The Avengers #1
November 24, 2014
Heroes! A trickster God! The Circus! All the things that make a great superhero team!
(A group shot of the Avengers is shown)
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson): (audio from The Avengers) There was an idea... The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to to fight the battles we never could.
(Cut to Linkara sitting on his futon)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn, and the final episode of this year's Secret Origins Month. Much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we've been building up to this episode for the last few years: Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man and The Wasp, the founding members of Marvel's mightiest heroes, the Avengers.
(Cut to a shot of the Justice Society of America)
Linkara (v/o): It may seem odd that we're covering the Avengers before we cover DC's superhero teams, like the Justice Society, which was the first in the entire genre. However, I felt that since the Avengers are more in the public eye right now, it's better to ease in with more recognizable heroes before we leap into the Justice Society, since, well, most of you by now probably know who the Hulk is. There are considerably less of you who know who Hourman, Sandman or the original Atom is.
(Cut to a shot of the Ray Palmer Atom)
Linkara (v/o): No, not Ray Palmer.
(Cut to a shot of the original Atom)
Linkara (v/o): This Atom.
(Cut to a shot of the original Hulk)
Linkara (v/o): So, why did the Avengers come about? Well, according to Stan Lee, it was fan demand. A lot of these characters had their own solo titles, and people wanted a collaboration of a bunch of them, so he and Jack Kirby were more than happy to put together a team. (as Lee) We'd start with the Hulk, just to make it difficult. Then we'd include Thor, 'cause there's always room for a god of thunder.
Linkara: Thor: the superhero equivalent of jello.
Linkara (v/o): (as Lee) Iron Man would be able to supply them all with weapons and bread whenever they needed it.
Linkara: (as Iron Man, drunken tone as always) And liquor! I can always supply liquor.
Linkara (v/o): (as Lee) And we'd toss in Ant-Man and the Wasp just for the sheer lunacy of it.
Linkara: Ah, even back then nobody respected Hank Pym in the slightest.
Linkara (v/o): He further stated that they needed to come up with a reason for the group to come together, since it wouldn't be terribly interesting if everyone just got a letter inviting them to join.
Linkara: Hey, now, you just don't understand the drama and intrigue that is the postal service. What would have happened if somebody's invitation got lost in the mail? That would cause a lot of excitement!
Linkara (v/o): And so, it was felt that they needed a big-enough threat to justify all the heavy hitters coming together. That came in the form of Loki, the God of Evil! Yeah, in the early Marvel days, apparently, Loki's reputation got so bad that instead of being merely a trickster god, he was the friggin' DEVIL!! So basically, we got "The Avengers vs. the Equivalent of Satan".
Linkara: Which ironically makes me want to see Spider-Man recruit the Avengers to take down Mephisto. (the promo poster for the then-upcoming Spider-Man comic "Renew Your Vows" is shown in the corner) Hey, maybe that's what the "Renew Your Vows" promotional poster is alluding to. (beat) But somehow I doubt it.
Linkara (v/o): I've tried to find some information about why the name "Avengers" of all things, but sadly couldn't find anything, so all we've got is the reason in-story for it, which we'll get to.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "The Avengers #1" and see how Earth's mightiest mortals first got together.
(AT4W title sequence is shown, and the title card the Avengers theme by Alan Silvestri playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is crowded but colorful and exciting, featuring the original Avengers advancing on Loki. Part of the crowding issue is, of course, a good chunk of the cover is being taken up by the logo, though in this case, it's also being used to announce the heroes in it, minus the Wasp, because women have cooties and everything. But even Iron Man, now sporting his gold armor to show how rich he is and everything, seems like he's pushing his shoulders and arms in to get some space on the cover. It could also be Jack Kirby's art style, which tends to favor making characters stocky and wide. But yeah, it's still awesome seeing the various colorful heroes, though I think Ant-Man and the Wasp are having issues stopping before they collide into Loki's arm. Hit the brakes on those... flying... ants. Huh.
Text: Can the combined powers of THE AVENGERS defeat the sinister spells of LOKI, GOD OF EVIL?
Linkara: Nope! And that's why the Avengers were never heard from again. (shakes head and grins)
Text: Super-heroes! Super-villains! Super-thrills!
Linkara: Take that, Batman & Robin! You had thrills, thrills and thrills? Well, the Avengers have super-thrills! You're gonna have to upgrade to "super-duper-thrills" to compete.
Text: Presented in the fabulous MARVEL MANNER!
Linkara: Meaning lots of heroes fighting each other instead of the villains, I'm guessing.
Linkara (v/o): We open in Asgard, where Loki is staring at an oversize narration caption.
Narrator: The first of a star-studded series of BOOK-LENGTH SUPER-EPICS featuring some of EARTH'S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES!
Linkara: (as narrator) Also, Rick Jones, because why not?
Narrator: The place: Asgard, home of the Norse Gods! The time: The present!
Linkara: (as narrator) The weather: partly cloudy, with a small chance of rain in the afternoon.
Narrator: The man: Loki, god of evil! A prisoner of the dreaded Isle of Silence...
Linkara: Truly, there is no worse punishment for the (makes a "finger quote") "god of evil" than to sit quietly and think about what they've done.
Linkara (v/o): Actually, I'm guessing the Isle of Silence is where he goes around and can't remember if he was talking to a guy with a weird head in a suit a minute ago.
Narrator: ...plotting awesome revenge against his mighty enemy, Thor, the thunder god!
Linkara: (as narrator) Plotting a totally gnarly revenge!
Loki: It is because of the accursed Thor that I am exiled to this barren isle, ordered to remain here by Odin, king of the gods!
Linkara: Hey, now, Loki! This is the Island of Silence! You keep your voice down, or we'll put you on the Island of the Comfy Chair! (nods)
Loki: However, Loki says that despite his body being imprisoned on the island, he can still use his magical powers to project out into the universe... which seems like something they'd think of stopping him from doing, since otherwise it's not really punishment as much as it is giving him his own evil lair.
Loki: (thinking) There I shall find some way to make Thor come back to Asgard, where I can battle him again, and defeat him forever!
Linkara: (as Loki) Somehow, this plan will involve giving birth to an eight-legged horse. I'm not even kidding. Look it up, kids. Mythology is messed up.
Linkara (v/o): Loki's projection takes the form of floating disembodied eyes.
(Cut to a clip of Killers From Space, as watched by the Film Crew, emphasizing a pair of floating disembodied eyes there)
Mike Nelson: (singing) It's time to face your maker on The Muppet Show tonight...
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): He spots Thor in his civilian identity as Dr. Donald Blake and is irritated, since defeating his weak human form would just be a hollow victory for him. He wants to force Thor out somehow. Figuring he can manipulate some other menace into doing the job for him, he searches for a few hours until discovering the Hulk leaping around a desert. The Hulk's inclusion is actually quite amusing to me. Lee stating that the Hulk was in it just because it'd be difficult for the team is funny when you realize the character apparently was difficult for them.
(Cut to a shot of the very first Hulk book from way back when)
Linkara (v/o): The creators, I mean. The original Incredible Hulk book ended after six issues, and in the same month, he guest-starred in "The Fantastic Four", but otherwise, Hulk had been absent from comics for six months until he appeared here.
(Cut back to the Hulk in the Avengers comic)
Linkara (v/o): So they were putting a character in here who apparently had had difficulty surviving in his own book. Maybe people just weren't into the purple underpants. In any case, Loki can detect that there's no evil in the Hulk's heart, but people fear him because of his strength. Oh, geez, look at this full-blown illusion featuring Loki and his horns! Asgardians don't do anything small, do they? He comes up with a scheme to lure Thor out by creating an illusion in front of the Hulk of some dynamite on a railroad track bridge. The Hulk leaps down to try to get rid of the dynamite, but instead just crashes into the tracks, destroying them. And what a coinkydink! A train just happens to be heading this way. However, the Hulk in this book actually has some decent intelligence. He may not be a genius like Bruce Banner, but he uses a rock and his own body to hold up the tracks and allow the train to pass over safely. However, the train operators, upon spotting the Hulk, don't see him helping to hold up the tracks, instead figuring he deliberately smashed the tracks in an attempt to kill them.
Linkara: Cue the "Lonely Man" theme.
(The opening theme for the Incredible Hulk TV show plays as Linkara pretends to cry and wipe away a nonexistent tear)
Linkara (v/o): Loki figures the news will get Thor on the trail of the Hulk, which seems odd, since there's no guarantee the two are anywhere near each other, and considering he hasn't gone after the Hulk before, I don't figure he'll do so now. However, someone who does hear about the Hulk attack is Rick Jones, the teenager whom Bruce Banner saved back in his first appearance. He was a supporting character in the book, and has since formed "Teen Brigade", a group of ham radio enthusiasts– Oh, sorry, "radio ham", according to the description...
Linkara: Which I presume to be a ham shaped like a radio. Or possibly a ham that sends out radio waves.
Linkara (v/o): ...to aid him in his activities. Perhaps this is actually the reason "The Hulk" was canceled, since the narration caption says the Teen Brigade was formed in "Hulk #6". Anyway, Rick tells them that the Hulk is innocent, and they need to use their incredible ham radio operating skills to contact someone who can help. His first idea is the Fantastic Four.
Linkara: Boy, it sure would be shame if they couldn't contact the Fantastic Four because one company was being childishly petty against another company that was making a movie with the characters just because they won't give them some of the rights back to THEIR OWN DAMN PROPERTY!! (beat) I'm sorry, I can't remember, which side am I supposed to be making a sarcastic remark against?
Jones: Don't just sit there, fella! Start sending! Use the FF's special wavelength!
Linkara: (as a ham radio operators) Rick, what the hell makes you think I know what that is?
Linkara (v/o): The Teen Brigade transmits towards New York, but Loki intercepts the message. Fearing that the other heroes will spoil his plans, he uses his "mental powers" to jam the radio waves and redirect them to a different wavelength, sending them out towards Donald Blake's radio, which he coincidentally is listening to.
Teen Brigade: (on radio) ...Contact Teen Brigade! Hulk must be found! Do you read us?
Dr. Blake: Strange! Sounds like a call for Thor!
Linkara: (British accent, holding a pipe) I know that because... (awkward pause) because I'm smoking a pipe. Therefore, I'm smart.
Dr. Blake: The Teen Brigade! They're located in the Southwest!
(Linkara points to his pipe)
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, Blake has heard of the Hulk before, realizing the situation must be pretty serious, and he transforms into Thor. However, it turns out Loki didn't direct the message properly, and other people heard the message, including Ant-Man and the Wasp. The two prepare themselves to launch out of a cannon.
Wasp: Wait for me, Ant-Man!
Ant-Man: I thought you weren't coming, Jan! I can't see why you have to stop and powder your nose every time we have a mission!
Linkara: (as Ant-Man) Remind me again why the hell I asked you to become my partner? Some days I wish Cosmos had killed me instead of your dad!
Wasp: Henry Pym, you're beginning to sound like a stuffy old bachelor again!
Ant-Man: And I intend to remain that way! Now see if you can't be quiet for long enough for me to activate the double catapult!
Linkara: (as Ant-Man) Dear God, woman, can't you see how much I loathe you?!
Linkara (v/o): Seriously, what the hell happened in between "Tales to Astonish #44" and this to make Hank Pym a colossal dickhead and Jan into someone who "powders her nose" before every mission? I'm actually not entirely convinced the scene was supposed to go down like this. I've heard it rumored that, due to the Marvel Method, a lot of Kirby-drawn stories have a dose of weirdness and sexism added to them that wasn't intentional. As a reminder, the Marvel Method is where the writer provides a loose guideline of how the story will go to the artist, who then draws it without exact dialogue, and then later the script is fully written and added in. You can see it in panels like this, where if you remove the dialogue, there's nothing in the art to suggest these two are pissed at each other. Also, they're on the backs of these flying ant things so Wasp doesn't get exhausted by the time they arrive at their destination, but I guess they forgot to add in the ant wings for this one right here. Or perhaps it's actually a superpowered ant that can levitate. But of course, we're not done with our gathering, since, indeed, we need one more soul to the call: Tony Stark.
Stark: (intoxicated voice as always) Lucky I was tuned in to the right frequency!
Linkara: (as Stark) Unfortunately, they interrupted my favorite radio show, so now I'm gonna go kick their asses for making me miss it!
Linkara (v/o): He flies off across the country, and we cut back to the Teen Brigade.
Brigadier 1: Still no word from the FF, eh?
Jones: Guess they never got the message!
Brigadier 2: Or else they can't be bothered to answer a bunch of kids like us!
(Linkara holds up his index finger and starts to open his mouth to speak on their behalf, but stops himself as he looks up in thought)
Linkara: Yeah. Yeah, that's probably it.
Linkara (v/o): I mean, if the frequency is that public, people would be contacting them all the damn time. Someone would be calling Mr. Fantastic to help unclog the kitchen sink. However, it seems Loki really sucks at jamming radio waves, since in fact the Fantastic Four did hear the call on a different wavelength.
Thing: Phooey! Everytime [sic] there's somethin' heavy to be lifted around here, ol' pretty boy gets a call on that blasted radio!
Sue Storm: Ben Grimm! You know you get mike fright every time you have to use it!
Linkara: It's true, you know. It's why the Thing had difficulty releasing his album of smooth jazz covers.
Linkara (v/o): Mr. Fantastic says that they're wrapped up in another case – or from the impression we get from them lifting in the middle of redecorating – but that may be someone else could come to their aid. Also, Sue, what the hell is up with your haircut? That is a mountain of hair! It's not a beehive, it's a bee tower! (as Batman) My God. (normal) And of course, coincidentally, all the other heroes arrive at the Teen Brigade's... shack, I guess, given the wooden door on the right.
Wasp: Henry! Did you see that gorgeous Thor?! How can I ever make him notice me?
Linkara: So, wait, it was American comics that invented "I hope Senpai notices me"?
Ant-Man: Stop acting like a lovesick female and slip behind this lens with me!
Linkara: You think Stan Lee in the '60s had some issues with women?
Linkara (v/o): With them behind the camera lens, which I'm pretty sure doesn't work that way, Ant-Man and Wasp are projected onto the screen. This is so much easier than just returning to normal size! Best guess why they don't is that they didn't bring an extra supply of the size-changing gas, but why the hell wouldn't they for this kind of thing? Loki, still observing the situation, realizes how things have gotten out of hand and figures he needs to separate Thor from the others. He creates an illusion of Hulk leaping past the building as Thor is looking out a window, and he decides to investigate on his own without disturbing the others. However, after throwing his hammer at the Hulk, he realizes it's an illusion and immediately suspects Loki's involvement. As a result, Thor travels back to Asgard via the rainbow bridge, just as Loki wanted him to. And of course, nobody knows where he's gone to, but Iron Man figures that he and Ant-Man will be able to track down the Hulk. And where is the Hulk? Why, he's working at a circus!
Linkara: Because of course the big, green monster that wants to be left alone would naturally choose a vocation that involved thousands of people staring at him.
Linkara (v/o): So anyway, the Hulk is juggling a horse, a seal and an elephant, because comic books.
Ringmaster: There he is ladies and gentlemen... Mechano, the most powerful, lifelike robot on Earth! He walks like a man, he moves like a man...
(Cut to a clip of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Ford Prefect (David Dixon): ...steers like a cow.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, the circus owners and performers really do think he's just a robot, despite not having anybody there to vouch for that or pretend to be his inventor. I'd love to know how that job interview went down.
Linkara: (as Hulk) Me, I'm Hulk, strongest one there is! (as circus owner, stroking chin) Isn't the Hulk a monster who attacks people? (as Hulk) Uh, d-did me say "Hulk"? Me meant, um... MECHANO! Yes, me am robot, who do robot things! But good robot! Me not smash puny humans. (as circus owner) That's all the convincing I need. You're hired.
Linkara (v/o): Ant-Man's network of ants spots the Hulk and transmits the info back to Ant-Man.
Ant-Man: One of my army of ants has seen an impossibly powerful performer...
Linkara (v/o): I love alliteration.
Ant-Man: ...in a local circus! It could be the Hulk!
Linkara (v/o): I think another clue the ants should have probably included was the fact that he was friggin' green. And yes, I know ants may not see color the same way we do. It's a comic where the Hulk is juggling an elephant and a guy that can talk to ants. We can suspend our disbelief a little! Anyway, they [Ant-Man and the Wasp] fly off to the circus to investigate.
Ant-Man: We'll go ahead and give the ants their orders! Iron Man will follow behind us!
Wasp: He's hideous! I wish he had gone instead of that dreamy Thor!
Linkara: (annoyed) He's a guy in a robot suit! What's so (makes a "finger quote") "hideous" about him?
Linkara (v/o): Instead of waiting for all the people to clear out of the circus to ensure the civilians aren't in trouble, Ant-Man orders his ants to cause a cave-in directly underneath the Hulk. But of course, he's super-strong and is easily able to escape. Ant-Man and Wasp fly past him, much to the Hulk's confusion, and use a microphone to try to make him hear them.
Ant-Man: Wait! This is Ant Man talking! I know who you are! I must speak to you! If you're innocent, I'll help you! I'm your friend!
Hulk: Go away! I speak to no one! I have no friends!
Linkara: (as Hulk) Hulk going through tough times! No one understand Hulk but his fanfics!
Linkara (v/o): Ant-Man then uses his ants to drop a conveniently-placed steel cylinder around the Hulk to keep him from getting away. And again, this is still happening while the show is going on. I wonder how the crowd is reacting to this?
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who, showing a mother, father and daughter at a circus)
Mother: I don't think much of this, Father.
Father: Nothing's happening, is it?
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Huh, I guess you can't please everyone. Actually, the crowd thinks this is all part of the show – until the Hulk smears off his makeup and reveals who he is. The Wasp tries to lead the Hulk under the trapeze net so they can catch him, but instead, she gets nabbed by the Hulk. However, before he can do anything to her, Iron Man charges in and forces him to withdraw. The ants have spread a special nylon safety netting around the top of the tent, so when the Hulk tries to leap out of it to escape, he instead hits the nets.
Linkara: (as a circus worker, scratches head) Uh, sir, we seem to have lost the safety nets. (as circus owner) Hmm, you're right. Ah, well, I'm sure the Flying Graysons will be fine without it. I mean, they've done this trick a thousand times.
Linkara (v/o): Unfortunately, the Hulk is so strong that, instead of being trapped in the net, he just drags the entire tent with him as he leaps.
Narrator: Never have human eyes beheld such an awesome spectacle... Never has mortal man witnessed such a stupendous sight!!
(Cut again to the clip of Doctor Who, again showing the mother, father and daughter at the circus, who all listlessly hold up the number 9 on signs. Then cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): After escaping from the tent and net, the Hulk continues to flee, with Iron Man in pursuit. However, the Hulk is able to smash into Iron Man and damage his power systems before running off again. Iron Man insists that they're trying to help him, but the Hulk trusts no one. Back over to Thor, he's appealing to Odin to let him go to the Isle of Silence to confront Loki.
Odin: We grant thee permission, beloved Thor! But hark to these words... though you be the son of my heart... Loki too is my son! I cannot interfere in what transpires between you!
Linkara: (as Odin) This is just like the time you two stole each other's Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. (as Thor) Verily, father! Loki is a monster who tore my white dragon with the blue eyes!
Linkara (v/o): Thor heads out to the island, encountering several traps set by Loki, like living roots and a volcano that shoots out pink bubbles that apparently can sap your strength. Ooh! Pink bubbles! Now we know the situation is serious! Upon reaching the island, Loki confronts Thor, but he has another trick up his sleeve: the Silent Ones: bald, pink trolls in yellow underwear that come out of the ground. Fortunately, Thor is able to smack through them with his hammer. Thor swings at Loki, but it goes right through him, a mere illusion.
(Cut to a clip of the Avengers movie, showing Loki)
Loki (Tom Hiddleston): Are you ever not going to fall for that?
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Loki's next trick is duplicating himself, but Thor just switches Mjölnir into "oscillating fan" mode and blows all the duplicates off the cliff, leaving only the real one to cling to a tree.
Loki: Blast you, Thor! You still won't get me! I'll let myself plunge over the cliff before you can seize me!
Linkara: (as Loki, pretending to cling to a tree) I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purp– (suddenly, he makes a shaking sound) Oh, geez!
Linkara (v/o): However, Thor has a plan.
Thor: Note how I rub my enchanted hammer along the ground...
Linkara: (as Thor, making a stirring motion with the hammer) It doth massage the soil and encourages grass growth.
Thor: ...soaking up the strong flow of magnetic currents that give life to the trolls below!
(Cut to the obligatory shot of the "Superman At Earth's End" panel showing the Hitler clones)
Hitler Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
(Cut back to the "Avengers" comic)
Linkara (v/o): Aaand the hammer magnetically pulls Loki back up to him.
Linkara: (as Thor, holding up his hammer) I am Thor, master of magnet!
Linkara (v/o): Thor decides to bring Loki to Earth to face the other heroes, too, so they can all see who's responsible. Speaking of, Iron Man apparently recovered his power enough to continue pursuit. The Hulk leaps past an airplane and Iron Man flies next to it.
Iron Man: Attention, flight 738! This is Iron Man! Have you seen the Hulk? Repeat – have you seen the Hulk?
Linkara: (as Iron Man) Normally, I don't drink on flights, but I'm willing to make an exception here.
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, the pilots point in the direction of where the Hulk was headed: an automobile factory. The factory workers clear out while Iron Man uses the factory's equipment against the Hulk, pummeling him with tires. Hulk counters with some machine parts, but of course, Iron Man is able to survive the impact.
Iron Man: All right, Hulk! I tried to reason with you...
Linkara: (as Iron Man) The best part of my reasoning with you was when I threw tires at you. That was a great bit of diplomacy.
Iron Man: First, I'll reshape this shaft into a steel grapple!
Linkara: (as Iron Man) What? You never split a single shaft of metal into a four-pronged claw, against the laws of physics? (scoffs) Anything's possible with wine coolers.
Linkara (v/o): The fight is taken outside, but before they can continue, Thor arrives with Loki. He explains what happened, and the Hulk wants a piece of him. However, Loki lets out a bolt of PINK ENERGY!
Loki: Back, back, you human dolt! No mortal may lay a hand on Loki! I have powers you never dreamed of!
Linkara: (as Loki) Zordon was right: too much pink energy is dangerous, because I am the god of EVIL PINK ENERGY!
Iron Man: He's made himself radioactive!
Linkara: (as Iron Man) That can't be good!
Linkara (v/o): He demands the two leave so he can battle Thor on his own, but a swarm of ants flood over a nearby switch, opening up a trapdoor that... uh, turns Loki on his side and drops him into a lead-lined tank?
(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching The She-Creature)
Mike: Space is warped and time is bendable.
(Cut back to the comic)
Wasp: Ant-Man! You did it!
Ant-Man: Yes, Wasp! It all deepened on Loki carelessly standing in the right place...and he did!
Linkara: (as Ant-Man) My superpower is plot contrivances!
Linkara (v/o): They seal the door shut and Loki is imprisoned.
Thor: This is where the trucks that carry radioactive wastes from atomic test dump their loads for eventual disposal in the oceans!
Linkara: So, they're gonna dump him in the ocean and the radiation is gonna turn him into the Horror of Party Beach?
Thor: Loki cannot remain radioactive for more than another few minutes, after which I shall open the tank and return him to where he belongs!
Linkara: Oh, I see, so the radiation is just preheating him.
Linkara (v/o): Before they head out, Ant-Man has a proposal for the group.
Ant-Man: Each of us has a different power! If we combined forces, we could be almost unbeatable!
Iron Man: Work as a team? Why not? I'm for it!
Linkara: (as Iron Man) Let's have some champagne to celebrate! (beat) Oh, wait, I drank it already.
Linkara (v/o): Thor and Hulk also join in.
Hulk: I'm sick of being hunted and hounded! I'd rather be with you than against you!
Linkara: Aaand the Hulk leaves by issue 3. (beat) Not kidding.
Hulk: So whether you like it or not, I'm joinin' the...the...Hey! What are you callin' yourselves?
Ant-Man: That's right! We need a name!
Linkara: (as Ant-Man) I've got it! The Ravagers!
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with them deciding their name.
Wasp: It should be something colorful and dramatic, like...the Avengers, or...
Ant-Man: "Or" nothing! That's it! The Avengers!!
Linkara (v/o): Yep, it's as simple as that: they chose the name because it sounded cool. They weren't really big on thinking too hard about this stuff back then, were they?
Iron Man: We'll fight together, or separately, if need be!
Hulk: I pity the guy who tries to beat us!
Linkara: And starring Mr. T as the Incredible Hulk.
Thor: We'll never be beaten! For we are... The Avengers!
Linkara: (bemused) Oh, how many books can I list with their defeats? Well, that'd take too long. (holds up comic) This comic is great.
Linkara (v/o): There are a lot of contrivances you just kinda have to forgive because of the time period this was made in, but for bringing all these heroes together, it was pretty damn awesome. All the heroes had their moments, and despite Ant-Man and Wasp bickering in bizarre and kind of sexist ways, none of the heroes really insulted the others or were too arrogant or anything. Well, yeah, the Hulk fought them a little, but that comes with the territory when it comes to Hulk. Loki is a great threat, and it's awesome that he unwittingly creates such a powerful team just because he was trying to get Thor's attention. The cameo by the Fantastic Four was great, too, just to further build on how much the Marvel Universe was coming together at this point. The action is fantastic, and Jack Kirby's pencils are phenomenal as always. The only thing to really complain about are the little touches of weirdness, like the Team Brigade, Hulk joining the circus, or Iron Man questioning nearby airplanes on the Hulk's whereabouts. Very little of this carried over into the movie, aside from the Avengers fighting Loki, but you still get a similar feel with a lot of things, like turning the Hulk on the others and of course his relationship with Thor. Captain America would join the book in Issue 4, having been recovered from being frozen in ice due to the intervention of Namor the Submariner. And hoo, boy, I just realized we haven't covered Namor yet.
Linkara: But that's an origin for another year. Thanks for joining me again for this year's edition of Secret Origins Month, and maybe I'll switch back to the old logo for it next year, since apparently so many of you dislike the current one. But, that's again for another time. (gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
The trade I have featuring this story has different coloring than the scans I used, but sadly I don't know which one is more accurate to the original printing.
And yeah, I know people want me to use the theme song to one of the cartoons. Haven't seen 'em, sorry. I don't have regular TV anymore.
(Stinger: A clip of the Avengers movie is shown: the Hulk violently slamming Loki into the ground repeatedly, then leaving)
Hulk: Puny God.