Marvel Madness

That Time the Avengers Had the Most Awkward Thanksgiving Ever

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Typically when I write these Marvel Madness posts I find the stories two different ways. Most of the time I just stumble upon them while I’m making my way through different runs. I’m simultaneously going through the classic runs of Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, the Avengers, the Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, and Thor, trying to find crazy stories from the Silver and Bronze Ages that catch my fancy. And it’s usually not to hard to find something crazy. I mean, just finding an issue with Doctor Doom on the cover is usually a pretty good indicator that things are going to be goofy. But there’s a second way that I find stories, and that’s when I actively try to find a thematic story. That’s usually around the holidays. When it was St. Patrick’s day I tracked down that X-Men story with the leprechauns, when it was Halloween I specifically tried to find a story with Dracula or some other monster in it, and I’ve found a whole mess of ridiculous Christmas stories to check out in a month. But when I was thinking about a new Marvel Madness to do, I decided to roll the dice and see if there was a Thanksgiving story floating somewhere out there. I figured there maybe was some crazy story where Captain America went back in time and met Pilgrims or something. And while there may be one of those out there that I couldn’t find, I did find something else. Because much to my surprise I was able to find a story from the short-lived The Vision and the Scarlet Witch series that revolved around the Avengers getting together and having an incredibly awkward and tense Thanksgiving. And if there’s anything more quintessentially “Thanksgiving” than turkey, it’s awkward encounters with family. So let’s check out what could possibly be awkward about a fancy meal hosted by an occasionally insane and super-powerful witch and her robotic husband!

Right off the bat I’ll admit that I don’t have a whole lot of context for what’s going on in this issue. I’ve never read any of the other the Vision and the Scarlet Witch issues and I haven’t reached this period of time in the regular Avengers book either. But I’m aware of the fact that the Scarlet Witch, the reformed villain and perennial member of the Avengers did fall in love with the Vision, the android that Ultron created to infiltrate and destroy the Avengers. And I guess this was a series that was just about their relationship. But I suppose none of that is really important, what is important is that this issue opens up with the Scarlet Witch’s brother Quicksilver arriving at the house with his wife Crystal, a member of the Inhumans, and their son. And apparently this happy couple is living with the Inhumans on the moon, because they arrive by way of spaceship. And things are just starting. Quicksilver and Crystal are met at the door by Vision and are brought into the family room where they begin hanging out with the other guests. And it’s here that I first started to be amused by this issue, because for some reason these friends are getting together to celebrate and enjoy a meal together while all wearing their costumes and referring to each other by their superhero names. I guess they can’t let their hair down for one night.

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So Quicksilver, Crystal, and their baby Luna come into the house and begin spending time with the other guests. We have Captain America, Namor, the Wasp, Doctor Strange (who is acting as Scarlet Witch’s obstetrician, because she’s still pregnant with magic babies at this point), the guy that sold Vision and Scarlet Witch their house for some reason, a local stage-magician and his partner who I suppose are friends with the couple, and probably most hilariously, Martha Williams, the mother of Simon Williams aka Wonder Man, the man that Ultron used as the basis for Vision. I guess they’ve decided that this isn’t creepy, and Martha acts like she’s related to Vision, which is super odd. So the various attendees begin mingling and catching up, telling stories and trying to act natural while wearing ridiculous costumes. But all of this is ground to a halt when the next guest come in.

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That’s right! Magneto’s here! In case you don’t know, or if you’re more familiar with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver from the MCU films, Magneto is their father in the comics. Or is he? I don’t follow the X-Men that well, and I think that that’s been changed in recent years, but at the point that this story was written that was true. Magneto had previously worked with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver when they were members of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants terrorist group, but at that point they didn’t know they were related. When that information came out the siblings fled Magneto and reformed, becoming Avengers. So that would be awkward enough, but now we get to see a Thanksgiving dinner where a bunch of heroes have to play nice with a straight-up supervillain. And they are not pleased.

It seems like no one was informed that Magneto was going to be showing up, and everyone seems really creeped out by his presence. Even Crystal, who is trying to keep her child away from her grandfather. Vision seems okay with everything though, and makes awkward chit-chat with his father-in-law while everyone else keeps their distance, and while Quicksilver bring Wanda into the kitchen to politely ask her what the hell is going on. They head into the kitchen and immediately begin arguing while Wanda insists that he should be there because he’s their father, while Pietro makes the logical point that the fact that Magneto brainwashed them into being terrorists probably outweighs the fact that he’s their father. The two continue to bicker for a while as we cut out to the living room and see that Captain America, Namor, and Vision are bonding over the fact that they’re the original Invaders, since Vision’s body is technically made from the original Human Torch’s. But it’s not all fun stories, because basically everyone else is being awkward as hell. The Wasp seems to be a little drunk and is talking about her recent divorce from Hank Pym and how they never had kids together, Crystal is talking about how Pietro isn’t being the most attentive husband, and the weird magicians are trying to make conversation with Magneto while not bringing up his hatred of humanity. But that’s all brushed aside when Wanda announces that dinner is ready and they all sit down for their meal.

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Everyone starts to eat, but apparently not talk, because all we see is everyone sitting there staring at Magneto while thinking about all the horrible things he’s done. They all eat their dinner in silence, and when it’s over people start to escape the awkwardness. Cap, Namor, Wasp, and Doctor Strange slip out first, claiming that they have superhero stuff to deal with. Then Martha Williams and Crystal say that they’ll help Wanda clean up when they’re stopped by Magneto, who demands a word alone with his daughter. The two head into the kitchen and Magneto begins to open up. He apologizes for being such a shitty dad, but then in the same breath starts ranting about how he’s in the right and how humans suck. Which isn’t exactly a great apology, and Wanda calls him out on it, telling Magneto that she’ll never approve of what he believes. The two squabble for a bit longer until Magneto can’t take it any more and leaves in a huff.

The stragglers are all hanging out in the family room again, having a good time, while Magneto walks past them and storms out of the house. He begins flying away, fuming, when he notices something odd, and returns to the house. He walks back into the house and asks Vision and Quicksilver to follow him. They seem a little confused at first, and that just gets worse when Magneto starts explaining that he need their help to keep everyone safe from a threat. And what threat might that be?

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Sure! The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are there, ready to fight everyone at the dinner. Despite the fact that this Brotherhood seems to feature Magneto and Quicksilver, both of whom are standing right there. Everyone seems pretty confused about this turn of events, until it becomes clear that these impostors also have the powers of the Brotherhood, at which point the three men stop wondering what’s going on and just start fighting. Quicksilver begins racing around with his replica while Magneto spars with his, throwing shovels at each other. But when it becomes clear that two speedsters just running around punching each other isn’t working, Vision decides to cut in and starts fighting the Quicksilver replica, using his abilities to shift his density to catch the replica off guard and knock him out.

And once the Quicksilver replica is taken care of, the real Pietro turns his attentions to Mastermind, who quickly defeats Pietro by crippling him with hallucinations. Magneto tries to help his son, but he too gets drawn into Mastermind’s hallucinations. Luckily Vision isn’t affected by the hallucinations though, and he tries to free his two family members when he’s attacked by Toad. This spurs a memory in Vision though, and he grabs Toad in a headlock, and tells Magneto to use his powers to mess with the iron in Toad’s blood. And when Magneto does this, all of the replica’s drop down dead. Apparently Toad was the brains behind this operation, and he was using some weird technology that had been introduced in a previous Avengers story to create replicas of his old team. They stand a round mocking Toad for a while, until a little drone shows up and begins lifting Toad and his replicas up into itself with a tractor beam. Toad starts to gloat until we realize that the Quicksilver he’s with is the real one who has quickly changed his costume. Pietro knocks Toad out again, defeating the little creep and his replicas. And once that’s taken care of Magneto decides to take Toad and the replicas away, wanting to leave rather than deal with Wanda any more. And once he’s gone Vision and Quicksilver head back into the house and talk with Wanda, returning the issue to a weird sitcom pastiche.

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This was a very silly issue of comics. There was a lot of drama in it, and I get the feeling that his whole series may be a little too much of a soap opera for my taste, but there was still a whole lot to like about it. I’ll never get over the fact that these friends and colleagues all ate a holiday meal together while wearing their silly costumes and calling each other their codenames instead of their actual names. That’s just weird. And all the robot nonsense with Toad in the back half of the issue is fun and completely comes out of nowhere, but I guess they couldn’t just sell an issue of comics that was all family drama. But that’s the stuff that I dug about this issue. Of course something like this would happen! Wanda and Pietro have had a really complicated life, and do have a father who is a legitimate supervillain, so it makes sense that interacting with him now that they’re heroes would be more than a little awkward. And I just love the idea that they tried to look past this and have Magneto come to Thanksgiving with the goddamn Avengers. That’s just such a ridiculous idea, and I love it so much. This would have been the most awkward and uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner of all time, and they just had to all sit there and take it. So I hope you had a less awkward Thanksgiving this year, hopefully you didn’t have to sit with a monster. Unless you had to eat with a relative who voted for Trump, otherwise you may have this story beat.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch #6 was written by Steve Englehart, penciled by Richard Howell, inked by Frank Springer, and colored by Adam Philips, 1985.

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