Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Captain America, Master Battle Strategist

So, let's take a look at the brand-new, surely-not-released-just-to-tie-in-with-a-major-motion-picture Marvel Avengers graphic novel, in which they face off against their deadliest robot foe at a late-night electronic/dance party with lots of young people on Ecstasy! Oh, wait, no, that's Rave of Ultron. What we're perusing tonight is Rage of Ultron.

Panels from Avengers: Rage of Ultron graphic novel (June 2015); script by Rick Remender; pencils by Jerome Opeña; inks by Pepe Larraz with Mark Morales; colors by Dean White, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Dono Sanchez Almara; letters by Clayton Cowles

As in, man! That Ultron is certainly raging! Right in Manhattan, home of the Mighty Avengers! Circa the period when Hank McCoy, the Beast, was on the team, also known as The Best Era of the Avengers. Captain America is right there, to help evacuate the city by telling the panicking crowd to make their way peacefully and patriotically to the bridge. (Say, Cap, which bridge? Ah, he'll tell ya, just hang around.)

The panel above gives only a rough guesstimate of where the destruction is a-happening, but I'd place it as roughly in Midtown Manhattan, which is pretty much where all the destruction in comics books tends to occur. We're not told the precise location in the comic, but I'm making an educated guess that it's Times Square, mainly because of the sheer excess of X-rated movie theaters there. So: they're in Times Square in the 1970s!

Also, because Times Square is pretty much the only place in New York that has a street area that looks half a mile wide.

To be fair to Times Square during the seventies, it wasn't all girly theaters. Just around the corner on 42nd Street is located revival house the Gem Theater, where on the fourth floor you can find the offices of Luke Cage: Hero for Hire! (More recently, the Gem has served as the HQ for Luke's Mighty Avengers team! Who says this isn't the bountiful Bully age of edifying enlightenment? Except I can't explain why Luke Cage isn't running up to help fight Ultron, too. Maybe it's during that glorious issue where he flew to Latveria to demand of Dr. Doom "Where's my money, honey?"

Panels from Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 (August 1972), script by Archie Goodwin, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Billy Graham, letters by John Costanza

By the way, check out which mildly magnificent Marvel mag is being perused by ticket taker Bertha!

Panels from Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #2 (August 1972), script by Archie Goodwin, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Billy Graham, letters by John Costanza

Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that Captain America does direct the fleeing crowds of civilians to evacuate Manhattan by heading east to the George Washington Bridge.

Um. Cap. The George Washington Bridge is west of Manhattan. (And, pretty darn far north of Midtown.)

Cap's sorta of between a rock and a hard place here even if he wasn't directing panicky people in the wrong direction. There's no easy escape route from Midtown that doesn't involve going into tunnels (the Lincoln Tunnel to the west of Midtown, the Queens-Midtown Tunnel to the east, both in orange), which I can't imagine is the best place to send folks during a crisis. But honestly, Cap? "Keep moving downtown on Broadway, head for the Manhattan Bridge." would probably be the fastest evacuation he could hope for.

Y'know, it's too bad Spider-Man wasn't an Avenger during this era, because if Spider-Man knows anything, he knows where the George Washington Bridge is.

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #121 (June 1973), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by Gil Kane, inks by John Romita Sr. and Tony Mortellaro, colors by David Hunt, letters by Artie Simek

Then again, that's probably the Brooklyn Bridge that's pictured there, but improperly described as the George Washington (especially since he's show swinging downtown from the United Nations). Does no Marvel Manhattanite know the bridges of New York?

But hey, it's not like Steve Rogers was born in New York City or has lived there ever since he got de-Cap-sicled. Oh wait. Yes, he has.


SallyP said...

It's just that Cap doesn't want to send them all to Weehawken.

Andrew Leal said...

I was unaware or had forgotten there was a period in which Beast just embraced nudism completely (granted, it wasn't far to go).

Tom said...

I think that's Shirley from MAD MEN on that cover of OUR LOVE STORY. Did Roger force her to work late again?