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Avengers #102: Review

Aug 1972
Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler

Story Name:

What to do till the Sentinels come

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #102 Review by (February 23, 2012)
Soon after UXM#59 the X-Men ended their series with #66 (against the Hulk). They have made few appearances since then including Prof X in Avengers #88 (against the Hulk), and Havok and Lorna Dane in Hulk #150. Just to show that they can fight someone other than Hulk, Iceman guest-starred in Amazing Spider-Man #92. And it is indeed Beast who has transformed into his familiar furry version in his own series from Amazing Adventures #11. Vision's 3-decade age puts his birth back in WWII. This follows on from Ant-Man's comments on his internal structure in #93, pointing towards the revelation in #135 that Ultron created Vision from the body of the Timely Human Torch. After plundering the Fantastic Four mythos for the Kree-Skrull War, this issue starts a run of X-Men-related tales. The Sentinels will take us to #104, followed by the Savage Land Mutates in #105. Then #110-111 will feature Magneto and the X-Men themselves. Of course the Avengers began tapping into the X-Men universe when they inducted Wanda and Pietro in #16. And Magneto also showed his face in #47-49 and #53 (along with the X-Men).

The Sentinels are mutant-hunting robots from Uncanny X-Men #14-16 and #57-59. In that last issue they were tricked into flying to the Sun to futilely try to destroy it as the ultimate source of all mutations. UXM was at the time written by Roy Thomas, but #59 was the debut of Chris Claremont, credited as assistant plotter (while he was an editorial assistant and at college). The Sentinel's ultra-linear leap is a new. It seems to be some form of teleportation or space-warp. In #104 we will learn that only Sentinel #2 can cause the space-warp, which is why this Sentinel calls him. Chris next surfaced giving plot assistance to Archie Goodwin in Hulk #148. And that issue introduce the space station Starcore One used to study the sun. Its director Dr Peter Corbeau tried to use the power of the sun to cure the Hulk (or rather cure Bruce Banner of being the Hulk). Now Chris gets his 3rd plot credit, combining elements from both those stories. (Dr Corbeau will step onscreen next issue.) It will be a year before he will get to write his first comic Daredevil #102, and 2 more years before he will graduate to the revived Uncanny X-Men (where Sentinels, Corbeau and Starcore will all appear).

This issue effectively has 2 titles. The cover title 'My brother .. the Grim Reaper' applies to the 1st half of the comic. The interior title 'What to do till the Sentinels come' only appears half way through. I credit Chris Claremont as plotter because he apparently came up with the idea for this issue (presumably for the 2nd half). Grim Reaper attacked the Avengers in #52 and #78-79. In that last issue he discovered Vision's connection to his brother. Hence the change of tack this time. I don't know when he dug Wonder Man's body up, and how he thinks he is preserving it. But the true reason Wonder Man hasn't decomposed won't be fully revealed until #160. He isn't dead, just in a coma, and his body is now fueled by ionic energy. The secret romance between Vision and Scarlet Witch has been bubbling along for a while now. They admitted their love to each other in #91, but then entered a soap-opera phase. Vision tried to suppress his feelings because he thought an android wasn't worthy of Wanda. He finally publicly admitted his love in #99, but Wanda turned away from him then because that love had made him shirk his duty to the Avengers. Earlier that issue Wanda confessed her love to her brother Pietro, and Hawkeye made a move on her. Nothing much was said on the subject in the last 2 issues, but it is now coming to the fore again.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #102 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The android Vision meets with Grim Reaper, the man who calls them brothers because Vision's mind is derived from a recording of the brain of Reaper's brother Wonder Man, who died in #9. Reaper reveals that he has Wonder Man's preserved body. He offers Vision a deal:- transferring the android's brain into Wonder Man's human body, in exchange for Vision's help in killing the Avengers, whom Reaper blames for his brother's death.

Vision is tempted because a human body would remove a barrier to his love for Scarlet Witch. Still he declines Reaper's offer. But he accepts a device to communicate with him.

Back at Avengers Mansion Hawkeye is again asking Wanda to marry him. Vision sees Hawkeye kissing her. But he doesn't hear Wanda rejecting Clint, and declaring her love for Vision.

Meanwhile the Starcore One space station detects objects (which they don't recognise as Sentinels) approaching from the Sun, and they notify Gen'l Ross at Hulk-Buster Base.

Vision arrives home to find the Avengers waiting for Captain America to arrive so they can start a meeting. But they don't complain when Scarlet Witch decides to go out for a walk in Central Park.

They hear the news of the invaders from the Sun, and Quicksilver remembers how the Sentinels were sent into the Sun after they tried to capture all mutants in Uncanny X-Men #57-59. He also wonders what's happened to the X-Men, who haven't been heard from lately. And whether the shaggy Beast in Amazing Adventures is related to his namesake in the X-Men.

Vision sees a Sentinel landing in the Park. He rushes out to protect Wanda, telling Jarvis to scramble the others. Cap arrives in time to join the exodus.

Speedy Quicksilver catches up with Vision, and they both tackle the Sentinel who has Wanda in his grasp. The Sentinel analyses them to work out the appropriate response. And makes the strange comment that Vision's body is 3 decades old.

The other Avengers all arrive later. But none can stop the Sentinel, partly because Iron Man and Thor daren't unleash their full powers for fear of harming Wanda. The Sentinel communicates with Sentinel #2, and 'ultra-linear leaps' away. As he leaves he says Scarlet Witch is the only mutant he wants.

Cap wants to formulate a plan to go after the Sentinel. But angry Pietro rejects the Avengers' help, and says he'll hunt the Sentinels down by himself.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Rich Buckler
Joe Sinnott
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

Plus: Grim Reaper (Eric Williams), Sentinels.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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