I love this era of Gruenwald's CAPTAIN AMERICA. The "Captain" saga is what he's best remembred for, but he had some fun stories after that too, with Kieron Dwyer on pencils.

    I love this era of Michelinie's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, too. Venom is what he's best remembered for, but he had some fun stories after that too, with Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley on pencils.

    I love this era of Byrne's AVENGERS -- err -- ahem. I've barely read any of Byrne's AVENGERS; only the WEST COAST stuff. But I think it's worth noting that, as antagonistic and crotchety as he was/is, he usually played fair even with developments he didn't like. Byrne hates Magneto's retconned origin, but here he is showing us how much Magneto hates Nazis. And I don't necessarily think the Freedom Force thing is an oversight. From the dialogue in those two panels you posted, it just sounds like Blob, Pyro, and Avalanche decided to go out and cause a little mayhem while they were temporarily off Mystique's leash. I don't think it's the first time they did that.

    "New Warrior Night Thrasher has a skateboard as part of his costume, because of course he does."

    Have you read Dwayne McDuffie's memo about this? It cracks me up every time.

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  2. The Spider-Man plot about the new powers was relatively long-lasting one, wasn't it, and it was nice they played it like that too, with the appropriate perplexion on everyone's behalf until the shocking truth! was finally revealed. I should imagine there must have been some amount of fan backlash about the Spidey suddenly flying and shooting blasts, though something in the whole setup, not least because of the art, screams early 90's in a disturbingly approvable sort of way.

    Good of Pete to note that he got a good thing going on with his marriage, like he has finally grown up and moved on to this new exciting phase of his life and I'm sure he'll make sure to keep himself as the shining beacon for us all with his continuous show of everyday responsibility compared to which that brought by the great power may be just poppycock.

    "...there's been some kind of upset in their membership, ..." Captain America, never did I believe to utter these words, but you're a dick.

    Matt: Have you read Dwayne McDuffie's memo about this? It cracks me up every time.

    Oh thank you very much, now I got the damn theme song stuck in my head. In my head canon the mysterious fourth rider of negro skateboarders can't be anyone else but Blade, who so totally fits to the list of popular elements (sans the skateboard) given by McDuffle as he was first presented in TOMB OF DRACULA #10 by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan in 1973. The early 90's RISE OF THE MIDNIGHT SONS could so have been preceded by FRONTSIDE OLLIE OF THE MIDNIGHT SON by a couple of years.

    "I'll just shrink my weapon back into my pocket..." I love you, Henry Pym. Look at that panel, gentlemen, just look at that. The shrinkage, the facial expressions of Blob, Vision...

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  3. A few things. First of all, I don't know what the Avengers are talking about, since they HAVE fought against Freedom Force (and their previous incarnation, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) quite a number of times. Byrne might have been unfamiliar with that but an editor should have caught that (and let me go on a mini-rant for a minute to say that despite their love of knot-tangling continuity and convoluted retcons, editors were rather sloppy in this period with the referencing of past material.)

    Also Scarlet Witch's comments to Avalanche was part Byrne's (in my opinion, highly irritating) continuing storyline that the tragedies in Wanda's life had caused her to consider the type of power-mad mutant superiority that was the domain of Magneto (and what a coincidence that Magneto's character derailment happened at the same time as Wanda's. Funny how that worked out, eh?) For an irony tri-fecta,blet's also remember that a similar situation happened to Magneto's OTHER daughter for similar reasons. Must be something in that bloodline or something. Hilariously Avengers #312 is that subplot at it's most subtle, so that should say something.

    Finally Avengers #312 is one of the key demonstrations why a collection of Marvel vllians working together just doesn't work. They don't have goals and philosophies that are merely different from each other, but incompatible as well. And that's not even getting into the egos involved.

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    1. Had Freedom Force battled the Wackos before (or any of the members here?) or just the Eackos? Although one of the minor problems for the overall premise is finding available useable foes who haven't actually fought the relevant heroes before - e.g. is there any villain who hasn't fought Spider-Man at some point?

      And the Kingpin is bizarre - did Larsen think he was drawing the Slug or something?

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  4. Kingpin (who is ENORMOUS in the issue)
    On that panel, I’m more disturbed by magneto’s 10-feet-wide cape, with a bit somehow floating over his shoulders.

    Firestar must use a lot of gel to keep that hair straight

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  5. Tim Roll-Pickering: Had Freedom Force battled the Wackos before (or any of the members here?) or just the Eackos?

    In AVENGERS ANNUAL #10 the then-just-Ackos faced them as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in the story that premiered Rogue. There was at least Cap, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Beast and Simon Williams at the receiving end.

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    1. Ah Annuals. So easy to forget the details.

      (I think, though I'm not too up on Wackos history, that there was a long running contention about whether the New York~ish based team were THE Avengers with the Wackos a subordinate spin-off or if the teams were a co-equal split of the single Avengers. DC managed to sidestep this by rebranding Justice League International to Justice League America when Justice League Europe was formed and Justice League Antarctica was, for its brief history, officially co-equal to both.)

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  6. I Love the 80s
    New Warrior Night Thrasher has a skateboard as part of his costume, because of course he does.


    Technically we should be farewelling the segment, at least as far as the cover date is concerned, but that particular pick just screams BOTH 90's AND 80's oh so much. Not unlike Asian Ninja Betsy and the Hand fellow who has taken the hood off and goes by his civilian name.

    It looks, with the impeccable Jan 90 timing and all, kind of like they knew exactly what That 90's Comics was going to be like. What THEY were going to MAKE it be, even, instead of it all being some sort of horrible accident that just somehow happened, which is what a comic book fan may find himself telling to himself now afterwards.

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  7. @Matt: Byrne hates Magneto's retconned origin, but here he is showing us how much Magneto hates Nazis.

    That's a good point. And as much as I dislike Byrne's insistence on reverting Magneto to one-dimensional villainy, his portrayal in "Acts" is subtle enough that, along with Claremont's little retcon in UXM #253, you just have to squint a little to see a fairly consistent portrayal of Magneto up to his death in XM2 #3.

    And I don't necessarily think the Freedom Force thing is an oversight.

    Nor do I, but the implication seems to be there. But once it's later made clear they are still part of the team, the implication goes away.

    Have you read Dwayne McDuffie's memo about this? It cracks me up every time.

    Yeah, but thanks for posting it. It cracks me up every time too.

    @Teemu: The Spider-Man plot about the new powers was relatively long-lasting one, wasn't it

    I suppose it depends on how you define long lasting. I *think* it only stuck around for his "Acts" issues, but across three titles and four months, that's twelve issues, or a year's worth of stories.

    I'll just shrink my weapon back into my pocket..." I love you, Henry Pym.

    I seriously love Shrinky Dink Pouches Pym. Possibly my favorite iteration of the character.

    Technically we should be farewelling the segment

    Not yet! Not until we hit comics that were actually *on sale* in the 90s. :)

    @Jonathan: I don't know what the Avengers are talking about, since they HAVE fought against Freedom Force (and their previous incarnation, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) quite a number of times.

    FWIW Of the particular Avengers in this issue, Hank, Wasp and Falcon haven't, while Scarlet Witch and Vision have, but neither of the latter are exactly in their right minds relative to when they did fight the Brotherhood.

    @Frenchie: Firestar must use a lot of gel to keep that hair straight

    The look of the New Warriors in that last panel is *hilarious*.

    @Tim: (I think, though I'm not too up on Wackos history, that there was a long running contention about whether the New York~ish based team were THE Avengers with the Wackos a subordinate spin-off or if the teams were a co-equal split of the single Avengers.

    I couldn't say that sentiment had always been there, but the perceived second-class status of the West Coast was definitely something that got brought up towards the end of the run. It was one of the chief points Iron Man made in the final issue, which ultimately led to the current West Coast roster quitting the Avengers and forming the oh-so-90s Force Works (before eventually rejoining the fold, but with no more split rosters).

    I'm frankly kinda surprised, given the sheer number of Avengers titles out there now, that no one has revised the idea of a cross-coast team again. Seems obvious, especially since the only reason the first iteration died was because someone thought Force Works was a good idea...

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  8. There's a plethora of fun things happening in those panels, on those issues too I believe. A total Marvel Universe experience really, when unfamiliar faces show up in all "wrong" books. The disguised Andrea von Strucker for example totally owns her panel with her faked concern over folks imposing their superiority over folks.

    Re: superiority, Wanda's been teased every now and then to have some daddy ideas over mutants' relation to other folks which will culminate into House of M upon time, hasn't she, or is it Byrne here only? Her brother has of course always been a case of his own in these matters. It's a bit like a self-made millionaire and his sufferable kids used to get everything without working for it, with Mags having done a near-full circle over these matters while the brats are like reading their lines from some Brotherhood of Evil Mutants for Dummies pamphlet. To Freedom Force she may really feel superior in every way, having been in the REAL Brotherhood back in the day, rolling over countries, and them becoming a REAL superhero instead of a government stooge.

    Avalanche being brought back, commenting on Muir Island... could it be a case of Byrne saving one of his here (assuming Avalance was to a biggish part his creation for the DoFP)? Good move if so, always liked Avalanche. Can't dress, though. Except the one in #199 was fine.

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  9. Teebore: I suppose it depends on how you define long lasting. I *think* it only stuck around for his "Acts" issues, but across three titles and four months, that's twelve issues, or a year's worth of stories.

    I mainly meant the unwinding of it, they sure took their time with Spidey rolling out new powers in a way that could have been a serious go at permanently redefining Spidey for the 90's with totally new set of powers. Horrid idea of course, enough to raise a fandom backlash, but we DID see Azrael Batman, so...

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  10. Teemu -- not sure if you were asking or just making an observation, but there is a legitimate story reason for the slow roll-out of the powers. Obviously behind the scenes the just wanted a little three-month event. But in-universe, Spider-Man was caught up in an energy experiment gone wrong at Empire State University at the precise moment he was inhabited by the Uni-Force. Normally when it joins with a person they get all the powers, along with the Captain Universe costume and complete knowledge of how to use them and the purpose for which they were temporarily bestowed -- but in Spider-Man's case, all of that was scrambled by the experiment and he had no idea why he was slowly developing all these strange new abilities.

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  11. Matt, it was mainly appreciation for them having an amount of patience when rolling out the story and making a kind of mini-arc of it. Though I did not remember there was the ESU energy experiment playing a part of it as the suspected cause. Which actually makes the permanent power change "teaser" somewhat more buyable, with there being a plausible cause for it instead of it being a total mystery the reader would naturally expect to be solved in near future and the powers go away then.

    Which then did happen of course just like that, but we needen't know that beforehand. It's the Nineties, the comic book decade that saw the death of Superman. What would stop them pumping Spidey up to Gladiator power levels, possibly due an in-house creator tug-of-war: "Oh, had him fight the Firelord, did ya? Well, that's nothing!" (hilariously this is the point where the poster and reader alike remember Hulk suddenly finding himself at the orbit during the arc. remind me please, was there ever punishment at Spidey for this sort of affront and petty larseny?)

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  12. "while Avalanche's injuries at the hands of the Reavers is noted."

    Damn, that was a pretty quick recovery.

    "The Avengers mention that if the X-Men weren't dead, they'd contact them for tips in dealing with Freedom Force."

    As others have mentioned, the Avengers have not only fought FF when they were the BOEM, but also more recently, they fought them as FF in Avengers Annual #15...and the Wasp was present for that fight! At the very least, considering how the Avengers probably update their files, they should have more intel on FF.

    "It's said that Avalanche's power doesn't work on living tissue, which I don't think has ever been established before."

    Actually, he once fought the Hulk on his own, and tried to use his powers on the Hulk directly. It didn't work, and the feedback ended up breaking the bones in Avalanche's arms...

    "Plus, these issues also introduce (to us) the idea of the Superhero Registration Act...If that sounds an awful lot like Marvel's 2004 event, "Civil War""

    And, ironically, this is the story that introduced us to the New Warriors as well, whose actions set off "Civil War".

    "but that's still a pretty glaring oversight for a narrative universe that draws so heavily on its own history."

    Yes, but in today's Marvel, continuity is only used when 1) the writer feels like including it or 2) is using it to make some kind of point.

    "I love this era of Byrne's AVENGERS"

    I wish I could say the same, but between his run and what was happening a bit earlier during Simonson's run on Avengers...ugh. What a pair of shitfests.

    "I seriously love Shrinky Dink Pouches Pym. Possibly my favorite iteration of the character."

    I like it too. I just wish Byrne didn't throw Hawkeye under the bus just to prop up Hank (and what was done to Captain Marvel over in Avengers was even worse).

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  13. About Freedom Force, the whole team faced them in Avengers Annual 15 (it was the issue where Spider-Woman left the team.) Plus they were reccuring characters during the "John Walker" era of Captain America. Which brings up the point that, as government agents it should be easy to look up information about the team (since the Avengers are the type of team that worries about government clearance and all and therefore should have access to their files.)

    Also Teebore, I'm glad you cleared up a bit of the confusing chronology about Wanda during this time. At the time it seemed like she was going in and out of catatonia at will, and both she and Vision treating their marriage as if all were well, despite being declared "over" in recent issues of AWC.

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  14. Ha, Wikipedia totally wins on Freedom Force: Over the next few months, they are given many unpopular tasks, such as enforcing the Mutant Registration Act, arresting the outlaw X-Men, and saving the people of Dallas

    But actually the reason I went there was to ascertain that Mystique's original pitch for a (explicitly) White House strike group didn't go quite like that then in the end, as they were introduced as "federal" team in UXM #223. Could be some political maneuvering towards the "Committee" setup, mayhap after the Spider-Woman debacle and them pitting up against Avengers. Val, originally an advisor to president, seems to hold her position despite the administration changes.

    My fave enemy for the event are the U-Foes. I tried, without knowing of their participation yet, make a joke in the previous AoV post comments over one character's usage of phrase "uncommon foes", but it looks like the fairly obvious joke got some mileage from the creators too. Could even be some intentional PADdling from Byrne.

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  15. "Actually, he once fought the Hulk on his own, and tried to use his powers on the Hulk directly. It didn't work, and the feedback ended up breaking the bones in Avalanche's arms..."
    Yeah, Hulk 263- the caption explicitly states Avalanche can't use his powers against organic material.

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  16. Don't have much to say overall but can add one for I Love the 80s: Jester is doing a poor Ed Grimley shtick for some reason — he's using the catchphrases ("I must say"; "decent"; "completely mental") although his speech pattern in general is all wrong.

    // it's unclear where the reserve Avengers from Avengers Spotlight are when Freedom Force attacks, or where Falcon came from //

    When a mommy Falcon and a daddy Falcon love each other very much…

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  17. @Teemu: Avalanche being brought back, commenting on Muir Island... could it be a case of Byrne saving one of his here (assuming Avalance was to a biggish part his creation for the DoFP)?

    Huh, I'd never thought of that. That would be interesting if Claremont intended to kill Avalanche, and Byrne saved him.

    @wwk5d: they fought them as FF in Avengers Annual #15...and the Wasp was present for that fight!

    Ah, yeah, I'd forgotten Wasp was there for that. The Avengers really shouldn't have had as much trouble with FF, it seems.

    I just wish Byrne didn't throw Hawkeye under the bus just to prop up Hank (and what was done to Captain Marvel over in Avengers was even worse).

    Yes, and yes (so much).

    @Anonymous: Yeah, Hulk 263- the caption explicitly states Avalanche can't use his powers against organic material.

    Good to know. I'd wondered if it was maybe just a Hulk thing (like, his extra dense muscles were impervious or something) but that makes it pretty clear.

    @Blam: When a mommy Falcon and a daddy Falcon love each other very much…

    Touche. :)

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  18. "mutants only get one power, which isn't quite true even in 1990..."

    I always thought mutants *should* be limited to one power, even as a kid. Cyclops: eye beams.
    Iceman: makes ice.
    Wolverine: heals fast.

    This is why Nightcrawler never clicked. What is his mutation? To be fuzzy? Have only 3 fingers and toes? Be acrobatic? But also, teleport? And turn invisible in the dark?
    Whaa-?

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