Super Serious 616 Presents: WHAT IF... Marvel was real
What If Marvel was Real?
E204: Recruiting for Strength (Avengers #17) -- June 1965
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E204: Recruiting for Strength (Avengers #17) -- June 1965

In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the Avengers’ public search for a fifth member: the Hulk. What are they thinking? Is strength the only requirement for membership? How bad is “rampaging” before you decide not to let someone on the team? Should someone take Captain America’s license away?

Avengers Vol 1 17 | Marvel Database | Fandom

Behind the issue:

Stan Lee is leaning into the idea that the team is under-powered after losing the original Avengers. The team feels the same way until they discover that when they work together as a team they can defeat powerful villains — maybe they don’t need the Hulk after all?

In this issue:

The new Avengers meet for the first time. Rick Jones - teenage sidekick with no discernible powers or abilities - is jealous that the three new members - Scarlet Witch, who can warp reality; Quicksilver, who can run at the speed of thought; and Hawkeye, who has an uncanny martial abilities - are members and he is not. Anyways, Captain A
America announces to the fledgling team that their first mission is to find the Hulk to see if he will join their team. They then go to train, and a giant robot sent by the Mole Man breaks in and attacks them while informing them that they can find the Hulk in the desert. It’s a trap, obviously, but the Avengers still set out for the desert and battle the Mole Man’s Minotaur underground. Meanwhile, the Hulk chases down his foe, the Leader. The issue ends with the Avengers realizing that they are quite formidable on their own and do not really need the Hulk.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are still wondering what the deal is with this odd team of Avengers.

This episode takes place:

While the public considers whether the Hulk would be a good addition to the Avengers or not.

Full transcript:

Edward: All right, Mike, we know who the fifth member of the Avengers is or not. Is, is going to be, is going to be

Michael: wild man. It's actually crazy. It's actually crazy. How do we get here?

Edward: You thought given the fact that The Thing is leaving the fantastic f. For, they'd bring him in. Mm-hmm. As the big strong man. And they said, no, no, no. That's not crazy enough, Mike. That's not crazy enough. We're no, we're gonna go back to our roots and find the most powerful man in the world and bring him onto the Avengers cuz the Avengers are not the second best mark. They're not the second strongest person in the world. They're going for the strongest.

Michael: Yeah so they're out there trying to find the Hulk because the Hulk is the strongest one there is. And it's like, hold on a second. He's caused a lot of damage. He's fought you guys.

Edward: Of course, of course. He's caused damage. He's the strongest man in the world. How can the strongest person in the world not cause damage?

Michael: He, he, He's a, well, I dunno if he's a man, he's a monster.

Edward: They're, they're calling, they're, they're calling him a man. They're calling him, man.

Michael: Okay. And I shouldn't be, so I don't want to be negative towards him. I don't wanna use pejorative terms.

Edward: You're like monstrous. Is that a word?

Michael: But he has acted monstrously, you know what I mean? Like, so he, he has,

Edward: he's a person who acts like a monster. He's not a monster himself.

Michael: Well, yeah, sure. That's right. And he's out there causing terror and mayhem and. Battling the Avengers.

Edward: Fair enough. And so then, not just Avengers, he's fought the Avengers, he's fought the fantastic F, he's f the Avengers more. I think he's fought the Avengers more than he's been on the Avengers in terms of like Right. Which side he's been on. He's been anti Avenger more times than he's been Avenger.

Michael: So, I should say, gee whiz, you know, I'd like to get married. I'm gonna marry my, the worst girlfriend I've ever had because, you know, Because she's been my girlfriend in the past and she was a great girlfriend for like a week and then a terrible girlfriend for like a month. And so,

Edward: yeah. But Mike is this girlfriend the strongest girlfriend in the world.

Michael: Well, okay, how about this? The most attractive, my most attractive girlfriend in the world. That's all I'm going for if I'm super superficial. There you go. And so that's kind of what it is, right? They're picking one serious trait. So yes, the Hulk is the strongest one there is, but he is the best teammate?

 Like, yes, this woman. Is the most attractive woman I've ever dated. But is she the best girlfriend? And it's like, I don't know. I don't care. She's like the hottest, so I'm gonna go marry her.

Edward: You presumably, you only have one girlfriend at a time. The Avengers have five at a time, so they need different pieces. They have Captain America who's probably the best teammate in the world and they have I dunno, the quick silver Quicksilver was the fastest in the world and the. The witch who's the most magical in the world. And so now they don't need another great teammate. They need someone who's just they have no one who's strong. They need someone who's strong.

Michael: And I think my analogy holds, it's like you're my friend and you're one of the smarter friends I have and I've got other friends.

Edward: Somebody say the smartest in the world would you say that,

Michael: you know, I'm not gonna say, but you might. And, uh, and then you get, and then, and it's like, gee, on outta my friend network, I don't have the hottest one. So I'm the hottest one. The hottest, craziest person, coming into my life. Which is, what the adventures are doing. So, No, I think it's weird. I think it's wrong. And also,

Edward: are you saying the Avengers don't have the best judgment in the world?

Michael: Yeah, I am. And then on top of that, on top of that, it's hard not to notice that the Avengers are recruiting people who, a year ago we considered to be villains.

Right?

Edward: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. A month ago, no, two months ago.

Michael: You're right. Sorry. Time flies. So we have quick Silver Scarlet Witch who used to be in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. That's terrorists. They're, they're terrorists. They're terrorists. Terrorists. Terrorists.

The Commonwealth War Hawkeye Hawkeye, who was like, oh, no. Criminal?

Edward: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. He was also a super spot. He was working with the Russians and the Soviets.

Michael: That's, that's right. And then they're like, you know what? Okay, we've covered, we've covered those areas. Let's get a guy who rampages.

Edward: We have, we have no vandals. We need a vandal. Vandal, the terrorist, we have the communist. We need just someone who's pure, pure anarchy.

Michael: Like is Captain America a right? Is he making the decisions right now? It's like he's a little older. I guess he's been around since World War ii. Do we just step in and say like, you know, you step in and take away your parents' driver's license. You gotta say cap. You know, if you're the one driving this bus, we gotta, we got some questions, we got some concerns here.

Edward: What's what's amazing to me, it's not just that they want the Hulk, it's that they haven't spoken to the Hulk. It's not like they just gotta put it out there. It feels like, it feels like, yeah, exactly.

If you want the Hulk, let's get the Hulk in the room and ask and be like, Hey, listen, it's like selecting a vice president. You don't go and say, Hey, I'm looking for you like, uh, uh, Mr. Uh, vice president. Um, do you, uh, are you, uh, are you out there? I'm just gonna put an ad in the newspaper and maybe you'll. Come to me. No, you take them aside one by one and be like, Hey, if we were to ask you, would you join? And oh, by the way, if we were to ask you to join, would you stop rampaging? Would you stop destroying cities? Because that's kind of a requirement for the organization. But right now they've reduced all their ability to negotiate.

The whole comes along. It's like, yeah, I'm gonna join. You want me to join? I'll join. But here's my requirements. I get to destroy five buildings every week. Take it or leave it, then what do you do? And then what do you do?

Michael: And I might get into fist way with you, you know, so just, just like it or lump it, but it's happening and it's like, well, okay, maybe we shouldn't like it.

Edward: Maybe putting ads and newspapers across the country was not the right choice.

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Super Serious 616 Presents: WHAT IF... Marvel was real
What If Marvel was Real?
What if... the Marvel Universe was real? In 1961 the Fantastic Four revealed themselves to the world and everything changed. Mike and Ed discuss the in-universe implications of super powers, aliens, monsters and more. From how Avenger Insurance will pay for Thor's property damage to why Spider-man needs a new PR agency, its comic books discussions in a whole new way. Every issue covered in the Marvel Universe from the very beginning. Full backstory on every episode with transcripts at www.SuperSerious616.com