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Appearing in "On the Matter of Heroes!"

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Synopsis for "On the Matter of Heroes!"

Wonder Man and Beast catch a movie,[1] and afterwards discuss the need and psychological role that heroes play for the general public. When they return to the mansion, Wonder Man inserts his key and is caught offguard when new security coils emerge from the doorway. The two manage to disentangle themselves and thinking something is wrong, burst through the door to find a technician (Scott Lang) installing new hardware. Wonder Man confronts Lang but Tony Stark and Agent Henry Gyrich stop him. Stark informs the pair the coils are part of new security parameters being installed. Stark has convinced Gyrich to reinstate the team's security clearances provided they agree to new terms and conditions. Gyrich then curtly instructs the two heroes and Stark's "bodyguard" Iron-Man to go to the conference room where he'll make known the rest of his demands for the Avengers' priority status to be returned to them.

In his private quarters, Stark changes into his Iron-Man armor and laments how "fighting through red tape has become harder than punching through brick walls."

A cab drops a mysterious white-bearded person[2] off in front of Avengers mansion.

In the conference room, Gyrich addresses all Avengers as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy and other non-member hanger-ons (Jocasta, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Moondragon). He tells them that they have to pare down to seven members and then proceeds to tell them who those members will be, much to Iron-Man's chagrin. Gyrich names Iron Man (as chairman), Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast, Captain America, Wasp, and... The Falcon?? Hawkeye stridently objects that he's been excluded and that a non-member who's never even met most of the team is being inducted. Iron Man also objects but Gyrich tells them equal opportunity for minorities is a federal requirement for all government-related agencies.

Quicksilver also objects strenuously on the grounds that Falcon isn't even an Avenger but then suddenly falls over, alarming the Scarlet Witch. Thor carries Pietro to the infirmary and then departs to get a doctor (i.e., turn into Dr. Don Blake). Otside, the mysterious white-bearded man smiles as he places something in a large carpetbag.

Doctor Blake tends to Quicksilver and is waiting for test results while various "laid-off" team members prepare to leave. As Wonder Man packs a suitcase, he tells Beast how he's always wanted to be an actor and now he has the chance. Yellowjacket is dismayed that he has been cut while the Wasp is still on the team. Jan assures him it will be fun "getting re-acquainted" whenever she comes back from a mission. Hawkeye practices his archery skills in the basement gym and Wanda consoles him for getting cut. The Guardians of the Galaxy inform Iron-Man they will be exploring the Collector's ship before returning to their time.

Most of the cut members leave en masse, including the Black Panther, Black Widow, Hercules, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Moondragon (Wonder Man thinks to himself that she didn't even bother to say goodbye) and the Guardians of the Galaxy. A few remaining members - such as Hawkeye, Wonder Man and Yellowjacket - have to be gone in 24 hours. At that moment, Wanda also mysteriously collapses!

Dr. Blake reveals that Wanda's symptoms seem similar to her brother's, and that Quicksilver's test results just came in: his heart no longer beats, but his body isn't decaying. He and Wanda are neither dead nor truly alive.

The mysterious white-bearded figure checks into a hotel in the Bowery and opens his bag to reveal two little wooden figures carved to look like Wanda and Pietro in cages, and they're moving! Not only that, but the man refers to them as... his children??[3]

Notes

  • Letters (story pages): Saladino (uncredited) page 1, Heinl pages 2-17.
  • This issue also contains an advert for Hostess Cupcakes featuring the Hulk.
  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for info.[4]
  • As noted in Brian Cronin's Comics Should Be Good column on this issue, the plot point concerning the Falcon joining the team is based on a misconception of the Equal Opportunity Employment act. Equal Opportunity means that willing applicants for jobs be given equal consideration regardless of their race. The idea that the Falcon MUST join the Avengers (especially given that he has not applied for membership and later expresses reluctance at the prospect of joining them) to fill a quota is not true to life.
  • The events of this issue will later factor into a future story arc concerning Hank Pym's breakdown and betrayal of the team (in # 213 - 230). In #227, Pym will confess to a psychiatrist that being cut from the Avengers while the Wasp was retained for active membership was a major blow to his self-esteem and contributed to his eroding mental state.
  • Similarly, while Hawkeye is removed from the active roster, he will continue to be a regular character in the series and his bitterness over being cut will be an ongoing storyline until #189, when he achieves employment elsewhere.

Trivia

  • This is the first appearance of Scott Lang, who will become the new Ant-Man in his next appearance in Marvel Premiere #47.

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. 1938's "Adventures of Robin Hood" starring Errol Flynn.
  2. We last saw him in Avengers #173 where he had been seen with pictures of Wanda and Pietro!
  3. This would be the second time someone has been implicated as their father. The first was the Whizzer! (See Giant-Size Avengers #1.
  4. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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