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Avengers #193: Review

Mar 1980
David Michelinie, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

Battleground: Pittsburgh

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers #193 Review by (April 7, 2015)
Sal Buscema is the credited layouts man this issue, with Dan Green doing more than just inks. Frank Miller pencils the cover, but he also did some interior pencilling between Sal and Dan. Inferno is a 1-off character never to be seen again. He supposedly appears in #353-354 as 1 of Grim Reaper's Legion of the Unliving. But some of their originals were later revealed as not actually having died, so the whole lot have been declared imposters.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #193 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Iron Man and Wonder Man face the being called Inferno in a Pittsburg steel mill. Wonder Man just signalled the Avengers in New York, but Inferno melted the beeper and he doesn't know if he got through. (Simon Williams tells Iron Man this, but Shellhead doesn't try to contact his fellow-Avengers himself!)

Wondie attacks, but Inferno hits him so hard he goes flying towards a panic-frozen worker. Iron Man scoops the worker out of the way just in time, as the molten monster stalks off.

Joe Conroy remembers being pushed into a vat of molten steel last issue, still clutching his lucky chip of the Uru metal that Thor's hammer Mjolnir is made of. Later he burst free of the metal ingot that held his remains, in the form we see now. His goal now is the office of the mill owner Vince Paretta.

Tim Turpin, the man who killed Conroy, runs into the office to warn Paretta about the creature heading this way. Paretta hands him a gun and tells him to hold the monster off. But the bullets just melt as they pass though the body. Turpin dives out of a window, closely followed by his boss.

Paretta hides and Conroy follows Turpin to a dock and onto a barge, burning through the ropes tying barge to dock. Just as the Avengers arrive by quinjet. Turpin recognises the Uru fragment embedded in the glowing monster's palm, and realises it is Joe Conroy. He begs for his life, saying he was only following orders. Backing away he falls off the end of the barge, screaming that he can't swim. But he doesn't drown, because he gets crushed between the barge and a concrete bridge support. Conroy walks ashore and up on to the bridge.

The citizens of Pittsburg assume that the Avengers have come to save them from the flame monster, and direct them to the Liberty Bridge, where Conroy has caused a traffic jam. The newly-arrived Avengers attack, and are joined by IM and WM.

Conroy was turned into Inferno by an electric furnace, which has given him electric as well as heat powers. He drains the power from Shellhead's armour, but the Golden Avenger recharges from electric trolley cables. Falcon, Ms Marvel and Vision try a combined attack but are scattered by an electric discharge. Wasp sneaks in and hits him with her sting, but he turns up the heat and she faints. Beast catches her as she falls. Inferno then ignores them and walks away.

Vince Paretta was trying to get away by car, but is trapped on the bridge. He abandons his vehicle, runs off the bridge and hails a taxi to take him to the Duquesne Incline funicular railway. But his blazing nemesis follows him unerringly.

It stomps up the inclined railway tracks, tossing aside a trolley car that is in the way. The Avengers catch up with it, but stop to rescue the passengers. Once they're sure there's no-one left inside the burning vehicle they continue the chase.

Paretta used the railway earlier to reach his home upon Mt Washington. His thoughts tell us that his steel mill was used to launder Maggia money. But he also ran a numbers game within his workforce which Joe Conroy found was rigged. Neither the cops nor the mob would look kindly on his sideline. Paretta was trying to sell the mill to Tony Stark, intending to take the money and run. But he had to have Conroy silenced or he'd mess everything up.

Inferno melts through the wall and shows Paretta the Uru fragment so he knows who's coming for him. Paretta blurts out the highlights of the above just as the Avengers arrive in time to hear him. Captain America swears to take him to the police as soon as they've dealt with Inferno.

Iron Man has figured out how to disintegrate their foe. But, his death avenged, the thing that was Joe Conroy walks away into the river where his fires are quenched.

Sal Buscema
Dan Green
Bob Sharen
Frank Miller (Cover Penciler)
Bob McLeod (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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