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Avengers #209: Review

Jul 1981
J. M. DeMatteis, Alan Kupperberg

Story Name:

The Resurrection Stone

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers #209 Review by (November 12, 2022)
Comments: Vera Cantor was introduced in X-MEN #19 and appeared in that title sporadically for several years; she turned up next in Beast’s solo series in AMAZING ADVENTURES #13-16 then INCREDIBLE HULK #161 (March 1973) which has Beast as guest star; after this, she does not appear for eight years until this issue. Her revival is less of a wait: it comes in DEFENDERS #105 only a few months later.

Review: This fill-in issue, prepared for the eventuality of a story running late, is obvious by the presence of a different creative team, a single issue plot, and a focus on some of the lesser characters from the series. The big problem is too much plot for a single issue: this story could have been stretched out a bit but that wasn’t possible since they had only one issue to fill in and the next is part of a crossover with FANTASTIC FOUR. And so an awful lot of plot is forced into a single issue, featuring cramped lettering to get all of the story into the tough constraints, especially page 18. Oh and another sign of hasty production: “resurrection” is misspelled “ressurection” throughout the issue (though not on the title page). If an editor caught that, there wasn’t time to fix it before going to press. It’s a shame as the central conflict, trying to save Vera’s life, is a moving one and the action moves along in an exciting fashion. There’s just too much of it for the page count. One neat touch: the US Army guys are not surprised to see the Avengers as they have already heard about the adventures of the Invaders and the Liberty Legion.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #209 Synopsis by T Vernon
An alien ship crash lands in Nevada; a wounded occupant crawls out only to be shot down by a Skrull. The Skrull searches the ship and does not find what he is looking for. He beams up to his own ship, leaving an explosive behind to destroy his victim’s ship….

At Avengers Mansion, HenryBeastMcCoy is introducing his friends Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, and Vision to his girlfriend Vera Cantor. Hank and Vera had dated years earlier and have recently gotten together again. Jarvis enters and serves tea; Vera drinks from her cup and immediately collapses and dies. Jarvis is a disguised Skrull and he calmly takes a seat and explains what he wants. Centuries ago on a remote planet, a scientist-wizard Tus’au created the Resurrection Stone which could restore life to the dead. Desire to possess the stone led to centuries of wars that devastated that world. Recently, an archaeologist named Krru discovered the Stone so the Skrull shot his ship down, only to discover that Krru believed the Stone inherently corruptive so he split it in two and cast the pieces into Earth’s past. So the Skrull poisoned Vera as a means of motivating the Avengers to recover the two halves of the Resurrection Stone for him. Wonder Man punches the Skrull’s lights out but Beast promises to do anything he can to bring Vera back….

And so the four Avengers pay a call on Reed Richards to use Doctor Doom’s time machine to locate the Stone. They follow the Skrull’s data to England in A.D. 1348 in the midst of the Black Plague. They are surrounded by peasants calling them demons in the service of Devlunn so Wanda plays into it, demanding to be taken to this Devlunn. They are shown to a castle where they discover a mob sworn to obey Devlunn—who is a ten-year-old boy, exulting in the power to raise the dead. But half of the Resurrection Stone restores life but not souls, producing mindless zombies. The Avengers battle the zombies and Beast snatches the Stone from the boy’s hand and they head to their next destination, leaving the kid to mourn his lost opportunity….

The Avengers reappear in 1945 Germany and aid American troops in taking German prisoners. They then enter the newly liberated death camp at Dachau where they find an inmate named Rosenblatt who has used the other half of the Resurrection Stone to try to raise his dead wife and children but he can only restore their souls to their dead bodies which remain inanimate. Beast speaks to him, persuading him to let his family die in peace and to hand over the Stone. He does…

…and the Avengers are teleported to the Skrull’s ship in the present day. The Skrull demands the Stone; Hank recalls Devlunn and Sol Rosenblatt—and destroys the two halves of the Resurrection Stone, shocking the Skrull. Beast then beats the Skrull to a pulp but mourns the loss of Vera….

Epilogue: The Avengers see Reed Richards who tells them that the Skrull’s poison is an extremely slow acting one; Vera appears to be dead but it will be some time before the damage is irreversible. Reed places Vera in suspended animation while he promises to search for a cure. Beast is last seen sitting on a rooftop, telling himself, “There’s hope…!”

Alan Kupperberg
Dan Green
Barry Grossman
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Jim Salicrup. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Vera Cantor.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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