Earth’s Mightiest Superbabies

All four stories in this Marvel superhero collection are a super wreck. Mostly because the Hulk, Daredevil, and X-Men don’t do anything very interesting.  These are comic book adventures not fit for comic books. The X-Men in particular have a bad time of it. They sit around playing Scrabble (?!), and Wolverine is described as “the little Canadian.” Oh, the ignobility!

The Avengers story is a hoot, however. And it’s especially bad/good when Tony Stark is lusting for the Scarlet Witch. The man in the iron suit turns into a sexual predator every time Wanda Maximoff enters the room. For example: “His eyes lingered a moment on the soft, ample roundness of her breasts, and the interesting way that her tiny waist curved into the fullness of her hips.” We agree that the Scarlet Witch is a fine looking woman (for a cartoon character). But how many of us knew Iron Man was such a heavy-metal horn dog?

“This Evil Undying” has become somewhat infamous over the years. The story’s sex and lasciviousness was off the charts back in the ’70s, and it remains surprisingly inappropriate even today. Author Jim Shooter was obviously trying to pen a mature superhero story for an audience beyond comic books. But he missed the mark completely. There’s nothing mature about his story at all. Instead of giving the Avengers any sort of realistic adult inner life, Shooter has turned them into a pack of baby-men. Talk about arrested development.

[The Marvel Superheroes / Edited by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman / First Printing: September 1979 / ISBN: 0671820915]

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