Friday, July 21, 2006

Avengers Dream Team #5


Although Spidey has only recently joined the Avengers in the comics, he has acted in a reservist capacity many times over the years. This has always seemed a bit of a travesty to me. In a lot of ways, the Web Head is to Marvel what Man of Steel is for DC: the flagship character, the beginning of their super-hero universes, the epitome of what the company’s characters will be like. I know they’ve always wanted to the Wallcrawler to be a loner, but the guy deserved to be in the Big Show a damn sight sooner than he’s been allowed to be there. As I’ve said, part of that is what he means to the Marvel Universe here in the real world, but the guy’s no slouch when it comes to the power department either. Super agile, super strong, able to leap tremendous distances, super smart (he invented his own webbing when cruel fate gave him every OTHER spider-power!), a precognitive spider-sense to alert him of danger. Spidey is one of the most well-rounded super-heroes around. He’s able to go toe-to-toe with very powerful villains, but can get himself into places quietly and undercover if necessary. He’s a good compliment to Tony in the science department, comes in a close second to She-Hulk in the strength department and edges out the hard core members of the Espionage Squad (see below) in agility and sneakiness (animal instinct apparently wins out over extensive training). His adaptability, impressive power level and indefatigable optimism even in the face of personal and super-heroic tragedy make him a total package team player.

Afraid I'm square in the "Spidey should be a loner" column. Not that it isn't nice to see the wall-crawler finally getting some respect and recognition from his fellow capes and all, but to me, Peter was never meant to run in the pack. While I don't begrudge him the chance to do so now, anytime I see a group picture with him in it, I instantly start to play a mental game of "which of these things is not like the others."


Power-wise, the Vision has always appealed to me; his ability to control his density makes him both an excellent spy and a formidable opponent. Not only has he gone toe-to-toe with Thor, but he was able to take out Hyperion with one well-placed phase. It was this self-same battle with Hyperion in my uncle's well-worn copy of Avengers #147 that served as the beginning of my fascination with the Vision, aided by the pencils of one George Perez who illustrated possibly the coolest action sequence the Vision has ever been involved in, although that might be the 4 year old in me speaking. Still, that fight, coupled with the relationship between Vision and Wanda (not to mention his unique word balloon style) combined to win Viz an eternal place in my Avengers line-up . . . and this is pre-deconstruction and/or destruction Vision, btw. Y'know, it just dawned on me: not only is The Vision the third of my Avengers #200 cast members, he's also the third cast member to have a history full of being horribly screwed over; sadly enough, the final part of this quartet shares in that as well, but more on that next time.

I'm not sure I can get worked up enough to say anything about the Vision but "eeeeehhhhh..."

I think the first issues of Avengers I picked up off the newstands involved the Vision having just been torn to bits, It hink it was called VisionQuest. Even as a youngling, the name should have tipped me off. They bring him back cold, emotionless and all white. The all white thing was kind of cool since he used his powers to be sort of "ghostly" and it sort of went with his name (although Apparition might have been even better with that color scheme, apologies to Tinya Wazzo), but the emotionless thing, especially with Wanda pining away for him, just completely missed with me.

Now it might be that he's never shaken that initial introduction with me and it might be that he's been wrapped up in some of the stupidest and/or off-putting stories of all time. Wanda marrying the Vision is creepy, I don't care what anybody says. I also say that SOMEONE should have thought it was a damn sight weirder when she got pregnant by Vizh. Regardless, I'm unimpressed with Vision. He doesn't inspire revulsion or anything, he more just inspires me to yawn a lot and start waiting for thigns to get silly.

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