Avengers #221-222 (July-August 1982)

av 221-222 covers

These issues are heavy on humor but light on ethically interesting content regarding Captain America, so we’ll dispense with them fairly quickly.

Issue #221 is a recruitment drive story, as made obvious by the cover and the opening splash page.


After declaring their optimal number of members to be six, Janet asks “the boys” what qualities they want in their two new members.


Sorry, Cap, but I think Thor out-“virtued” you, three to one. Janet wants some more gender diversity (and someone to talk to, probably), while Tony wants… another Tony.

Below, Cap passes his choice by Tony—a surprising but noble choice, given Cap and Hawkeye’s conflicts in the past (especially after Clint first joined the team in Avengers #16).


I am certain Tony also has gender diversity in mind. (And since when did he turn into Nova?)

Later, Tony calls Steve to get together and approach Hawkeye… and look who’s asking for less formality.


While Thor seeks out Spider-Man to offer him membership (again), which he declines, Cap and Iron Man do the same with Clint, who lets his pride get the best of him momentarily…


…but he gets over it.


Finally, the Wasp is hosting a party for potential female recruits, including the Invisible Woman, Dazzler, Spider-Woman, the Black Widow, and She-Hulk. But there’s an uninvited guest: our old friend the Mechano-Marauder from issue #217, who failed to strike fear into the Avengers’ hearts then, and fails just as badly here.


The gathered heroes have a bit of fun with Mr. Stankowicz before Janet and She-Hulk finally put him down for good…


…which ends up landing She-Hulk the gig as an Avenger.

And in case you thought it was simple matter of adding two new names to the group text, you are in for a rude awakening: It requires a presidential signature (with our other old friend, Henry Peter Gyrich, serving the important role of gofer).


After the new line-up gathers, and the bickering relationship between Hawkeye and She-Hulk is established, Janet welcomes the new members with what I hope will not become the new Avengers greeting.


Issue #222 brings Hank Pym, currently in prison after being set up by the villain Egghead in issue #217, back into the ongoing storyline, but mainly as a witness to the gathering of the villains the Avengers encounter at the end of the issue. He is also a person of concern to Scott Lang (the current Ant-Man), while Tony is more concerned about Hank’s ex-wife. (We’ll see just how concerned in issue #224.)


The only significant scene with Cap in this issue finds him asleep on the job… his artist job, from which he finds relief in fighting criminals, fascists, and alien warlords.


Not necessary, as they just tussle and tease each other a bit, after which tea is served…


…and Cap leaves also. The rest of the issue deals with the remaining Avengers fighting Egghead and his new Masters of Evil: Whirlwind, Tiger Shark, and Moonstone. (Three guesses who wins.)

av 223 coverUnfortunately, Cap only appears in one panel in Avengers #223, a group picture at the end of what is basically a Hawkeye/Ant-Man team-up story. I say “unfortunately” because it has an iconic cover, which inspired a shot in Captain America: Civil War, but I can’t show you the cover if I don’t discuss the issue.

Hey, don’t blame me—I don’t make the rules around here.

(Wait, what… oh, someone’s gonna get fired!)


Avengers (vol. 1) #221, July 1982: Jim Shooter (plot), David Michelinie (script), Bob Hall (pencils), Brett Breeding (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Janice Chiang (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Avengers: The Trial of Yellowjacket and Avengers: I Am an Avenger, Vol. 1.

Avengers (vol. 1) #222, August 1982: Jim Shooter (plot), Steven Grant (script), Greg LaRocque (pencils), Brett Breeding (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Janice Chiang (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Collected in: Avengers: The Trial of Yellowjacket.

PREVIOUS ISSUES: Avengers #219-220 (May-June 1982)

ALSO THIS MONTH: Captain America #271 (July 1982), Fantastic Four #244 and Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #3 (July and August 1982), and Captain America #272 (August 1982)

NEXT ISSUES: Avengers #224-227, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, The Incredible Hulk #277-279, and Vision and Scarlet Witch #3 (October 1982-January 1983)

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