Almost there to post 500. I know, I know, you're supposed to do something nice and special, but with this other work I've been doing, not really feeling it. Might just be a bonus skit this week or something else, idk.
But today's post is another edition of Back-Issue Spotlight. Today I'm spotlighting Avengers West Coast#50, which features the original golden age Human Torch joining the team.
Let's get to it shall we?
Avengers West Coast#50 "Return Of The Hero" (Nov '89) by John Byrne and Mike Machlan.
The story starts off not with the Human Torch, but with his dead partner Toro's wife Ann.She thinks her husband might not be dead after all, and that maybe her husband's partner is involved as well.
Apparently way back some years ago, when the FF met up with original Torch, he went nuts and then was "killed". Well Toro saw his an ad for his partner's funeral and went to go check it out himself. He was then drugged and abducted by the Mad Thinker. The Thinker then brainwashed Toro into thinking he was the Human Torch, causing him to battle the Namor.
Toro later dies trying to get revenge on the Mad Thinker.
Trying to find her husbands's whereabouts leads her to the AWC's door for help.
So off to the town of Pleasentville go the Avengers(where the Torch's funeral was supposedly held)
The Vision goes straight down into the Torch's casket, where he indeed finds the Torch resting.
The Avengers can't open the casket without the proper legal documents, but that doesn't stop an already pissed and stressed out Scarlet Witch from using her hex powers to open said casket.
And with that, The original Human Torch lives again!
Wonder Man chases after him, persuading him to come down and talk with the other Avengers.
It's here that we get an iconic(or was supposed to be iconic for the time) official meeting of the Vision and the Torch.
Hank Pym gives a quick, reader's digest version of things to get him up to date. The Wasp then flies in, giving the Torch new and improved threads, and welcoming him to the Avengers. Torch says yes, and all's right with the world.....until Iron Man shows up.
Here's a bonus for you guys: An unused cover sketch for this very issue
So at this point in time, the WCA/AWC, just had to deal with the government kidnapping and dissecting the Vision, leading to him becoming that sickly pale color of yellow for a number of years. This explains why Wanda freaks out when the Toro's wife shows up and thinks the Vision can help her out.
Also, Iron Man showing up was of interest because he got booted out of the team during the Armor Wars in his own book. He then fakes Iron Man's death, making people believe someone else was inside the armor. That whole sub-plot would later be resolved, but man was that next issue awkward for a bit.
Also, and I've got to point this out, the belief that the Vision was made from the body of the original Human Torch had been canon for years, ever since Roy Thomas started the idea, and Steve Englehart expanded upon it. Only very recently was that proven to not be the case, instead all part of a calculated deception by Immortus, master of time.
Writers Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern would later re-confirm that in the Avengers Forever max-series, stating that it was all Immortus' idea just to do that to fuck with the Avengers. Silly really, but that's some bad guys for you.
I remember picking this up due to the cover. I had no idea about the back-story of the original Torch's back then, so this was a pretty good place to learn some history.
I was actually influenced to pick this particular issue because of this blog right here:
It talks more in depth about the whole Human Torch/Vision connection throughout the years up to 1999.
Not a bad little read if you want to know more about that particular back story.
Sorry for the poor quality phone scans. Couldn't find anymore scanned in interior pages, so I had to improvise.
That's it for this edition of Back-Issue Spotlight. Hoped you learned some things, and are tempted to track this one down if you don't already have it.
Tomorrow is post 500!!!!!!!!