Cap Reads JRRT

For the record, Steve Rogers, our own Captain America, reads hobbit books. Who now can doubt that Lord of the Rings is the greatest novel of the Millennium?

For the record, this panel is from the AVENGERS (1963) issue 46.

Here we see the Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes, in a rare moment of leisure. Cap admits he is willing to go to a ball game, but only after he finishes reading about Middle Earth.

To the left of him stands a sultry Ruritanian babe in hot pink, who is Wanda Maximoff, whose powers I could never figure out exactly what they were. She is an ex-criminal who joined the Avengers.


Perhaps I had a crush on her as a child, in days gone by.

Her brother in green is Quicksilver, who should be better at keeping mashers away from his gorgeous sister. He a knock off of the Flash who is a knock off of the older Flash, who is a knock off of Hermes, even down to the winged shoes and petasos hat. Quicksilver is eternally angry at mankind for hating mutants. He is an ex-criminal who joined the Avengers.

The hunk hitting on her is Hercules, who, as ever, is not wearing a lion skin, but is instead dressed as Steve Reeves.

Maybe Quicksilver is okay with Hercules mashing his sister because he is an immortal, not a homo sapiens. On the other hands, in the myths, Herc does not have a sterling track record with women.

Since Hercules is the sole and only ancient Greek hero with a clearly identifiable costume and look appear on any urn, it has always been a puzzlement to me why no version in comics, film or the telly wants to show him wrapped in an invulnerable lion pelt. He is a mouthy jerk who joined the Avengers.

In green and yellow mufti is Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, the sinister yet alluring superspy who tempts men to the doom with her dark-eyed Russian glamor. She is an ex-criminal who joined the Avengers.


Perhaps I had a crush on her as a child, in days gone by.

Hawkeye in purple wants to marry her and have kids, which would have differed from the continuity in the MCU films. In the films, he is a cool guy, but in the comics, he is a mouthy jerk. I have always kind of liked him nonetheless, because he has no superpowers, he just a carney who decided to become a superhero, and did it. He is also an ex-criminal who joined the Avengers.

The woman in red is the attractive and amazing Janet van Dyne, the wonderful Wasp, before she is fool enough to marry the worthless Hank Pym, here in his third incarnation, as Goliath.

I definitely had a crush on her in days gone by.


Janet has worn roughly a zillion different costumes over the years, none of which looked particularly waspy to me, except this iteration in black and yellow.

She has a more pixie look in this outfit.
Said crush was made worse by the fact that I could not see what she saw in Hank Pym.

The schtick between the two of them, like Invisible Girl and Mr. Fantastic, was that he was an absent minded professor too dim to notice the darling doll doting on him, and her too shy to say.

For the record, Invisible Girl named herself the Invisible Girl, not “the Invisible Matron” nor “the Invisible Crone” nor “the Shrill and Mentally Ill Woke Broad.” Let any attempts to change her name be anathema, and stricken from every monument and tomb in Egypt.

But unlike brave but sweet blonde babe Sue Storm, Janet van Dyne was continually needling and vexing the idiot Pym, and making passes at other men to stoke his jealousy.

The schtick that worked so well in the Fantastic Four here fell flat.

Unlike Mr. Fantastic, Pym did not build a moon rocket, a flying submarine, a levitation car shaped like a bathtub, uniforms made of unstable molecules, brass knuckles made of vibranium, nor a portal to the Negative Zone, or a flare gun that shoots a glowing numeral 4 to hover above the amazed streets of New York.

Instead, Pym built a cybernetic helmet to talk to ants, and an air-cannot to shoot his teeny tiny body across town, to where a convenient heap of bugs would catch him.

Unlike Reed Richards, Pym fought the Human Top rather than Doctor Doom. And then he went crazy and became Yellowjacket. And then he built Ultron.

Also, being giant-sized is a great power if you are the only giant on the team, but if you are as weak or weaker than Hercules, Hulk, Iron Man or Thor, then you have no advantages there, and your bulk means you cannot fit into a cab or a sub or a  doorway. He really needed a second power or schtick or something to give him more personality or utility.

So I never saw what Janet saw in him. They quarreled every time they spoke, which I assume was meant to be lighthearted banter, but Stan Lee does not know that when women snipe at their menfolk, it is not banter.

She was unfortunately too waspish.

If asked, I would have paired Janet together with Warren Worthington the Third, aka Angel of the X-Men, and they could fill a hot tub with their bags of money, and loll in their loot like Scrooge McDuck.

His super-duper overpowered super-power is that he can fly like a bird. Hers is that she can fly like a bug. A match made in the stars!

She is the member who actually gave the Avengers their name.

She was born to avenge! Her origin story is that her father, a famous scientist Vernon van Dyne, was murdered by an evil alien teleported into his lab by his own unwise and irksome meddling in Things Man Was Not Meant to Irk, and therefore she sought revenge by having Hank Pym, her father’s friend, shrink her down to insect size, mutated her spine to allow her to grow wings. Later he equips her with an air-powered sting weapon she wears on her wrist, which ever later mutate into bio-electric shocks.

Far too late, she realized she could have just bought a .380 Ruger lightweight compact. They even come in pink. This slim model is has a light trigger pull, and low recoil and can be easily concealed.