Episode 143 - Avengers Inc.? (Avengers #7) -- August 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss Iron Man’s suspension and reinstatement by the Avengers. Under whose authority was he suspended? Who had the ability to reinstate him? Are the Avengers contractors, employees, or something different? What is the legal structure of the Avengers? Do they have an office manager and corporate lawyer? Who takes the meeting minutes? How does insurance work? Is the job a lot more boring that the media makes it out to be?
Behind the comic:
Stan Lee definitely makes the team dynamics of the Avengers very different from the Fantastic Four. Most Avengers issues DO have standing meetings where they discuss “Avengers business” - as opposed to the Fantastic Four, who are presented as a bickering family. Lee takes pains to let readers know that the Avengers each have their own private lives, and that they do not know each other’s secret identities, almost as if he is saying, “these people are not close friends - they are just work colleagues” (which eventually turned into a joke in the third Thor film).
In this issue:
Iron Man is suspended from active duty with the Avengers because he failed to respond to an Avengers alarm. At the same time, the Enchantress and the Executioner are banished by Odin from Asgard to Earth. They join up with Zemo to form a team of villains who fight the Avengers. The first thing they do is bewitch Thor into thinking his fellow Avengers are evil, which leads to him battling them as bitter enemies. Iron Man sees his comrades in peril and joins the fight, which eventually leads Thor to breaking the spell. They chase away the three villains, the “Masters of Evil”.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are taking note of villains joining up to fight superheroes.
This episode takes place:
After the Masters of Evil have been taken down, for now.