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Avengers #132: Review

Feb 1975
Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

Kang War II

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #132 Review by (January 21, 2014)
The confusion continues from last issue as to whether the Legion of the Unliving are actually dead or not. Wonder Man says he was brought here from before his death, but Midnight says *he* is dead already. (As mentioned last comments various sources agree that the characters except Ghost were brought here from just before their deaths.) But now Kang says that they can't be killed because they're already dead, and that's also why they're under his control. And an editorial comment says that the reason Frankenstein Monster can wander free of Kang's control is that he isn't dead - it is merely the bodies he was made from that were dead. An alternative explanation could be that it's because he didn't die in 1898 where he was plucked from, and has already been revived from suspended animation in the present day in other Marvel comics. Immortus again appears not to know he's another version of Kang and Rama-Tut, which he'll confess to in GS Av#3. And Tut doesn't appear to credit the possibility of alternate futures, which later stories will make clear he *should* understand.

Roy Thomas scripts over Steve Englehart's plot, as he will in the sequel in Giant-Size Av#3. The cover blurb says that 1 of the depicted Avengers will die this issue. We are left at the end with the possibility that Iron Man or Vision are dead. But Vision isn't on the cover so that sort-of gives the game away that it's Shellhead who's a goner. And GS Av#3 will confirm it. But of course you know his death won't stick. Iron Man dies because his armour packs up. This almost happened in GS Av#2, and it was also hinted in #130 that he still needed his chestplate. This is true (again) since IM#69-70. Zemo's paste gun contains Adhesive X, which has figured in various stories and is the reason why his hood is stuck to his head (as seen in flashback in #6).



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #132 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The scene is Immortus' castle in Limbo. Kang has just snatched 6 dead characters from out of the past, and brought them here to face the Avengers whom he has also transported from Saigon. Immortus and Kang's future self Rama-Tut II watch impotently from their containment tubes. Kang leads his little army to find the scattered Avengers. But 1 of them, the Frankenstein Monster, wanders off.

Thor has been trying to smash his way out of the part of the castle he found himself in, but found it immune to both Mjolnir and lightning bolts. He had heard Kang declaring that they were in Limbo, and wonders if it is magic that is keeping him here. He reverts to Don Blake to see if the magic will let him go, but to no avail.

Suddenly the Frankenstein Monster comes upon him and blindly attacks. But Blake transforms himself back to Thor, only to find that the Monster is indestructible. Then he realises who his foe is and stops fighting him. The Monster shambles off and Thor follows hoping to be led to Kang.

Now we have a brief interlude in Saigon as the hooded figure from the last 2 issues tries to figure out where the Avengers have gone. He meets with the glowing green 'ghost' of Swordsman from last issue who assures him that Mantis will be OK because she's destined to be the Celestial Madonna.

Meanwhile Kang and his followers are still searching for Avengers to kill. Except Mantis who must be kept alive for Kang - the martial artist Midnight was summoned here to defeat her and he slips away.

The 1st Avenger they meet is Vision. Kang sends Wonder Man and the original android Human Torch against him. The android Vision is initially shocked to be facing Wonder Man who is the template for his brain. But he recovers fast enough to let Wondie smash his fist against diamond-hard skin. And then turne intangible to let Torch's flame pass through him.

Kang then sends in Baron Zemo and the Ghost of the Flying Dutchman. Vision's solar eye-beam stuns Zemo but can't harm him. The Ghost stands idle while the Avenger 'ghosts' through a wall, but then follows him the same way.

Midnight finds Mantis and they fight. Mantis finds herself equally-matched but senses that her foe is actually dead. And she runs away, chased by Midnight.

Another interlude has Immortus and Rama-Tut blaming each other for their captivity. With yet more musings on destiny.

Hawkeye and Iron Man find each other, but only just before Kang finds them with his 3 remaining troops. Shellhead and Wonder Man mix it up while Hawkeye smashes Zemo's paste gun with an arrow. Iron Man sends Hawkeye to find the others. Hawkeye obeys, with his usual chafing about being treated as the weakest member of the team. But now the Torch grabs the Armoured Avenger and melts his circuits. And without his heart-sustaining chestplate Tony Stark drops dead.

Ghost comes across Mantis but refuses to fight her, saying Kang wants the Celestial Madonna alive and he himself is seeking the Vision. Find him he does, and both characters try the solidifying-an-arm-in-the-other's-chest trick. But the dead Ghost seems unaffected, while Vision himself falls to his own signature move. And Mantis finds him dying, with Ghost nowhere to be seen.

The story continues in GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #3.


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Sal Buscema
Joe Staton
Petra Goldberg
Ron Wilson (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Roy Thomas.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Baron Zemo, Frankenstein Monster, Ghost (Flying Dutchman), Immortus, Libra, Midnight, Rama-Tut.