Appearing in "The Redoubtable Return of Crusher Creel!"
- Henry Gyrich's Assistants
- Bernie Tibbs (First appearance)
- Carlos (First appearance)
- Django Maximoff
- Sandy Herkowitz (First appearance)
- Tom Chaffey (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- New Jersey
- Hoboken (First appearance)
- New York City
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Hawkeye's Bow
- Iron Man Armor MK V
- Falcon's Wings
- Absorbing Man's Ball and Chain
Synopsis for "The Redoubtable Return of Crusher Creel!"
Ms. Marvel is being officially inducted into the team to replace the Scarlet Witch while she’s away. There are a few hurdles, however, as the heroine objects to being fingerprinted by Agent Gyrich’s team as part of the new security measures. (In her civilian identity as Carol Danvers, her prints are already on file due to her former job at NASA. She is concerned about these files could be cross-referenced and therefore expose her true name.) Tony Stark is present and suggests that Gyrich use retinal scans to ID the team members instead of fingerprints. Reluctantly, Gyrich agrees to this.
A short while later in his private quarters, Stark happens to look out the window and see the garbage truck out front is having difficulties. The truck’s lifter can’t haul the amount of waste (mostly from Stark’s tech labs) being tossed out. Suiting up as Iron-Man, he comes to the workers’ aid by emptying the waste bin into the truck himself.
After completing its route, the garbage truck heads to a dump in New Jersey to unload. After the maintenance men have departed, a strange occurrence takes place: splintered shards of glass flying towards each other and combining into form the body of Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man!
Elsewhere, Steve Rogers (Captain America) pays Sam Wilson (Falcon) a visit to invite him to join the Avengers. Sam is reluctant to join up and more than a little resentful of the reason he’s being asked to join. He derisively suggests to Steve that he ought to change his superhero name to “the Token.” In the end, though, Sam can’t refuse his good friend down.
In Hoboken, Creel breaks into a clothing store after hours when only one employee, the hapless Sandy Herkowitz, is still there. Creel steals clothes to wear and breaks open the floor vault to produce some cash. He mutters to Sandy that it’s just enough money to swing passage for two on a South America-bound freighter. Having had enough of combat with superheroes, Creel plans on relocating to some out-of-the-way location where he can take over with ease… and intends to bring Sandy along for the ride “for company”, whether she wants to or not.
The next day, Wanda and Pietro are about to set sail on a steamer along with Django Maximoff. Wanda places a call to the Vision. Then, just as they are boarding the ship, Clint (Hawkeye) shows up to give her a farewell present and see them off. Wanda gives him a friendly hug.
Now in desperate need of gainful employment, Hawkeye stops by a nearby greasy spoon diner for a cup of coffee. By coincidence, Creel, with Sandy in tow, stops in the same diner and literally bumps into Clint, spilling his coffee. Unaware of who he is, a Clint takes a swing at him only to hurt his fist as Creel turns into formica! The local sailors and dock workers realize who Creel is and decide to save Thor some trouble, only to get schooled themselves. Clint phones the Avengers and then quickly changes into costume to take on the bad guy.
The Absorbing Man easily fends off Hawkeye's attacks but he’s kept distracted until the Avengers (Iron-Man, Vision, Beast, Wasp and Ms. Marvel) arrive. With Sandy in tow, Creel runs for the freighter. The Avengers, including Hawkeye, follow but are in for a surprise: Creel has absorbed the full power of the freighter’s turbine engine and emerges from the bowels of the ship as a massively powered behemoth and ready to take on the entire team.
- As Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers officially joins the Avengers in this issue. Her induction also introduces the idea that Avengers Mansion uses retinal prints as ID markers.
- The Absorbing Man last appeared in Incredible Hulk Vol 1 209. In that issue's finale, Creel inadvertantly absorbed the properties of glass and shattering into piece as he fell to Earth. His pieces were apparently scattered around the tri-state area. As his own thoughts reveal, he was able to will his fragmented pieces together but they had to be in a particular proximity to each other for him to do that. It's lucky for him, then, the entire tri-state area of the MCU has one single garbage dump where trash is hauled.
- It never becomes a major plot point, but Michelinie's run of issues here strongly implies that Hawkeye is still nursing a crush on Wanda, even though she's married to the Vision.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for info.
- Kurt Busiek and Jon Halcovage had their letters published in this issue.
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