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The Avengers #1

Even those of us who love comics can admit that sometimes the stories are a bit nuts. Especially in older issues, plotlines can be corny and/or confusing. Even taking that into account, the first issue of The Avengers is pretty crazy. It begins with Loki trying to figure out how to lure Thor to the enchanted isle where he has been exiled. he decides to trick the hulk into wrecking a train. The Hulk saves the train instead, but the people on the train think the Hulk tried to kill them. Rick Jones and his cohorts try to get the Fantastic Four involved, but Loki redirects the signal so that it goes to Thor instead. Somehow it also gets to Iron Man and Ant Man and The Wasp.

Ant Man comes across as a bit of a douche in this, maybe not as bad as he will be later but he is needlessly mean to Janet. Janet is portrayed as a vapid man hungry bimbo. Thor quickly realizes that Loki is behind the Hulk's supposed rampage and heads to Asgard. He doesn't bother mentioning to the other heroes that the Hulk is not really at fault, because why would he? Meanwhile the Hulk has disguised himself as a robot and managed to get discovered by a circus owner and integrated into a circus act. Read that sentence again and let it really sink in. He doesn't even really look like a robot, he's actually dressed as a clown. But the circus owner and patrons are all convinced he's a robot, so apparently it is an effective disguise.

In the 2012 movie there's a line by Iron Man where he comes up with the name for the Avengers when he tells Loki that if they can't save the Earth from him they would damn sure avenge it. There is a similar line here by Thor where he says he will avenge himself on Loki. It doesn't hit as hard here though, as the only thing Loki has done is a bad frame up job on the Hulk. It doesn't help that at the end when they are choosing their name it's Janet and not Thor who comes up with The Avengers. Thor and Loki fight, which involves a goofy looking troll and Thor making his hammer magnetic so that Loki sticks to it.

Thor takes Loki back to Earth where the fight between the Hulk and Iron Man and Hank and Janet has moved to a car factory. Thor shows up to stop the fight, Loki in tow. Loki becomes radioactive, so Hank has his ants pull the lever for the completely random trap door Loki happened to be standing on. This is so ridiculous that the comic even makes a mention of how unlikely it is. Not as unlikely as the trap door leading to an iron vault that is used to store radioactive waste under the car factory, but of course that is exactly where it goes. The heroes decide to team up, Hulk invites himself along, and the dumbest origin story ever grinds to a halt. The Avengers became a really good book. I have to say there is almost nothing in this issue to indicate that is going to be the case. It's fun in that goofy "look at how dumb this comic is" way. It is disappointing considering the storytelling that was going on in other Marvel titles of the time


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