Two Troubled Men

April 12, 2003

By Avi Green

Avengers #62: Broken Hearts
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal

In this issue, we take a look at two guys who’re either regular members of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, or just allies of it, both of whom are suffering mind-numbing or just heartbreaking problems of their own.

Jack of Hearts/Jonathan Hart is now facing the problem of having his powers in a bad state of flux after travelling in outer space for several years, putting him in danger of blowing up uncontrollably if not quarantined for at least 14 hours in an isolated chamber. He’s already been driven to madness being in there for some time all alone, and the aggravating news that Yellowjacket/Hank Pym gives him doesn’t make things any better. He was born half-alien and didn’t fully learn that until he was older.

Meanwhile, Scott Lang, Pym’s replacement as Ant-Man, faces a custody battle with his ex-wife Peggy over their little daughter Cassandra, the one who once contracted a dreadful disease that only a very skilled doctor whom Lang had to rescue from some criminals by using Pym’s Ant-Man costume and devices could cure. And sadly, he loses, because, as the judge notifies him, he’d been seen with the Avengers. His wife’s new fionce is a city policeman, who says that Cassandra needs a real home and family that’s good for her, and one can only wonder if by smashing a fly that flies too close to him, that he’s trying to send Scott a menacing message. Could be, and that could be something I'm interested in seeing as to how it all plays out in future issues.

Having lost his custody battle, Scott decides to go and take up a fuller time membership with the EMH, meeting Janet VanDyne, the Wasp, at the door, during which time Jack of Hearts returns to the mansion as well, and, being in the bad mood he’s in, doesn’t take so warmly to Scott’s attendance. One of the reasons why is because he's jealous of Scott for his being able to be welcomed into the Avengers more easily than he was years before. It’s a little bit of a strained scene, but it was okay. The preceeding parts, though, with Scott’s custody battle, were certainly well done. This was certainly a pretty good storyline in the soap opera factor of the Avengers.

I sure hope these two will be able to overcome the depressing problems they’re encountered, and right now, I’m waiting to see what the next issues are like, say, with the Falcon’s spotlight issue. We’ll see what we shall see.

Update: if I ever had a positive opinion on this story, I no longer do. I've written this off in much the same way as I have other writings of Johns over the years.

Copyright 2003 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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