Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Moonstruck

When an alien planet was in the midst of war, Moondragon stepped in to intervene as only she could … by mentally seizing control of the entire population.

Any pretense that she was acting in the planet's best interest fell flat, seeing how she brought along Thor as her brainwashed love slave (Avengers #219-220).

When the Avengers defeated Moondragon, and Thor returned to his senses, the thunder god brought his abductor to Asgard to stand in judgment before his father.

But discerning that Moondragon had the capacity to accomplish good—in spite of her narcissistic need for control—Odin was sympathetic when issuing punishment. Moondragon would wear a headband to greatly limit her power until she learned to live respectfully among others.

Yet in the circular reasoning of Moondragon's mind, the fact that a god took pity on her confirmed that she was indeed godlike and therefore justified in her self-righteous actions. Moondragon was a piece of work.

Under the surveillance of Valkyrie, Moondragon's path to humility would become an underlying narrative in the New Defenders.

Jim Shooter wrote Avengers #219-220. Bob Hall pencilled those issues.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Moondragon Knows Best

Given her off-putting personality, Moondragon did not enter the Avengers' ranks during a lineup change in Avengers #151. And when the federal government reconfigured the team in #181, Moondragon didn't make the cut. Thirty issues later, the insufferable Moondragon took membership matters into her own hands.

When the Avengers discussed plans to streamline the team to only six active members, a horde of heroes suddenly arrived at Avengers Mansion (#211).

Secretly summoned by Moondragon, the cavalcade included Angel, Black Panther, Black Widow, Dazzler, Hawkeye, Hercules, Iceman, Moon Knight, Tigra, and Yellowjacket.

Mentally compelling them to attack one another and try out for the team, Moondragon evaluated each hero's abilities and potential, while the Avengers remained powerless to stop her.

Scarlet Witch: Enough! We demand that you cease this outrage! We can make our own decisions!
Moondragon: Can you? Some of you would choose to stay out of force of habit … or loneliness … or fear of failure in the world beyond these walls! You are children! And it is better that I choose!

Moondragon eventually agreed to back off. Yet her words struck a nerve, as several longstanding Avengers suddenly decided to depart. The Scarlet Witch and Vision, for example, left to focus on their marriage.

Of all the changes, the Beast's was the most surprising—if not conspicuous. The hero announced out of the blue that perhaps Moondragon was right—so he too quit the Avengers to resume his scientific career. This change of heart didn't last long, however, as Beast joined the Defenders soon afterward, and tried to reshape them into an Avengers-like team.

Considering Moondragon's previous decision to mentor Hellcat (Avengers #151), it's of interest that Tigra (who wore the Cat costume first) was the only new hero to stick around and join the team following the chaos (along with returning member Yellowjacket). Was the "cat" symmetry a coincidence? I can't help but imagine that Moondragon was discreetly involved in that and other decisions.
Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 211. September 1981. "…By Force of Mind!" Gene Colan (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Janice Chang (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist), Jim Shooter (scribe).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Divine Inspiration

This is the first in a string of posts foreshadowing Moondragon's involvement with the New Defenders.

I'm sure I wasn't the only reader initially taken aback by Moondragon's off-the-cuff references to being a god (without any mythological pantheons to back her up).

Not until reading Avengers #149 did I understand that "Goddess of the Mind" was her self-appointed designation.

With the rest of the Avengers captured that issue, only Thor and prospective-member Moondragon remained to face the Atlantean conquerer called Orka. Yet when Moondragon fell to the ground in battle, Thor was both concerned and relieved.

Thor: By Asgard's gleaming gates! Moondragon is down! Tis my misfortune though, that she must rise again--to bedevil me further with her delusions of--superiority--?

No sooner did the thunder god singlehandedly defeat the giant opponent than Moondragon confidently stood up.
Moondragon: Yes, Thor! I have not been unconscious all this while! You had to let yourself see--that you alone are equal to all your fellow Avengers.

In forcing Thor to acknowledge his own superior strength, Moondragon confirmed—to herself at least—that she had the superior judgment worthy of a god. And with that biting sense of entitlement, Moondragon would have no qualms doing whatever she pleased, dismissing the rest of humanity as beneath her.
The Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 149. July 1976. "The Gods and the Gang!" Steve Englehart (story), George Pérez (art), Sam Grainger (inks), Tom Crzechowski (lettering), Hugh Paley (coloring), Marv Wolfman (editor).

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