Tuesday, August 23, 2016
So, we mentioned the Forgotten One, Gilgamesh, last week; why not check out his Avengers Spotlight story?...I can't think of a reason why not, and I'm really trying. From 1990, Avengers Spotlight #35, "Call Me Whatshisname" Written by Danny Fingeroth, pencils by Jim Valentino, inks by Jeff Albrecht.
I may have read this back in 1990, but offhand I thought this issue was part of that "Avengers Reborn" thing this title was doing, that gave us Black Knight, Tigra, and Dr. Druid stories: it's not. Maybe it was supposed to be, but it may have been used as a fill-in for whatever reason; a caption on the splash page notes the book's usual headliner, Hawkeye, would not be seen that month.
Instead, we get the return of Gilgamesh...which I'm not at all positive anyone was jumping up and down for. He had recovered from the beatdown that took him out of the Avengers (the group and the comic!) but was still rather grumpy, and the puckish Sprite had taken it upon himself to both cheer up his Eternal brethren and work on his name recognition. The latter may be the harder sell, since Gil notes no one ever took notice of his deeds before, someone always poached the credit. Sure enough, moments after the start of their visit to Paris, Gilgamesh stops a robbery, and the press fawns all over a nearby actor, mistakenly assuming he stopped the crime. Gil figures his lot in life is to be unsung and unappreciated, unless there was a mighty foe he could prove himself against...like a dragon or something...
Cue dragons, stage left. Riding a dragon and leading a pack of them, B'gon the Sorcerer confronts his ancient foe Gilgamesh...who, amusingly, has never heard of him. B'gon recounts his earlier defeat at the Eternal's hands, and in many stories this would involve time-travel or such; this time I think it's merely mistaken identity. Gilgamesh covered for Hercules for at least one of the god's twelve labors, perhaps it was Herc who defeated B'gon and the sorcerer simply couldn't tell. Anyway, long story short (too late!) Gil defeats B'gon, who disappears with his dragons, and Sprite, disguised as Captain America, gives him a hearty endorsement to the gathered press. Who, the next day, give "Cap" the credit; although Gilgamesh does have to smile: at least his name's out there.
This is a little throwaway story, with far too many coincidences for even this type of one-shot comic, but Valentino's art still has some charm.