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Appearing in "Back to the Stone Age!"

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Synopsis for "Back to the Stone Age!"

The story continues from last issue.

Iron-Man and Daredevil have been transformed into stone statues by the Grey Gargoyle. The Avengers battle the villain but he defeats them and leaves.

At Avengers Mansion, Jarvis is dismayed to see Redwing (the Falcon’s pet) at a window, anxiously pecking to get out. Jarvis opens the window and the bird bolts off like a rocket.

Back at the site of the battle, the Avengers rouse one by one. They discover that Iron-Man hasn’t actually been transformed into stone, just his armor, although he’s imprisoned within it now. Iron-Man (who’s battled the Gargoyle before) is aware that the transformation only lasts an hour. He informs the team that he saw Falcon take off in pursuit of the Gargoyle and suggests they search for him.

The Falcon pursues the Gargoyle across Manhattan rooftops back to his former penthouse apartment, which is now occupied by a woman named Margo Neil after he was believed to have abandoned it. Intending to augment his powers, he opens up a secret compartment - only to discover that Margo has thrown away his formulas and now uses it as a liquor cabinet. Enraged, he is about to attack her when the Falcon intervenes.

The Falcon isn’t a match for the Gargoyle’s strength. Redwing arrives and his master tells him to find the Avengers but the Gargoyle turns him to stone before he can fly away. The Falcon continues battling the Gargoyle, hoping to cause enough of a ruckus to attract the team’s notice. The Avengers then show up in time and the Scarlet Witch uses her hex power to turn the Gargoyle back into flesh and blood. Margo, who’s been crouching in the corner, is dismayed to see her home has been trashed.

Returning to the court (after Iron-Man and Daredevil have reverted to normal), the Senate committee rules in favor of the Avengers, citing that this recent encounter has reminded them that the Avengers can combat menaces ordinary law enforcement cannot. A visibly disgruntled Gyrich is forced to greatly loosen his restrictions on the Avengers. Gyrich snidely asks Iron-Man if the team will once again expand their roster, but Iron-Man admits that they likely would have trimmed their active membership down to what it is now anyway.

Unfortunately, the good news for the Avengers is bad news for the Vision. With Gyrich’s strictures loosened, the Scarlet Witch is now free to take her previously requested leave of absence.

Appearing in "The Icemaster Cometh"

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Synopsis for "The Icemaster Cometh"

Icemaster has frozen New York in an attempt to create a new ice age. The Human Torch shows up to stop him but is no mach for Icemaster's powers. Thinking quickly, Torch throws some Hostess Fruit Pies at Icemaster. The real fruit filling warms Icemaster up, causing the city to thaw.

Notes

  • Ms. Marvel makes a rare mention of her "seventh sense flashes", an ability that figured prominently in her solo series (which had been discontinued by this time) but was rarely mentioned afterwards. When Rogue later absorbs her superpowers, she never is shown to use it.
  • This issue resolves the ongoing plotline of Gyrich's intrusive, dictatorial demands on the team. Gyrich will continue to act as the team's NSC liaison but he will fade into the background... at least in this series. He will gradually migrate over to the title the Uncanny X-Men, where he will oversee the development of anti-mutant initiatives for the U.S. government.
  • It has to be noted that, whether intended or not, there is a vaguely rascist subtext to the Falcon's experiences as an Avenger. The Avengers were forced to accept the Falcon as a member in place of Hawkeye to fulfill a quota, one that doesn't actually exist in real life. Ever since then, the Falcon has been consistently shown to be in over his head and unable to keep up with the rest of the team. By contrast, Hawkeye was given a spotlight issue in #189 in which he is shown more than capable of fighting villains of the Avengers class. In reading issues #181 - 190 together, the inference is that the U.S. government forced the Avengers to fire a competent experienced caucasian team member (Hawkeye) in order to give a job to a less capable African-American hero (the Falcon).

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Trivia

  • The character Margo Neil is a jokey meta reference to the then-current "Superman: the Movie" blockbuster. Ms. Neil is drawn to resemble actress Margo Kidder who portrayed Lois Lane in the film. A famous scene from the film depicts Superman visiting Lois at her penthouse apartment, which is very similar to the one depicted here. Also, Margo Neil's name combines the names of the two most famous actresses (at that time) to have portrayed Lois Lane: Margo Kidder and Noelle Neil.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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