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Avengers #125: Review

Jul 1974
Steve Englehart, John Buscema

Story Name:

The power of Babel

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #125 Review by (December 24, 2013)
Lou-Ann was under the control of the Controller, working for Thanos, which Mar-Vell broke in CM#30. She has since been recuperating in Avengers Mansion. In CM#27 and #31 I tried to identify Thanos' aliens. I've had much less success here, although there are some that I think I *should* know. There's the obvious Badoon and Skrull and maybe a miscoloured Aakon, plus the repeat of an armoured minion from Silver Surfer #6. An alien from Amazing Spider-Man #2 shows up for the 3rd time, although these will be later revealed as not aliens at all. And I could swear there's Chameleon Boy in there from Legion of Super-Heroes! Thanos closely follows on from Zodiac in this sequence of Avengers issues. I've just documented something similar in Avengers Assemble, but there Zodiac are working for Thanos.

Captain America #175 was the end of a story starting in CA#169 which saw Cap framed for murder, and captured X-Men and other mutants being used as a power source by the Secret Empire to take over the US. The story ended with Cap seeing the No 1 villain commit suicide in the White House. It was hinted that he was Richard Nixon, but Avengers Forever just called him a highly-placed official. Steve Rogers' rethink will have him resigning as Cap in CA#176. But before that he'll appear in a few other issues, including #126 and Giant-Size Avengers #1. The Official Index splits the Thanos story in 2, and so places Lou-Ann's arrival and the part of the flashback covering Captain Marvel #27-28 earlier, between sections of #119. This was before the Secret Empire story began, and Cap hadn't yet had to temporarily leave the Avengers. There was no particular reason given why Mantis and Swordsman weren't involved, but he *was* then suffering from a previous injury. There was also no reason for Thor's absence there, or from the opening pages of this issue.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #125 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue begins with an epilogue to the Zodiac/Star Stalker story in the last 5 issues. The Avengers have returned from Viet Nam. Mantis still isn't convinced Libra is her father, but they part on good terms when he is taken into custody for his Zodiac activities. She goes to see Swordsman who is in hospital after being tortured in #123.

Thor is off on his own business somewhere.

Captain America turns up, and the Avengers greet him warmly. They have seen news reports of how he cleared his name of murder and exposed the Secret Empire, culminating in CA#175. He won't tell them everything that happened, but says it is making him rethink his role as Cap.

So it is Cap, Black Panther, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch and Vision who are there to greet Lou-Ann Savannah when she staggers to Avengers Mansion with Rick Jones' Avengers ID. We then get a capsule summary from the Avengers point of view of Captain Marvel #27-28, and #31 with Mantis, Swordsman and Thor rejoining the gang, in battle with Thanos. (It fails to mention the crucial point here that Thanos now has the Cosmic Cube.)

In CM #31 Iron Man was abducted by Thanos with Mar-Vell, Moondragon and Drax the Destroyer. We now see a scene shown in CM #32 where the remaining Avengers are warned by the Starcore space station of the approach of Thanos' spacefleet. Black Panther takes to the skies in Zodiac's Star-Cruiser, and the rest follow in a quinjet, made space-worthy since the Kree/Skrull War.

The 2 ships engage the enemy. Thor goes his own way. The Thanos-Thralls are soon contacting their master for help, only to see that he has achieved godhood in CM #31. Thor invades the flagship and lays about him with his hammer amongst the crew of mixed aliens. Meanwhile the 2 Avengers ships are shooting down enemy craft left, right and centre (1 of which crashes in New York).

Panther suddenly notices a patch of black obscuring part of the star field. Attempting to fire into it he discovers it is a force field. He alerts the quinjet, and Vision decides to take Mantis, Scarlet Witch and Swordsman out into space to investigate, leaving Cap to fly the ship.

But Swordsman's festering suspicions boil over, and he accuses Vision of desiring his woman Mantis. Vision had only praised Mantis' skills to Swordsman in #121, but when Mantis blurts out that he had said the same to her last issue, Scarlet Witch is not happy. Android Vision's inexperienced logical mind is totally oblivious to the soap-opera unfolding around him..

They suit up in transparent spacesuits (so we can still tell who's who) and exit the quinjet. Wanda uses her hex to make a hole in the force field (with a sarky comment about her ability only being something she was born with, not a skill she trained for like Mantis). They jet through and find a large spaceship hidden inside the black barrier.

Vision dematerialises his arm and reaches inside to unlock a hatch, and they're in, facing a horde of various aliens. All 4 Avengers acquit themselves well taking out their foes.

Vision wonders why all the aliens spoke English, and the signs in the ship are written in that language too. But Mantis says she heard and sees Vietnamese. Then they notice something labelled Universal Language Equalizer. And they realise that this hidden spaceship is allowing all the different aliens in the fleet to understand each other.

Vision finds the control labelled 'force field' and switches that off. They exit the ship and call in the 2 Avengers craft, which swiftly blow the spaceship up. And all over the space around Earth the aliens can no longer communicate to control their craft. Spaceships crash into one another, and ships fire on ships as old enmities resurface.

Their job done the Avengers return home. But Mantis senses something is wrong. And we see Thanos gloating in the shadows.

To find out what's happening with Thanos, and how it all turns out, go to CM#33.


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Elektra

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John Buscema
Dave Cockrum
Petra Goldberg
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
Ron Wilson (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Roy Thomas.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Libra, Lou-Ann Savannah.