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Avengers #177: Review

Nov 1978
Jim Shooter, Dave Wenzel

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Story Name:

The Hope... And the Slaughter!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #177 Review by (March 20, 2010)
For an alternate take on this saga, see WHAT IF? #32, “What if the Avengers Had Become Pawns of Korvac?”

Avengers #177 Review by (November 11, 2014)
An#8 is the next Av issue in chronological sequence, so I'll mention what our characters will be doing up to then. It's basically the activities of the Big 3. Thor battles FAUST in Th#269-271, teaming with Iron Man in the last 2, and the assembled Avengers Beast, Cap, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wonder Man in #271. (Captain Marvel also gets a cameo there, but not suggesting he's still hanging around the team.) Iron Man guests in the origin of the Scott Lang Ant-Man in Marvel Premiere #47, and then in CA#218 which is part of CA#217-221 - mainly the Ameridroid story. IM fits in his own #113 against Unicorn. Cap guests in a Falcon/Spider-Man story in Marvel Team-Up #71 vs Plantman, then IM joins Spidey in the unrelated MTU#72 against Whiplash. Cap continues with his #222-223,225-227 (the Corporation, and a temporarily-powerless Cap vs Red Skull). The only other character in this issue who does stuff before An#8 is Ms Marvel. In the beginning of her #20 she switches to the more familiar blue costume with the yellow zig-zag emblem. Then the Marvel Continuity Project has her sharing MTU#76-77 with Dr Strange and Spider-Man against Marie LaVeau and Silver Dagger, before returning to MM#20-22 to fight some Lizard People and Deathbird. Black Panther, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Wasp and Yellowjacket make no appearances between the Korvac Saga and An#8. Similarly Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision and Wonder Man go quiet after the Thor issues. Captain Marvel is also absent after Th#271, but doesn't even show up in the Annual. Meanwhile Black Widow, Hercules, Jocasta, Moondragon and the Guardians miss the Annual and everything else.

The whole revived cast (apart from Vance Astro in the Guardian's (recreated) spacecraft) appear in an epilogue in the collected Korvac Saga, which makes out that Michael's motives were never good, although this epilogue is removed from later versions. Beast returns from the X-Men after that, and the whole lot will be in #181, where Henry Gyrich will slim the team down. This suggests that #178-180 are fill-in issues, not necessarily written at this time. But An#8 is actually designed to fit in the gap because it includes Black Panther, Ms Marvel, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Wonder Man and Yellowjacket who will leave after #181 (although Ms Marvel will immediately be brought back in #183).

Marvel doesn't stop using characters just because they're dead. In Av An#16 dead Michael will be 1 of Grandmaster's Legion of the Unliving. In Fantastic Four An#24, Silver Surfer An#4 and Guardians of the Galaxy An#1 Michael's power will be transmitted down the years, eventually leading to the origin of Korvac himself. GotG An#2 has future Korvac recreated from a backup from before he went into past - then banished to another universe. In Captain America (1998) #1,10,14-19 Korvac will 'ally' with Red Skull to get Galactus' knowledge. (But Michael already did that, so I assume this is an alternate Korvac coming back from the future.) After a lot of time-travel stuff RS will dissipate him. Carina too will be resurrected in Avengers Academy. Hank Pym thinks he's found Wasp in Underspace, but when she's brought back in AvAc#11-12 she will turn out to be Carina. And Michael will rebuild himself to be with her. But she will reject him, he'll turn bad, and she will arrange for him to be discorporated again, before leaving to explore the universe. Carina suggests that this was the Korvac from the CA/RS story, and that *he* was Michael from the Saga. But I prefer my theory of that Korvac, and this was Michael returning to life for her.

What If? #32 describes what happens in an alternate timeline where Michael survives this battle (because Carina didn't doubt him). As predicted the great powers of the universe oppose him. He prevails against most of them, but is then faced with an uprising of all the alien races. To face those he absorbs the whole population of Earth, including Carina. Then, filled with hate, he uses the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy the whole universe (but only of course in 1 timeline). So we never get to see what Michael would have *done* with the universe if left alone. But as he grows in power, Master Order grows and Lord Chaos shrinks, because Michael intends to bring order to the universe. He explains that he would abolish all the bad stuff, even old age and death. In fact he would abolish change, and having created a perfect world he would leave it alone. It occurs to me that this destruction of a timeline caused by someone on an Earth could be the event that started the multiversal collapse currently occupying the attention of the Illuminati in New Avengers.

The end of the Korvac Saga marks the end of Jim Shooter's run as writer, or at least plotter (except he pops back as editor for #179-180). It also terminates Pablo Marcos' long, unifying run as inker. And Dave Wenzel's short burst as penciller. What will follow is Annual #8 and #178-180, with short tales and a mixture of creators, until stability and ongoing plotlines return with #181. Note that Carina kills Iron Man, Starhawk and Vision out of anger at the death of Michael. So the only ones left alive are Thor, who kills her, and Moondragon, who kept out of the fight. And Carina's wish to die and join her husband meant that she took control of Mjolnir and used it to kill herself - ie Thor's nobility is unblemished.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #177 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
As Odin, Zeus and Mephisto gather for battle against Michael/Korvac, it is with regret that the godlike being turns his attention to the Avengers. Moondragon manages to send a psychic summons to the Guardians of the Galaxy who rush to the scene. With a wave of his hand Michael destroys the space station Drydock, killing Vance Astro. In the ensuing melee, Michael kills the heroes one by one as even their special powers prove no match for his abilities. The last surviving Avengers unite to blast their foe, who reaches out to his beloved Carina for love and support. But Carina, who has already betrayed her father for this man, sees the panorama of the coming cosmic war before her and hesitates. At that, Michael loses the will to live and ends his own life. An enraged Carina uses her own cosmic powers to battle Thor, Iron Man, Vision and Starhawk. Thor strikes her with a bolt of lightning from his hammer and she falls, reaching for Michael’s hand as she dies. Moondragon appears, explaining to Thor that Carina wanted to die and join her beloved, and that Michael was not evil and did not wish to rule the world, only to free humanity from its darker aspects. In the seconds before he died, Michael restored the fallen heroes to life; Thor changes back to Dr. Don Blake and ministers to his injured compatriots, wondering if the Avengers are therefore the villains. Moondragon erases from his mind the final explanation, leaving the Avengers to believe that they have won a great victory over evil but she—she can never forget.

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

Dave Wenzel
Ricardo Villamonte
Nel Yomtov
Dave Cockrum (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel


(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Vance Astro (Major Victory).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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