Mountain Comics #2 – Avengers #213


"Live" from HeroesCon 2017, Rob is joined by Ryan Daly to talk about another one of his beloved Mountain Comics, "Court-Martial" by Jim Shooter, Bob Hall, and Dan Green, from AVENGERS #213 (Nov. 1981)!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

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10 responses to “Mountain Comics #2 – Avengers #213

  1. Great show fellas. I was buying Avengers during this period (when I found it), but I missed this famous (or infamous) issue. I always liked Yellowjacket’s costume too, but those shoulder pads would be a serious vision blocker!

    It’s often pointed out how hypocritical comic fans can be, since Hank is forever labeled as a wife-beater, but Peter Parker struck a pregnant Mary Jane in the 90s Clone Saga…and he has super strength! That is often swept under the rug. Lots of nasty stuff under that Spidey rug; Peter having his eyeball eaten, Gwen shagging Norman Osborn. Horrible.

    Fun episode! More Mountain Comics please!


  2. Like Ryan, I only officially read this within the last couple of years. My comic store had a whole run of this era of Avengers in the $1 box and I was able to grab this issue, the one where Pym goes on trial, and some others.

    This definitely reads as a brutal display of a mentally disturbed person. They could have explained it away with ‘evil doppelganger’, ‘demon possession’, ‘actually a Skrull’, or even ‘unstable pym particles in the brain’. By leaving it as ‘nope that was Hank’, he has this albatross around him.

    I can only imagine reading it as a kid.

    And I still can’t believe him saying no to Janet to go ‘putter around in his lab’. That is more unbelievable than a Norse God being among them.

  3. Great story! Whole I didn’t collect Avengers until late (my gateway was the start of West Coast Avengers), the few older issues I got in flea markets are very dear to me. I never had the infamous domestic abuse issue (as it is now described), but my love for the Collector vs. Hawkeye issue, for example, is as great. I totally feel ya.

    Another cool HeroesCon exclusive!

  4. I was buying Avengers regularly and Hank’s story made sense in context. The ‘domestic abuse’ bit is hooey, the guy was having a breakdown, heck, they’d shown his mental fragility as far back as the issues in which he married Jan while on a partly Pym-particles-based psychotic break, 15 years before or something (another floating heads cover!).

    And he wasn’t instantly forgiven for his actions here, of which the Jan moment was a symptom ( as you say, he went to prison, and things just got worse…

    It’s a bit of a bugger that Jan can go through about 400 superhero battles without a scratch and this is the point at which she got a black eye.

    Doesn’t Shooter now claim that Bob Hall misinterpreted his art instructions, that he meant only for Hank to push her away? Sounds like back-pedalling where it’s not necessary – he wrote a powerful tale that made sense as part of a character arc.

    Anyway, terrific episode!

  5. Great episode! And I agree with your assessment that they’ve never been able to pull Hank Pym back from this story. It seems to me there is actually an opportunity for a redemption story there of Hank becoming a better person after hitting Janet. He should certainly suffer for what he did, but at some point he could make efforts to change and become a better person. They could have him facing his demons, becoming a better person, making amends with Janet, and moving forward. That’s more like real life. Real people screw up, and you hope they get better. They’ve done some of this in the comics with Hank, but every few years new writers drag this crap up again as if Hank is still that same guy inside. Ugh.

    1. The thing is Shag, I think the only way that Hank could have ever been redeemed long term would have been to never have him and Janet get back together. I stand by this both in terms of the narrative and from my own real life observations of harmful relationships. As pointed out by Ryan and Rob, anytime you get them back together you have to address this in some fashion, which makes it impossible for the READER to ever “get over it” because the only way to stop bringing it up is to stop putting the characters in that same circumstance over and over. And in real life I feel it’s extremely difficult for people with destructive patterns to change at all, and it’s almost impossible if they don’t first change their circumstances. For Hank and Janet that means ending their relationship, permanently. You can go on about how much they love each other, but that circumstance brought out the worst in Hank (this is not me saying it’s Janet’s fault, let’s be clear) and he can’t become a better person if he’s going to stay in those circumstances, because people slip into old habits. It’s the reason the vast majority of recovering alcoholics don’t go into bars. They’re surrounded by the things that were around them when they made their biggest mistakes, and it makes it that much easier to make them again. The way to recover Hank would have been for him to say to Janet “I love you, but we can’t ever be together. I want what’s best for you and that can’t be me.” And then they truly are over, for good. If THAT would happen, then he could recover.

  6. Lots of interesting discussion on this issue. Great reading on its own.

    I was getting this series via mail subscription when this issue came out. Shooter definitely left his mark on the Avengers here. I knew the Pyms, but wasn’t that invested in their history. Although I also had clear memories reading Hank attacking the team as Ant-Man for Ultron, so maybe that prepared me better for this story than I realized.

    Great episode, Rob and Ryan!

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