THE AVENGERS #2 (1963): 1st Space Phantom

As you can see from the splash page, they already have their round table, but no “A” on it yet.  And no chairs.  And it’s pretty damn small.

Storywise, this is a forgettable tale where the team fights a body-possessing villain known as Space Phantom, who enters the bodies of each member causing lots of conflict and misunderstanding, until he tries to enter Thor.

The Asgardian’s physiology rejects Space Phantom, and he is vanquished.

This is the second issue in a row where Hulk got possessed.  It’s used as the excuse for Hulk to leave the team. They didn’t really need an excuse for that, did they? Kind of a deus ex machina. Which is how Space Phantom would be used in the future, as a source of conflict and an explanation for weird, uncharacteristic behavior.

Frankly, if I were Hulk, I would have left because being in The Avengers messed with his body. Check out the panel above, where he has four toes, and then look at the splash page: Three toes????

The team is also still getting to know each other.

Even when they’re bad, these issues are fun.

Creators: Lee and Kirby
First appearances: Space Phantom
Grade: D

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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