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Avengers #203: Review

Jan 1981
David Michelinie, Carmine Infantino

Story Name:

Night of the Crawlers

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers #203 Review by (April 21, 2015)
Guest penciller Carmine Infantino also did the Beast-starring #178, and the recent #197. He'll return 1 more time for #244. This is the 1st issue spotlighting the Beast/Wonder Man partnership. They will eventually have their own 3-issue title Avengers Two. The Crawlers won't be seen again.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #203 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers quinjet returns to Avengers Mansion after their battle with Ultron. Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wasp and guest Hawkeye find Jarvis helping robot Jocasta self-repair. Now she can use her cybernetic senses to locate Beast and Wonder Man.

We last saw that duo in #201 as Simon Williams lost his acting job as Mr Muscles on the Uncle Elmer children's TV show. We'll now find out what they've been doing since then.

It's a dark and foggy evening and the pair have got lost. When they ask some bystanders for directions they get attacked as 'Crawlers' until someone recognises them as Avengers. The Crawlers are creatures that have appeared recently in the neighbourhood stealing food and stuff, and now they've abducted a child.

The mob leave on a Crawler hunt, but out heroes are approached by Juanita Lopez whose young brother Hugo is the abductee. Hugo has been secretive lately, since the Crawlers appeared. Juanita followed him and found him with the Crawlers, who escaped down a manhole. Juanita brought Hugo home, but that night he disappeared. At this point in her story her abusive mother arrives to drag Juanita home.

Henry McCoy and Simon explore the sewer system and find a hole in a wall leading to a passageway lighted by torches. Suddenly they are attacked by Crawlers, until Hugo calls them off. He leads them to the Crawlers' lair, and tells them where his little pals have come from.

Some scientists were trying to create anaerobic life forms that could be used in space and hostile planets. Their research came to nought and they illegally dumped their chemicals down the drain. This mixed with other illegally dumped chemicals and stuff and spontaneously generated the Crawlers. These intelligent critters built their home down here and raided the surface for supplies. Lonely Hugo met them and came to live with them. He knows their story because they're telepathic.

Suddenly the mob finds the Crawlers' base. A fight ensues until the invaders flee the enraged Crawlers. Beast and Wondy exit too, taking Hugo with them because the creatures have gone berserk.

They take Hugo home to be greeted with joy by his sister. But his mother just hits him and says he's got 3 days of chores to catch up on. Then she orders the Avengers out.

The mob get hold of some explosives and attach them to a drainage tunnel that they figure is an exit from the Crawlers' lair. They light a very long fuse and leave to drive the creatures into the danger zone.

Juanita finds Beast and WM again to tell them that Hugo has run away. They go back to the Crawlers' pad where they find him safe and well. Hugo asks his sister to stay there too.

But the mob then attack with Molotov cocktails. The Avengers try to stop them but the Crawlers catch on fire. The bomb then goes off and the Crawlers and Hugo are sucked out into the river.

Hank and Simon take Juanita back home. Mrs Lopez doesn't shed any tears over the loss of her ungrateful son. But the duo have to leave the young girl there. They intend to take the mob members to the police, but looking round they find they are alone in the fog.

As the fog lifts with the dawn they see a cop who claims to know nothing about explosions, fires, mobs or Crawlers. Bemused they return to the Mansion. Jarvis alerts Hawkeye and Wasp to their return, but the exhausted duo have fallen asleep.

Carmine Infantino
Dan Green
Ben Sean
Carmine Infantino (Cover Penciler)
Dan Green (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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