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Avengers #168: Review

Feb 1978
Jim Shooter, George Perez

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Story Name:

First Blood

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #168 Review by (March 20, 2010)
Henry Peter Gyrich was introduced in #165.

Avengers #168 Review by (October 14, 2014)
There is now a gap in the Saga (not counting #169 which is a fill-in placed chronologically earlier) wherein the Avengers will have several independent appearances. Collector will now whisk Thor back to space for the conclusion of his adventures in Th#260-266, knowing that the hero will return of his own accord for the rest of the Korvac Saga. Iron Man will also go into space for IM#109-112. Meanwhile Beast and Scarlet Witch will feature in Ms Marvel #16, and Jarvis will get a cameo in Def#52. Beast, Shellhead and Scarlet Witch will recombine with Cap for another cameo in Def#58. Scarlet Witch will then feature with Vision, Wasp, Wonder Man and Yellowjacket in MsM#18, Afterwards YJ will join Beast and Iron Man in Dr Strange #29, and then he'll support Vision in Marvel Two-In-One #39.

Two-Gun Kid's vanishing is the 1st sign we see that the Collector is collecting Avengers. We got the 1st hint that Aleta existed in Defenders #29, and Starhawk's dual nature became apparent in Marvel Presents #4. The backstory of how the 2 were merged was told in MP#9-10. Michael and Carina Walters are already posing as man and wife since last issue (unless it was a very quick marriage). Starhawk's inability to sense Michael will be the cause of his undoing later.

Henry Peter Gyrich works for the NSC. As he says he got into Avengers Mansion through a hole created by Nefaria's villains in #165. But he can't have been here all the time since then. The Avengers didn't notice anything last issue, and separately and together they've had lots of adventured in between #166 and #167. And surely the hole wouldn't still be there, or Captain America really *would* have something to complain about. So probably Gyrich found out how to bypass Avengers security at that time. Cap complains again that Iron Man is a part-time Avenger (and chairman) because he has a job working for Tony Stark. The Official Index chronology means that there is at least some substance to his jibe this time - IM#95-109 were inserted between #166 and #167.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #168 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy return to Earth, leaving Vance Astro aboard their ship Drydock, as he is alive in this era and he cannot chance creating a temporal catastrophe by meeting his younger self. They arrive at Avengers Mansion to a triggered security alarm. A search reveals National Security Agent Henry Peter Gyrich who complains about their poor security and threatens to revoke their special privileges. After Gyrich leaves, Captain America confronts Iron Man about the poor job he’s been doing as leader, with his constants distractions from his work for Tony Stark. The argument almost leads to blows but it is broken up by the Scarlet Witch who reminds Cap that he hasn’t been much help to the team lately. Meanwhile out west, Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid are aboard a train heading back to New York, when Two-Gun suddenly vanishes. Meanwhile, Starhawk, in his alter ego of Aleta, tracks down and confronts their enemy, the mysterious Michael, at his new home in Forest Hills. The battle takes place on every plane of existence simultaneously, the physical, the astral, and the cosmic, being detected by persons as diverse as Peter Parker, Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel and the Silver Surfer. Michael overcome his foe crushing him into dust; he then raises Starhawk to life again, erases the ability to detect him from the Guardian’s mind and sends him back to the Avengers to inform his friends that their mission is imperative. Starhawk arrives and delivers his message, just as the assembled heroes are organizing protection for young Vance Astrovik who may be under threat by their enemy. Meanwhile, Michael ponders and plans.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay
Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

George Perez
Pablo Marcos
Phil Rachelson
Terry Austin (Cover Penciler)
George Perez (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

(Peter Parker)


Plus: Vance Astro (Major Victory).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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