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Quote1 "Tis of little import how long one lives -- how well is what really matters, Especially with mortals with lives as fleeting as a wink in the eye of a god! Quote2
-- Hercules

Appearing in "Threshold of Oblivion!"

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Synopsis for "Threshold of Oblivion!"

Iron Man briefs Captain Marvel, the Black Panther and Whizzer (wearing his civilian clothes) about the recent mystery about the disappearing Avengers.

At Kennedy airport, the Black Widow and Hercules have taken a commercial flight from L.A. Natasha is anxious to get to Avengers Mansion, but has to drag Hercules away from flirting with a pack of stewardesses. Minutes later, she pleads with a police helicopter pilot to take them straight to the mansion, but since the team's special security clearances have been revoked, he refuses. Incensed, Hercules tosses the 'copter across the airfield, destroying it, before stomping off to get a cab.

Hercules and Natasha eventually arrive at the mansion. They, Captain Marvel and Black Panther all agree to help solve the mystery. The Whizzer however tells Iron-Man that he's decided to retire from superheroics for good. Hercules and Black Widow leave briefly to deal with some lost luggage. While walking down the street, Natasha chides Hercules for his lack of urgency. Hercules, an immortal, admonishes her for not taking time to enjoy life while she still has it...after all, mortals don't live long by his standards. Natasha is slightly rattled to realize to understand his perspective on human life.

Elsewhere, Guardians of the Galaxy are adjusting to 20th century Earth life as they watch over a young Vance Astro, whom they are convinced the mad cyborg Korvac has travelled back in time to assasinate.

the man called Michael asks his wife Carina Walters to give him some privacy. After she leaves him, Carina attempts to contact her father, who is apparently his enemy, but stops herself. In the other room, Michael uses his godlike abilities to ascertain that none of the great universal powers are as yet unaware of his existence, though he also senses that his own mate may be plotting betrayal. Upon confronting her, he realizes that she is in love with him.

Back at the Mansion, Hawkeye attempts to cheer up the Scarlet Witch, but she is too distrought over the disappearances of both her brother and husband. Elsewhere, an old man journeys to America by steamship and carves a figurine of Wanda.

In the mansion kitchen, Wonder Man is having lunch when Thor arrives. Simon invites him to sit down and chat, but Thor acts as if he's never met Wonder Man. Simon tries to remind him of their battles together against Graviton, Ultron and Count Nefaria. Thor does not recall any of them.

More Avengers vanish, until only Iron Man, Hawkeye, the Wasp, and Thor remain. But just before vanishing himself, Yellowjacket suggested contacting Vance Astro of the Guardians of the Galaxy, whose Drydock space station may have better sensors than the mansion. Major Astro is able to trace a radiation trail to a small orbiting craft. Teleporting the foursome there, they come face-to-face with their old foe, the Collector.

Notes

  • The Black Widow and Hercules have flown in together from L.A., apparently following the dissolution of the west coast superhero team, the Champions. (That series had recently been canceled.)
  • The young Vance Astrovik, whom the Guardians of the Galaxy watch over, will actually grow up to become the Avenger Justice (formerly Marvel Boy) during Kurt Busiek's run on The Avengers Vol 3. This causes a possible inconsistency as Vance Astro (about 10 years old in this issue) is clearly in his mid 20s when he becomes an Avenger, meaning that at least a decade has elapsed for him yet none of the Avengers will appear to have aged the same amount of time.
  • The Whizzer officially retires from superheroics in this issue. Soon afterwards, the character will have a prominent role in the series the Invaders (although that series is set in the 1940s) and will die in the first Vision and Scarlet Witch limited series. Interestingly, Django Maximoff, the unnamed man on the steamer who appears in a separate scene, will be revealed as Wanda and Pietro's adoptive father. This issue marks the only time the Whizzer and Django (two men who believed themselves to be the father of the twins) appear in the same issue.
  • Plot by Shooter, script by Michelinie.
  • Inkers for this issue are credited as "D. Hands". Inks (story pages): Marcos pages 1, 6, 19, Mortimer pages 2 and 3, McLeod pages 4, 21, 23, Rubinstein pages 7, 10, 14, Green pages 11 and 20, Bryant pages 13 and 27, Janson pages 28 and 29.
  • Letters (story pages): Saladino (uncredited) page 1, Kawecki pages 2-17.
  • This issue contains a letters page, Avengers Assemble". Letters are published from Wayne Jones, Ken Walsh, and Meredith Ellen Robbins.
  • As seen on page one, this issue is Story # C-803.
  • This issue contains an advert for Hostess Fruit Pies featuring Spider-Man Vs. Home Wrecker.
  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.[1]

Trivia

  • A little kid sees Hercules and gushes "It's Steve Reeves!" This was an actor and body-builder who was famous for playing Hercules (and other mythological characters) in numerous 1950s era movies. These movies were frequently aired on television on Saturday afternoons for years, thus it wouldn't be out of place for a kid in 1978 to recognize Reeves (or a Olympian God who happened to look just like him.)
  • There is a subtle reference to Doctor Who in this issue. The Collector is identified in an orbiting object about the size of a phone booth, with an impossibly large interior, much like the TARDIS used by the Doctor.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. This issue is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's: Avengers: The Korvac Saga #1



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