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Avengers #214: Review

Dec 1981
Jim Shooter, Bob Hall

Story Name:

Three angels fallen

Review & Comments

Rating:
3.5 stars

Avengers #214 Review by (September 25, 2015)
Are the 3 fallen angels of the title Angel, Ghost Rider and Yellowjacket? Ghost Rider was part of the short-lived Champions team some time ago. Johnny Blaze lost his championship title to Flagg Fargo later in GR#46, but still a while ago. The Official Index puts this story just before GR#63 (published the same month), where Blaze starts rebuilding his life by joining the Quentin Carnival as a stunt rider. He doesn't seem to take advantage of Angel's help. Angel appears here just after the mega-gathering in Marvel Graphic Novel #1 - The Death of Captain Marvel. He'll have an affair with Alison Blaire in Dazzler #17-24 before the next mega-gathering in Contest of Champions. Candy Southern is Warren Worthington's long-time girlfriend since Uncanny X-Men #31. They have sometimes lived together, but the romance has a flavour of mutual independence and friends with benefits. Hence they will be back together again before UXM#169, soon after Angel and Dazzler split up. Wasp and Yellowjacket won't be seen in the next 2 issues, each for their own reasons, and so these issues won't count as part of the Trial of Yellowjacket arc. Instead they will be used to write Tigra out of the team - after only 5 issues. Iron Man nips off to his #154 to fight Unicorn before next issue. Meanwhile Jarvis and Tigra have a cameo in UXM#155.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #214 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Captain America is upset about Yellowjacket's behaviour and his expulsion from the Avengers last issue, and takes it out on some practice droids. New member Tigra thinks Henry Pym got what he deserved, but butler Jarvis sticks up for him - he's known him as a hero for a long time.

Tony Stark and Don Blake meet for lunch to discuss the same subject. Blake is no psychiatrist but he suspects Hank had a breakdown due to setting himself impossible standards. Stark plans to pay for Pym's treatment and give him a job as a scientist at Stark International. If Henry won't accept charity, then he can pay Tony back from his salary.

Janet Pym is at home sketching fashion designs when Henry comes to see her. She covers up the black eye he gave her with dark glasses and agrees to see him. He's still in his YJ uniform. She tells him she's getting a divorce, but he can have as much of her inherited money as he wants. And a car to take away his stuff in. She's done playing the dutiful wife - from now on she's going to stand up for herself.

Proud and guilt-ridden Henry says he doesn't want her money, and he'll return the car. He says he can live off income from his patents and from books he's written. But when he gets back to the flophouse he's staying in we learn that he's broke and in debt. His books are out of print and he sold his patents long ago.

Jarvis talks Cap out of his funk by reminding him of a philosophy they share - that the American Dream only promises success to those who take responsibility for their own lives. Knowing Henry Pym as they do they can be sure that he will find his way out of his current problems.

Meanwhile in the New Mexico desert Johnny Blaze is bemoaning his fate. As Ghost Rider he seems condemned to live the lonely life of an outcast. Blaze even lost his stunt rider championship some time ago. Now the embittered and broke man sees a couple driving an expensive convertible, and turns to Ghost Rider to start taking revenge on the world.

He easily passes the speeding car on his flame cycle, and causes them to crash. His anger isn't dulled when he discovers that the occupants are his old fellow Champion Angel and his girlfriend Candy Southern. He challenges Warren Worthington to a race, bike vs wings. Angel accepts because GR threatens Candy. He catches up with GR and knocks him off his flaming bike. But Ghost Rider blasts him with hellfire and then leaves.

Later while Warren is in hospital Candy contacts the Avengers hoping to get Beast's help. Cap tells her that Beast left the team, but he promises the Avengers will help. Wasp has taken a leave of absence, but Steve alerts the other 3 current members:- Iron Man, Tigra and Thor.

Next day they arrive by quinjet in Alkali Flats, where Johhny Blaze has taken a job as a pump attendant to be near Angel, and they split up to search for Ghost Rider. Tigra gets dolled up in Western duds. Cap hires a motorbike, and Tigra hitches a ride on the back. But when they meet up with the others later in the local diner no-one's found him.

Next day Blaze sees a young boy dangling from a water tower after playing Thor. Johnny changes to Ghost Rider to save him, but the demon ignores the problem and goes looking for the Avengers. Luckily the Golden Avenger is flying past and saves the boy.

Cap and Tigra spot the demon cyclist and give chase. He leads them into a box canyon where their bike can't follow his up the sheer end wall. Then he sears their souls with his hellfire. Iron Man hears their screams and meets GR head on. But the Rider sends fire into the mouth and eye holes of his armour. Thor's up next, and GR's hellfire has no effect on him. The demon flees Mjolnir on his bike. But when the hammer turns to return to its master GR grabs hold of the handle. Mjolnir drags demon and fiery motorcycle to collide with the Thunder God.

Ghost Rider rides off, and the Avengers pick themselves up and prepare to give chase. But Tigra can't face hellfire again, until Cap gives a stirring speech.

They confront the demon. Cap shields Tigra and himself from a hell-blast. Shellhead has sealed his mask openings and is now as ready as Thor for battle. But it's Cap who leaps in 1st, as Thor uses Mjolnir to deflect another blast aimed at Tigra. Then the whirling hammer sends a blast of wind to force GR back.

But the battle is interrupted by the arrival of the recovering Angel. He says he figures that the more unhappy Johnny Blaze is, the more savage the Ghost Rider is. But Warren offers himself up for GR to take his anger out on again. Johnny can't let GR do that, and transforms back to human.

Worthington tells the Avengers that Blaze isn't guilty of what the Rider did. Cap sees a parallel in Johnny's despair with Henry Pym's situation. They leave him to rebuild his life, with Warren's help if he'll accept it.


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Bob Hall
Dan Green
Bob Sharen
Bob Hall (Cover Penciler)
Dan Green (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)