How An Avengers Fill-In Was Retrofitted to Tie Into An Ongoing Storyline

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and eightieth installment where we examine three comic book legends and determine whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I’ll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

An Avengers West Coast fill-in issue had the last few pages re-written and re-drawn to make it retroactively fit in with a then-current Avengers West Coast storyline.


In 1989, John Byrne spearheaded a Marvel companywide crossover event called “Acts of Vengeance,” where Loki and a group of major supervillain coordinated a series of attacks on the superheroes of the world via having supervillains attack superheroes that they don’t normally fight.

Throughout the event, Loki wears a business suit and manipulates people a bit indirectly…

Meanwhile, in Avengers West Coast, John Byrne was setting up a storyline involving Immortus erasing alternate timelines…

That Immortus stuff all played a role in Byrne’s long-running plot in the series about Scarlet Witch’s instability. She eventually snaps and becomes an outright villain…

But then Byrne was off the series in the middle of the storyline.

Three issues later, Roy and Dann Thomas took over the title and finished Byrne’s story arc in their own fashion (still using Immortus, of course)…

Well, for the two issues before Thomas took over, there was first an outright fill-in issue by Fabian Nicieza, Tom Morgan and Randy Emberlin…

And then there was Avengers West Coast #59, which was mostly a story by Danny Fingeroth, Gary Hartle and Chris Ivy, but featured an ending by Brad Vancata.

The issue APPEARED to be delayed Acts of Vengeance tie-in, as Loki seems to be once again wearing his business suit and manipulating villains…

In this instance, he gave Hydro-Man super intelligence and the villain responded by coming up with a twisted series of death traps for the Avengers West Coast.

I just figured it was worth noting this excellent pun by Fingeroth referencing longtime Marvel staffer, Marie Severin…

Anyhow, Loki then reverses the spell that gave Hydro-Man his intelligence and the Avengers take him down…

However, shockingly, they don’t get to the bomb in time and…

We see that it now, then, ties directly into the Immortus storyline…

But was that the ORIGINAL ending?

I asked Fingeroth (who has a great Stan Lee biography out right now), and he actually found the original ending for his fill-in story in his files and he shared them with me and when you see the original ending, you can see that obviously it was not initially going to be a tie-in to the Immortus storyline, but also that it was never intended as an Acts of Vengeance story, either, as the guy in the suit WASN’T meant to be Loki, but rather, another guy being manipulated by Loki.

Fascinating how well that story was re-worked by Avengers West Coast editor Howard Mackie and his assistant to make it match up with the Immortus storyline.

Thanks so much to Danny Fingeroth for the information and going above and beyond by sharing the original pages! Again, be sure to check out Danny’s excellent Stan Lee bio now.


Check out some other entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Was the Janitor on Scrubs Originally Just a Figment of J.D.’s Imagination?

2. Did the Simpsons Edit a Scene Out of Syndication Because it was Offensive to People with Tourette’s Syndrome?

3. Did Aaron Spelling Pay Luke Perry’s Salary Out of His Own Pocket on 90210?

4. Did Warner Brothers Really Sue Over the Rights to the Term “Daisy Dukes”?_______________________________________________________________________________

Check back later for part 2 of this installment’s legends!

Feel free to send suggestions for future comic legends to me at either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com

In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, see how an Avengers West Coast fill-in was retrofitted to make it now tie in with an ongoing storyline.

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