Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Avengers #134. The Celestial Madonna Saga: Part 11.

Avengers #134, the origins of the Vision the Original Human Torch and Mantis
This cover bears no relation to what actually
happens inside. Grrr!
It's time to grab our talking sticks and fling ourselves once more into the swirling tempest of Time to learn yet more of the origins of Mantis and the Vision.

Still clinging onto their stick, the Avengers learn that, after the rise of the Kree empire, a group of Kree pacifists discovered the Cotati plant people still lived, having gone into hiding in a cellar for what appears to be several hundred years.

The pacifists promptly forged an alliance with them and, through a series of events, including the arrival of the Star-Stalker, ended up finding their way to Earth where they created the Temple of Pama and the garden in which the Swordsman was buried.

Personally I'm always happy to see the Cotati. I can't say they come across as riveting company but they do seem to be nice people. Like Columbo, though, there is one thing that's always bothered me.

The Cotati Plant People, Avengers #134
We're led to believe that, following their massacre by the Kree, the Cotati took to hiding themselves away in a cellar in the Kree capital for several hundred years.

Leaving aside the question of how they managed to remain hidden in the middle of a major city for hundreds of years, there's the obvious problem that it means they've been living for centuries in a room without windows. Now, I'm no Kim Wilde - that's why they wouldn't let me on Top of the Pops - but even I know enough about gardening to know that plants and rooms without windows don't mix.

The Vision meanwhile is having revelations of his own. Hanging onto his own magic stick, he learns that, after the Original Human Torch inconveniently exploded in the mid-1950s, he was revived by the Mad Thinker in order to fight the Fantastic Four's Human Torch.

The Mad Thinkers finds the Original Human Torch, Avengers #134, the origin of the Vision
Sadly, such a revival was short lived, as he suffered the indignity of being killed by the computer Quasimodo, surely one of the rubbishest villains in the history of comicdom. If you're going to kill a legendary character, at least do him the service of having him be killed by a proper villain.

But, when you read this section, it really does rub it in how futile the life of the average super-villain is, as The Mad Thinker puts what's clearly a ridiculous amount of work into finding and repairing the Torch, for no worthwhile reason.

Meanwhile, back in the present, having picked up a signal sent by Hawkeye but meant for Captain Marvel, Moondragon shows up at the Avengers Mansion and is promptly attacked by the Scarlet Witch.

Now, there're those harsh souls who might say that wanting to attack Moondragon is a perfectly normal response to meeting Moondragon. But the Scarlet Witch is no normal human and it's clear from her behaviour that something dark and sinister is going on with her and Agatha Harkness. After the events of last issue, where the Witch was almost attacked by her own chair, this is all quite intriguing in its sense of dangerous forces at work in the domicile.

So, yet another chapter progresses in the lives of our heroes, and at last we get the promise of resolution, as the Avengers - minus the Vision and his girlfriend - suddenly find themselves transported to Vietnam where the ghost of the Swordsman, and Libra await them.

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