Bronze Age Beginnings

Monday, 11 August 2014

From the Savage Land to an Alternative Earth: Steve Englehart’s Avengers from 1972 to 1976..

A Prologue.

After six years, it was time for Roy Thomas to move on. He handpicked his successor, Steve Englehart - a recent addition to the Marvel Bullpen - to continue chronicling the adventures of Marvel’s premiere team, and in doing so, kick started Marvel resolutely into what is now fondly referred to as the Bronze Age of comics (by fans of a certain age).

Englehart’s writing career at Marvel - leaving aside a few done-in-ones for the mystery and romance mags - began in earnest with The Beast feature in Amazing Adventures #12 (on sale date February 1972), before taking over as the regular writer on Captain America with #153 (on sale date June 1972). Just two months later he took on the writing duties of Earth’s Mightiest Team, with the Avengers #105 (on sale date August 1972).

It wasn’t a completely smooth transition though, as Roy Thomas left a number of dangling plot lines for Steve to pick up on, not least the developing romance between the Scarlet Witch and The Vision - brewing since just before the start of the Kree/Skrull War -, and The Grim Reaper’s macabre offer to The Vision in #102. Luckily for Thomas, Englehart was one of the new breed of creators, raised on Marvel’s continuity conscious comics of the ‘60s, and not afraid to play with the tapestry that Lee, Kirby, Ditko and many others wove during the preceding decade.

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