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Avengers #219: Review

May 1982
Jim Shooter, Bob Hall

Story Name:

By divine right

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #219 Review by (October 26, 2015)
Jim Shooter's back to writing this comic, and Bob Hall's back to pencilling it. But it's still got 3 inkers, including the regular Dan Green. The invention of clothes made of unstable molecules is usually credited to Reed Richards. Fantastic Four #6 described how such molecules allowed cloth to stretch with Mr Fantastic, go invisible with Sue Storm, and even survive Human Torch's flame. But in the very same month Henry Pym was making *his* Ant-Man costume out of the same stuff in Tales to Astonish #35. Priority claims aside, he's presumably made clothing for himself and Jan since then in the same way. But I think this is the 1st time since then unstable molecules have been quoted as the technology involved. Drax and Thanos were introduced together by Jim Starlin in Iron Man #55, the 1st issue of his scattered Thanos saga. Moondragon had actually appeared (under another ID) in the previous issue, not by Starlin. She wasn't initially part of the Thanos story, but was connected to it in Daredevil #105 when Jim pencilled her origin. The father-daughter link was revealed to them in Captain Marvel #32. Thanos was killed in Avengers Annual #7/Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2, the culmination (at that time) of Starlin's epic. After that Drax sought revenge against Captain Marvel in CM#58 for removing his life's purpose. But he stayed on as an ally for the rest of the CM run to #62, and its continuation in Marvel Spotlight #1-2. After her last appearance in this title in #211 Moondragon found her father suicidal in space in Thor #314, and resolved to help him find a purpose in life. She popped back to Earth for the Death Of Captain Marvel GN, but returned to Drax and this issue.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #219 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Janet Van Dyne is having her hair done when she is suddenly struck by a mental compulsion to leave and fly somewhere as Wasp. Unfortunately her clothes aren't made of unstable molecules and don't shrink with her. So she flies off naked (and freezing in the snowy weather), clutching only her handbag.

Tony Stark is in a private gambling club betting $50,000 at blackjack, when he too gets the call. He leaves the money and the hand to his female companion, and she blows it. Stark at least resists the compulsion long enough to wait until he's alone before putting on the Iron Man suit.

Captain America is breaking up an armed robbery when he gets the call. He leaves the half-defeated gang and roars off on his motorbike. 1 of the gang comments that Cap's a coward, which annoys another gang member who's dad owes the Star-Spangled Avenger his life in WWII. Bemused police arrive to find them fighting.

Thor helps Jarvis clear snow off the Avengers Mansion entrance. But then abruptly rushes off.

The 4 Avengers meet up at a hovering spacecraft. (Wasp is clad in a handkerchief from her bag.) Thor recognises it as Moondragon's ship, and they now know it's the mistress of the mind who made them come here. They enter a transporter beam (despite Jan's plea for caution, and to be given time to go get a proper costume) which whisks them into the spaceship. Which then immediately takes them into space.

The craft is empty, but they get a recorded video-message from Drax the Destroyer imploring whoever finds the ship to summon the Avengers. He takes time to explain his origin:- He was a human who was remade by aliens and given 1 inbuilt goal - to kill Thanos. But the Mad Titan was destroyed by others, leaving Drax with no purpose in life.

But his daughter was raised by the Titanians as Moondragon. Lately she found him roaming the cosmos, and convinced him that exploring the universe was a worthy goal in itself. They came across a world ravaged by continual interracial war. Moondragon used her mental powers to turn them to peace. But Drax is concerned about a greater danger - but he has to terminate the recording before he can explain further.

Iron Man knows Drax's power, so the problem must be big to worry him therefore the Avengers should heed his call. But the point is moot because the ship is going to take them there anyway. However they do wonder why Drax sent a message to 'whomever it concerns', but Moondragon made sure it was the Avengers who responded.

En route Jan finds a piece of tarpaulin to cover her when she's full-sized. The team are beamed down to a city. Chairperson Wasp takes command and aks a native to "take us to your leader". The woman appears to understand but replies in alien, until suddenly the Avengers start hearing her in English. She directs them to the temple of the Peace Goddess.

Of couse when they get there they find Moondragon and Drax. The goddess welcomes them to Ba-Bani. The telepath has kept up-to-date with Earthly doings, even knowing that Wasp is now chair of the Avengers, and aware of her recent marital problems. She hints enigmatically that Jan's ex-husband Henry Pym's fall from grace is far from over.

Moonie claims that, although she has waged peace over most of the globe, there a few warlike holdouts who have gathered together to attack the capital city here. The Avengers are still miffed at her high-handed (as usual) treatement of them, and are suspicious of her tale. They want to know why her psychic powers and Drax's physical prowess can't handle the situation.

Moondragon claims that she has brought about peace by subtly nudging the leaders into talking rather than fighting. Even now she has to keep constantly mentally in touch with them to reinforce the peace. She hasn't enough power to spare against the attackers. And it has taken her much time to wean Drax off his own warlike tendencies - she doesn't want to risk him falling back into his old destructive ways.

The Avengers decide to help and Wasp conveys their agreement, although she feels uneasy and confused about things - surely there were questions they wanted answers to, if only they could remember them.

Drax leads the team to the rebels and the Avengers attack (Wasp back in her handkerchief costume). But even as they wipe the floor with the enemy the individual Avengers can't help but feel there's something wrong with the situation, except Thor. Drax keeps out of the fight, even when he sees Cap blasted from behind by the rebel leaders. Shellhead saves him and Wasp deals with the blasters. Thor grabs the fallen leaders and demands instant surrender by the army, which he gets.

The rebel soldiers are taken into custody and their weapons destroyed. Moondragon expects the Avengers to leave now that their job is done. But Cap says they want to stay a while. Their host grudgingly allows them a day, and they are shown to quarters for the night.

The next day Thor goes off on his own. Drax takes Iron Man to investigate the local tech. Cap wants to mingle with the people but Wasp, still wearing a tarp, turns it into a clothes-shopping expedition. When she's found something costume-like (but only full-size, remember), the 2 of them compare notes and agree that there's something rotten in the state of Ba-Bani.

They decide to investigate the site of yesterday's battle. Unarmed guards try to stop them, but they bull their way past and find the rebels clearing up the mess. The leaders tell them that they aren't rebels. Random citizens just felt compelled to take up arms against the city. Now they're tidying up before returning to their lives.

Meanwhile Drax and the Golden Avenger are in a monitoring centre. Iron Man finds and plays a recording of the battle, showing Drax standing idly by watching while Cap was attacked, without even warning him. He suggests that Moondragon may be messing with their minds, but Drax can't accept that his daughter would treat him like that.

Finally we look in on Thor who has gone to see the Peace Goddess herself. She admits that she has been controlling the inhabitants of Ba-Bani more than she has said. Drax thought that was wrong, and he sent the spaceship to find them. But Moonie found out and arranged events to get the whole thing over as quickly as possible, including giving the Avengers a fake menace to quell.

But she plays on Thor's godhood for sympathy, saying that it is the job of gods to lead mortals onto the right path.  And she starts to mentally and physically seduce him.


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Bob Hall
Al Milgrom
Christie Scheele
Bob Hall (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)