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Avengers #174: Review

Aug 1978
Bill Mantlo, Dave Wenzel

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Story Name:

Captives of the Collector!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #174 Review by (November 11, 2014)
This is the 1st mention of Elders of the Universe. Collector says they came from elsewhere to the early days of this universe. He mentions a game-playing brother, ie the Grandmaster. 3 other elders have also already been introduced, without linking them together:- Possessor (Kamo Tharnn) in Thor #235, Contemplator (as Mister Buda) in Marvel Treasury Edition: Captain America's Centennial Battles, and Gardener in Marvel Team-Up #55. And possibly Ego the Living Planet from Th#132. The Elders will be fully established as a group in the Silver Surfer (1987) series. They will be denizens of *this* universe - sole survivors of its earliest races. They are immortals who have chosen specialised hobbies (collecting, game-playing) to while away the time. So we now learn that Carina Walters, Michael's mate, is Collector's daughter. It will be revealed in Silver Surfer #3 that his wife Matani (so much for sole survivors) died of boredom, a problem for immortals. Grandmaster will resurrect Collector in the Contest of Champions mini-series. SS#3 will say that Matani was brought back to life at the same time, but she just chose to die again.

Collector says he can see the future to some extent. He foresaw the rise of Thanos and his desire to destroy the universe. He started collecting specimens to preserve them. This would be why he tried to collect Avengers in #28,51&119, and the Hulk in Hu#197-198. (In Iron Man #26 he was just collecting stuff.) Since the death of Thanos in MTIO An#2, Collector foresaw the rise of another threat (Michael/Enemy/Korvac), and started collecting Avengers again in #168.

For this 1 issue Bill Mantlo scripts from Jim Shooter's plot. Dave Wenzel takes over the pencilling from here to the end of the Korvac Saga. The 13 Avengers Collector has 'saved' are Two-Gun Kid (#168), Quicksilver (#170), Captain America & Jocasta (#171), Moondragon & Vision (#172), Black Panther & Black Widow & Captain Marvel & Hercules & Scarlet Witch & Wonder Man & Yellowjacket (last issue). Beast isn't included (despite being shown captured on the cover) - he's temporarily off with the X-Men. Given that Collector says the extra 4 will make a complete set of Avengers, he's missing some old ones. Hulk is the most obvious (Collector *did* recently try to acquire him in Hulk #197-198). He should have gone after Beast above, and fellow-inductee Hellcat is also nearby. Black Knight and Mantis are not around at the moment, though he could have sought them in time (next issue will show he has a time machine) and space (though possibly not in a different multiverse of the omniverse as Mantis seems to be currently), even plucking Swordsman from before his death. And some of the ones he does have are of dubious status. Black Widow *was* briefly an official Avenger in #111-112. But Captain Marvel was never granted membership, and even Wonder Man is still classed as a guest by the Official Index. Moondragon was only a trainee like Hellcat. And Jocasta certainly isn't an Avenger (although Collector's precognition or time-travel may tell him that she will be).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #174 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
The remaining AvengersIron Man, Thor, Hawkeye and Wasp—confront the Collector aboard his ship. Their foe battles them with a Vandarian Power Wand and Energy Creatures of Erdle, trapping Thor’s hammer and freezing up Iron Man’s armor. He knocks out the Thunder God with an energy jolt and traps Wasp in an electrified net. Hawkeye manages to elude all of the villain’s traps and stun him with an electrical arrow. The bowman then releases all of the captive Avengers and they question the Collector. The villain reveals himself to be an immortal Elder of the Universe, dedicated to preserving a sample of creatures that are threatened by cosmic forces such as Thanos. He had detected the threat of mysterious Enemy on Earth and sent his daughter to spy on him as his lover—but Michael in turn is aware of the Collector’s attention and strikes out, reducing the Elder to ashes.

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

Dave Wenzel
Pablo Marcos
Phil Rachelson
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)
Plot: .


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel


(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Whizzer.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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