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Appearing in "Death on the Hudson!"

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Synopsis for "Death on the Hudson!"

Story continued from last issue.

Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, has attempted to flee to South America with an unwilling companion, the hapless store clerk Sandy Herkowitz. The Avengers (with pink-slipped member Hawkeye) have intervened to capture him. But Creel has absorbed the power of a steam engine and is now a goliath.

Ms. Marvel lands a blow on Creel, but he swats her away and she plunges into the harbor water. A concerned Beast dives in after her. Unfortunately, he can’t swim and winds up sinking.

Hawkeye and the Wasp land blows but cause Creel no damage. The Vision, however, grabs hold of Creel’s signature wrecking ball after he’s dropped it and pummels him with it. Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel emerges from the water having rescued the mortified Beast. They fly overhead and see their teammates in pitch combat with Creel.

Back at the mansion, Jarvis is polishing the silver and listening to Gyrich gripe and complain about the Avengers never doing anything on a proper time schedule. Captain America and the Falcon are due to arrive so that the Falcon can be officially inducted onto the team. When they do finally arrive, Falcon affects a “pidgin english” dialect as his way of showing his disdain for Gyrich. Jarvis informs them of the current battle taking place with the Absorbing Man and the two heroes rush off, much to Gyrich’s chagrin. As they depart, Falcon makes a crack about being “the Token” and Cap advises him that no matter how he ended up as an Avenger, it is still a serious business and he ought to treat it as such.

At the dock, Creel is hurled away from the ship by the force of the Vision’s blows. Iron Man pounces on his back and siphons off most of the electrical power running through him. Weaker, but still powerful, Creel tries to get the upper hand but Iron Man tosses him into a nearby warehouse. Ms. Marvel and the Beast follow after Creel while Iron Man soars up into the upper atmosphere to discharge excess energy.

Cap and the Falcon arrive. (Hawkeye is silently disdainful of the Falcon from his very first glimpse.) Rushing into the warehouse, they discover that the Beast has seemingly captured Creel by juggling him (!) But Creel turns the tables by grabbing the Beast, making himself as agile as the mutant hero and throws Beast away from him. Cap tosses his shield at Creel which Beast quickly warns -- just a little too late -- that it is a bad idea. Creel absorbs the properties of Cap’s shield! Unphased, Ms. Marvel springs into action against him.

Meanwhile back at the freighter, the ship’s captain says that despite the damage the Absorbing Man has inflicted, the ship still has to set sail on schedule. Ms. Herkowitz, who has been in hiding, emerges and quickly runs off the boat. While attempting to flee the scene, she happens to be walking past the front of the warehouse when Creel sends Ms. Marvel crashing through it. Noticing Sandy once more, Creel grabs her hand.

Iron Man returns to the battlefield, but is stunned that his blows do nothing against Creel. Instead, the villain crushes the golden Avenger’s chestplate armor like tinfoil.

Grabbing up Sandy in his arms, Creel makes a dash for the dock once more only to find that the freighter has set sail. Now cornered on the dock, Creel bellows at the Avengers, demanding to know why couldn’t they have left him alone. The Vision flatly states that Creel’s actions in his flight (such as kidnapping Sandy) have only proved him to be a bully and a menace, and allowing him to escape would simply be “passing our problems on to someone else.”

Expecting a final battle royale, Creel shoves Sandy aside and tells her to take shelter as he doesn’t want her to get hurt. Sandy is surprised at his action. He then lunges at the Vision, boasting that he can become anything he can touch. While their hands are clasped together, the Vision becomes intangible...and so does Creel! The villain however has never been trained to move about in such a state and so, when the Vision releases his grip, Creel simply plunges through the dock into the waters below.

Having had enough of fighting, Creel makes a desperate but futile attempt to swim after the freighter and catch up to it. Realizing he can’t do it -- and with the Vision, Ms. Marvel and the Falcon in close pursuit -- Creel absorbs the properties of the water and discorporates into the ocean around him. Ms. Marvel is shocked at the action, but the Vision suggests that even someone like Crusher Creel can have a sense of dignity.

Back at the dock, Iron-Man checks on Sandy to see if she’s all right. Although physically unharmed, she is rattled by the fight and can’t help thinking that Creel could have used her as a hostage in an effort to escape. Instead he shoved her aside and expressed concern for her safety. She wonders if the Absorbing Man was all that bad and if there may have been some good inside of him after all.

Notes

  • Inks credited to D. Hands (story pages): Rubinstein? page 4, Austin pages 9 and 13, Gordon? page 10, Janson? page 14.
  • Letters (story pages): Saladino (uncredited) page 1, Albers pages 2-17.
  • Contradiction: When attempting to rescue Ms. Marvel, it's implied that the Beast is not a very good swimmer. This is in direct contradiction to the storyline from issue #s 155-156, in which the Beast is able to board Attuma's submerged Atlantean vessel by swimming after it. Also, at the end of the story, the Beast attempts to lift Creel's wrecking ball but it is too heavy for him. Yet in issue #170, the Beast was shown easily lifting a 2000 lb curling bar with one hand.
  • In what can't possibly be a coincidence, the Beast employs almost the exact same manuever on the Absorbing Man that the X-Man Nightcrawler uses on Sebastian Shaw in X-Men Vol 1 134. Creel even manages to turn the tables on the Beast the very same way that Shaw does to Nightcrawler in that series.
  • Featuring some great dialogue by Falcon making fun of Gyrich's forcing him to be on the Avengers to fill a quota: "Yassuh, I sho' be glad t'do that li'l thing." and "Sorry "massuh", but when Cap gets a bee in his bonnet there "jus' ain't no stoppin' that chil'. Nossuh!" The humor is lost on Gyrich.
  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for info.[1]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPBs:



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