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I have Issues (4)

Loki vs. The Avengers II
(Continued from I have Issues (3)
Please scroll back to I Have Issues (3) if you have not read that one yet. 

Avengers/Defenders War Part 2
Namor, with all of the Avengers minus Thor meet with the Defenders minus Hulk to compare notes. A fight is about to break out but Namor explains that he and Captain America have made a truce. So the Avengers and the Defenders decide to team up to get to the bottom of this situation. It’s then they realize, “oh shit!” Two of the most powerful and easily riled members of our respective groups are not present and thus know of no truce!” (Clearly this is another example where cell phones are a lifesaver in modern society. An easy call to Hulk’s green cell phone tucked away in his ripped purple pants would be like, “you know how you were going to punch Thor really hard, well just chill out for a few while we make our way there because we have a truce.” ) The combined members of the two Supergroups stop the fight that everyone wanted to see and while talking to Thor they realize that he fought Loki in Rutland, Vermont and then the Defenders realize that they just recently fought Dormammu in Rutland, Vermont. (I’m certain that Vermont leaves out these facts in their tourist brochures.) As they are starting to put the clues together, Asti swoops down and takes all of the Evil Eye pieces back to his master, Dormammu. (Asti looks like a yellow free floating mask if you’re wondering.) Dormammu now with the Evil Eye assembled begins to use it to merge his universe with the Marvel universe. The process of merging the universes makes everything on Earth go wacky! Humans mutate into demons, the Cubs win a world series, everybody understands the end of “Lost” black is white, up is down, dogs and cats are living together, mass hysteria and madness!  Fourteen of the most powerful beings to ever join forces are ready to put a hurting on Dormammu and Loki. Did I also mention they are pissed? Yes the first page has all of them looking really angry and betrayed. Namor even has two fists up in the air, which as everyone knows when you have been in the pool too long that’s kind of hard to do. The two teams know they must travel to the Dark Dimension to tackle Dormammu but they can’t just leave earth defenseless. As if an answer to their prayers, SHIELD gunships come out of the sky and start blowing the demons away. Nick Fury tells the Avengers and Defenders that he will be here to fight off the onslaught. Dormammu is watching the heroes enter his dimension and Loki again reminds him that he promised to return his vision. Dormammu replies that he now has the Evil Eye and never had any intention of ever returning Loki’s sight. Loki cannot believe this, it’s like irony on a cosmic scale. As the heroes make their way towards Dormammu they are encountering creatures of all types but manage to take them all down.  Back on Earth we get a page showing the rest of Earth’s heroes fighting the creatures and even a cool panel with Luke Cage saying, “Sweet sister! Broadways going crazy all around me—and this was supposed to be my day off!”(Is it just me or would a young Ron Simmons be the perfect Luke Cage?) As Doctor Strange attempts to burst Dormammu’s magic barrier the Defenders are retaliated against with a spell that robs them of consciousness (Rufee spell?) Now only the Avengers are left to fight and Thor yells out for the Avengers to assemble. And In a panel that I cannot believe made it past the comic code authority Iron Man say’s to Scarlet Witch, “we need to hurry, we can lick each other’s wounds in the locker room after the game!” (Raise your hand if you think Tony was drunk?) Dormammu takes out the Avengers with various spells and just as Dormammu is about to declare himself the King of everything  Loki attacks him from behind. Momentarily distracted Dormammu doesn’t defend himself against the last Avenger still standing, Scarlet Witch who uses her probability manipulating “Hex” power against him. Dormammu who is held together by the sins of evil or something like that, reverts to energy and shoots into Loki’s mind causing him to go insane but on the plus side regain his sight. (That Hex power is some amazing shit because what are the odds that’s how this would have ended?) With the Evil Eye back in the hands of the heroes, Earth returns back to normal and evil is once again shown the door.

“Acts of Vengeance”
(w) Too many to name (P) Too many to name
Issues: Damn near all of them at the end of ’89, and beginning of ‘90
Avengers:  311-313
Avengers West Coast: 53-55
This crossover is one of those that was a better concept then execution, much like the WWF Invasion storyline.  Loki in disguise forms up what could be called the Anti-Avengers: Doctor Doom, Red Skull, Magneto, Mandarin, Kingpin and Wizard. Together they formulate a plan that basically goes like this; the X-Men have beaten Juggernaut and Magneto on numerous occasions but Thor has never encountered Juggernaut, and Spiderman has never really faced Magneto. So why not switch partners and force the heroes to encounter villains they didn’t already have fifty plans to beat in their back pockets? Of course nowadays villains and heroes cross over pretty frequently and there is very little in the way of continuity which is why Spiderman can be in three groups and still carry his one man crusade against evil in New York and Wolverine can still be the hardest working mutant in the Marvel universe. Back in the day, the day being the late 80’s this was not entirely true. Spiderman villains stuck to fighting Spiderman and Iron Mans rogues continued only bugging the bajeezus out of exclusively him.  Most characters would appear only in the comics they were created in.  Comics were for the most part separate television shows with their own casts. Sure the heroes would crossover but the villains hardly ever left the confines of their own title. At the time this was a big deal. I thought it was complete genius and wanted to buy every issue after I heard about it. I didn’t get into comics until about a year after this but I would constantly scour the back issue bins of every comic store I came across. Most of the issues just don’t live up to the hype unfortunately; still they are kind of neat in the context of the times. 
A few of the more intriguing match ups were
Daredevil #275,276 Daredevil vs. Ultron
Doctor Strange #11 Strange vs. Hobgoblin
The Punisher # 28-29 Punisher vs. Doctor Doom
Thor # 411,412 Thor vs. Juggernaut
The Amazing Spider-Man # 327 Spiderman vs. Magneto
Uncanny X-Men # 256-258 Wolverine vs. Mandarin
After throwing the heroes off with the switcheroo’s Loki decides it’s time to destroy the Avengers once and for all. He knows he created them all the way back in issue # 1 and now it is he who will destroy them, but being that he’s Loki he will get others to do it for him. First he sends out the Hulk villains the U-Foes but the Avengers defeat them.  Next he gets the Mole-Man (Fantastic Four villain) and his underground creatures to attack the Avengers, again the Avengers Triumph. Next the Freedom Force (X-Men villains) battle the Avengers and again the heroes win, all of this while Loki is watching. Loki, still in his manservant disguise decides to call a meeting of his Anti-Avengers.
As the disguised Loki enters the inner chamber he finds his evil assembled team. Red Skull mentions that back in the day anyone making him wait would have ended up in the camps. Every one of the other villains is appalled at this showing that Nazi's in the evil department are in a league of their own. Loki must calm everyone down. They all agree to cool it until the heroes are all lying dead at their feet. Mandarin loses patience from waiting around for the heroes to be defeated and travels to New York to attack the fatigued Avengers. Doctor Doom is pissed because Mandarin isn't sticking to the plan. Red Skull makes a shitty comment about Doom always getting evicted from his own country. Doom backhands the crimson colored Nazi, Skull pulls a gun out and shoots Doom into a giant monitor. The voice of reason, Kingpin admonishes the two villains for not knowing how to effectively use the power they possess. (The Kingpin has a point; look at all he’s done without any powers.) The Wizard joins the battle with the Mandarin who is roasting police officers all over New York until the Avengers arrive to stop him. Captain America, Wonder Man, Black Widow, Vision and Hellcat answer the call for help but have their hands full with the two villains. Mandarin is tearing some Avenger ass up until a large mystical hammer slams him in the chest. Thor has arrived and that is some shit that Mandarin does not want to tangle with. Leaving Wizard to fend for himself, Mandarin uses his black out ring to blind everyone and flies away. Wizard is captured and claims to be the one behind the whole scheme and back in Loki’s chambers all the bad guys are at it again. They all claim to be the one responsible for this whole plot just as Loki wished for them too and just as the argument is ratcheting up Dr. Doom blows up revealing that he was a Doombot all along.

Avengers West Coast #55 (1990)
(W) John Byrne (A) John Byrne

At the Avengers headquarters Thor is revealing to his fellow Avengers teammates that Loki is behind the villains plans to switch partners and confuse the heroes. Captain America being the tactician and leader is the first to question if this really is the truth. Thor is positive that his evil half brother is the one responsible. Wasp mentions that the super duo known as Cloak and Dagger believed it to be Doctor Doom that was behind the coordinated attacks. Vision points out that the recently captured villain, The Wizard informed him that it was a conglomerate of villains led by him. The Wizard meanwhile is sitting in his cell and using a false thumbnail, opens a portal to cross from his cell to the meeting room where the villains are located. Here the Red Skull, the Kingpin, and Mandarin are examining a robotic Doctor Doom head that has been partially blown up. They are wondering if Doctor Doom was ever with the group or if it was just one of his robot doubles that had gone rogue. The Wizard is pissed at Mandarin who retreated during the attack on the Avengers in issue # 313, once the Avengers started winning. Mandarin retorts that he should have left when they started losing. (Damn straight, it's not like any of these guys isn't used to losing at this point, retreating should be as natural as turning on the television for regular people.) The Wizard brags that he did escape with his cool, though a little icky under the fingernail portal trick. Loki still in his human lackey disguise goes off on the Wizard for doing this and the Wizard is appalled that a lackey is threatening him. It's then Loki reveals himself as the lackey in disguise. Loki bitchslaps the Wizard across the room and the Kingpin uses this distraction to leave the premises. (You don't get to be a criminal mastermind by sticking around when an evil half god shows up angry.) Loki has the Red Skull, Mandarin, and The Wizard paralyzed with some kind of magic. The god of mischief can't believe that he thought stupid mortals could ever pull off his great plan. He's especially mad at The Wizard for teleporting to where they are meeting because Thor can use his hammer to trace where he went. (Thor's hammer is like Green Lanterns ring, there isn't much it can't do.) Loki's concern is well founded as Thor uses his hammer to transport himself and a whole slew of Avengers for the showdown. Avengers roll call! Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Wasp, Vision, Henry Pym, Falcon, and Mockingbird. The Avengers bum-rush Loki who with a wave of his hands disassembles the very room they were in and reveals that they are in the magical limbo realm known as the Isle of Silence. The Isle of Silence is the place where Loki was exiled by Odin during Avengers #1. Loki also reveals that he has gained control over this place as he orders subterranean creatures and vines to attack the heroes. Calling forth magical winds, he blows the Falcon and Wasp away and casts a magic flame to engulf Iron Man. As Captain America is in the grip of one of the creatures he orders Thor to bring his brother down before he kills them all. Thor charges and Loki raises a wall of ice between them.(I love how this issue brings us full circle to the first issue of the Avengers.) His attention divided Loki's enchantments over the other villains wears off and Red Skull, Mandarin, and The Wizard are all freed. Red Skull is all like, yeah the heroes are on the ropes, let’s kick ass! Mandarin is like, hells to the no, we got to get our asses out of here! Who's to say who's right in this situation? The Wizard realizes that the dimensional interface doorway that led to the meeting room is still intact. Wasp tells Cap that the bad guys are getting away but Cap replies for the Avengers to stay on point against Loki. The Super Soldier then tosses his shield and shreds the vines that were squeezing the life out of Mockingbird. Thor shatters the ice barrier and demands that Loki stand and fight with some kind of honor. Loki asks, “Dost thou speak of music to one born Deaf?! There is but one lord Loki serves, and that is Power!” Loki conjures up two giant rock hands to crush Thor. But before the hands can reach him, Thor slams his hammer into the ground, splitting the land under Loki’s feet and causing him to fall screaming in the pit. Thor then grabs onto either side of the ground and closes it up, burying his brother in the ground. Cap asks if Loki is dead to which Thor replies that gods can't die and that Loki is merely imprisoned under a million tons of earth. Thor reminds them that it was Loki attacking them years ago that forced the founding members to create the Avengers in the first place. Loki's plan was to form his own super group of villains to undo the Avengers but his actions during this plan only strengthened their resolve.

So with a neat premise followed by a shaky middle this crossover ends in a cool manner. John Byrne ties the Avengers formation to the end with lots of nods to that first issue. I especially like that Loki did all of this from his exiled dimension by just creating a meeting room on his island. There currently is an Act’s of Vengeance omnibus that is really expensive. I kind of wish they would just put the essential stories together. This crossover was bloated as hell and had all kinds of issues that didn’t need to be involved, but still as I hopefully illustrated in my post was a cool story if you could wade through the mess. Yes Loki would attack the Avengers again but not to the level of these stories at least not until The Avenger’s movie.


  1. Acts... gave the comic world Asian Psylocke so it gets a pass from me.

    Speaking of which, they have done absolutely nothing with her since bringing her back to 616. Unless you count that terrible UXF run. I hate Uncanny XForce with a passion btw.,

  2.  Really? Why? It's one of my favorite monthlies right now and is probably the only time I've ever liked Psylocke as a character.

  3. When is Scott gonna see The Avengers and give us his thoughts?

  4. And while I'm at it, since I didn't read the other thread that had someone's Avengers review when it was made (since I hadn't yet seen the movie), I'd like to weigh in on people bringing up Dark Knight as one of the best comic book movies.

    You know those "Hey internet?  [insert some trollish statement]" memes?  Well, hey internet, I don't think the Dark Knight was as good as everyone made it out to be.  It was too long by 30 min.  The whole insistence on Two Face brought the movie down, and the last 30 min undid any good will built up by the 1st two hours.

  5. I always loved how Red Skull is pretty much the place most villains will draw a line at.   Like, these guys are willing to murder people in cold blood, destroy whole countries, and attempt to kill large groups of people just to prove a point...but the Nazi is somehow worse.  Not trying to throw up any sort of defense for Red Skull as a character but I always thought that was cute.

    That said, it does lead to my favorite bit of Marvel continuity when in Acts of Vengeance Magneto turns on Red Skull.  How often do you see a villain take a philosophical stance over being evil?

  6. It's true.  Even when they did the Batman/Captain America crossover, Red Skull is even too much for the Joker, who says something like, "Hey, I may be a maniac, but I'm an AMERICAN maniac!"  Obviously I can see why Magneto wouldn't stand for RS, but c'mon, the Joker should be down with any sort of villiany. 

  7. 1. the first version if the x force reboot was perfect. had characters you could attach yourself to and had threats that you thought, "no way can they pull this off" but they did it every time.

    Now granted I hate Deadpool... and Fantomex (WTF does he do anyways?) and i hated the fact that they blew their wad in a 4 issue arc with Apocalypse, then went into Deathlok of all z list characters.

    The first series had fucking Vanisher as a character and you saw the redemption of him as a character throughout the series. Made Elxir a badass and mixed you 80/90s New Mutants with 60/70s Xmen and updated 2000s New Xmen to make this squad of badasses. Loved it.

    Now as fas as Psylocke goes, they bring her back in the worst possible way in UXM, proceed to do nothing with her for like 3 years, thenbasically dump her in UXF. I mean literally after the "Sisterhood" arc, which accomplished nothing else, she had a cameo with the X-club going back in time. Yeah...

  8. I disagree, I fucking love the movie, but you can totally walk out / stop the movie at 2 hours.

    Hence, i agree. That last 30 mins blows.

  9. Paragraph breaks are not expensive.

  10. Creators seem to have a love/hate relationship with her like Gambit. They love her enough to have her around but hate her too much to make her do anything worthwhile. BTW Psylocke drawn by Jim Lee was probably my first fictional chick crush! I'm sure I'm not alone on this.

  11. Does anyone else think the fight scenes suck in Nolans Batman movies? I mean Tim Burton's movies while cheesy as hell, had some amazing fight scenes. 

  12. The Harvey Dent thing reminds me of say, in the Avengers, after beating Loki, Captain America has to stop some random thug from shooting Maria Hill. Batman just beat the Joker, but now he has to randomly stop Two-Face from killing Gordon's family because the Joker told him Two-Face was on a rampage? How did the Joker even know?

  13. Well, in Magento's defense, he was a Holocaust survivor. 

  14. That's why I loved it.  It made sense.  The others...not so much.

  15. Especially since The Joker became the ambassador to a fictional Middle Eastern country and used the position to almost nuke New York city.

  16.  Absolutely agree; also thought the Spider-Man movies were just OK and that the X-Men movies (with the exception of First Class, it kicks all kinds of ass) left me wanting -- Wolverine is a highly trained warrior and he pretty much just swings his claws around like he's on the JV team -- Going off on a tangent, I thought Richard Donner's Superman II was an improvement over the theatrical version but the ending just killed it dead -- Every time some bad shit happens, all Supes has to do is fly really fast to make time go backwards and reset everything; some truly lame and uninspired shit -- Just like Singer's Superman -- All Luthor can do is come up with a real estate scam? Who wants that land? It's all rocky and shit -- What can you plant or build there? Superman can move faster than the speed of light and Luthor stabs him with kryptonite?? For fuck's sake -- The Avengers got it right -- What else but an alien invasion would do? -- I thought the aliens were a bit lame but having Thanos(!) as the mastermind of the whole thing and implying that he was just testing Earth was all sorts of cool -- Who do you bring in for the sequel? It will (hopefully) have to be somebody that actually helps take on Thanos, not just another cool character like Luke Cage or Wasp -- Hercules? Maybe have Jason Mamoa grow a beard and erase our memory of Conan -- You'd probably have too much backstory on your hands for Herc -- Or Vision, who starts out as Starks's attempt to live forever and somehow gains sentience (as he's powered by a bit of the Tesseract that Tony purlioned during the first movie) and confounds Thanos -- Being the Death-obsessed but complex prick that he is, Thanos doesn't quite know how to deal with a being that is alive but isn't -- It's a plot point that could help drive the storyline of the movie -- I don't know, just throwing shit out there...


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