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When Iron Man and Captain America Had One Of Their Weirdest Fights

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at odd comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

When Jim Shooter took over writing duties permanently on the Avengers with Avengers #158 (Sal Buscema did a fill-in pencilling job win that issue, with regular Avngers inker Pablo Marcos), it was clear that he wanted to take a sort of heightened emotional take on the book. In other words, sort of a soap operatic approach to the various character interactions. In that first issue, the Vision and Wonder Man have a brawl over the fact that the Vision had, in some ways, taken over Wonder Man's life during the period that Wonder Man was in suspended animation and the Vision was introduced, using Wonder Man's brainwaves to create his mind. The fight ended with Iron Man doing something that would become quite familiar over the next few year's worth of issues, someone complaining about the state of the Avengers...

After a fight with Graviton and then the classic "Trial" issue (where Wonder Man's brother, Grim Reaper, returns to the series as the whole familial relationship gets super weird), Shooter upped the emotional ante in Avengers #161 (with regular penciler George Perez back), as Ant-Man is driven nuts by Ultron and Ant-Man then pretty much embarrasses the team...

Everyone was on constant edge, hence the scene where everyone snaps at Beast for making a joke...

Shooter really began to play up the fact that Wonder Man, having sort of died, now was dealing with constant fear over dying again. It was on his mind constantly. Clearly, Shooter wanted his Avengers stories to be very character-driven. Wonder Man also took this time to begin comparing everything to Thor's hammer, which was hilariously weird...

Since he was so down on himself, he kept thinking back to the one major achievement he had, that time he sucker punched Thor in his first appearance. He knocked Thor under a boulder, but he didn't know that Thor had to hold on to his hammer to remain Thor, so knocking him under the boulder knocked the hammer out of his hands, so it seemed like he had taken on Thor in one punch. So all he could think about was Thor during this period, hence the constant references to Thor's hammer. At least that's how I'm taking the whole thing. He could just be a weirdo who is obsessed with Thor.

In Avengers #164 (John Byrne filling in for Perez), the Avengers can't handle a couple of low-level villains and Cap is super pissed about it...

He plans on having a meeting to complain about Iron Man...

But the meeting is interrupted when the Avengers are then attacked by Count Nefaria, who has been pumped up to basically Superman levels. He attacks Avengers Mansion and tears a hole into it. During this time Henry Peter Gyrich shows up and uses this opportunity to breach the Avengers' defenses...

Iron Man missed the start of the battle because he was off doing his own thing in his regular series....

When he rescues the rest of the team, they all give him guff over not being there when they needed him...

They pick up the fight again and things are going poorly when Thor suddenly shows up to help out...

In the next issue, Scarlet Witch complains about Thor just showing up whenever he feels like it...

The Vision ends up saving the day by flying high in the atmosphere and then turning into his diamond state and plummeting down to Earth right on top of Nefaria...

The Avengers then all yell at each other about how the Vision basically all bailed them out of this jam...

Perez is back in the next issue when the Avengers are awakened by an emergency. Cap takes the time to throw in a shot at Beast...

There is an emergency in outer space and the Avengers have to get out there and Cap yells at Iron Man for being late...

Once on the spaceship, Cap just takes over as the leader...

Iron Man doesn't seem happy about it...

That's where things stood for the next issue...

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2019 Top Marvel Characters 40-36

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