AVENGERS #129-135: The Celestial Madonna Saga*

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Widely recognized as one of the top 10 Avengers storylines of all time, This is where Steve Englehart really gets to go nuts.  It begins with Swordsman helping the team fight Kang and ends in Giant Sized Avengers #4 with Vision and Scarlet Witch getting married.

Englehart arrived at Marvel after a stint with DC where, for the Justice League of America, he wrote about a green chick named “Willow” who was described as a human who went into out space to have a child.  So she was a “space mom,” or, put differently, a celestial madonna.

Then he kind of brings her over to The Avengers as “Mantis” and tells the same story.

Neat, huh?  And the Marvel editors had no idea what he was doing.

Overall, this sprawling epic (it also included Giant Sized Avengers #2 and 3) told the origins of Vision, Moondragon and Mantis, and had some of Sal Buscema’s best Avengers art. It spans several time periods, including the World War II Human Torch (who was the predecessor of Vision) and the future (Kang!), and is the kind of “big” story that The Avengers was intended to tell.

But it’s not a just a long history lesson…There’s good battles…

…against lots of cool villains.

Oh, and developments in the life of Scarlet Witch, who finally gets a tutor for the “magic” side of her powers….

That’s right, Agatha Harkness–Franklin Richards’ nanny–teaches Wanda to do what Xavier never could: Master her random hex powers.

You can buy the whole saga in a large trade paperback, and I suggest you do.  I’ll end on this:

*Issues 131-132 are posted on separately

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