Thursday, May 3, 2018

Sorry "Infinity War," the greatest Avengers crossover was 34 years ago

Yep, this a real thing that happened.

The Avengers #239, which came out in January 1984, has a cover title of "The Avengers on Late Night with David Letterman!" and features NBC's offbeat, 36-year-old talk-show host front and center, flanked by the likes of Hawkeye, Black Widow and T'Challa. Letterman was less than two years into his iconic 12:30 a.m. show at that point, but was already connecting with the same young demographic that Marvel was wooing for its late Bronze Age comics.

Roger Stern, in the midst of a long stint as The Avengers' writer, penned this issue, and there is a tongue-in-cheek credit for Larry "Bud" Melman as "inspiration."

Fortunately (I think), the issue isn't all about Letterman. Here's what happens:

  • Hawkeye arrives at Avengers Mansion and announces that he and Mockingbird were recently married.
  • The giant floating head of Vision congratulations them on their wedding.
  • Reserve Avenger (because that's a thing) Wonder Man calls Vision to report that his agent booked him on Letterman ... and promised that the whole gang of Avengers would show up, too.
  • Vision says, basically, "No problem, Dude. We'll show up."
  • T'Challa is interrupted at a meeting of official Wakandan business and asked to show up for the Letterman taping.
  • T'Challa says, basically, "No problem, Dude."
  • A bunch of other superheroes say, basically, "No problem, Dude." Because there's apparently no superheroing to be done. Or maybe they dig Letterman.
  • Villain Fabian Stankiewicz sees an opportunity for mischief.
  • Black Widow meets the new Mrs. Hawkeye, and there is some awkwardness.
  • We get the line: "From New York, New York ... the city so nice they named it twice ... it's Late Night with David Letterman! Tonight ... comedian George Ferrari and The Mighty Avengers."
  • Comic-book Letterman quips: "What can I say? Tonight is something really special! In fact, it's probably our most special show we've had since our 'Camping with Barry White' program!"
  • Bandleader Paul Shaffer, wearing a Captain America T-shirt, says, "What can I say? The Avengers are simply marvelous."
  • Letterman throws in a "by golly."
  • The Avengers show up to chat.
  • Fabian Stankiewicz, sitting in the audience, causes a ruckus on the Letterman set.
  • The Avengers, with an assist from Letterman and his Giant Doorknob, save the day. (Yep, the Giant Doorknob was a real thing on his show back in the early years.)
  • The floating head of Vision returns and provides some exposition.

Maybe Letterman can show up with that Giant Doorknob and save the day in next year's sequel to Infinity War. Looks like they could use the help.

1 comment:

  1. This is EVERYTHING :) It needs a live-action movie right this minute~