Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Secret Of The Crimson Cowl!

"The Crimson Cowl!" That name reverberates in my memory as it was the nom de guerre of one of Mavel's most significant and visceral arch villains. We encounter the Crimson Cowl for the first time in the pages of The Avengers #54 when he meets with Jarvis, the seemingly disloyal butler of the Assemblers. Hidden within dramatic flowing robes, the Crimson Cowl is a figure of mystery and  cruel authority.

At the time he is the leader of a gang of Avengers foes reorganized to seek vengeance against their old foes. Klaw, Whirlwind, Melter, Radioactive Man, and even the Black Knight form the ranks of these "New Masters of Evil".

With such a group of craven but ambitious criminals, the Crimson Cowl is forced to show his strength in the face of attempted revolts within the ranks, as we can see in this encounter with Klaw.

It is seemingly revealed in the Cowl's debut appearance that he is in fact Jarvis himself, using a mere robot to fool the Masters of Evil themselves (and the reader) into thinking their leader was someone else.

But that ruse within a ruse is uncovered in the very next issue when we discover to our dismay that Jarvis was merely a pawn of the real Crimson Cowl, who finally reveals himself to be in reality the robot itself, a robot who calls himself "Ultron-5 The Living Automaton".

Ponder these pages to see that momentous revelation in all its dramatic glory. The Masters of Evil are defeated and the plan of Ultron fails. But soon we learn more.

Ultron-5 is not done with the Avengers. In fact we learn that he was in fact created by one Henry Pym himself, one of the founding members of the Avengers.

Ultron-5 in an act similar to Pym's creates his own artificial life form, dubbing it The Vision and sending it on a mission to infiltrate and destroy the Avengers themselves. Of course that scheme fails.

Even Ultron-5's seeming destruction cannot end his threat.

For soon he returns under the new name of "Ultron-6".

And not contented with that continues to upgrade himself into the "Ultimate Ultron". Ultron is of course defeated by the Avengers, but seems always to return to menace them and the world itself, carrying on the legacy of the mysterious "Crimson Cowl".

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1 comment:

  1. The Crimson Cowl story was the story that introduced me to the Avengers, and began an obsession that has lasted decades. There's something deeply weird about seeing it become the basis of a film all these years later, know what I mean?


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