Monday, April 27, 2015

This Old Mansion

While we all probably enjoyed being honored guests along with the various dignitaries invited to the gala presentation of the sparkling new Avengers Headquarters--the new base of operations for the team which replaced their floating island, Hydrobase--the Human Torch may have had it right when he joked, in so many words, that its days were probably already numbered. Indeed, aside from the cocktail party, the new HQ wasn't given much fanfare--unless you count the collective opinion of its support staff, which sang its praises even when it was coming under attack:

Yet Avengers HQ, an imposing fortress of a structure that looked like it was here to stay, perhaps doesn't ring a bell with many of you; in fact, if you remember the old "Hydrobase" more clearly than the state-of-the-art building the team had constructed in its place, maybe it's understandable why the wheels were set in motion at some point to return the Avengers to their roots. And in so doing, give their butler Jarvis a lot less real estate to Hoover.

And so we open the doors to yet another

Marvel Trivia Question

Whatever happened to "Avengers Headquarters"?

The ripples of change began when writer Bob Harras came aboard to replace Larry Hama. Almost immediately, the name of the building was reverted back to something a little more familiar to readers:

Agreed, this building resembles more of a Civic Center than a mansion--but allow Harras some credit for giving the building over three years to catch on with readers, even if calling it "Avengers Mansion" never did help much in that regard. In the meantime, the Avengers become involved with a number of threats, while Harras tones down the presence and involvement of the support staff significantly, to the point where only Peggy Carter makes an occasional report. And instead of their security, just look at who's sounding the priority alert for the team:

Good grief, as if the man doesn't have enough to do, while the support staff is probably downstairs playing darts.

Eventually, while the conflict with the Gatherers heats up, Avengers Headquarters/Mansion/Whatever bites the dust:

Yet did Proctor or some other super-villain destroy their HQ? Au contraire--would you believe it was one of their own? A prime suspect in the murder of two police detectives, Sersi loses control when the hard-as-nails Lt. DuBois arrives to take her in:

Before the dust has settled, Ute--a dying Watcher from an alternate dimension--seeks to undo the damage that Proctor has caused in his rampage across dimensions. Unfortunately, Ute's frame of reference is a bit skewed--and the Avengers find that instead of Avengers Headquarters, it's Old Home Week on Fifth Avenue:

We obviously have to cut Ute some slack, given his depleted state. But the Avengers find that it isn't just the outside of the building that their benefactor has restored incorrectly:

Gee, this team could probably use a support staff right about now, eh?

Avengers H.Q., we hardly knew ye!

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