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Avengers #200: Review

Oct 1980
David Michelinie, George Perez

Story Name:

The child is father to ... ?

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #200 Review by (April 14, 2015)
This is a 75 cent extra-large issue. But when they return to normal size next issue the price will have gone up from 40 cents to 50 cents. Bob Layton, David Michelinie, George Perez and Jim Shooter all had a hand in plotting this anniversary issue. But Perez only did the layouts, Dan Green did the rest. An editorial comment claims the dinosaur is a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but it's taller than Avengers Mansion so that won't be right. But then I don't think any dinosaur that supposedly stood upright like that was that big. My notes on Avengers Forever #9 says that both Kang and Immortus had a tendency to name sons or clones Marcus, and at least some of them looked like the Marcus here. But the general consensus seems to be that this Marcus is different from any of the others. Immortus told Thor in Th#282 that he'd lied in Av#143 when he said that killing Kang had deleted himself as a future version of Kang. This makes it unlikely that the death of Immortus reported here was really due to #143 - it's only an editorial comment that links them. The 1995 Official Index put the Immortus flashback as much later in his career, just before the Avengers: Terminatrix Objective mini-series. But the 2010 OI has placed it between #143 and Th#282. The 1995 OI also suggested that Immortus' mate here is Ravonna from Av:TO, but the latest OI lists them as different people. There was much angry comment about the treatment of Ms Marvel in this storyline, equating it to rape. Chris Claremont, who wrote most of her cancelled series, wasn't happy and he'll bring Carol Danvers back in Annual #10. (This version of Marcus Immortus will be reported dead there.) Claremont will remove her Ms Marvel powers, which seems like adding insult to injury, but he'll take her into his Uncanny X-Men title and turn her into a new heroine Binary. (Of course much later she'll revert to Ms Marvel, and then become Captain Marvel.)

Before next issue Captain America, Iron Man and Vision will cameo in Marvel Two-In-One #69 where the Guardians of the Galaxy finally head back to their future (after hanging around since #181).



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #200 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Avengers Beast, Captain America, Iron Man, Wonder Man and ex-Avenger Hawkeye are pacing the floor in Avengers Mansion while robot Jocasta helps Dr Don Blake deliver Ms Marvel's baby. Scarlet Witch and Vision join them. Followed by Jarvis, Yellowjacket and Wasp (who's abandoned her white and blue costume to return to red and black, although not the same as the 1 she last wore in #194).

Carol Danvers' pregnancy is unusual in several respects. She doesn't know how she got pregnant, and it's come to full term in just 3 days. And medically the birth is proceeding strangely, not least in that MsM feels no pain and doesn't need to exert any effort. The baby boy delivers itself.

While the rest of the team coo over the new arrival, Wasp leaves to go see the recuperating Carol whose being wheelchaired to her room by Wonder Man. Janet Pym congratulates her, but Carol isn't happy. She didn't want a child and she doesn't know who the father is. She feels used.

Meanwhile Wanda is assuring her android husband Vision that she no longer pines for a child herself (after learning more in #186 about her own birth and in #188 that her brother Quicksilver is going to be a father). She is content with their love. But Jocasta continues to watch Vision with suspicious interest.

Hawkeye is displaying his pool skill to Beast, enhanced by his aiming skill as an archer. But Beast has been letting him win, as he demonstrates by setting up a new game, doing some work on a pocket calculator, and sinking all the balls with 1 shot.

And now after only 1 hour the child has physically aged 2 years. It's trying to speak, and its 1st word is "Change". In the outside world things do start changing. Wall Street goes back a century. Sometime later an area of Nassau County goes back to the age of the dinosaurs.

But the Avengers are oblivious to this in the Mansion. The latest miracle of the pregnancy is that Carol's immediately got her figure back, and redons her Ms Marvel costume. But still Wonder Man can't persuade her to see her baby. That 'baby' is now talking fluently and asking for access to scientific equipment. He says his name's Marcus and enigmatically claims to be his own father.

A short time later he's physically 12 and mentally off the scale as he starts building an enigmatic machine. Hawkeye's very suspicious, but Jarvis interrupts to say they're getting lots of phone calls about strange occurrences.

Jocasta finds Vision examining scans of the boy who appears to be emitting energy. She offers to help, but Wanda arrives with the latest scans from Yellowjacket, and Vision immediately turns all his attention to his wife. Jocasta leaves feeling ignored.

Carol Danvers joins Jan and says she's ready to face her kid. Wonder Man checks with Don Blake and Hank Pym that its OK and lets her in. And Ms Marvel meets her son who is now at least in his late teens (but still only wearing a loincloth). She thinks she recognises him somehow, and he knows her name.

Marcus says everything will be fine once he's negated the flux, and returns to working on his machine. But he is alarmed by explosions outside, saying it's happening too soon. Outside the window the Avengers see flying craft ranging from biplanes to spaceships and a large dinosaur all attacking the Mansion.

Leaving Wonder Man and Yellowjacket (and Dr Blake,  Wasp and Ms Marvel) to look after Marcus, Beast, Captain America and Hawkeye follow Iron Man outside. Vision sees what's happening on a viewscreen and ghosts through the walls leaving Scarlet Witch behind. She is immediately confronted by a mounted knight who attacks her as a sorceress. A quick hex unhorses him and bends his lance.

Outside Vision holds the spaceships off while the Golden Avenger decks the dinosaur. The other 3 Avengers reach the front door to be confronted by a Native American warband. While Beast and Cap fight them, Hawkeye runs away - because he's convinced this is all Marcus' fault.

Marcus is desperately trying to finish his machine. Wonder Man disobeys orders and heads off to the fight. Ms Marvel send the Pyms away too. Then she hides Dr Blake in a reinforced storeroom, where he can at last turn into Thor without exposing his secret identity.

Simon Williams goes to attack a spaceship but is zapped by futuristic cannons that have appeared on the Mansion roof. Vision wrecks the cannons as Wondie struggles with a prehistoric constricting snake. Which he throws at a pterosaur that has Shellhead in its grip. Then Thor shows up and imprisons all the external attackers in a whirlwind.

Inside the building Jarvis is menaced by a Musketeer until Wasp and Yellowjacket attack him with ants, and Jarvis delivers the knockout blow. The knight still menaces Wanda, but Jocasta interrupts and he shatters his sword on her metal skin. And Hawkeye fights his way through cavemen to reach Marcus.

Marcus is about to activate his machine, and tells Ms Marvel she must go because it won't be safe. She is reluctant to leave him, so he sends her to sleep and picks her up to carry her to safety. Hawkeye arrives and misinterprets the scene. He uses a blast arrow to wreck the machine, and tells Marcus to put Carol down.

Marcus is in tears as he does what he's told and tries to explain what he'd been doing. But he ends by advising Hawkeye to kill him, or he will kill the bowman. Iron Man and Thor break in, and Thor thinks he recognises the youth from somewhere. Marcus again says it's kill or be killed.

But Ms Marvel wakes up and steps between them all. She doesn't believe her son will really kill anyone, but if he's going to then he'll have to kill her 1st. Marcus breaks down and admits that he really wanted the Avengers to kill him. He doesn't want to return to the life he's led since his father Immortus died. Thor immediately realises the resemblance between Marcus and Immortus, who he last saw in Th#282.

Marcus then tells them his story.

Immortus lived a lonely life in changeless Limbo. Eventually he decided to take a mate and searched time until he found a woman who had survived a shipwreck but would die in the ocean. He rescued her and took her to Limbo where he caused her to fall in love with him. Then he created a bubble in Limbo where time could flow, and Marcus was born and grew up.

But it turned out there was a limit to how long he could keep the Earth woman in Limbo, and eventually she faded back into the real world. Later Immortus too disappeared, leaving grown-up Marcus alone. (An editorial comment says this Immortus was the 1 who 'died' with Kang in #143.)

Marcus couldn't live on Earth because his Limbo-ness would cause a disruption of time. But he hit on the plan of being reborn as an Earth human. He would accelerate the process and hope to build a machine to negate the time flux distortion. He needed an exceptionally strong woman for the job, and hit on Ms Marvel.

He abducted her when she was alone in a quinjet in #197 (presumably flying to see Scarlet Witch). He took her to Limbo and used his father's methods to woo her. When she fell in love with him he transferred his essence into her in a condition that resembled pregnancy. His last act was to return her to the quinjet at the moment he took her, with no memory of Limbo.

Her accelerated pregnancy and his accelerated growth then led to him building the machine that would have stopped the time disruptions. Then he could have lived as a human, and used his advanced knowledge for the betterment of mankind. But now the time disruptions will get worse unless he dies or returns to Limbo. And he can't face Limbo again alone.

But Carol Danvers offers to go with him. She has feelings for him (confusingly both as her lover and her son). The Avengers can't talk her out of it, so Thor uses Mjolnir to whisk them away to Limbo. And as Marcus goes all the time disturbances vanish.


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George Perez
Dan Green
Ben Sean
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)