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Avengers #210: Review

Aug 1981
Bill Mantlo, Gene Colan

Story Name:

You don't need the Weathermen to know which way the wind blows

Review & Comments

Rating:
3.5 stars

Avengers #210 Review by (September 8, 2015)
Bill Mantlo's back as writer for another single-issue story (see #206). Gene Colan recommences his run as penciller after taking last issue off. The title is a slight corruption of a line from Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues "You don't need a weatherman ....". It was probably also influenced by the name of the anti-government protest group The Weathermen, who of course were themselves named after the lyric. The Nostradamus Samarobryn text exists, and has been later linked to the International Space Station. The Weathermen never reappear, but the Samarobryn space station continues to be used and crops up in Thunderbolts (1997) #12. There it is claimed that it was also previously Egghead's space station in Avengers #64. But that connection opens up a can of conflicting statements about what else Egghead's base was used for - see http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/weatherm.htm#Samarobryn.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #210 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Acting chairman Captain America has summoned the Avengers to the meeting room to view weather reports. All over the world there are examples of extreme or unusual weather. Thor also drops in because of the unnaturally heavy thunderstorm in New York. The Samarobryn weather-monitoring space station thinks the disturbances may be artificial. The name Samarobryn rings a bell with Beast, and he initiates a database search.

Samarobryn has identified the 5 worst-affected areas, and Cap splits the group into 5 teams. Beast is glad to accept the chore of investigating the snowstorm on the beach at Buenos Aires. He also appreciates the irony of sending Scarlet Witch with Vision to look into super-tornadoes in Kansas. Wasp and Wonder Man take the Antarctic heat wave. Cap and Iron Man will go to flooded south England, and the Thunder God will stay here to deal with the local thunderstorm.

Thor pauses before going outside, to talk to the robot guest Jocasta. She wasn't called to the meeting, which has increased her feeling of being left out of the group. Thor assures her that the very mixed Avengers team aren't biased against her, and then leaves on his task.

Jocasta notices that Beast's data request has completed, and it points to 1 of the prophecies of Nostradamus. Which itself seems to describe the weather station. So she takes a spare quinjet and heads out into space.

The Thunder God tries to control the storm, but gets hit by lightning for his pains. Then an armoured figure on a flying disc warns him off, calling himself a Weatherman.

In England Iron Man stops to do something about the flooded coast while Cap continues his flight to London. The Golden Avenger notes that the effects are localised, because for example lowlying Holland hasn't been affected. He uses his repulsor rays to create a Dutch-style defense. (I presume it means he builds a dyke, but it looks more like he parts the waters.)

In London Cap rescues some kids from an overturned bus. Then another Weatherman appears, causing a tidal wave.

Wasp and Wonder Man also find a Weatherman in Antarctica. His heat blasts melt the ice beneath them. Janet Pym tries to slip between his blasts, but still gets hit. Simon Williams throws a huge ice block, but their foe melts it and dowses them in scalding rain.

Vision and Wanda find 3 huge tornadoes which aren't being driven by the wind. 1 grabs their quinjet, but Vizh increases his mass bringing the craft down to the ground. The Witch's hex causes 2 of the tornadoes to collide and dissipate, but the 3rd isn't affected. A Weatherman is inside controlling it, and it sweeps the pair up.

Beast has found the beach full of frozen sunbathers, and wonders if he should take a few bikini-clad babes back to Avengers Mansion to thaw out. But then a Weatherman freezes him.

Jocasta has reached the hoop-shaped satellite. Her robot body allows her to spacewalk, and gain manual entry into the space station, where she can't find the 5-man crew. But she does find the central Samarobryn computer watching the 5 clashes with the Avengers.

She reasons that the 5 Weathermen are the missing crew, and that they have subverted the weather-monitoring satellite to weather control instead. But the sentient computer says she's only half right. It has taken control of its crew. It intends to wipe mankind out to return Earth to a pristine paradise.

Samarobryn asks Jocasta to join it as its 'bride'. But Jocasta already revolted against that fate with her maker Ultron (#162), and she now fights in defense of humanity. The satellite fights back with internal weather(!).

But its attention has now been diverted from its Weathermen slaves, and this allows the Avengers to defeat them. But the storm clouds still loom over Manhattan, and Thor senses that the real control-source is way overhead. He sends his godly lightning streaking up and hits the space station. The shock wipes out Samarobryn's AI, and the computer returns to its monitoring task.

Later the Avengers apologise for overlooking Jocasta, and praise her for her vital part in the battle. Vision points out that Captain America has been acting chairman since before #197 where they agreed to hold an election - which still hasn't happened. (That same issue they intended to make Jocasta an Avenger, and they haven't got round to that either.) But Cap says that he, Iron Man and Thor have already decided there'll be a team shake-up (next issue).


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Gene Colan
Dan Green
Ben Sean
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Dan Green (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)