Appearing in "Prelude of the War-Devil!"
- Dr. Earl Cowan (First appearance)
- Taskmaster (Tony Masters) (Referenced)
- Daily Bugle (Mentioned)
- Red Ronin
- Mr. Karnowski
- Mega-Monsters (Referenced)
- Pietro Maximoff (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- Numerous unnamed New Yorkers
- Melissa Zimmerman (First appearance)
- Candy Brown (First appearance)
- Chauncey Brown (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- United States
- Ant-Man's Suit and Helmet
- Yellowjacket's Suit
- Iron Man Armor Model 4
- Captain America's Uniform and Shield
- Wasp's Suit
- Ms. Marvel's Suit
- Avengers' Quinjet (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Prelude of the War-Devil!"
The Avengers, accompanied by Yellowjacket and Ant-Man, have returned to the mansion following their encounter with the Taskmaster and get stuck in the mansion’s elevator. Iron-Man and Ant-Man quickly remedy the situation and Jarvis is prepared down below with some refreshments after their mission.
The Beast offhandedly remarks how Ms. Marvel had left to tend to personal matters and then reminds Wonder Man that he agreed to go on a double date with him, Beast’s latest girlfriend Melissa and her friend Candy. Although McCoy assures him he will have a good time, Simon is apprehensive.
On a Long Island beach, the Scarlet Witch is taking a solitary walk when she’s surprised by Ms. Marvel. The latter heroine chides Wanda for thinking of giving up her Avengers' duties for motherhood. Wanda explains that while she still desires to be a mother someday, it is not a priority and she’s made up her mind to rejoin the Avengers. Ms. Marvel is thrilled to hear this, but then suddenly keels over in a faint.
Captain America and Iron-Man formally ask an overjoyed Jocasta to become an Avenger.
Meanwhile, at Stark Enterprises tech labs, Dr. Earl Cowan and his supervisor inspect the newly restored Red Ronin automation (a giant, pilotable robot built to combat fire-breathing dragons). Cowan was instrumental in restoring the robot to working order. His supervisor remarks that after all the time and effort he put into rebuilding Red Ronin, it will be hard for Cowan to turn the project over to SHIELD. But Cowan bluntly states he has no intention of turning Red Ronin over to anyone and knocks out his supervisor.
Just prior to a debriefing meeting (concerning the new information they’ve learned about the Taskmaster’s operations), Iron-Man asks Captain America to officially take over as team leader full-time, to which he agrees.
After the meeting, Ant-Man says goodbye to the Pyms, who then enjoy some intimacy during the downtime. Elsewhere, Wonder Man is initially smitten by his blind date, Candy, but decidedly less enthused about her bratty son whom she brought with her on the date.
After a blow to the back of his head, Cowan’s supervisor regains consciousness just in time to see Cowan abscond with Red Ronin.
In Long Island, Wanda pays a visit to Ms. Marvel who has been admitted to the hospital. Ms. Marvel is devastated to learn she is three months pregnant!
- No names are given for the inkers. Only "Jack's Little Helpers." Actual credits found at the link below.
- Continuity error: Issue #s 194 to 196 relate a single story that takes place all within one day. This issue begins immediately after the events of those issues (indicated in narration captions and by having Ant-Man accompany the team back to the mansion). But while all three of those issues were set in the middle of winter during a heavy snowfall, this issue (set no more than the next morning after) seems to take place in late spring judging by the outdoor scenes. There is no snow whatsoever on the ground.
- This issue marks the beginning of the infamous "rape of Ms. Marvel" storyline that culminates in #200's story "And the Child Is Father to..." It will be revealed in that issue that Marcus Immortus abducted Ms. Marvel to Limbo while she was en route to visiting Wanda here. No explanation is given as to why Ms. Marvel so abruptly felt the need to drop in on Wanda and chide her for having maternal thoughts. However, it is possible that Marcus Immortus was already mentally manipulating her from afar to separate her from the team.
- Red Ronin originated in the pages of Marvel's late 1970s Godzilla series, which was a part of the shared Marvel universe at the time. However, Godzilla was only a licensed character and when his series ended and the license expired, all mentions of Godzilla (except as a generic pop culture reference) had to be removed. Red Ronin, however, was an original creation of Marvel Comics and thus could be used here... though references to Godzilla had to be downplayed.
- Although Ant-Man departs this issue, Yellowjacket remains on the team until issue #201.
- The Scarlet Witch gives her name as Wanda Frank at the hospital. "Frank" was the surname of the superhero the Whizzer, whom Wanda mistakenly believed was her father for some time. (Future issues will depict her, as well as her brother Pietro, using "Maximoff" - from Django Maximoff - as her surname.
- This issue has an advertisement for Hostess Fruit Pies featuring The Thing Vs. an animated apartment block.