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Essential Series Vol 1 Avengers 9
Published
September, 2013
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Appearing in "The Yesterday Quest!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #185.

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Synopsis for "The Yesterday Quest!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #185.

The story opens in the aftermath of the previous issue’s battle with the Absorbing Man. Iron-Man placates the arriving police by stating the Avengers will pay for damages. Captain America introduces Falcon to his new teammates. Disgruntled and embittered, Hawkeye sticks around just long enough to utter a few snippy remarks before storming off in a huff.

Across the ocean, in East Transia, Wanda (the Scarlet Witch), Pietro (Quicksilver), and Django check into a hotel for the night. Pietro shares a room with Django across the hall from Wanda’s own. He advises her that she can call on him easily if there is any trouble. Wanda remarks that she feels completely safe, as if she’s come home.

Pietro has difficulty sleeping. Despite believing his parents to be the Whizzer and Miss America, he has hazy recollections of an earlier life lived among gypsies and of a pair of adults making him promise to always look after Wanda if something should happen to them. Despite his troubled mind, Pietro eventually drifts off to sleep.

Very late at night, Wanda's sleep is disturbed by a mysterious visitor, Modred the Mystic. He offers to help her find the answers she seeks but only her alone as the path is dangerous for those without arcane abilities. Reluctantly, she agrees to go with him. Modred magically clothes her in her costume and they fly off into the night. They are seen flying away, however, by a wakeful young villager from her bedroom window.

Modred takes Wanda to the precipice of Wundagore Mountain. She is startled to see the remains of the High Evolutionary’s citadel which have fallen into ruins since he departed the world. Yet still there are defensive security devices that attack them. Although Modred receives a minor injury from one, but Wanda disables it with a hex. They enter the ruins of the stronghold itself and see before them a floating book and altar. The book, Modred intones, belongs to his dark master. Then, Modred fells Wanda with a bolt of arcane energy before relating that the altar... is for Wanda! The mountain is silent except for the low rumble of laughter.

The next morning, Pietro discovers Wanda missing. Alarmed, he races around the village searching for her but finds no clue. As he slumps to the ground in despair, a young girl (the eyewitness from the prior evening) tells him she saw Wanda fly up to the top of Wundagore last night. Pietro suddenly recalls that Django said there were lights in the sky over Wundagore on the night he and Wanda were born. He races up the side of the mountain so fast that he isn’t aware of someone watching him. He slams full-tilt into a force field barrier, gets knocked unconscious, and tumbles a good length of the way back down the side of it.

Quicksilver awakens much later in a small mountain cottage way up the mountain side. He sees a matronly figure who is re-sewing his torn costume and addresses him by name. When he asks who she is and how she knows him, he sees her face for the first time. She is a humanoid bovine and she claims to have brought him into the world!

Appearing in "Nights of Wundagore!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #186.

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Synopsis for "Nights of Wundagore!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #186.

The story continues from last issue.

After taking a tumble, Quicksilver has awoken in the cottage of an anthropomorphic cow who apparently knows him very well. While tending to his cuts and scrapes, the bovine relates her story...and Quicksilver’s own.

Pietro’s rescuer is named Bova and she was the first of the new men created by the High Evolutionary who would become the Knights of Wundagore. Bova was created specifically to be a midwife, nursemaid and nanny to any children in the citadel.

One winter night, a desperate and very pregnant woman came to the citadel seeking sanctuary. Her name was Magda and she was fleeing from her husband, a man who had acquired extraordinary powers but used them cruelly. Having grown afraid of him, she ran away shortly after she realized she was pregnant. Bova delivered Magda’s twin children, a boy and a girl (Pietro and Wanda). Bova recalls seeing peculiar lights in the sky on the night the twins were born. However, soon after the birth, Magda vanished. She left a note stating that if her husband ever found out about the twins, he would seek them out. Fearing his evil influence on her children, Magda instead chose to wander out into the storm and end her life rather than risk her husband discovering them.

Bova asked the High Evolutionary what they should do with the infants. They agreed that Wundagore was no place for normal human children, so he invited a traveling American couple, Bob and Madeleine Frank (who had formerly been the WWII-era superheroes the Whizzer and Miss America), to the citadel. Madeleine had already given birth to one mutant child (the Avenger’s former opponent Nuklo) and was pregnant again and feared the worst. The High Evolutionary intended to have Bova deliver Madeleine’s child and give them the twins as well. Alas, Madeleine’s labor was a disaster. Her horribly deformed child was stillborn and the mother died shortly afterwards. Bova presented the twins to Bob Frank and attempted to pass them off as his own. But when he learned his wife was deceased, he fled from the citadel in grief (thus, this led to the Whizzer’s later mistaken belief that he was the twins’ father.)

Finally, the High Evolutionary presented the twins to a Roma couple, Django Maximoff and his wife, members of a caravan in the foothills of the mountain. Django’s wife had recently lost twins of her own. The gift of the twins was seen as a kind of divine intervention, their children were being restored to them.

At the end of Bova’s recounting, Pietro realizes that Django is the man who raised him and Wanda. When he asks who his father is, Bova cannot tell him as she doesn’t know. Pietro is left with one unanswered question: Where is Wanda?

Far up the mountainside, Wanda is magically bound by Modred atop the unholy altar as he intends to use her as a vessel to bring his dark master back to this world. She frees herself via a hex and a magical battle ensues. Wanda realizes she can’t fight Modred on this level and cedes the battle. Then she surprises him with a roundhouse left, knocking him off the cliff and down the mountain. But Modred has a surprise in store as well as he appears behind her and knocks her out with a bolt of mystical energy.

Just as Quicksilver is saying goodbye to Bova, Wanda’s face appears as a sinister apparition in the night sky. The vision lashes out at Pietro and Bova with a lightning bolt although Pietro’s speed save him and Bova. The vision warns that he will die if he attempts to seek out Wanda.

Quicksilver runs down the mountain and encounters Django in the woods. They are attacked by magically animated trees but escape. Braving a number of magical assaults, they return to the village where Quicksilver places a call to Avengers Mansion. The Vision answers the call.

In the mansion dining room, the rest of the active team is enjoying a meal together and discussing Iron-Man’s current dilemma (see Notes below). Captain America has temporarily taken over as team leader in Iron-Man’s absence. The Vision then bursts in and tells them of Pietro’s call. Just as they start getting ready to go, Gyrich refuses to allow them to go! He states that Pietro is not an active member of the team and there is no U.S. security interest, thus they don't need to “start another international incident.” Exasperated, Cap leaves the room to place a mysterious call. The Beast and Gyrich trade insults, then Gyrich gets a call from the U.S. President authorizing the Avengers mission! Cap smirks in the background. Once more, the team is about to leave, but Gyrich still has to throw his weight around -- he demands that the Vision remain behind! One active member must remain behind on monitor duty at all times and the Vision is in the middle of his shift. Fed up, the Vision is about to slug Gyrich when Cap intervenes. He promises to bring Wanda safe and sound. The Vision relents, though he’s extremely unhappy.

Back in East Transia, Django and Quicksilver are ambushed by Wanda. Except it's not Wanda. She is possessed by the demon Chthon!

Appearing in "The Call of the Mountain Thing!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #187.

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Antagonists:

  • Modred (Main story and flashback)
  • Chthon (Main story and flashback)

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Synopsis for "The Call of the Mountain Thing!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #187.

The story continues from last issue.

A quinjet hurls through the skies of Transia near Wundagore Mountain in the middle of a ferocious storm. Onboard, Captain America thanks Wonder Man for filling in on this mission while Iron-Man is on leave. The Beast is piloting and warns them they are losing control of the quinjet due to the storm. Wonder Man, who is invulnerable, volunteers to pilot the ship to ensure it doesn’t land on anyone while the rest of the team bails out. Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Cap and Wasp all jump out but the Beast refuses, insisting on landing it himself. Wonder Man yanks him out of pilot chair, straps his jet belt onto him and tosses him out the hatch. Unfortunately, the Beast has no experience using the belt and he careens out of control.

The rest of the team make it to the ground but are immediately attacked by Modred the Mystic.

Wonder Man does his best to steer the craft but it crashes deep in the woods. As he climbs out of the wrecked ship, he sees Wanda (although she doesn’t appear “onscreen.”) She snares him in a spell, paralyzing him and floating him away.

Modred takes out the Avengers, one by one: Cap, Ms. Marvel and the Falcon. But the Wasp gets the drop on him, knocking him out. Alas, she is then knocked out with a bolt of arcane energy by Wanda, who has turned ashen white after being possessed by Chthon.

Elsewhere, the Beast endures his own crash landing on the mountainside. After dusting himself off, he finds a skull wearing a helmet. The skull doesn’t look human and the perplexed Beast wonders what kind of animal wore helmets?

Sometime later, Chthon and Modred stand before the altar with their captives: Cap, Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Wasp, Wonder Man as well as Quicksilver and Django Maximoff. All of them float in midair, paralyzed.

While awaiting the proper alignment of stars to conduct a conjuring spell, Chthon “monologues” his ancient history: In primordial times, when the old gods were threatened to be replaced by newer ones, Chthon’s sister Gaea infused her spiritual essence to the Earth itself while Chthon inscribed the book of sorcery, the Darkhold, as a means to return to this plane of existence some day and fled to another dimension.

Throughout the centuries, the evil tome passed through many hands and was used for malevolent purposes. In Medieval times, the sorceress Morgan Le Fay and her cult of “Darkholders” conjured up Chthon himself, expecting to use him as their minion, only to find him too powerful. Morgan and her cult attempted to banish him, but only succeeded in binding his spirit to the mountains of Wundagore. Morgan’s repentant follower Magnus stole the Darkhold and placed it in an enchanted tower which only good and noble people could enter. Alas, the human Modred entered the chamber, hoping he could use the Darkhold for good purposes, and lost his soul to the demonic being “the Other.”

Meanwhile, Chthon lingered in Wundagore Mountain as a disembodied spirit, observing the rise of the High Evolutionary’s citadel and the Knights of Wundagore. Chthon observed the birth of Wanda and Pietro and infused the infant Wanda with magical energy. Twice in her lifetime, he caused her mutant hex power to fade, hoping she would turn to witchcraft. When finally Wanda did study witchcraft under Agatha Harkness, she became an ideal vessel for Chthon to possess.

Having finished the monologue, Chthon is about to begin a spell to return his corporeal form to Earth and thereby become an apocalyptic menace to humanity. But the ritual is interrupted by a surprise intruder -- a knight of Wundagore? Astride a flying chariot!? The Knight is actually the Beast. After deducing what the skull he was looking at was, he dug up the rest of the skeleton and found the armor and sky chariot. Using it, he snatches the Darkhold away, disturbing Chthon’s spell holding the Avengers in paralysis.

The Avengers attack Chthon but he is more than a match for all of them. On the sidelines, Django is watching the battle with dismay when he feels something stir in his coat pocket. It is the marionette of Wanda he carved. Wanda’s soul has been transferred to it once again! Django shouts the news to Pietro just before keeling over. After realizing what he’s saying, Pietro grabs the figurine and attempts to “will” Wanda’s soul back into her true body. He can’t do it himself, but all the Avengers join hands and unite their willpower. This is enough to reverse the possession spell: Wanda takes control of her body once again, while Chthon’s essence is transferred to the marionette. Pietro hurls the figure into the mountain side and Wanda uses a hex bolt to cause a massive avalanche, burying the marionette and trapping Chthon forever.

The battle hasn’t come without a toll, however. Django suffers a massive heart attack and dies.

Afterwards, Pietro and Wanda bury Django in the foothills of Wundagore. Without Chthon’s control, Modred has become as mindless as a newborn child. Bova, who was created to care for children, takes custody of him while the Avengers, with Wanda and Pietro in tow, depart.

Appearing in "Elementary, Dear Avengers"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #188.

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Synopsis for "Elementary, Dear Avengers"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #188.

The Avengers take Quicksilver home to Attilan. Most of the team are dazzled by the sight of the futuristic city. Crystal is on hand to greet her husband and the team upon their arrival. She reveals the news that she is pregnant to a very stunned Pietro. Although Wanda is happy for Crystal, she is suddenly plagued with doubts about her own potential for motherhood -- could she and the Vision have a child? Should they even try?

The next day, the Avengers depart for home. Onboard the quinjet, the Beast begins reading the Darkhold, much to the consternation of the Scarlet Witch who reacts with alarm. She warns him that the Darkhold is full of passages that are magical traps to ensnare unwary readers.

Captain America alerts the team to a potential problem on their course home. The most direct route to their home base takes them into Soviet airspace, something they probably should avoid. But before they can change course, they are intercepted by MiG fighter pilots. The Beast, who speaks Russian, tries to ask permission to fly through. But suddenly, one of the MiGs bursts apart in midair and the other abruptly speeds away, back to base. The Beast relates that he overheard chatter about a disaster taking place at a nearby nuclear power plant.

Cap wants to use the distraction to beat it out of there. The Beast and Ms. Marvel however want to lend a hand at the disaster site. The team debates whether or not to do anything, with Ms. Marvel arguing the hardest that they should help. Wonder Man takes Cap’s side, wary of the Russians, regardless of the dangers they face. Cap insists on contacting Agent Gyrich before they act, even though everybody is sure what his response will be. But Ms. Marvel has secretly removed a vital component of the comm system, preventing this. Reluctantly, Cap steers the quinjet toward the power plant. The Falcon quietly stews that nobody bothered to ask his opinion, taking it for a sign that nobody cares about him.

The Avengers arrive at the power plant, which is besieged by the Soviet army. They don’t quite get the greeting they’d hoped for as the military level guns at them. But one older Colonel orders the troops to hold their fire. The Beast interprets that this Colonel remembers that Cap fought alongside Russian forces against the Germans in WWII, something Cap confirms did occur. The Colonel directs the Avengers to the reactor control center, where malevolent beings have taken control. They first encounter Vanadium, a being composed of the very super-strong alloy. Despite initially repelling the Avengers, Vanadium is shattered by Wonder Man.

In the plant’s control room he Avengers encounter the Elementals, a bizarre group of humanoid beings, each one of them displaying properties of a particular element from the periodic table. The two groups battle each other, but one of the Elementals - Chlorine - fills the chamber with poison gas, driving the Avengers away. As they retreat, though, the Falcon realizes the Wasp is not among them and flies back alone to rescue her (hoping to prove himself to his teammates.) Unfortunately, he is knocked out cold by Vanadium, who has reassembled himself.

Outside, the remaining Avengers are once again confronted by the Russian Army. The Colonel who granted them permission to access the plant is nowhere to be seen and a small platoon of technicians is crawling all over the quinjet. Infuriated, the Scarlet Witch scatters the troops with a hex bolt. Another hex bolt drives the technicians away from the quinjet and they all keep their distance thereafter.

The Wasp joins them, explaining that she passed out due to the gas. When she awoke, she saw that the Elementals were subjecting imprisoned plant workers to a procedure that transforms them into more Elementals. She also confirms that they have the Falcon. The team plan their second assault on the control room; Ms. Marvel removes the laser cannon from a nearby tank to use as a weapon.

Once more down below, the Elementals are about to subject the Falcon to the transformation when his teammates return to rescue him, much to his relief. As soon as he’s clear, Ms. Marvel and the Beast fire the laser cannon into the reactors, causing radioactive material to flood the room. It engulfs the Elementals but the Avengers manage to escape unscathed.

Boarding the quinjet once more, they take off and head home with no more delays. A narration caption states that Soviet Union’s news outlets report the closure of a Siberian power plant, with no details given.

Appearing in "-- Today the Avengers Die!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers Annual #9.

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  • Howard Stark (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
  • Dr. Singer

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Synopsis for "-- Today the Avengers Die!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers Annual #9.

The Avengers meet to discuss the threat of Arsenal. Exploring, Hawkeye and the Beast discover a hidden complex beneath Avengers Mansion, even as their teammates learn that Arsenal has been discovered to be a forgotten secret weapon developed during World War II by Project Tomorrow, which was headed by Tony Stark's industrialist father. The project was located beneath the Stark family townhouse, now Avengers Mansion, where a newly repaired Arsenal has now captured Hawkeye and the Beast, whom it believes to be Axis agents. Invading the underground base, the Avengers battle both Arsenal and Mistress, the computer guiding its actions, until Iron Man reaches the inner computer chamber and frees the two captives. He then informs Mistress that the war is over and that Howard Stark is dead. The computer, its personality based on Maria Stark's brain patterns, self-destructs, even as Thor and the Scarlet Witch finally defeat the robot.

Appearing in "Wings and Arrows!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #189.

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Synopsis for "Wings and Arrows!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #189.

In the aftermath of the confrontation with Arsenal (see Notes below), Thor is departing once again. After bidding Jarvis farewell, he soars through the sky and narrowly misses colliding with Falcon who is just returning to the mansion after a solo adventure.

Falcon returns to see the mansion abuzz with reservist Avengers who were called in to help with the Arsenal case. He uses the retinal scanner to verify his ID and officially return to active duty. Upon seeing Hawkeye, Sam pulls him aside and apologizes for having to replace him but Clint will have none of it. After insulting him, Clint storms away in a huff once again.

Yellowjacket has just received a call from the Wasp who is in Las Vegas (working alongside the Defenders). Her quinjet was destroyed and she therefore needs a ride home. Hank leaves in a second quinjet to pick her and the Defenders up. Wonder Man leaves as well, stating that he has to get to rehearsals for the play he’s performing in.

Cap reports in to Gyrich (on a viewscreen) in Washington D.C. He informs him that the reserve members are all gone now. For once, Gyrich seems pleased as the active team roster has settled down to those members he personally selected. All that’s left is to demote Ms. Marvel to reserve membership and things will be fine. Except...the Scarlet Witch announces she wants to extend her leave of absence for a while longer. This comes as a shock to everyone, including the Vision. Gyrich is outraged and bellows in rage, telling them not to move an inch until he gets there. Wanda is surprised at the reaction to her announcement.

Hawkeye returns to his apartment, a dingy studio walk-up, to find rejection letters galore. He gets a letter from Jarvis saying that reserve Avengers are getting a $200 a month retainer fee, which won’t even cover his rent. In the want ads, he zeroes in on a security guard job at something called Cross Technological Enterprises.

The next day, the chief operating officer at CTE arrives to work and is informed that there has been another break-in at the warehouse. As he makes his way to his office, the manager ponders how thieves could possibly be making their way through their high-tech security parameters. But he’s surprised to find Hawkeye awaiting him in his office, seated at his desk! Hawkeye offers his services as chief of security, reasoning that if he can manage to break into his offices, he should be able to outwit any thieves.

Hawkeye scores the gig! On his first night on the job, an intruder breaks into the warehouse and He investigates. The intruder is Deathbird, Ms. Marvel old’s foe. They duke it out and Hawkeye is wounded in his bow-arm. But after a grueling fight, Hawkeye outwits her and wraps her up in a titanium mesh net. Afterwards, Deathbird is being led away by security guards but promises revenge on Hawkeye. He plants a big kiss on her to remember him by and walks off as she sputters, much to the amusement of the guards.


The next day, Jocasta returns to the mansion after taking a stroll. She finds the whole team in a standoff with Gyrich. Fed up with what he believes is the teams’ obstinate behavior, Gyrich tells them that “this is the end of the Avengers.” [1]!

Appearing in "Heart of Stone"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #190.

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  • Egghead's Space station (Recap)

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Synopsis for "Heart of Stone"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #190.

Early in the morning, a mysterious meteor makes a sharp turn and crashes into the marshes of Brooklyn's Jamaica Bay! Even more surprising, the rocky shape changes hatches and transforms into a ponderous behemoth that starts heading toward Manhattan!

In downtown Manhattan the Avengers are arriving at a Senate investigation of their activities, called at their instigation after Gyrich's attempts to revoke their security clearance[2]. Fighting their way through the reporters, they arrive at the hearing.

At a Brooklyn subway station, the rocky behemoth fails to pay his fare, smashing through the ticket booth. It then jumps down into the darkness of the subway tracks and continues its unstoppable march to Manhattan.

Back at the senate hearing, opening statements are made, and then Gyrich calls his first witness: S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Lt. Dwight Stanford. Simultaneously, the meteor menace crushes a S.W.A.T. blockade of the subways. Back at the hearing, Gyrich is giving testimony of his own experiences with Avengers' security when Iron Man gets word of an N.Y.P.D. request for assistance. He asks for the hearing to be rescheduled, and Gyrich calls it a stunt. Turning a T.V. on quickly confirms the menace, but before the Avengers can take off, Beast suggests that perhaps the Avengers aren't needed. He hands Gyrich a table leg and suggest he take care of it. Gyrich gives in eventually, and the Avengers take off. Matt Murdock slips out to change into his costumed persona - Daredevil! - and joins the Avengers.

The Avengers find the stone menace, and the battle is fierce, but a simultaneous blow from Iron Man and Vision shatters the creature! Iron Man tries to figure out what happened when Daredevil warns him there's a heartbeat under the rubble, and then out springs... Grey Gargoyle!

Appearing in "Back to the Stone Age!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #191.

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Synopsis for "Back to the Stone Age!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #191.

The Avengers battle the Grey Gargoyle. He defeats them and leaves. The Falcon follows the Gargoyle, who heads back to his former apartment. It is now occupied by a woman. He wants to augment his powers and asks her where his chemicals are. She tells him she threw them away. Enraged, he is about to attack her when the Falcon shows up. Falcon tells Redwing to go alert the Avengers, but the Gargoyle turns him to stone before he can. The Falcon then battles the Gargoyle, hoping to cause enough of a ruckus, and to keep up the battle long enough, for the Avengers to find out about it and show up. They show up in time, and the Scarlet Witch uses her hex power to turn the Gargoyle back into flesh and blood. Returning to the court, the Avengers find the case awarded in their favor. Gyrich is forced to greatly loosen his restrictions on the Avengers.

Appearing in "Steel City Nightmare!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #192.

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Synopsis for "Steel City Nightmare!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #192.

Tony Stark and Wonder Man go visit a Pittsburgh plant to evaluate whether Stark wants to acquire it. However, one worker seems determined to eliminate another, and ambushes him, forcing him off a catwalk and into a crucible of molten metal. The resulting accident upsets the crucible, and only the quick actions of Wonder Man prevent any further lives from being lost.

Back at Avengers mansion, a strange visitor tries gaining access by using a... Master Card? Security trusses him up - seems he was trying to get the Avengers to solve a noise complaint! But Gyrich is satisfied with security (finally) and departs.

Having been emancipated from Gyrich's total control, the Avengers try to replenish their roster by inviting Hank Pym and Hawkeye back. But Hawkeye's phone is disconnected, and Dr. Pym is enjoying time for pure research too much. Beast suggests they re-induct Wonder Man. And Wanda takes her leave of the team, at least for a time.

Back in Pittsburgh, the steel mill makes a metal memorial of the fallen employee. But that memorial suddenly bursts open to reveal... Inferno! Wonder Man and Iron Man try to take down the fiery behemoth, but it throws them back, and Wonder Man alerts the Avengers. They receive the signal and then, mysteriously, it stops...

Appearing in "Battleground: Pittsburgh!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #193.

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Synopsis for "Battleground: Pittsburgh!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #193.

Inferno stalks a terrified Tim Turpin, the co-worker who caused Joe Conroy's death, finally causing the murderer's own demise when he is crushed by a drifting barge. The creature then menaces motorists on the Liberty Bridge, until Iron Man and Wonder Man, now joined by the other Avengers, resume their battle with the molten menace. Inferno's real target, however, is steel mill owner Vince Paretta, whose Maggia connections Conroy had suspected and who had ordered his death. Inferno follows the fleeing Paretta to his home, forestalling the Avengers' pursuit by smashing a trolley car and setting it aflame. The heroes swiftly rescue the endangered passengers, however, and arrive in time to hear Paretta's fearful confession, whereupon Inferno turns and walks away into the nearby river.

Appearing in "Interlude"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #194.

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Synopsis for "Interlude"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #194.

Freed from Gyrich's restrictive regulations, the Avengers are able to reorganize their roster. Even as Wonder Man is officially reinstated, the Falcon decides to resign and departs. As the remaining teammates relax before their official meeting, an unshaven man named Selbe, clad only in a jacket and a hospital gown, appears at the mansion door and collapses into the Wasp's arms. Terribly frightened, Selbe begs for help against people supposedly trying to kill him. However, when officials arrive claiming he has escaped from their Solomon Institute for the Criminally Insane, the heroes have no choice but to turn him over. The Avengers are about to resume their meeting when they realize that the Wasp is missing, having followed Selbe and his warders back to the Institute.

Appearing in "Assault on a Mind Cage!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #195.

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Synopsis for "Assault on a Mind Cage!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #195.

The Avengers surround the Solomon Institute but cannot enter without a search warrant, so they recruit Yellowjacket and Ant-Man, who invade the premises in search of the Wasp.

To their surprise, the two tiny adventurers discover the facility to be a front for a training academy for costumed criminals' henchmen. Finding the Wasp an unconscious prisoner, they revive her, but then all three are captured by Dr. Pernell Solomon, head of the Institute, and his men.

Solomon reveals that Selbe, who resembles a younger version of himself, is actually a clone rapidly aged to adulthood and the planned donor for a heart transplant, since Solomon himself has both a weak heart and a rare blood type and thus requires a virtually identical donor.

Yellowjacket, Ant-Man, and the Wasp overpower Solomon and his aides and rush to free Selbe. They no sooner locate his cell, however, than they are ambushed by the newly arrived true master of the academy, the bizarrely costumed Taskmaster.

Appearing in "The Terrible Toll of the Taskmaster"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #196.

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Antagonists:

  • Taskmaster (Main story and flashback) (First full appearance)
  • Dr. Pernell Solomon (Death)
  • Rasputin
  • Maurice
  • Trainee Blitz Team Seven
  • Cyber-Squad X

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Synopsis for "The Terrible Toll of the Taskmaster"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #196.

The captive Yellowjacket, Wasp, and Ant-Man are amazed as the Taskmaster, easily dispatching a squad of his armed henchmen, demonstrates his "photographic reflexes," a talent which enables him to duplicate any physical action exactly after seeing it performed once. Having used this ability to mimic the prowess of such costumed heroes as Captain America, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, and Iron Fist, he has become a formidable combatant. The Taskmaster has successfully set up and operated a series of criminal training academies in recent years, only to have Dr. Solomon's private plans involve the Avengers. Solomon is dealt with, fatally, at which point the Avengers announce their arrival by smashing through a wall. A brief battle results in the defeat of Taskmaster's men while Selbe frees his three captives. The Taskmaster's "borrowed" talents serve him in good stead against the individual Avengers, but he is unable to best Jocasta, with whose powers he is unfamiliar. Finally, blinding the heroes with a magnesium flare, he escapes in his high-powered personal aircraft.

Appearing in "Prelude of the War-Devil!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #197.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Red Ronin
  • Mr. Karnowski
  • Melissa Zimmerman
  • Candy Brown
  • Chauncey Brown
  • Emma
  • Barney

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "Prelude of the War-Devil!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #197.

The Avengers experience an unaccustomed period of relaxation between missions. Jocasta is elated at the promise that she will be nominated for team membership; Iron Man decides to step down as chairman; the Beast .inveigles Wonder Man into a disastrous blind date; and Ms. Marvel visits the Scarlet Witch, who is still on leave. When Ms. Marvel becomes ill and passes out, Wanda takes her to a hospital where they are both stunned to learn that she is three months pregnant. Meanwhile, Dr. Earl Cowan, a scientist working on the restoration of the giant robot, Red Ronin, appropriates the automaton.

Appearing in "Better Red Than Ronin!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #198.

Featured Characters:

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Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

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Synopsis for "Better Red Than Ronin!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #198.

As Red Ronin makes its way toward New York, it is attacked by the Avengers and the S.H.I.E.L.D. craft Behemoth, commanded by Nick Fury. Invading the giant robot's cockpit, Yellowjacket and the Wasp learn that its deranged pilot, Dr. Cowan, believing mankind to be ruled by fear, intends to resolve matters by using Red Ronin to attack the U.S.S.R. This he hopes will bring about World War III, uniting humanity in a common cause. Cowan expels the tiny duo, and Red Ronin continues to march toward the coast, defying all efforts to stop it. Concocting a last-ditch plan, the heroes channel Behemoth's full power through Iron Man's armor into the robot. Iron Man and the S.H.I.E.L.D. ship are knocked out of action, as is Dr. Cowan, but the now pilotless Red Ronin rises, unharmed, and continues on its way, its circuits locked on Cowan's final command, "Destroy." Soon afterward, Hawkeye, investigating a disturbance at Cross Technological Enterprises, is dismayed to find himself facing the mechanical colossus.

Appearing in "Last Stand on Long Island"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #199.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Quinjet (Destruction)
  • Behemoth
  • Coast Guard cutters
  • Sky-Sled (Destruction)

Synopsis for "Last Stand on Long Island"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #199.

Wonder Man arrives in time to help Hawkeye turn Red Ronin away from the Cross Technological compound, but they cannot stop its mindless rampage. They rendezvous with the other Avengers and Nick Fury aboard Behemoth, even as Dr. Cowan regains consciousness to find, to his chagrin, that he is unable to regain control. The Avengers maneuver Red Ronin into deploying its rotary shield, which they capture and Iron Man rewires, enabling them to turn its built-in laser blade against the robot. Red Ronin gets knocked off its feet, then disabled, but its upper torso continues to crawl toward the Long Island Expressway. Fortunately, Jocasta and the Beast, who had earlier entered through Ronin's foot assembly, have made their way to the control room, and the Beast manages to disconnect the power source just in time. Back at the mansion, the team is surprised to find Wanda and an "extremely" pregnant Carol Danvers, accompanied by Dr. Don Blake. Incredibly, Ms. Marvel has undergone an entire pregnancy in two days and is about to give birth.

Appearing in "The Child is Father To...?"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #200.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Sir Cecil of Clampett

Other Characters:

Races and Species:


Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "The Child is Father To...?"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #200.

Ms. Marvel undergoes a nine-month gestation period in the span of a few days, completely unaware as to how she got pregnant. She gives birth to a baby boy, which grows to a full adult in hours and begins to assemble a machine. The Avengers destroy it believing it to be a threat. Marcus explains himself and reveals that he is the son of Immortus and used Ms. Marvel in an attempt to free himself from Limbo. However, with his machine destroyed his gambit has failed and he must return to Limbo. Ms. Marvel, feeling a strong bond between herself and Marcus, joins him in Limbo.

Appearing in "The Evil Reborn"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #201.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Ultron's robot

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Evil Reborn"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #201.

The Avengers and a crew from Stark International effect repairs to the damaged Mansion. Once complete, the team head their separate ways. Hank and Janet Pym return home prior to Hank leaving for Tokyo. The Beast and Wonderman go to the TV studio and Tony Stark is urgently recalled to Stark International. Cap invites Hawkeye to stay at the Mansion for a while.

After an incident at the studio, Wonderman is fired from his job on a children's TV show. Janet Pym is woken by a noise from Hank's lab and on investigating finds that a robot has broken in and is stealing canisters marked "AD RESIN X" and "AD RESIN Y." The robot attacks the Wasp and she vanishes. At Stark International, Tony is convinced he knows who has stolen components from the Chemical Research Division and is constructing a device, the use of which he believes will cost him his life.

Appearing in "The Evil Reborn"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #201.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Ultron's robot

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Evil Reborn"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #201.

The Avengers and a crew from Stark International effect repairs to the damaged Mansion. Once complete, the team head their separate ways. Hank and Janet Pym return home prior to Hank leaving for Tokyo. The Beast and Wonderman go to the TV studio and Tony Stark is urgently recalled to Stark International. Cap invites Hawkeye to stay at the Mansion for a while.

After an incident at the studio, Wonderman is fired from his job on a children's TV show. Janet Pym is woken by a noise from Hank's lab and on investigating finds that a robot has broken in and is stealing canisters marked "AD RESIN X" and "AD RESIN Y." The robot attacks the Wasp and she vanishes. At Stark International, Tony is convinced he knows who has stolen components from the Chemical Research Division and is constructing a device, the use of which he believes will cost him his life.

Appearing in "Night of the Crawlers"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #203.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:


Other Characters:

  • Lenny
  • Deuce
  • Turk
  • Juanita Lopez
  • Mrs Lopez

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Night of the Crawlers"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #203.

Lost at night in a strange neighborhood, Wonder Man and the Beast enter the city sewers to search for a missing child supposedly menaced by strange creatures called Crawlers. When they find young Hugo Lopez, he proves to have befriended the Crawlers, who were accidentally created from the illegally dumped wastes of anaerobic mutation research. Despite the interference of a group of street toughs, the heroes return the boy home, but he again runs away from his abusive mother and rejoins the sewer creatures. The misguided locals return, armed with explosives, and a fight breaks out. The Crawlers are being burned alive by incendiary chemicals when an explosion destroys the sewer wall, sucking water, Crawlers, and Hugo Lopez out into the river. Exiting the sewer, Wonder Man and the Beast turn to find that everyone else has vanished, and when they try to report the incident, there is no evidence that anything has happened.

Appearing in "Claws Across the Water!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #204.

Featured Characters:

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Other Characters:


Locations:

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Synopsis for "Claws Across the Water!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #204.

A plea for help from a woman named Shu Han sends the Avengers racing to the fortified island headquarters of her captor, the Yellow Claw. While the Wasp and the Vision infiltrate the stronghold, the other Avengers contend with the island's defenses, including a bio-mechanical jellyfish, a barrage of sharp flying blades, and rocket-firing robot birds. They finally gain entry to their foe's base to find that the Vision has been captured and will be destroyed if they should persist in their attack. When the Yellow Claw learns that Shu Han, his prospective bride, had summoned the Avengers, he surprisingly releases her from the arrangement made years earlier by her father, and she and the Avengers are allowed to leave. Still having many willing brides to provide him with heirs, the Claw is satisfied that his plans for world domination will reach fruition.

Appearing in "Shadow of the Claw!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #205.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Dr. Liu (Death) (Main story and flashback)
  • Shu Han (Main story and flashback)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Shadow of the Claw!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #205.

Dr. Liu, the Yellow Claw's assistant, arrives at Avengers Mansion to warn them of his master's plans, but is killed by remote control before he can utter more than a set of coordinates in the Australian desert. The Vision, feigning a need to recuperate from his earlier encounter with the Claw, remains behind as his teammates fly to Australia, then goes alone to the Claw's island base. Having deduced that the villain had altered his circuitry to enable him to monitor the Avengers' actions, the Vision had parted from his teammates, hoping to defeat the evildoer by himself. The Yellow Claw, however, easily recaptures the Vision while unleashing three powerful cyborgs against the Avengers in Australia. He plans to destroy Earth's population by releasing a vapor into the atmosphere, rendering sterile all outside his island's protective dome. His many wives will then provide him with sons who will battle to the death, the winner becoming his successor and ruler of the world, while his store of cryogenically preserved genetic material will create a new population who will become his son's obedient followers. Although the Avengers escape destruction at the hands of the Claw's cyborgs, they are still unable to bring down the spaceship from which he controls his gas-filled missiles. The captive Vision, however, increases his density to the maximum, causing the ship to crash into the ocean. The Vision survives the crash, but the Avengers find no trace of the Yellow Claw.

Appearing in "Fire in the Streets!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #206.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Pyron (First appearance)

Other Characters:


Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Fire in the Streets!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #206.

An industrial saboteur is seemingly killed by his own bomb to ensure his silence, but instead becomes the superhuman Pyron the Thermal Man. The bomb starts a chemical factory fire which even the Human Torch fails to extinguish. When the Avengers attempt to penetrate the blaze, Iron Man is frozen into immobility by his armor's cooling units while the Vision is forced to remain intangible to survive the heat. Their teammates battle Pyron, who plans to cause a huge gas explosion, destroying his former employers and most of New Jersey. Finally, the Wasp manages to hurl a chemical foam capsule into Pyron's face, which negates his powers, defeating him.

Appearing in "Double Vision"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish Vol 2 #12.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Detective McBain

Antagonists:


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Locations:


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Synopsis for "Double Vision"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish Vol 2 #12.



Notes

See Also

Footnotes

  1. At which point Beast makes a classic Rocky and Bullwinkle reference: "Again? But that trick never works!"
  2. Last issue, of course.
  3. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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