Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Steve Englehart and Celestial Madonna

Brain Freeze has a great post summarizing the beautiful Mantis-Vision-Swordsman luv triangle from the '70's Avengers.

and I do mean LUV. Like LUV with a funky bootsy collins belt and platforms. '70's style

What I like about her post, besides a wonderful summation of all the twists and turns that the relationship between mantis and the swordsman took, is how true it is in terms of using some fairly cardboard stereotypes and making the soap opera aspect have some real legitimacy. Mantis was a very unlikeable character, and her loss of interest in the swordsman carries some weight emotionally since we've never seen a hero in the Avengers completely crack before. Mantis, like some very real and human women, transfers her attention to a completely unavailable man, where she mistakes his emotional coldness as a sign of attraction. Brain Freeze quite correctly notes that very rarely have we seen a major player (Mantis) in a book like the Avengers of that time who is so thoroughly unlikeable. All of this was a major step forward for comics at the time.

Somehow, however, she needs to get a copy of Giant Size Avengers #2, which has the great climax to the Kang/Celestial Madonna storyline. It has some real emotional wallop to it, and some seriously great art. It also carbon fried Kurt Busiek's brain, leading him to trying to continue the story in the Avengers Forever mini-series.

hey, it carbon fried my brain too back then. Where is my deluxe recolored copy, in hardback, of the Avengers/Defenders War? Now that is something I need!

1 comment:

Kid Sis said...

I love that storyline and the artwork. Sigh. The good old days.