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Avengers #221: Review

Jul 1982
David Michelinie, Bob Hall

Story Name:

New blood

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #221 Review by (November 10, 2015)
Jim Shooter only plots this issue, and David Michelinie writes it. His duties as editor-in-chief have presumably got too much for him to continue scripting this title. It'll have a variety of scribes over the next few issues, with JS still plotting some of them. The candidates on the cover do include Hawkeye and She-Hulk, as well as Dazzler, Invisible Girl, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman (but not Black Widow). The rest don't appear (except Rom and Wolverine *are* featured in adverts inside). Spider-Man is in his Debra Whitman period, specifically between fighting Boomerang in Spectacular SM #67 and Juggernaut in Amazing SM #229-230. Hawkeye's Security job last involved him with El Aquila in a story in Marvel Fanfare #3. He will continue to work at CTE until his 1st 4-issue mini-series, where his future wife Mockingbird will expose them as corrupt. Black Widow claims she's too busy to join the Avengers, but her Marvel appearances around this time are few. She's here between the mass gatherings in Marvel Graphic Novel #1 and Contest Of Champions. Dazzler really *is* busy in her own series - too busy to attend MGN#1. This app occurs between Dz#16 (which finishes off her long-running feud with Enchantress) and #17 (which starts her involvement with Angel). Invisible Girl is here between Fanfare #2 and Fantastic Four #246. I don't know why Jan addresses the invite to Sue Storm. There isn't any split in the Richards family at this time, and in FF#245 Sue told off an interviewer for referring to her as Sue Storm. She-Hulk recently finished her 1st series and is now at a loose end. Since then she's guested in Dz#14 and co-starred in Marvel Two-In-One #88. These days she prefers to remain as SHulk, never reverting to Jennifer Walters. Spider-Woman's series is still ongoing (but not for *much* longer). She's here between her #44 and #45. Since her disagreement with Alison Blaire in Dz#15 she's tangled with Viper (#42-45), who claims to be her mother.

Fabian Stankowicz is next in MTIO#96 where he will try to establish his rep by attacking the hospitalised Thing, but Spider-Man will stop him. Then he'll be back here for #239. Before #222 we have a couple of issues:- CA#272 with Cap fighting Vermin (secretly working for Baron Zemo II), and IM#160 where Shellhead tangles with some of the Serpent Squad (working for 1 of Tony Stark's competitors).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #221 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers (currently only Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and chairperson Wasp) have decided they need some more members to bring them back up to 6. Thor reminds them that the last time they changed their lineup in #211 their minds were controlled by Moondragon (and the results - Yellowjacket and Tigra - didn't turn out too well). And Moonie took them over again in the last 2 issues. So they need to be sure they make their own minds up this time.

They vote for the qualities they are looking for:- Cap - teamwork, Iron Man - tech/weapon skill, Thor - strength, courage, nobility. And Wasp wants another female. But then Jarvis reminds Jan she's due at her fashion show. So they agree to think about members and decide next week.

On the way out Cap suggests they sound out Hawkeye about returning. And Shellhead fancies Wasp's idea of upping the female quota. Thor remains and consults Jarvis, who opines that independent individuals always seemed to make the best Avengers. The Thunder God sees an article about Spider-Man and thinks he'd fit the bill.

Later Tony Stark rings Steve Rogers to say he supports the idea of getting Clint Barton back. They agree to go see him tomorrow. Meanwhile Jan Van Dyne arranges a party for superheroines. Black Widow, Dazzler, Invisible Girl and Spider-Woman accept, but no-one knows where She-Hulk is. Wasp puts ads in California newspapers, where she was last seen.

But Thor is already in action. He helps Spider-Man catch some pawnshop robbers in Central Park. Then they go for a chat atop a tall building. Thor offers Spidey the job, but Peter Parker turns it down again (as he did in his Annual #5).

Next day Cap and IM go visit Hawkeye at his job as Security Chief for Cross Technological Enterprises. He acts indignant after they (or rather Henry Gyrich) threw him off the team in #181. And he's now got a good job. But then he agrees to become an Avenger again.

It's the end of the week and the guests have arrived for Jan's party. Dazzler and Spider-Woman continue the cat fight they started in Dazzler #15, while Black Widow tries to make the peace. Sue Richards was the last to get there, until She-Hulk shows up at the door.

Then panicking chauffeur Carrothers alerts them to an uninvited guest. Fabian Stankowicz in a large armoured vehicle smashes a mechanical arm through a large window to pluck Dazzler from the room. Last time (#217) the self-styled Mechano-Marauder attacked Iron Man - now he's targetting the 'weakest' Avenger, Wasp. But he didn't expect the others.

While Invisible Girl keeps everyone else safe with her forcefield, Dazzler escapes by blinding her attacker with a lightshow. Confidant that Fabian is no real threat, these 2 take their leave - saying no to the Avengers job.

But now BW and SW take their turn. Spider-Woman lures Stankowicz towards the pool, and Widow uses her grappling line to trip his 2-legged tank into it. Then they too leave.

Mechano-Marauder extricates him/itself from the pool, only to be smashed by She-Hulk's fist. But Fabian was ready for that - he ejects from his ruined machine in a man-sized armour. Which is too heavy and sinks its feet into the lawn. Wasp blasts a small hole in the armour with her stingers, then flies inside insect-sized and punches him in the face.

Some days later Jarvis rings Henry Gyrich to get official clearance for Hawkeye and She-Hulk to be Avengers.

The next day Hawkeye is approaching Avengers Mansion by cab when the vehicle is cut up by a pink cadillac. Clint Barton takes revenge by disabling the caddy's electrics with a micro-pulse circuit shifter arrow. But the tall green-haired occupant of the  car responds by picking the cab up and leaving it leaning against a lamppost, before carrying her own car away.

Hawkeye walks the rest of the way to the Mansion, and enters spouting the story of his encounter. Only to be introduced to She-Hulk. He's privately glad he hasn't given up his day job.

Bob Hall
Brett Breeding
Christie Scheele
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Peter Parker)


> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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