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I guess this means that Jay Leno has teamed up with the Masters of Evil – The Avengers #239

October 2, 2010

This is one of those “wacky” Assistant Editors’ Month issues that Marvel published back in the day. Besides the obvious attraction of the guest-star here, there’s the old Silver Age DC chess board pattern and logo at the top of this cover — that may be my favorite part of this one.

So how do the Avengers wind up of the old Late Night with David Letterman show? Why, Wonder Man, of course.  In “The Late Night of the Super-Stars!,” from Roger Stern, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott, the Avengers’ resident pretty boy schedules the appearance to bolster his own career, and Vision enlists some of the lesser lights of the team to make the appearance alongside him — Beast, Hawkeye, Black Widow and the Black Panther. I happen to love the state of undress Natasha Romanoff is in when she gets the call:

Why can’t I have a sight like that outside my apartment windows? On one side of my place I can look out and see green grass. On the other, a parking lot and dumpsters. Life just isn’t fair, is it?

On to the show.

Dave warms up the crowd before welcoming the heroes:

And Paul Shaffer shows off his fanboy cred:

The appearance goes okay, and the Beast drops a bombshell on everyone:

Before that news can sink in, things start going haywire — cameras and other machines start attacking the Avengers. An old foe, Fabian Stankowicz, a mechanical genius whom the Avengers have bested before, has rigged them to wreak havoc, and he exploits the resulting confusion to seize the spotlight:

All of his devices are clever and unbeatable, but when it’s revealed that there’s a force field around Fabian, he unwittingly gives Dave an idea:

Dave metes out some sweet justice with his old giant doorknob and strikes a pretty nice hero pose:

With the machines depowered, the Avengers take them out quite easily. Sadly, Dave didn’t knock any over with a flying blue index card.

Later, back at Avengers Mansion, the always preening Wonder Man waits for his moment in the spotlight, but… :

Duty never rests.

This is an extremely fun issue, and it’s kind of a trip down memory lane with Letterman on his old, far zanier NBC show. Granted, those are pretty hazy memories for me since I was too young to be staying up that late back then, but I do remember seeing it a few times. And this guest shot certainly ended better for him than it did for his doppleganger (David “Endochrine”) in The Dark Knight Returns.

Oh, and here’s some of the “Camping with Barry White” bits that Dave mentioned in his monologue above:

“Suck out the poison.” Now that’s funny.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Thelonious Nick permalink
    October 4, 2010 9:55 am

    This looks a lot better than Marvel Team-Up #74, where Spider-Man meets the Saturday Night Live folks. I had high hopes when I discovered that one in the back-issue bins, but the story’s kind of lame.

    Are there any other comics from that era where the heroes meet real TV personalities?

    • October 5, 2010 12:24 pm

      I’m having a brain freeze right now, and I can’t think of a whole lot off the top of my head. The book that always flashes before my eyes when I think about TV folks in comics is Allen Funt “unmasking” Superman in an old issue of Action Comics.

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