Avengers #278-280 (April-June 1987)

These three issues are even lighter on Captain America content than usual. Each focuses on a separate character—the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and Jarvis, respectively—as they consider some major life changes.

Issue #278 opens with some not-too-bright burglars trying to loot Avengers Mansion, only to run into the Wasp—and, unfortunately for the one who thought he could get away, Captain America.

It seems this crook is the smart one in the bunch… respectful, too. After the incident with the Masters of Evil in recent issues, Janet and Cap don’t even break a sweat with these guys (even casually calling a ambulance for the injured ones).

Cap tries to give Janet a boost, but unbeknownst to him, it comes at exactly the wrong time, given the change that she is considering making.

Mmm, cold cuts.

After Janet checks in on Hercules and Jarvis (both recuperating from the Masters of Evil attack), deals with mundane Avengers business, and helps the other Avengers (sans Cap) to defeat Tyrak the Treacherous (don’t ask), she convenes a team meeting, nominating a new team member—Doctor Druid, who predates even the Fantastic Four, originally appearing in Amazing Adventures #1 in June 1961—and then resigning as team leader.

She passes the baton to Cap, says goodbye (Dane so sad!), and leaves Cap to lead the discussion of a new chairperson.

In issue #279, Captain Marvel visits her parents and tells her about the rest of the meeting, during which she tried to nominate her fellow Cap…

…but he returns serve like Pat Cash at Wimbledon, prioritizing his own nationwide responsibilities, while occasionally serving with the Avengers, over taking charge of the team again, which is a full-time commitment.

Monica’s not sure, but after discussing it with her parents and Hercules, and mulling over her origin and experience so far, she… joins Cap at a mine cave-in. (Procrastination can take many forms.)

Cap just likes the hat, which unfortunately does not survive the stunt below. (In better news… teamwork!)

All those hours in the gravity boots in the Avengers gym pay off as Cap continues to lift kids overhead, until Monica slips…

…and recovers, only to hear Cap talk about her in inspiring terms, which helps her make up her mind on the decision she’s been struggling with the entire issue.

Finally, issue #280 is all about Jarvis, who’s reminiscing about his tenure as the Avengers’ loyal butler as he ponders whether to give it up for good. Naturally, Cap appears in many of his memories, one of which is interesting enough to show here. (Most aren’t… sorry, Cap.) Below, he remembers the first big change in the team line-up in issue #16, commending Cap for leading the ragtag group and remembering a typical dust-up between him and Hawkeye.

Afterwards, Cap asked Jarvis for his opinion on how he deals with Clint, revealing that he had a surprising appreciation for the archer’s issues with his authority.

Jarvis offered the advice Cap needed to hear back then, given the intensity of his grief and guilt about Bucky in his first few years out of the ice, and in the present, Jarvis reflects proudly on his special and unique bond with the Sentinel of Liberty.

In the end, Jarvis decides to remain with the Avengers after remembering how many of them have fought back against adversity of many types… and realizing that he has been with the team longer than any member. (Gotta keep that record going, right?)


ISSUE DETAILS

Avengers (vol. 1) #278, April 1987: Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Jim Novak (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers (vol. 1) #279, May 1987: Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Jim Novak (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers (vol. 1) #280, June 1987: Bob Harras (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Kyle Baker (inks), Max Scheele (colors), Janice Chiang (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

All collected in: Avengers Epic Collection: Judgment Day and Avengers: Assault on Olympus


PREVIOUS ISSUES: Avengers #274-277 (December 1986-March 1987)

ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #328 (April 1987), X-Men vs. Avengers #1-3 (April-June 1987), Marvel Fanfare #32 (May 1987), Captain America #329-330 (May-June 1987), and Marvel Graphic Novel: Emperor Doom (June 1987)

NEXT ISSUES: Avengers #281-285 (July-November 1987)

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