Thursday, June 25, 2015

When Strikes The Scientific Adventurer!

When Henry Pym was expelled from the Avengers after facing charges of misconduct and subsequently attempting to deceive his accusers, he had admitted his wrongs and faced the music, becoming a better man in the process. As he put it: "I left my life as Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath and Yellowjacket in the rubble of my past--but I left with my debts paid, and my head held high!" And when he departed from Avengers Mansion, we had every reason to believe that his future held promise.

But then he hooked up with the West Coast Avengers group. And, well...

Hank initially took residence with the team to manage the compound and handle security of the grounds; but after being dumped by Tigra, and having a humiliating encounter with the villain Whirlwind which essentially dug up his old failures and shortcomings, Hank hit rock bottom again.

Fortunately, Hank had a guardian angel, in the form of Bonita Juarez, a/k/a the former Firebird but now calling herself La Espirita. And I know what you're thinking: Anyone who's already in the habit of changing from one identity to another is bound to have a rapport with Henry Pym.

It's a different approach for Pym--an almost therapeutic one, using his talents in invention and biology to "find his calling," as it were, a role for himself other than as a man with some sort of super-power. And so he takes to his lab to see where his strengths lie. There are a few issues of buildup, where we check in on Hank busily working on a project; but when he presents the fruits of his labors, it's safe to say that he hasn't left his insect motif behind.

"Rover" may not be the two-seater that Tigra would have in mind, but then again Hank hasn't built this all-purpose go-buggy for her--and that's the point. What Espirita is gratified to see is Hank striking out on his own, becoming the kind of person who isn't dependent on the Avengers for his self-worth.

After the Ultron debacle, you have to wonder at Hank's reasons for giving the power of speech to yet another machine. But, wince though we will, we have to give at least a chuckle at the simple nature of Rover's syntax:

Oh, Hank--it's "Kid Ultron" by any other name, buddy.

In addition, though, Hank harnesses his power to shrink and adapts it this time to objects, rather than himself. And, whether formally spoken or not, he settles for his own name for himself, no more, no less.

Though, whether he wants one or not, he gets a logo:

He also gets a costume... er, an outfit, as well as a descriptive handle to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers:

Chances are that Whirlwind is still going to exclaim "PYM!" rather than "...the Scientific Adventurer!" at seeing Hank, but you can't win them all. And since Hank didn't take a leaf from Hawkeye and Mockingbird's book and dress down for California, he'll likely be called "the Sweltering Adventurer" before long.

Anyway, we were given a few more issues of Rover's A.I., puppy-dog antennae, and windshield-glare eyes before we got really, really tired of it.

I think the last instance we were exposed to Rover's A.I. was an issue of Solo Avengers, before it quickly tapered off and eventually disappeared altogether. And after the events of Onslaught, we could say the same for
The Scientific Adventurer.

Whatever happened to the West Coast Avengers, anyway?


B Smith said...

Scientific expertise, hat, overcoat, long might ask, "Doctor Who?"

When did this issue come out?

Comicsfan said...

B, your comparison crossed my mind, as well. By the time Pym outfitted himself in this way, it was mid-1987--around the time when the original Who series was winding down, and its 7th Doctor appeared.

david_b said...

Nice idea, but nevertheless the nadir of Pym's career and very existence.

From my initial dozen issue investment (later another half-dozen under Byrne..), I found many reasons not to like 'em. If I had continued buying this languishing title throughout.., I'd certainly have another hundred reasons.

But this one took the cake. I acknowledge it was Englehart's idea to swirl Pym into the WCA mix, but I was disappointed with the entire Pym-as-fall-guy handling, mainly to the terrible art on the 'east coast' title.

But this..? Actually holding a gun to his head and visited by essentially an angel..? Glad I stopped reading (or caring) months before.

Can..not..wait to comment on the WCA's insipid and banal handlings of our west coast team here. Will LOVE all comments as to what and why things went as they did.

'nuff said, Indeed. :)

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