Truly, the real Masters of Evil are the ones behind National Geographic's decline. And the cancellation of the DC Nation. And the cancellation of the third Tron movie.
Actually, last last one happened because of the poor box-office performance of Tomorrowland. So I'm choosing to blame all of the above on George Clooney.
|Apparently, ruining Batman wasn't enough for him.|
Things are looking a little familiar today. Not only do we get another cameo-filled close-up of a taxi driver’s newspaper….
|Secret school for mutants? Not anymore; I think Wolverine and the X-Men was already canceled by this point.|
The hero on the case is none other than the Wasp. And… you know, it’s been a while since I’ve had to put money into the Wasp Complaint Jar. And I hope it stays that way for a while. Because in the end, I really like Janet Van Dyne. Her upbeat personality is a rare gem among the super hero crowd, and she gets a ton of great moments in both this show and the comics. Take, for example, her one-sided banter as she chases Whirlwind. While Spider-Man would be content to make some bad puns (and probably break the fourth wall), Wasp’s attitude is more like, “Dude, really? What are you even trying to accomplish?” After all, as she points out, Whirlwind is attacking the district where everybody knows Wasp shops. Which is probably true, seeing as how fashion reporters in real life can tell you exactly what brand of t-shirt any celebrity is wearing in any photo. There was probably an article in Vogue talking about where Janet buys her clothes.
Whirlwind’s rampage stops in a construction yard. And so does Whirlwind. He says nothing. He doesn’t move. He doesn’t blink.
Wasp: “Whirlwind? …Dave?”
But it wasn’t Whirlwind. As the green mists of illusion fade, it turns out that the rampage was caused by none other than the Enchantress. And she brought friends.
|"You're in the wrong part of town, lil' missy."|
Wasp, I may have just gushed about your character a bit, but you’re kind of dumb sometimes. And this is proven when Baron Zemo zaps her from behind.
Baron Zemo: “One down.”
After the opening credits, we cut to Black Panther and Hawkeye on the roof of the Wakandan embassy. Black Panther is out of costume and mixing something with a mortar and pestle, while Hawkeye vents about things for a bit.
Hawkeye: “Okay, so listen. You realize the Avengers are a complete disaster, right?”
Yeah, but we’re not here to talk about Avengers Assemble.
|But seriously, folks....|
T’Challa: “You forgot Captain America.”
Hawkeye is unfettered.
Hawkeye: “And you! You’re a king!”
Um… no, he’s really not. He declared that Wakanda would be ruled by a council at the end of “Panther’s Quest.” Or maybe it’s like the UK, where the monarchs have nothing but a fancy title and a lot of money? Though my personal theory is that after a few weeks of upheaval, T’Challa went back to Wakanda and said, “My bad, I’ll be king. Throwing you guys into a parliamentary democracy with literally no warning was a bad idea.”
Anyway, Hawkeye wants to know why T’Challa has decided to be the anti-Doctor Doom by being a monarch who spends most of his spare time fighting bad guys. He also snacks on a bit of what T’Challa’s been grinding up, before spitting it out.
Hawkeye: “You eat that?”
As T’Challa explains, it’s the herb that gives him his powers. Not only is it meant to be crushed and rubbed on his skin, but it’s apparently poisonous to anyone who isn’t in his family line. Or perhaps T’Challa grew a sense of humor with that last part.
|"Heh. I made a funny."|
JARVIS: “You only have three suits, sir.”
Give it time.
JARVIS announces that Janet’s ID has been accepted at the door. But before he can explain that Janet herself isn’t there, his voice sputters and gives out. Suddenly, Crimson Dynamo happens. He nearly crushes Tony’s skull, but Baron Zemo stops him.
Baron Zemo: “Not yet.”
Why? Why not yet? You could end Iron Man here and now. If you don’t actually have a good reason to keep him alive, then I’m going to be very disappointed.
Hulk is in the sitting room watching a commercial for Kirby Kibbles dog food, which has the Enchantress in it for some reason. Huh. I guess she’s trying to break into acting. Hulk doesn’t take kindly to this and throws the couch at the screen, but quickly ends up knocked into a magic portal by the Abomination. On the other side, he finds Frost Giants.
Meanwhile, Captain America is running an obstacle course, when the lights suddenly cut out and he has to dodge the Executioner’s axe. When Simon shows up, it becomes too much for our hero. Executioner takes a swing at him from off screen, and….
|Well, if Baron Zemo has any sense, this'll be the end of Cap.|
Guess who has no sense.
Baron Zemo: “I told you when we last met that this wasn’t over, Captain. Now it is.”
All that’s left now is Thor and Ant-Man, who Zemo summons using Wasp’s ID card with the phrase “Avengers assemble." At that moment, Thor is walking through the park with his girlfriend, Jane Foster.
Jane: “So. Is your dad still taking his big nap? What did you call it again?”
Thor: “The Odinsleep.”
No, it’s a nap, Thor.
Thor: “No, he is woken by now.”
Jane: “And you haven’t talked to him yet.”
|“Well, mine father oft becomes cranky in the morning.”|
Thor: “This card is troubling. Iron Man’s technology is constantly making noises at me.”
Jane explains that perhaps this means that Thor is needed somewhere, which neatly explains why Thor was ignoring his card during the events of “Panther’s Quest.” Thor soon arrives inside the darkened mansion.
Thor: “Ho! Avengers!”
Seriously, Thor, you need to start treating Janet with more respect than that.
Thor is greeted by Baron Zemo, who Thor recognizes as “Captain America’s foe.” Zemo insists that Thor kneel before him, but Thor ain’t gonna kneel for no tyrant, so Zemo backs up his demand with the rest of his band of villains and makes his demand again.
|"You will kneel before Zemo!"|
Hawkeye and Black Panther, meanwhile, are watching the whole thing go down from outside. Hawkeye wants to get S.H.I.EL.D. and the Hulkbusters on the case, but Panther tells him that that would just end up creating too much collateral damage. And probably get the other Avengers killed
Black Panther: “It is up to us.”
In the mansion, Zemo reiterates his promises to Simon and Crimson Dynamo. Simon gets his humanity back, Dynamo gets Stark. But only after Zemo’s plan is enacted.
Hawkeye and Panther sneak in while avoiding the Executioner while Zemo wakes Captain America up with a glass of water to the face. Cap tries to negotiate for the safe release of the other Avengers, but Zemo simply laughs and tells him that it’s the other villains who want a piece of the other Avengers.
Captain America: “Is revenge on me really that important to you?”
Baron Zemo: “Yes.”
|"I'm a Nazi. Hatred and leftover anger from World War II are kind of my bread and butter."|
|"That's all? I like to set my sights higher. Family motto."|
Thor: “What do you want?”
Enchantress: “You, of course.”
|Can you blame her?|
Thor: “I say thee nay.”
Zemo starts wondering exactly what she’s doing with Thor, so she returns to being his “lackey.” While Abomination starts wondering why they aren’t killing the heroes at this very second.
|“Look, Zemo. I’m only saying this because I care about you.|
If you don’t kill them right now, you’re only hurting yourself.”
Abomination: “Ant-Man’s not the last Avenger. There’s two more.”
But it’s already too late, because Abomination gets a stun arrow to the head as Hawkeye comes in to be the hero while Crimson Dynamo radios to Zemo that there’s somebody sneaking around upstairs. As Hawkeye gets caught in Abomination’s bear hug, Tony Stark wakes up and yells at Hawkeye for not calling S.H.I.E.L.D. So now all the Avengers (save Ant-Man) and all the villains are in one place. And Zemo finally thinks that it might be time for heads to roll.
Black Panther: “I am an Avenger. And I will meet my end with pride.”
Hawkeye: “I’m gonna meet mine kicking and screaming.”
Zemo allows Captain America to decide which Avenger dies first.
Hawkeye: “I wanna go first. I’m tired of listening to you.”
So much for “kicking and screaming.”
Zemo taunts the heroes for thinking that they could defeat him, so Hawkeye and Black Panther start taunting back for assuming that they were trying to defeat him.
Black Panther: “We were simply allowing Ant-Man uninterrupted access to his lab.”
Apparently, they picked him up from the Wakandan embassy and snuck him in to grab a few things.
|"Appears we got here just in the nick of...."|
|“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Big damn heroes and all that.”|
Anyway, Ant-Man goes to town on the villains. Simon gets shot by opposing energy, dispersing him. Abomination gets kicked out of the room. And while Ant-Man could surely take on the others himself, Hawkeye and Black Panther quickly release the other Avengers by briefly knocking out Enchantress. When she comes to, Thor tells her that he won’t harm her. But he brings back somebody who will.
|"Hulk brought back Frost Giant tooth as souvenir.'|
|Or X-Men. There were a few shows that did the running bit.|
|There’s an obvious joke here. And I’m not making it because it’s tasteless.|
Point 1: Hank Pym was literally insane when he hit Janet.
By that point, he had developed an alternate personality called “Yellowjacket” and claimed to have killed Hank Pym. He hit Janet once. On accident.
|Though I will admit, evidence to the contrary does look bad.|
“In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration—making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her. Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross! There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story.”
Point 2: Other Marvel heroes have done the same ON PURPOSE.
Peter, in a fit of rage, straight-up hit Mary Jane with a closed fist.
|And he can't even blame it on a clone; that's the real Peter Parker.|
|Oh, look. He not only hit her, but he made his hand giant-size to do it.|
|Sure, she was possessed by evil, but he's a bit too casual with that slap.|
|Well, this was the 60's. I'm sure as the times changed, Mr. Fantastic got more and more progressive.|
|...Maybe it just took a while? I'm sure he wasn't like this in the 90's.|
|Never mind. He's just a terrible human being.|
|And he slapped his own son, too.|
Yeah, I guess I am. Just like people do with the panel of Hank hitting Janet.
So the world can apparently forgive Mr. Fantastic and Spider-Man for hitting their wives on purpose, but Hank Pym doing it accidentally makes him a wifebeater? What he did was still wrong, but I’m just wondering why nobody can move past it in the same way that they’ve forgiven other characters for far worse. It’s because of this crap that Scott Lang was the hero of Ant-Man instead of the “controversial” Henry Pym.
Anyway, rant over.
Hawkeye: “You know, I’m not sure I want to be part of a team I have to rescue every week.”
They all make with their after-battle conversation, except for Tony, who wants to know exactly what the heck just happened with the unannounced villain team-up. Thor theorizes that it was simple revenge, but Cap’s not so sure.
Captain America: “Zemo… He seemed so certain of what he was doing.”
Indeed, when Zemo ranted to Cap earlier, he said that somebody had promised him the world….
The villains teleport back to Arnim Zola’s lair, and Zemo starts yelling at his team.
Enchantress: “Enough. It doesn’t matter. None of it does.”
She heads off to another room and contacts the man working behind the scenes.
Enchantress: “The pieces are in place.”
|Ah, Loki's doing his best Thanos impression. By sitting in a chair and doing jack all.|