Marvel Database
Advertisement
Marvel Database

Appearing in "The Final Threat"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers Annual #7

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Final Threat"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers Annual #7

Captain Marvel and Moondragon arrive at Avengers Mansion, closely followed by Adam Warlock, who reveals that Thanos has returned, gathered the energies of the six Soul Gems in a giant synthetic jewel, and plans to snuff out the stars themselves. The heroes rocket into space to stop Thanos' approaching armada. As they combat a horde of alien foes, Warlock finds his companion, Pip the Troll. The troll is alive, however, his mind has been destroyed by Thanos, and Warlock absorbs his spirit into his Soul Gem, just as he had earlier done with the dying Gamora.

Warlock and Captain Marvel then locate Thanos and the Captain is knocked unconscious as he smashes the villain's energy-projector. Warlock and Thanos clash, and the golden-skinned hero falls. Thor arrives to engage Thanos, while Iron Man destroys the villain's artificial soul gem. Foiled, the Titan vanishes. Nearby, an astonished Captain Marvel watches as a second Warlock appears from the past and absorbs the spirit of his dying present self. Warlock awakens to find himself reunited with his friends in a world of peace and happiness within the Soul Gem itself.

Appearing in "Death Watch!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Death Watch!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2

This story continues from Avengers Annual #7

Plagued by dreams, sent as a telepathic call for aid from Moondragon, that showed him the battle between Thanos, Captain Marvel, and the Avengers over the fate of the galaxy, Spider-Man seeks out the Thing for help. The two heroes decide to check out those dreams by taking a shuttle craft out into space.

There, they find Thanos' giant space ark and are pulled into it by a tractor beam. Once aboard, they are attacked by the hordes of Thanos but manage to hold their own until Thanos has the artificial gravity cut off, giving his thralls an advantage which quickly leads to the defeat and capture of the two heroes. Meanwhile, deep within the Soul Gem, Adam Warlock's soul meets with Gamora and Pip.

Back in the real world, Spider-Man and the Thing regain consciousness and find that they have been brought to the room where the Avengers and Captain Marvel are being held in stasis. When the Thing attacks Thanos and is immediately knocked out again, Spider-Man briefly panics and flees but, as foreseen by Master Order, his strong heart wins out and he returns to free the Avengers, leading to an all out assault on Thanos.

Overpowered, the heroes prove unable to defeat Thanos until Spider-Man, guided by his spider-sense, manages to free the Soul Gem, enabling the soul of Adam Warlock to appear from it and turn Thanos into stone. After rejoicing over their victory, the heroes have a funeral and bury Adam Warlock and his two friends on an asteroid in space. While Adam's soul finds peace within the Soul Gem, Thanos finds himself trapped within the petrified form of his own corruption.

Appearing in "To Fall by Treachery!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #164

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "To Fall by Treachery!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #164

Wonder Man is the focus of attention at the start of this story, as the Avengers consult with Tony Stark (whom, of course, they are unaware is their leader Iron-Man) and a Stark technician named Alice to investigate his new ionic energy form. Alice states that Simon didn’t die as everyone believed (in issue #9) but went into a dormant state of metamorphosis, like a caterpillar in its chrysalis before emerging as a butterfly.

Throughout the examination, the Beast tries to speak up but is repeatedly cut off by the rest of the group. Feeling ignored, he quietly departs. In a bout of self-pity, he stalks off in a trenchcoat and fedora, concerned about the reactions he’ll get from the general public. Confirming his fears, a hot dog vendor he approaches runs away in horror at the sight of him. But then, to his surprise, he is mobbed by women who gush over him as if he were one of the Beatles!

As he basks in his newfound sex symbol status, the Beast fails to notice a sinister figure drive past him in a Rolls Royce. This person drives to a harbor warehouse where he finds a worker lifting massive crafts with his bare hands. The figure identifies the worker as the supervillain Power Man, who insists he’s left his villainous life behind him. His mystery visitor, now revealed to be Count Nefaria, makes him an offer that he doesn’t refuse. Nefaria states that his first assignment will be to break two particular men out of prison.

Several days later, Bob Frank (a.k.a. The Whizzer) is reading about the prison break by a pair of supervillains and suspects this might lead to the Avengers' involvement. He has the television on and sees a live update about a bank robbery in process nearby, prompting him to try and spring into action as the Whizzer. However, his “daughter” Wanda (the Scarlet Witch) drops by at that moment and reminds him of his heart condition. She insists he takes it easy while she takes care of the bank heist.

The heist is being pulled off by Power Man along with the Living Laser and Whirlwind. Before Wanda arrives, several other Avengers make it to the scene. There is a brief scuffle in which the Avengers are briefly overpowered by the three villains who seem to have had their abilities amped up and manage to escape.

In an uptown townhouse, one equipped with a high-tech lab in its sub-basement, Count Nefaria convenes with a small group of scientists in his employ. This group includes Prof. Sturdy, the former Nazi scientist who devised the enhancing ray that gave Wonder Man AND Power Man their superhuman strength. They've been working on a mysterious Project N for the Count, and it involves the three villains, who don’t realize they’re being used. Over a video linkup, Nefaria dispatches the villains on a new assignment.

The next day, the Avengers are holding a meeting although their chairman Iron-Man is absent. Captain America is on the verge of making a motion to replace him in absentia when a car is suddenly thrown through the second-story windows, injuring the Wasp in the process.

Appearing in "Hammer of Vengeance!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #165

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "Hammer of Vengeance!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #165

Count Nefaria, once a non-powered villain who employed supervillains to do his dirty work, bats Captain America and the Black Panther away with incredible strength. The Beast leaps toward him and is likewise swatted away with amazing speed. The Scarlet Witch then propels a slab of concrete at him with her hex. He renders it into molten slag with laser vision. Nefaria has the combined abilities of his most recent lackeys - Power Man, Whirlwind and the Living Laser - only magnified a thousand-fold!

Yellowjacket takes a crack at him but is nearly crushed in the palm of his hand. Wonder Man leaps into the fray and does slightly better… for just a moment. And then Nefaria punches him hard enough to launch him through the walls of the mansion like a rocket! Jarvis narrowly misses being pummeled by him.

While Wonder Man returns to the battle, Jarvis goes to check on the Vision, who is still incapacitated from Ultron’s attack (back in issue #161) and being kept in a regenerative tank.

Outside, Count Nefaria discovers he is not quite entirely unstoppable. When Captain America and the Beast hurl Cap’s shield at the villain, he snatches it out of the air, intent on crumpling it like tinfoil. He’s surprised when even his newfound strength can’t even dent it. Annoyed, he tosses it at the Black Panther and then uproots a nearby townhouse and topples it on top of them. Satisfied that he’s killed them all, Nefaria departs the scene.

Meanwhile, riot police have several blocks around the mansion cordoned off. But a certain red-haired “man in black” breezes past the barricades. When an officer attempts to stop him, he flashes a badge which the cop is immediately deferential to. The red-haired man strolls into the battle scene toward the mansion.

Nefaria strolls into a nearby bank and rips open the vault, sneering that his newfound powers make money useless to him -- what can take whatever he wants, so why bother with money? To demonstrate his point, he randomly grabs an attractive woman and carries her away against her will.

The Whizzer challenges him and distracts Nefaria long enough to allow the woman to escape. The Count taunts the Whizzer, mocking him for his age until the Whizzer points out that Nefaria himself is well past his prime and doesn’t have too many years to enjoy his newfound superpowers. This instills Nefaria with a new purpose: he wants to become immortal!

And at Nefaria’s townhouse (seen the last issue), Prof. Sturdy drags himself out of the wreckage of the lab, apparently, the only survivor after Nefaria trashed it.

Iron-Man returns to the mansion after having been distracted by events in his own series. Expecting to find the corpses of the Avengers, he instead discovers that they managed to survive thanks to Wonder Man who held the debris off them. After regrouping, Iron-Man suggests the team step down and let him take on Nefaria alone. They are unanimously incensed by this suggestion and demand Iron-Man lead them or step down.

The argument is halted by Nefaria’s sudden return. He wants Thor, from whom he is convinced he can extract the secret of immortality. Iron-Man leaps into action, irking his teammates whom he orders to hang back. He doesn’t succeed against Nefaria, but neither does the rest of the team when they attack.

Towards the end of their second battle, the Avengers are once again losing badly. Yellowjacket flies away into the mansion, surprising his teammates who believe he’s fleeing.

Count Nefaria has defeated the team but is stopped from killing them by a cascade of lightning bolts. Thor has suddenly appeared on the scene and is ready to take him on!

This story is continued in the next issue.

Appearing in "Day of the Godslayer!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #166

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Rolls Royce

Synopsis for "Day of the Godslayer!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #166

Count Nefaria is taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of Thor. The villain’s tremendous arrogance is put to the test when he faces the thunder god hand-to-hand, realizing that he’s far more powerful an opponent than any of the other Avengers. But he stands his ground and even manages to put up a tough fight. Nefaria is intent on wresting control of Mjolnir from Thor, convinced that it is the source of his immortality.

Inside the mansion, the Beast chastises Yellowjacket for running away from a fight, until Pym explains that he’s fighting the best way he knows how -- as a scientist. Pym at last awakens the dormant Vision from his slumber. The Beast mentally notes that Vision appears to act more robotically, less human than before. Nevertheless,the synthezoid Avenger immediately departs the lab to join the fight against Nefaria.

The Vision confronts Nefaria while Thor is stunned. He attempts to attack in his usual method by inserting his intangible hand into Nefaria’s chest and semi-solidifying, thereby causing intense pain. But for the first time ever, the Vision cannot “phase” through Nefaria’s body as it is too super-charged with energy! Realizing the reverse must be true, Nefaria slugs the intangible Vision, sending him reeling!

Unknown to any of the combatants, the red-haired “Man in Black” from last issue secretly takes pictures of the fight and waits for a chance to sneak into the mansion (via any of the huge holes ripped into its exterior walls during this battle.)

Inside, the Wasp recovers from her injuries (sustained in #164). Jarvis pleads with her to stay out of the fight, but she won’t hear of it.

Meanwhile, Nefaria’s Rolls Royce plows through police barricades and crashes by the battle site. The driver is Prof. Sturdy, looking battered and bruised. (A flashback recounts how Sturdy stole the abilities of Power Man, Living Laser and Whirlwind to empower Nefaria, but that Nefaria then betrayed him by killing all his colleagues and attempting to kill Sturdy himself.) Sturdy claims that without his treatments, Nefaria will age rapidly, dying of old age in just a few days. However, Sturdy keels over after uttering this threat.

Horrified, Nefaria goes berserk! He flies off to destroy the city and wreak as much havoc as he can before his death.

Meanwhile, the Wasp revives the injured team members. She rouses the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man, but Captain America is too injured to go into battle. He gives Wonder Man to use his shield. They join the battle, as does Iron-Man separately. Together, the team begins wearing the villain down. But the Vision finishes him off by flying several miles up in the air and dropping on top of Nefaria while altering his density to its most massive state. (In Vermont, a seismic station detects the Vision’s blow and mistakes it for an atom bomb dropping on the city!)

Nefaria is defeated, but the Avengers don’t take time to breath. Instead, they begin sniping at each other: Scarlet Witch and Iron-Man take Thor to task for what they see as his diva-like last-minute appearances. Captain America blames their struggle with Nefaria on Iron-Man for his weak leadership. Yellowjacket intervenes in the fight to relate some ironic information: Pym managed to talk to Sturdy briefly before he died. He not only told him how to reverse the process that empowered Nefaria, he also confesses that empowering him actually granted Nefaria immortality!

In an epilogue, an old man in Vladivostok is about to board a steamer ship bound for America. He carries with him a locket that holds pictures of siblings Wanda (the Scarlet Witch) and Pietro (Quicksilver), whom he seems to think are his children.

Appearing in "Spectrums of Deceit"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers Annual #8

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Mike
  • Unnamed construction workers
  • Wong
  • Clea
  • God (Invoked)
  • Bob Farmer (Only in flashback)

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Spectrums of Deceit"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers Annual #8

Yellowjacket reassembles Dr. Spectrum's Power Prism to serve as the Wasp's birthday gift, but the moment she touches it, she is possessed by the alien intelligence within the jewel. As the latest incarnation of Dr. Spectrum, Jan swiftly overcomes fellow Avengers Quicksilver, Wonder Man, and Iron Man, but Hank alerts their remaining teammates, and "Dr. Spectrum" is soon battling the full roster. The Vision defeats "Spectrum," but the Power Prism has grafted itself to Jan's nervous system and, to remove it, the Avengers must seek out the former Squadron Sinister members rendered amnesiac by Dr. Strange after their most recent defeat. While some encounter Hyperion and the Femizon called Thundra in a health spa, others battle the Whizzer at a pharmaceutical processing plant, and the Beast returns with evangelist Billy Roberts, the former Dr. Spectrum, only to have the preacher become the Power Prism's new host. When Thor joins the fight, however, the gem leaves Roberts and possesses the Thunder God. Thor defeats his teammates, but Iron Man tricks him into fighting without his hammer for sixty seconds, thus transforming back into Don Blake, whereupon the prism's influence vanishes.

Appearing in "Tomorrow Dies Today!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #167

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Tomorrow Dies Today!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #167

The Avengers are alerted by S.H.I.E.L.D. when a gigantic space station materializes in Earth-orbit, but soon discover that its occupants are the heroic Guardians of the Galaxy, whom both Thor and Captain America have already met. The Guardians have time-traveled from the 31st century in pursuit of the cyborg Korvac, who plans to alter history by killing Vance Astro during his 20th-century boyhood.

Back on Earth, meanwhile, Janet Pym is hosting the first show of her fashion designs when the Porcupine and his men attempt a robbery, only to be defeated by the Wasp, Yellowjacket, and Nighthawk, who had been in attendance as Kyle Richmond. In the confusion, however, Carina Walters, one of the fashion models, is approached by a mysterious man from the audience, and both instantaneously vanish.

Appearing in "First Blood"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #168

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "First Blood"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #168

The Avengers discover their headquarters have been invaded by Henry Peter Gyrich, the special agent of the National Security Council in charge of determining the status of their government-granted special privileges, and he is greatly displeased that he was able to breach the mansion's defenses so easily.

Then, while the Avengers and the other Guardians confer, Starhawk, in his alternate female form as Aleta, discovers their quarry Korvac, living quietly in a residential neighborhood. Michael, as he now calls himself, and his wife Carina are the same couple who earlier vanished from Janet Pym's fashion show. Battling Starhawk on both the physical and psychic planes, Michael utterly destroys his foe, then recreates him with no memory of their encounter and no longer able to perceive his presence.

Appearing in "If We Should Fail -- The World Dies Tonight"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #169

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "If We Should Fail -- The World Dies Tonight"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #169

Jason Beere, an industrialist competitor of Tony Stark wearing an armored costume, invades Avengers Mansion and challenges Iron Man, Captain America, and the Black Panther. Quickly defeated, Beere proves to be dying and has planted four bombs set to explode when his heart stops beating, thus ending all life on Earth with his own death.

Captain America secures the first bomb from a Peruvian temple, the Black Panther defeats a polar bear in the Arctic to retrieve the second, and Iron Man invades Moscow to locate the third. The final device, however, is attached to Beere's heart and cannot be safely removed, so Beere is placed in cryogenic suspension to keep both himself and the world alive.

Appearing in "...Though Hell Should Bar the Way!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #170

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "...Though Hell Should Bar the Way!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #170

A new menace threatens, causing heroes associated with the Avengers, such as the Two-Gun Kid and Quicksilver, to vanish into thin air. At the same time, back in New York, Thor continues to appear and disappear from the heroes' ranks sporadically and inexplicably. Then, as Ultron's female robot creation is being moved into the mansion for study, she comes to life and battles most of the Avengers to a standstill. When Iron Man and Captain America arrive on the scene, however, they order the others to allow her to escape, hoping she will lead them to Ultron himself.

Appearing in "...Where Angels Fear to Tread"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #171

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Stark Shuttle (First appearance)

Synopsis for "...Where Angels Fear to Tread"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #171

The Avengers are tracking Ultron's bride-to-be through the streets of New York after they allowed her to escape Avengers Mansion. They are joined by Ms. Marvel before tracking the robot to a convent, which Beast convinces Sister Eucalypta to allow them to enter (spoken in Latin!). Quickly, however, the nun and the Scarlet Witch disappear!

The Avengers discover Ultron and begin the battle. Ms. Marvel takes off to find Wanda, who is currently trapped in a treacherous maze of mirrors but instead gets attacked by Sister Eucalypta. She quickly defeats the nun, who is actually a robot.

Ultron traps the Avengers in a force field but delays their death in order to marry Jocasta, his bride. However, while Jocasta confesses her love, she turns on Ultron. Suddenly, Ms. Marvel returns to the battle with the Scarlet Witch. Her hex power disrupts Ultron's circuitry, and causes the molecular rearranger to malfunction, allowing Thor to siphon off his power and send it hurtling harmlessly into space! The battle ends, but suddenly Jocasta and Captain America mysteriously vanish.

Appearing in "Holocaust in New York Harbor!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #172

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Holocaust in New York Harbor!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #172

Hawkeye returns to Avengers Mansion to discover no one is home! Cautiously entering to look around, he leaves the door open. Agent Henry Gyrich chooses that moment to stop by and becomes infuriated at seeing the front door ajar.

At the convent, the Avengers and Ms. Marvel stand over the fallen body of Ultron. Jocasta and Captain America have disappeared with no explanation. Perplexed, the team returns to the mansion and Ms. Marvel accompanies them. There, they find Hawkeye and discover that he captured an "intruder": Gyrich. Freed by the Vision, Gyrich angrily revokes the team's security clearances and strips them of their special privileges.

Shortly after Gyrich leaves, Crystal calls to tell them that Pietro has vanished![2] Jarvis returns from jogging to relate that their old foe Tyrak is attacking the harbor. Iron Man divides the Avengers into task forces He sees the Vision, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel to the harbor; Wasp and Yellowjacket to the phones to call in any and all former Avengers they can get a hold of; Thor and Beast to be a backup team. He heads to the lab to investigate the disappearances.

Arriving in the harbor, the Avengers find Tyrak assaulting a ship. Wanda and Hawkeye get deposited on a Coast Guard Cutter [3]. The heroes beat Tyrak when Vision uses his solar beams to dehydrate him. But without their priority clearances to request a special prison transport to pick up their defeated foe, they have no choice but to throw him back into the ocean. After a bit of flirting with Wonder Man, Ms. Marvel leaves. The Avengers begin walking home when the Vision suddenly disappears.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Yellowjacket and Wasp have managed to contact Black Panther, Hercules, the Whizzer and Captain Marvel (Wasp notes that Mar-Vell called them). However, the Beast has taken a quinjet![4] while Thor is out in Jamaica Bay fighting the Living Monolith. [5]

The conversation is being monitored by a shadowy figure from a far-away location. This unseen villain is shown to have all the kidnapped Avengers (as well as Moondragon, who hadn't been shown to be kidnapped) in suspended animation tubes.

Appearing in "Threshold of Oblivion!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #173

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Threshold of Oblivion!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #173

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 traveled back in time to assassinate.

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 distraught 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.

Appearing in "Captives of the Collector!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #174

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Captives of the Collector!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #174

The four remaining free Avengers have tracked the mysterious abductor to his base. With his vast collection of alien weapons to draw upon, the Collector downs first Iron Man, then Thor, and then the Wasp. Hawkeye courageously fights on alone, evading all of the Collector's traps and devices. But when his devices fail, the Collector unleashes his own long-unused cosmic power against the archer. Hawkeye nevertheless manages to strike his opponent with an electro-arrow, however, and the aged immortal admits defeat.

Thor is revived with a bucket of water in the face. He awakens to find that all the captured Avengers have been freed. The defeated Collector relates how he began his acquisition of specimens eons ago, in order to preserve them against the coming threat of Thanos, than foresaw an even greater menace, whom he sent his daughter to spy upon.

At that very moment, Carina, the Collector's daughter, having fallen in love with Michael, betrays her father. Suddenly, a bolt of energy strikes the Collector, disintegrating him before the Avengers' very eyes.

Appearing in "The End... and Beginning!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #175

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The End... and Beginning!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #175

The story continues from the last issue…

Still, aboard the Collector’s space station, the Avengers have just witnessed their captor turned to ash by a bolt from the blue. They set about exploring the strange craft and its equipment to find a way to get home.

Iron Man discovers a time machine and pieces together an ongoing mystery that has plagued the team: Thor’s abrupt appearances and apparent amnesia. The Collector had evidently been observing the team’s adventures from afar and occasionally grew concerned when they were in certain situations (such as when Ultron incapacitated most of the team). Using the device, the Collector would pluck Thor out of his own time stream and send him to aid the Avengers but then later send him back to his point of origin but with his memory erased.

Two-Gun wants to be returned to his time, feeling out of place in the 20th century. Iron-Man operates the time machine and sends him on his way, despite it meaning his memories of the 20th century will be erased. Meanwhile, the Vision has discovered a teleportation device, which sends them all back to Earth.

The individual Avengers begin appearing around New York City, but not entirely safe. Wonder Man appears in the middle of traffic and a city bus runs into him. The Scarlet Witch appears in mid-air and begins plummeting towards the ground. She’s saved at the last minute by Captain Marvel, whose cosmic awareness alerted him she would need rescuing. Hawkeye also appears in midair but manages to grab hold of a flagpole before landing.

Elsewhere, Michael and Carina share an intimate moment in which he extends his cosmic power to her. In flashbacks, it is revealed that Michael is Korvac. Following a battle with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the 30th century, he teleported away blindly and found himself aboard Galactus’ worldship in the 20th century. Plugging his circuitry into the worldship caused him to be flooded by the power cosmic and evolve into a godlike being. While he believes he has transcended evil intentions, his goal is to reshape the universe and all of its inhabitants according to his own idea of how everything should be.

At the mansion, the Avengers hold a meeting to discuss the situation, but don’t have much to go on. Ms. Marvel drops in to offer her help. Hawkeye berates her, saying they don’t need her. But Moondragon jumps to her defense and insults the archer in the process. Jocasta also offers her assistance, but Quicksilver makes his prejudice against machine life, including Wanda's husband the Vision, known and leaves the room.

Iron Man discovers that while the team was away, Gyrich had some of the database memory banks removed for security reasons. Jarvis inadvertently gives Iron Man the idea to contact the Guardians of the Galaxy.

And Michael, knowing the Avengers have contacted Starhawk, is satisfied knowing that Starhawk cannot perceive him and that he will therefore not have to kill the Avengers.

Appearing in "The Destiny Hunt!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #176

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Destiny Hunt!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #176

Starhawk arrives and Iron Man recounts the team’s recent adventures to him. While the alien from the future still believes Korvac is the greater menace (no longer aware that “the Enemy” is Korvac), he agrees to aid the Avengers in their search.

Moondragon meditates and thinks she has a piece of the puzzle. On her way to discuss it with Iron-Man, she encounters Quicksilver arguing with Hawkeye about the propriety of the Vision's marriage to Wanda. Moondragon alters Quicksilver's thought patterns and demands that Hawkeye thank her. Hawkeye is about to object when Pietro states he wasn’t harmed, but instead was given… insight.

Moondragon then consults with Iron-Man. She telepathically summons a group of the Avengers, much to Iron-Man’s chagrin as he feels she is preemptively taking charge. Meanwhile, other Avengers and allies -- including Yellowjacket and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Jocasta -- pick up trace clues of a recent cosmic disturbance. (All of these clues relate to the recent confrontation between Starhawk and Korvac / Michael in Avengers Vol 1 168.) They all receive Moondragon’s summons and return to the mansion.

Starhawk is the only member of the group to not pick up any traces, which baffles Iron-Man. Nevertheless, Iron Man feeds the clues into a computer and determines that the disturbances were centered around... Forest Hills??

Unable to use Quinjets, Iron-Man is forced to commandeer a city bus and drive the entire team out to suburban Queens. They arrive, much to the surprise of the neighborhood residents, and knock on the door of an unassuming ranch house. Michael answers the door and allows the Avengers in. He and Carina appear baffled and confused by this visit. Silently, Starhawk puzzles as to why Iron-Man seems to be addressing a blank space (since Michael had previously made himself invisible to Starhawk’s senses, the Guardian of the Galaxy cannot see or hear him.) Despite the trail leading to the house, none of the cosmic-powered Avengers can detect their quarry’s presence.

Humiliated, Iron-Man is offering his apologies and the team is about to depart when a confused Starhawk demands to know why Iron-Man appears to be speaking to dead air. This then clues the team to the fact that the ordinary-looking Michael is in fact the cosmic menace they’ve been seeking. With a certain amount of weary sadness, Michael confesses his identity and declares that for their meddling the Avengers must die. He then reveals himself in his true cosmic-powered state.

Appearing in "The Hope... and the Slaughter!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #177

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

'Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Hope... and the Slaughter!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #177

Twenty-two superheroes back away from the nigh-omnipotent Michael (whom they’ve come to realize is the villain from the future, Korvac) in all his cosmic glory as well as his beloved Carina. Michael tells the Avengers that by exposing him, they have ruined everything he hoped to accomplish. Before their arrival, he had veiled his existence from the great powers of the universe, but a battle between them will certainly draw their attention. He relates his certainty how the Asgardians, the Olympians, Uatu the Watcher, and even Mephisto and his damned forces will join together in unison to oppose him.

Lost in his own thoughts of sorrow and regret, Michael ignores the Avengers. The heroes themselves do not dare to make the first move. Meanwhile, Moondragon telepathically summons the Guardians of the Galaxy to the battle.

The Guardians arrive, much to the alarm of neighborhood residents who are unaware of what is going on inside the house. Charlie-27 knocks down the door. But Michael is unimpressed to see his former enemies. Projecting an image of Drydock, their orbiting space station, on his ceiling, Michael projects a blast of energy that utterly destroys it. (A narration caption reveals that Vance Astro dies screaming in the explosion.)

Furious at the death of Vance, Nikki attacks Korvac. He swats her aside, killing her instantly. Quicksilver then attacks but he too is killed immediately. The rest of the Avengers and Guardians follow Pietro's lead, attacking en masse -- all except Moondragon who stands away in the corner transfixed and overcome by a silent horror.

Wave upon wave of heroes rush at Michael, but he quite easily picks them off one by one. The battle is more like a massacre. Throughout all of it, Michael waxes dramatically as he laments the loss of the noble, heroic Avengers whom he actually admired. Meanwhile, Moondragon observes with the ongoing melee from the corner with tears in her eyes.

As their numbers dwindle, Iron Man decides it is time to change tactics. He orders Black Panther to take Carina hostage. He hesitates, however, since he feels taking a hostage is dishonorable. Yellowjacket grabs hold of her instead. Carina fails to defend herself and Yellowjacket realizes that she is actually terrified, but not of him or the Avengers. Enraged that Carina is being threatened, Michael lashes out and kills Yellowjacket.

Captain Marvel thinks to himself that from Korvac's perspective they are moving in slow motion. His cosmic senses can perceive it, but he has no solution to this problem.

Finally, every one of his opponents is either dead or knocked out. As he powers down and resumes the form of a normal human, he states that those still living he will terminate mercifully. He fails to note, however, that Captain America has revived. Cap takes him by surprise and manages to get a few good blows in. He declares that while there is still one Avenger left, they will continue to fight him. But Michael rallies himself and kills Cap as well.

Wonder Man has also regained consciousness by now and attacks as well. As he pummels him, he confesses that he shrank away from Michael, fearful of dying. But seeing Cap in action has instilled him with the courage to keep fighting, regardless of the possible price he’ll pay. Nevertheless, Michael takes him down too.

While Michael tangled with Cap and then Wonder Man, four heroes -- Iron Man, Starhawk, Thor, and the Vision -- regain consciousness and attack him as one. The assault overwhelms Michael and he turns to Carina for support, but she hesitates and recoils from him. At that moment, Michael inexplicably falls dead.

The four remaining heroes are baffled by his abrupt death. Despite the amount of sheer power they pummeled him with, he should have been able to withstand it. Yet, it seems he had abruptly lost the will to live.

Suddenly, Carina manifests her own cosmic power to attack them. The Vision, Starhawk and Iron-Man all fall before her. Thor is the last Avenger standing, facing off against her. He claims he will not hesitate to strike her down, but actually does. Carina herself forces Mjolnir to strike her down with a bolt of pure energy. In her dying moments, she stumbles toward Michael. She falls dead just short of grasping his hand.

Thor and Moondragon are the last two standing. Moondragon tells Thor that Carina wished to die, explaining as well that in the heat of the battle she probed Michael’s mind. By her own reckoning, Michael was not evil as they had all assumed and that he did not wish to rule them or interfere with their free will. He wished only to free them from the capricious whims of Eternity. Thor asks whether they should have died instead of him. Moondragon replies that his fate was inevitable but that the Avengers are to blame for it.

Moondragon also goes on to reveal that just before dying, Michael used his power to restore the Avengers to life. They are all alive although their injuries are grave and they need immediate medical attention. She reveals that she is aware of Thor's secret identity as Dr. Donald Blake and he transforms into his mortal form and goes to work saving the lives of the heroes.

Meanwhile, Moondragon erases Thor / Blake’s memory of what she has revealed to him. Thor will recall nothing of the Avengers' terrible deed. He and the other Avengers will believe that they won a great triumph. Only she will remember forever.

Appearing in "The Martyr Perplex!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #178

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "The Martyr Perplex!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #178

Hank McCoy, the lovable furry Beast, is picking up women in a posh nightclub (!!) when his evening is spoiled by a sleazeball who assaults him. Easily thumping the assailant, Beast declares his evening ruined, and stalks out into the rain.

Walking through the rain, he is accosted by a strange apparition of a man. It claims to take wounds for all the spiritual harm done to the Beast!?! Shortly after disclosing this, it dissolves into ashes and is swept away, leaving Hank horribly confused.

He returns to the mansion, where everyone else is as confused as he. But the nagging inside his brain won't stop - by the next week he's out on the town again, but not especially enjoying himself. A woman convinces him to walk her home, and they get to talking about his mysterious vision. She convinces him to do something for her...

Elsewhere, the Manipulator is telling some gentlemen (who are crime bosses) that the Beast will soon break into the apartment they're in and try to steal a little black box and that he's the one who's manipulated the Beast into his current mental state. He convinces them he could do it to all the Avengers!

Beast breaks into the apartment and they watch him retrieve the box. Then Manipulator cages the Beast, and upon his opening, the box Beast is blasted by a ray which puts him totally under the Manipulator's command! All the criminal bosses instantly want to sign up, but then he puts them under his mental control too.

Just then two mysterious men walk into the room, one of whom is Agent Marsden. They pay off the Manipulator, take the little black box, and call the cops to come to bust the crime bosses. They then leave. Beast eventually comes to his senses and decides to scoot, observed by the agents below. Suddenly, a strange apparition approaches them from out of an alleyway...

Appearing in "Slowly Slays the Stinger!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #179

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Slowly Slays the Stinger!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #179

The Black Panther is busting up a small-time drug-running outfit in Harlem when he is accosted by a new villain, the Stinger, who can become invisible. Taken by surprise, T’Challa is easily captured by him.

At the American Museum of Natural History, several Avengers -- Yellowjacket, Wasp, Vision, and the Scarlet Witch -- are guests of honor at a gala benefit. Tony Stark and Dr. Don Blake are also in attendance at the fete. Wanda takes an interest in a particular totem which a curator explains originated from a Pacific island known as Maura. As the curator is explaining this, a mysterious figure in a trenchcoat and fedora bellows that the totem was stolen from the island’s natives and that he’s come to reclaim it. The museum’s security is about to eject him, but then he reveals himself to be the strange, avian-like being Bloodhawk and quickly tears through the guards.

The Avengers spring into action but find Bloodhawk to be a formidable foe. As their battle ensues, Bloodhawk succumbs to a berserker rage and runs amok. He hurls the Vision into the model Blue Whale, causing the cables holding it to snap and sending it plummeting toward the party guests below. Thor appears on the scene and snatches the model while Iron-Man subdues Bloodhawk.

After the battle, an older man who had accompanied Bloodhawk to the museum steps forward to explain. The man, identified only as “Teacher” (what Bloodhawk calls him), apologizes for his actions but says that it is vital that the totem is returned to Maura. Iron-Man asks for museum permission to take the totem and then the whole team returns to the mansion along with Bloodhawk and Teacher.

At Avengers Mansion, the team are joined by Beast and Wonder Man (who were on monitor duty at the time). Teacher relates the sad history of his pupil: Bloodhawk’s father, an unethical biochemist, subjected his pregnant mother to dubious experiments hoping to produce a superior race of humans. Bloodhawk was the mutant offspring. His mother died in childbirth and the teacher claims that his father, repulsed at what he’d created, abandoned the infant Bloodhawk. The teacher took custody of him and took him to the remote island of Maura to raise in him in relative privacy. Yet his pupil has been plagued throughout his life by moments of berserk fury in which he loses all reason. As the teacher wraps up his story, the Scarlet Witch silently empathizes with Bloodhawk’s tragic mutant history.

Bloodhawk awakens and demands the totem be brought back to Maura. He claims the island’s gods left it there eons ago to protect the natives from a dire curse. Since it’s been removed (or stolen as Bloodhawk insists), the island has been suffering from increasing tremors. Iron-Man, a rationalist skeptic of magic, is dismissive of any talk about curses or magical totems but several of his teammates disagree. The team take a vote and it is decided that a contingent of Avengers will accompany Bloodhawk and Teacher back to Maura with the totem to at least investigate the matter. Iron Man angered that the Avengers are giving credence to magic, storms off in a huff.

While the vote is taking place, Jarvis is in the kitchen and hears a knock on the door. He answers it but sees no one there. It’s actually the invisible Stinger, who then strolls right into the mansion.

Thor, the Vision and the Beast accompany Bloodhawk and Teacher back to Maura. (Yellowjacket remarks that they were given special one-time permission to use a quinjet for this.) The Stinger then attacks, waylaying Hank, Jan, Wanda, and Wonder Man. Jarvis sees the melee and rushes to the alarm controls to alert the rest of the team. Unfortunately, he too gets taken out before he can sound an alert.

Sometime later, the quinjet arrives at Maura, just in the nick of time apparently as tremors rock the island. The totem had long been ensconced on a small temple just offshore. To everyone’s surprise, that “temple” is revealed to be just the top of the head of a giant stone behemoth! The stone giant emerges from beneath the waves and stomps toward the island intent on destroying its native residents.

Appearing in "Berserkers' Holiday"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #180

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Berserkers' Holiday"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #180

Story continued from the previous issue.

From their airborne quinjet, Thor, the Vision, and the Beast, as well as Bloodhawk and Teacher, observe a monolithic stone giant lurch toward the island of Maura intent on wiping out its inhabitants. Thor and the Vision confront the monolith only to find it is every bit as powerful as it looks.

Observing from the quinjet, the Beast reflects on what transpired to bring them there: the mutant Bloodhawk and his Teacher trailed an ancient totem relic to the Museum of Natural History and got into a fight with several Avengers after trying to steal it back. The Avengers subdued Bloodhawk and then debated his claim that the relic protected the island from supernatural forces. Eventually, they decided to return the relic.

The agitated Bloodhawk succumbs once more to a berserker rage. Swiping the relic from Teacher, he flies away from the Quinjet and into the island’s jungles. Teacher tells Beast that the relic is key to defeating the Monolith. Thus, the Beast pursues Bloodhawk.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Iron Man has returned, having cooled down considerably after storming off in a huff last issue. As he strides down the hallway, he’s taken unaware by the invisible villain, the Stinger, who had previously subdued several other Avengers in his absence.

On Maura, the Vision tries to drop down on the Monolith from high above him only to be swatted into orbit, eventually crashing into the ocean some 200 miles away. Meanwhile, the Beast catches up to Bloodhawk and hops on for a ride. He wrests the relic away and then knocks Bloodhawk out. He then returns to the beach only to find Thor being crushed under the monolith’s heel! After a hurried explanation, Thor has the Beast grasp Mjolnir and hurls it into the air. Woosh! The Beast is rocketed up to the monolith’s head.

Scrambling for a foothold as the Monolith tries to shake him off, Beast manages a dive to drop the relic into its slot, immobilizing the creature. Thor then manages to scramble free of its foothold. Using Mjolnir, he creates a magical vortex that sweeps the Monolith up, carrying it off to the far reaches of space so as to never again threaten the Earth.

Having returned from the jungle and once again lucid, Bloodhawk demands the Avengers leave. But the Beast tells him of his own mentor (Professor X) and of a school where he won't be shunned for his appearance and can be with other similarly gifted students (Xavier’s school, the home base of the mutant X-Men). Bloodhawk excitedly accepts the offer.

Back at the Mansion, the Stinger gloats to his captives that he was once just a small-time hood until he met the Tinkerer (a recurring Spider-Man foe) who developed his high-tech weaponry. The Stinger is waiting for the three remaining Avengers to return from Maura. Confident that he will get the drop them all as well, he intends to sell the Avengers to the highest bidder to do with as they please.

The three Avengers return. Onboard the quinjet, the Teacher proudly reflects that he has never seen Bloodhawk so happy and excited.

The Vision slips through the walls to tell the others of their return but gets ambushed by the Stinger. Thor and Beast hear his cry and rush to the scene. The Beast gets waylaid but the Stinger is in turn ambushed by Thor. The villain turns himself invisible and is just about to use his high-powered shocker beam on the Norse god when Bloodhawk throws himself in front of Thor. Bloodhawk is felled by the attack.

The Beast (whose mutant healing factor counteracted the Stinger’s knockout drug) has freed the captive Avengers. Thor causes it to rain inside the mansion, revealing the Stinger’s whereabouts. The villain arrogantly boasts he took the whole team out before and can do it again. But without the advantage of taking the individual members by surprise, the team makes short work of the C-list baddie.

Sadly, Bloodhawk took a blast meant for Thor which proves fatal for him. Teacher cradles him in his arms. In his dying moment, Bloodhawk asks Teacher if his father would have been proud of him. Teacher replies “Yes, my son. He is.” Thus revealing that he was Bloodhawk’s father.

Appearing in "On the Matter of Heroes!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #181

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "On the Matter of Heroes!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #181

Wonder Man and Beast catch a movie and afterward discuss the psychological role that heroes play for the general public. Wonder Man is baffled as to why regular people flock to heroes instead of leading their own lives. The Beast suggests that normal people need to have heroes to shake up their everyday lives. He demonstrates by performing a superhuman feat of agility on the street, much to the admiration of passers-by.

When they return to the mansion, Wonder Man inserts his key and is caught off guard when security coils emerge from the doorway to apprehend them. The two manage to disentangle themselves, however. Thinking something is wrong, Wonder Man bursts through the door to find a technician (Scott Lang) installing new hardware. Wonder Man confronts Lang but Tony Stark and Agent Henry Gyrich stop him. Stark informs them that the coils are part of new security parameters being installed. Stark has convinced Gyrich to reinstate the team's security clearances provided they agree to a new set of terms and conditions. Gyrich then curtly instructs the two heroes to go to the conference room where he'll make known the rest of his demands for the Avengers' priority status to be returned to them.

In his private quarters, Stark changes into his Iron-Man armor and laments how "fighting through red tape has become harder than punching through brick walls."

Outside the Mansion, a cab drops a mysterious white-bearded person. He produces an odd-looking gemstone and begins to chant.

In the conference room, Gyrich addresses the entire roster of Avengers (including assorted “hanger-ons” such as Jocasta, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Moondragon, and the Guardians of the Galaxy). He tells them that they have to pare down to seven members and then proceeds to tell them who those members will be, much to Iron-Man's chagrin. Gyrich names Iron Man (as chairman), Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast, Captain America, Wasp, and...the Falcon!?

Hawkeye stridently objects that he's being excluded and that a non-member who's never even met most of the team is being inducted. Iron Man also objects but Gyrich tells them equal opportunity for minorities is a federal requirement for all government-related agencies. Captain America chimes in to defend his friend the Falcon. Quicksilver also pipes in that the Avengers shouldn’t be subject to such restrictions but suddenly keels over, alarming the Scarlet Witch. Thor carries Pietro to the infirmary and then departs to get a doctor (i.e., turn into Dr. Don Blake). Outside, the mysterious white-bearded man smiles as he places something in a large carpet bag.

Most of the cut members leave en masse, including the Black Panther, Black Widow, Hercules, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Moondragon, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The few remaining non-core members --- such as Hawkeye, Wonder Man and Yellowjacket -- have to be gone in 24 hours. At that moment, Wanda also mysteriously collapses.

Dr. Blake reveals that Wanda's symptoms appear to be similar to her brother's and that Quicksilver's test results just came in: his heart no longer beats and his he is no longer breathing, but his body isn't decaying. He and Wanda are neither dead nor alive.

Soon afterward, the mysterious white-bearded figure checks into a hotel in the Bowery and opens his bag to reveal two little wooden figures carved to look like Wanda and Pietro in cages, and they're moving! Not only that, but the man refers to them as... his children??

Appearing in "Honor Thy Father"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #182

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Avengers Sky-Scooter

Synopsis for "Honor Thy Father"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #182

The bodies of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch lay inert and lifeless in the Avengers Mansion infirmary. Doctor Blake has determined that while they are not fully alive they are not truly dead either. He says it is as if their souls have been stolen.

Elsewhere, despite having access to high-tech scanners once more (thanks to the newly reinstalled security privileges), the Avengers can find no cause for the twins’ current state. Jocasta pipes in that her own cybernetic senses have detected an energy signature leading from the mansion, across the city to the Bowery neighborhood.

Agent Gyrich is taken aback to realize that Jocasta is a sentient being and not some pre-programmed robot. He insists that if she is “alive”, she must have security clearance to reside at the mansion. Jocasta rattles him with some self-deprecating humor, however. She asks him if the U.S. government insists on having security clearance for “mere machines.” Her question leaves Gyrich confused and he retreats.

The Avengers prepare to follow the trail, but the new security procedures they’ve agreed to dictate that one team member remains behind on monitor duty at all times. Hawkeye balks at missing out at his last official mission as an Avenger. Wonder Man volunteers to remain behind, and so the rest of the team head for the Bowery.

At that very moment in a seedy Bowery flophouse, a strange scene unfolds. Wanda and Pietro’s life force has been transferred to two marionette figurines kept in enchanted cages. A white-bearded man, Django Maximoff, insists that they are his own long-lost children, Ana and Mateo. The siblings deny this, though, stating that their parents were the WWII-era heroes the Whizzer and Miss America. Django, however, recounts a very different version of their childhood: how he raised them as members of a Roma gypsy tribe and how they used their powers (which Django believed stemmed from his magical runestone) for the good of the caravan. Prejudice against gypsies and fear of the siblings’ “witchcraft abilities” prompted superstitious villagers to assault them. Django’s wife was killed and he believed his children were dead as well until he read newspaper reports of the Avengers and became convinced that they were his children. But as his tale ends, he senses the approach of the Avengers.

The Avengers arrive in their sky-sled and Django uses a magical runestone to animate mannequins in a nearby warehouse to attack them. They destroy them easily enough. But when they enter Django’s rented room, he creates a powerful illusion to transform the room into a vast, outer space void. And in this fantasy world, he conjures three adversaries -- Toad, Princess Python, and Nighthawk -- to combat the team.

The Avengers spring into action but nothing they do seems to affect their foes. Suddenly, from below, a wino bangs on the ceiling, telling them to “keep it down up there!” They realize it is all merely an illusion. By focusing their mental energy, they see through the illusion.

Django grabs the cages and the runestone and bolts out the door. But he is stopped in his tracks by a seething-mad Vision gliding up out of the ground before him. Django is too frightened to react, but Wanda tells her husband that Django’s power stems from his runestone. By focusing his solar energy through his forehead jewel, Vision incinerates the runestone, breaking the enchantment holding the twins. As the marionettes collapse, Django breaks down in sobs.

Later, in the mansion, Wanda and Pietro are back to normal. They’ve taken pity on Django however, realizing how wounded and lonely he really is. Also, Wanda explains that some of the things Django said have raised questions in the twins’ minds. Wanda asks permission for a leave of absence to accompany Django back to his homeland, Transia.

With the excitement over, the heroes can finally relax...for now.

Appearing in "The Redoubtable Return of Crusher Creel!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #183

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Taxi
  • Freighter

Synopsis for "The Redoubtable Return of Crusher Creel!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #183

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.

Appearing in "Death on the Hudson!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #184

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Death on the Hudson!"

Reprint of the 1st story from
Avengers #184

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 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 chest plate 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

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. The comic tells you Quicksilver's disappearance happened in Avengers 171, but it actually happened in Avengers 170! (Bullpen was napping!)
  3. While depositing Wanda, Wonder Man comments on Ms. Marvel's aggressive behavior with the approving comment "...like a man would!". It's chauvinism at its finest... sigh.
  4. see Marvel Team-Up 69 and Uncanny X-Men 111
  5. see Marvel Team-Up 70
Like this? Let us know!
Advertisement