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Avengers #191: Review

Jan 1980
David Michelinie, John Byrne

Story Name:

Back to the stone age

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #191 Review by (April 7, 2015)
David Michelinie returns as writer and George Perez returns to do covers. It's Roger Stern's last bit of plotting, and also of editing because Jim Salicrup will take that over from next issue. Grey Gargoyle gets sent to Ryker's Island. After an unsuccessful escape attempt in Marvel Fanfare #22 he will succeed in Amazing Spider-Man #219, to return to these pages in #271. Daredevil returns home to his #159 - the opening shot of a Bullseye story that will eventually lead to his involvement in Frank Miller's Elektra saga. Emerson Bale's next appearance in Spectacular SM #55 as Nitro's attorney will be his last app. Meanwhile Jeryn Hogarth goes back to his job as the Heroes for Hire's lawyer in Power Man & Iron Fist #63 Some of the Avengers have other adventures before #192. Captain America fights Joe Smith in CA#246 and Machinesmith & Dragon Man in #247-249, while Scarlet Witch gets involved with the Serpent Crown again in Marvel Two-In-One #66. (The Official Index has the above-mentioned MFan#22 here, followed by #23. But the Marvel Continuity Project has since moved them much later.)




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #191 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Grey Gargoyle arrived back on Earth last issue in a rocket-propelled stone casing. The Avengers fought that apparently-alien monster with ally Daredevil until the outer shell cracked, and DD and Iron Man were turned to stone by Gargoyle's touch.

Now GG faces the other Avengers. Falcon succumbs to his stone fist and even Vision is sent flying towards a brick wall, and instinctively lowers his density to ghost half-through it. Concerned Scarlet Witch turns her back on the enemy and is also knocked out. Gargoyle throws Beast at Captain America and Wasp. They collapse in a heap beneath a shop awning, which Gargoyle turns to stone so that it falls on them. Ms Marvel is the only 1 left standing, until he defeats her too.

At Avengers Mansion Falcon's pet/sidekick Redwing beats at a window until Jarvis lets it out to fly to the aid of its master.

Gargoyle has gone when Carol Danvers and Wanda Frank wake up. A burst of energy heralds Wasp blasting her way out of the awning rubble, carrying Beast by the scruff of his neck like a cat. Ms Marvel clears away more rubble and finds Cap protected by his shield. Wanda is worried about her android husband Vision lying immaterial halfway through the wall. But his system reboots and he too wakes up.

Daredevil is still stone, but they know that transformations by Grey Gargoyle only last an hour. It turns out that only Iron Man's armour has been turned to stone, so the chairman inside orders the other Avengers to leave them and go after the villain. Just then Beast realises Falcon is missing.

The flying Avenger has followed Gargoyle's progress through the city to what turns out to be Paul Duval's old rented apartment. But he's been away a long time and the place has been relet to a woman, Margot Neil. The villain smashes his way through a window and turns the door to stone so she can't escape. Then in true villain fashion he tells her his history.

Paul Duval was a research chemist in Paris who accidentally gave his right hand the power to turn things and people to stone for an hour. He could also turn himself to stone, but could still move. He then tried to steal Thor's hammer in Journey Into Mystery #107, wrongly thinking Mjolnir was the source of Thor's immortality. After various other escapades he got launched into space at the end of Marvel Team-Up #13. There he became captain of some space-pirates and tangled with Thor in his #257-259. At the end of that he tried to return to Earth but his shuttlecraft exploded. But now we learn that he turned some of the wreckage to stone to form a protective shell, and cannibalised the craft's rocket engines to get home last issue.

Grey Gargoyle has returned to the apartment to get special chemicals hidden behind a mirror. But of course Margot got rid of them ages ago. Falcon interrupts his anger and is joined by Redwing, who unfortunately doesn't avoid Duval's stone-causing grip. Sam Wilson then starts a delay-tactic fight hoping that the noise will cause someone to call the police.

It does and the non-stone Avengers enter through the window. Cap's shield gets Gargoyle's attention, and then team-work between Wasp, Ms Marvel and Vision sets him up for Scarlet Witch's hex to turn him back to fleshy Paul Duval. And Beast punches his lights out.

Later the Avengers return to the Senatorial hearing that was interrupted by the Gargoyle-beast last issue. Henry Peter Gyrich, their government liaison, is trying to get the team's priority privileges and security clearance revoked because their lax security and unorthodox procedures are a threat to national security. But the 3-person committee has been reminded by the Gargoyle incident that the Avengers are useful, and that they need their special status to function effectively.

However the committee produce a report which still has them under government control, but with a much lighter touch.



John Byrne
Dan Green
Bob Sharen
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Sal Buscema (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Daredevil
Daredevil

(Matt Murdock)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)



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