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Avengers #189: Review

Nov 1979
Steven Grant, John Byrne

Story Name:

Wings and arrows

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #189 Review by (March 31, 2015)
Steven Grant takes the writer's chair for this issue and next. Then David Michelinie will be back. Meanwhile many hands stir the plot - as well as Grant and Michelinie there's Mark Gruenwald (continuing the partnership with Grant from #185-187) and Roger Stern (the editor). Iron Man returned to the team in Annual #9 and has resumed his chairmanship. I think this is the 1st use of Avengers ID cards, which nearly every hero in the Marvel Universe will seem to have later. Cross Technological Enterprises was introduced in the origin of the Scott Lang Ant-Man in Marvel Premiere #47-48. Hawkeye will continue working for them for a long while. He'll defend them from Mr Fear in Marvel Team-Up #92 before his job brings him into contact with the Avengers again in #198. Eventually in the 1st Hawkeye mini-series it will lead to him meeting and marrying Mockingbird. CTE will also sometimes appear without Hawkeye, eg in Iron Man #145. Deathbird fought Ms Marvel in her #9-10 and #22 written by Chris Claremont. She has claimed to be the 1st-born of the Aerie, exiled because she killed 1 of her own, and needing electronic components to get back home. After this Claremont will take her to Uncanny X-Men where she will be sister to Lilandra Neramani, ruler of the alien Shi'ar.

While they're waiting for Henry Gyrich to turn up Captain America & Vision and Iron Man nip out for a bit. IM#129 ties off the subplot left over from #119 about SHIELD trying to take over Stark International. Cap and Vision cameo in Fantastic Four #215 We haven't seen Jocasta since #185. We won't find out what's troubling her soon, but she'll be back for a long run from #194. Thor goes for a long run in his own series next from #285 to #302. The Eternals storyline morphs into a look back to Wagner's Ring Cycle, and then the 2 stories merge. After it's all over the Thunder God will come back here for #199-202. After their jaunt in Defenders #78-81 Wasp will be back next issue and Yellowjacket will pop in for #192. Wonder Man will also be back in #192 after tangling with Madame Masque and a Dreadnought in Marvel Premiere #55. It takes a while for Gyrich to organise the hearing to decide the team's fate next issue, so Cap fills in the time in CA#243-245 facing Adonis and then some neo-Nazis.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #189 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers have just finished the Arsenal adventure in Avengers Mansion in Annual #9. Thor flies off to continue his own current storyline concerning the Celestials, Deviants and Eternals. Falcon passes him on the way in from his own tale of the 'Embassy slaying' in Marvel Premiere #49. The rest of those assembled in An#9 are still hanging around (literally in Beast's case), including Hawkeye, Wonder Man and Yellowjacket.

Sam Wilson's retinal pattern is scanned for identification by a new security device, and it issues him with an Avengers ID card. Clint Barton is still miffed about being replaced on government order by Falcon. He ignores Sam's proffered apology and storms out.

Hank Pym gets a call from his wife Jan with the female Defenders in Las Vegas. He borrows a quinjet to go fetch her, but will get embroiled with her against Mandrill's mutant army in Def#79-81. Wonder Man also goes back to his acting career.

Ms Marvel is still away on her own business, but now that Scarlet Witch has returned to the fold last issue Carol Danvers is surplus to requirements. The team selected by government liaison Henry Gyrich in #181 is together for the 1st time. Except Wanda confounds him (and her husband Vision) by saying she's not ready to resume active duty yet. (She's still reeling from the revelations about her birth in #186-187, and her brother Quicksilver's imminent parenthood has stirred things up too.)

Angry Gyrich tells them not to do anything for a few days until he returns from Washington to New York.

Most of the rest of this issue centres on Hawkeye. Clint Barton returns to his cheap rented room to find all his job applications have been turned down, but he gets a very small retainer as a stand-by Avenger. He's being applying for jobs as ex-carny Barton (the world doesn't know he's Hawkeye), but now he sees an ad for a job that might suit is super-identity. Cross Technological Enterprises want a Security Chief.

Hawkeye breaks into the office of the named contact to impress him with his knowledge of security systems. He's hired to stop a spate of robberies.

2 nights later he answers an alarm at a warehouse and finds that someone has burned their way in through the roof and KO'd the guards.  That someone is Deathbird, an enemy of Ms Marvel, who talks about being on a mission to get some machinery and redeem herself with the Aerie, to get off this planet and back home.

It's a battle of energy javelins and flight vs trick arrows and gymnastics. A lucky shot renders 1 arm temporarily numb, but the Avenger still manages to capture the robber by wielding arrows 1-handed. The brash hero finishes off by kissing Deathbird while handing her over to CTE troops.

Now Henry Gyrich is confronting the Avengers, just as troubled robot Jocasta comes in from a walk. Ms Marvel and Wasp are still absent, but Beast, Captain America, Falcon, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch and Vision are present. Chairman Iron Man is insisting that Wanda doesn't have to stay if she doesn't want to, while Cap restrains Beast from hitting Gyrich. But Gyrich threatens to close the team down.

John Byrne
Dan Green
Ben Sean
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Sam Wilson)

(Clint Barton)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Defenders.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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