So how can a character from 2018 who supposedly debuted in a 1963 story steal from a 1994 character who supposedly debuted in a 1960 story, with nothing actually being stolen at all? It will all make sense by the end of this article. Hopefully.
Avengers: No Surrender is a current galaxy-spanning adventure that gathers together every current Avengers team – Avengers, Avengers Unity Squad, U.S. Avengers, and Occupy Avengers – plus a few special guests. All the other Avengers books ended for this event with writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and
Jim Zub collaborating on this run.
If you haven’t been reading it, all you have missed is the earth getting stolen, a bunch of characters mysteriously trapped in stasis, and the apparent death of a major Marvel character. Or, as the Avengers call it, “Tuesday.”
It all started a few weeks ago in Avengers #675 (January 2018) and will continue weekly through Avengers #690 (April 2018), so there is still plenty of time for you to catch up and get on board. This article focuses on the second chapter, in Avengers #676 (January 2018), which features this clever cover that looks like a comic collector holding a copy of Avengers #1 (September 1963).
However, there is something different about that cover…who is the woman in yellow on the left? Who is Voyager?
She is, of course, the lost founding Avenger.
No, you didn’t miss something, she is being ret-conned into existence. The story reveals that Voyager was there when the team was founded but was thought to be dead.
Here is where you 1990s Justice League fans might be saying, “Hey! That sounds familiar.” You would be right. The character Triumph appeared out of nowhere in Justice League America #92 (September 1994) saying that he was the one that originally brought the JLA together but that he was removed from the time stream (and everyone’s memory) when he sacrificed himself in their first battle.
So, Voyager’s sudden 2018 appearance from 1963 is a total rip-off of Triumph’s 1994 retroactive debut via 1960, right?
Well, over the first few pages of Voyager’s “return” the other Avengers start flashing back to their early missions, remembering Voyager being part of them. Eventually, it comes to the classic Grandmaster-Kang contest in Avengers #70 (November 1969) where writer Roy Thomas and artist Sal Buscema
introduced the Squadron Sinister. They are a team of supervillains that are obvious analogs of the Justice League: Hyperion is a stand-in for Superman, Nighthawk for Batman, Dr. Spectrum is Green Lantern, and Whizzer is a substitute for Flash.
Since Voyager is getting added to all these flashbacks, she has to be in this fight too. So who is her opponent? A new character named Victory, the Electromagnetic Man. As you can see, he is obviously Triumph’s mirror image!
A very meta call-back. It went from “total rip-off” to “clever rip-off” in just one panel.
Now, here’s where I convince you that it isn’t a rip-off at all. Who wrote both Triumph’s first appearance and Voyager’s first appearance? Mark Waid. You cannot steal from yourself, can you?
So that is how a character from 2018 who supposedly debuted in a 1963 story can steal from a 1994 character who supposedly debuted in a 1960 story, with nothing actually being stolen at all.
by Rob Otto