Classic Comic Cover Corner – Avengers #1

Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Avengers #1 – September, 1963

Cover art by Jack Kirby

Avengers #1 – September, 1963
Avengers #1 – September, 1963

Who is excited for the upcoming Ant-Man film!?! At the home office of Classic Comic Cover Corner we can’t wait, and we were thrilled this past week to see a new series of movie posters that incorporate the tiny titan into Marvel Studios’ Avengers canon – something that should have happened a long, long time ago.

Here at the CCCC, we usually shy away from the blatantly obvious classic covers like Avengers #1, because, frankly, most people are already very familiar with them. But this week, with the release of the new Ant-Man posters, we felt it was appropriate to point out that the hero was indeed a founding member of the Avengers – even if the film universe has thus far ignored that little fact.

Ant-ManSo before we get into this classic Avengers comic, let me just say how much I love the all of the posters that Marvel Studios marketing have done for Ant-Man, especially the full white one with the minuscule-sized Ant-Man; giving moviegoers an early idea of the hero’s perspective. And of the new poster series I’m really digging the one with Scott Lang standing atop Mjölnir (AKA Thor’s hammer.)

Just like that infamous ant that Frank Sinatra made famous, I have ‘high hopes’ that Marvel is going to figure out a way to honor the Avengers’ comic origin and have the Ant-Man film’s Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) tied to the inception of the super-team in some way; even though we know that the more modern iteration of the character, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), is the movie’s primary focus.

I’m also interested in seeing how Hope Van Dyne (the cinematic daughter of Hank Pym and (I’m guessing) Janet Van Dyne (AKA The Wasp) ends up being incorporated into the film. I’m betting before the last credit rolls we are going to see Evangeline Lilly as one of the new Avengers, acting as the modern movie version of The Wasp. And did I excitedly mention Evangeline Lilly!?!

Okay, so how about that Avengers #1 comic book? Well, it was written by Stan Lee with art by Jack Kirby, and, of course, there are those who lean on the side of Kirby for creating most of the content; but I love Stan either way. Most of you know the basic origin, so I instead want to talk about a couple of the smaller details.

Avengers #1 – September, 1963
Avengers #1 – September, 1963

Did you know that it was actually The Wasp, with Ant-Man’s immediate approval, that named the team the “Avengers”? It’s true, and there wasn’t much of a debate either, she suggested it and the rest of the team bought in; a testament to her leadership abilities (and feminine charms) for sure.

Additionally, it was the teenager Rick Jones and his “Teen Brigade,” a group of Ham Radio hobbyists, who first brought the Avengers together. Think of them as the early-sixties’ equivalent of a Facebook group, reaching out to known superheroes in an effort to get them to stop some evil-doer – in this case the Hulk being mind-controlled by Loki.

Rick Jones tied many of Marvel’s comic characters together, from the Hulk, to the Avengers to Captain America and Captain Marvel; and I think it’s time to see the versatile teenager/sidekick make an appearance in the movie universe. What say you?

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.