Because I miss Furry Blue Fun Avengers Beast and his bromance (formerly known as "friendship") with Wonder Man I thought I'd storytime their 2000 limited series together.
This was one of those 3-issue limited series Marvel was pumping out to fill content quotas, until Quesada put a stop to that (for a few years anyway). They were able to get Mark Bagley to draw it though and it had some tie-ins with what was going on in Avengers at the time, plus it was nice to see Simon and Hank together again.
Supposedly the Avengers would have liked to use Hank more often than they did in these years, but the X-Men mostly hung on to him. He's in demand.
"Avengers Two" was kind of an awkward title.
Also I feel like in this period, any time a Marvel book *wasn't* lettered by Comicraft it meant it probably didn't have a big budget. Unless it was one of the star letterers like Todd Klein, but mostly all the big projects went to Comicraft until about 2003.
RIP Beast calling himself "bodacious"
Marvel's house writing style in 2000 was still pretty much what it had been since the '60s (it would change big time in 2001) and part of that was the characters had to tell us their entire backstory at the beginning of every new project.
This is probably the lineup I think of first when I think of the Avengers (basically the lineup Steve Englehart set up in the '70s just before he was fired from the book, and then lasted until about 1981).
I think the basic style had already changed by then, like up until 2001 almost all Marvel books were written Marvel style, after that they were almost all full-script.
A good example of the change is between Busiek and Johns' Avengers, both fairly similar approaches to the team, but Johns doesn't have the captions, thought balloons, flashbacks and compressed storytelling that was associated with the old Marvel way of doing things.
It occurs to me that despite the success of the Busiek/Perez Avengers there weren't any ongoings that spun off from it. Busiek and Brevoort didn't want to do a second ongoing (Brevoort is notorious for not liking the idea of bringing back West Coast Avengers) so we got a bunch of limited series but not really an expansion of the franchise.
Though Avengers Forever did spin off Peter David's Captain Marvel ongoing.
And here's Roger Stern's "why are we doing this series and what else should you read" page.
Ah, dialogue covers. Sometimes nothing else will do but a dialogue balloon.
That's another hallmark of the old Marvel way of doing things, that Simon had to clear up the loose ends from his own ongoing even though nobody remembered his ongoing. (Just like over in Avengers Iron Man was clearing up plot threads from '90s stories nobody really liked.)
I remember unearthing this when I discovered Wonder Man and starting rabidly scouring the internet for content.
Is p. good. Should probably have done his 2-part mini from the 90s first tho, to give context to
I don't mind that Mark Bagley gives every woman the same face (most cartoonists do) I just wish that face were a little cuter.
Only one issue to go! Two years later this story would literally have been twice as long (the 6-issue trade hadn't been fully codified yet).
Fun fact: Wanda's gypsy outfit was retired when Alan Davis took over Avengers (though he quit after 6 issues) and found he couldn't make that outfit work because it was so tied to George Perez's love of detail. With Davis's simpler style he said she looked like she was done up in a bunch of blankets.
The footnotes telling the reader to check out other comics was another Marvel tradition that was banned in 2001. It came back to some extent but the in-depth continuity references are not as common as they used to be.
I've never truly understood why Simon's energy form has the red "W" on it.
I don't have "Tales of the Marvels: The Wonder Years" but it was recently published in a MARVELS companion TPB (it was one of many limited series that Marvel put out after the success of MARVELS)
He got that form after the Scarlet Witch brought him back so let's just go with "a witch did it."
So ends what is basically a Wonder Man limited series with Beast along for fun.
Next I'll post some pages from Avengers where their friendship got established.
Simon and Hank had interacted some before but it was writer David Michelinie (and maybe editor Roger Stern) who really ran with the idea that they could be the comedy relief team. Avengers 181, Michelinie's first issue as full-time writer, starts with a little Wonder Man/Beast mini-story.
Wonder Man will never miss an opportunity to mention that he's almost, but not quite, as strong as Thor.
Then at the beginning of '80s which was kind of a weak time for the book (lots of fill-in stories, plus the infamous Avengers 200) Wonder Man and Beast started to get more pages together and really become the best part of the book, though because it's a big team book they didn't get a lot of pages.
Probably the iconic Wondy/Beast image.
And this was the issue where they left the team and the late '70s lineup finally broke up.
There are two Avengers issues mostly about Wonder Man and Beast, Avengers 203 (a fill-in) and their reunion in Avengers volume 3 14. I might post them later if I have a chance.
I can't believe Simon's currently dead again. (Because Remender quit Marvel right after setting up the idea that he'd been purged from Rogue's mind and now he's basically nowhere until someone decides to bring him back.)
Good work OP. I love to look how the MU was: a whacky interconnected universe that seem to fit all levels of story.
Add damn Hank & Simon are a prototype Booster & Beetle in alot of ways.