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Avengers #222: Review

Aug 1982
Steven Grant, Greg Larocque

Story Name:

A gathering of evil

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #222 Review by (November 10, 2015)
Jim Shooter plots but Steven Grant pops in to write this issue. Greg LaRocque starts a short (but interrupted) run as penciller. And Mark Gruenwald takes over as editor. The cover is a fair representation of the fight within except She-Hulk is wearing her Savage SH-style ripped dress rather than her underwear - possibly for Comics Code reasons. Don Blake just moved to Chicago in Thor #319. Ant-Man has been a semi-regular in Iron Man's book for a while, but won't be seen there again for a longer while. Since IM#156 he's shared a Microworld adventure with Thing in Marvel Two-In-One #87. He'll guest-star here for 2 more issues. Tiger Shark is a Sub-Mariner villain. He was last seen fighting Ms Marvel in her #15-16, but the Atlanteans took him into custody there. Karla Sofen started out as an aide to Dr Faustus in Captain America #192, but became Hulk villain Moonstone. Last seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #61, she now starts a long career in the Masters of Evil. TS and MS will be part of Egghead's next version of the Masters of Evil in #228, but the other 2 villains won't. Whirlwind is an Ant-Man villain (initially as Human Top) from way back in Tales To Astonish #50. He secretly took a job as Jan's chauffeur before, from our #46 to #139. During that period he made advances to Wasp (married at that time to Henry Pym) within the Ant-Man series in Marvel Feature (1971) #4-10. He was last seen in these pages working for Count Nefaria in #164-166. Since then he was in the free-for-all in Defenders #63-65 following Dollar Bill's Defender For A Day offer. And then a backup tale in IM Annual #11 will tell how Mrs Arbogast helped IM defeat him when she came for a job interview. And he'll next be in the equally out-of-time Code Of Honour #3. Scorpion is mainly a Spider-Man villain, last in Marvel Team-Up #106. He'll get involved in a time-spanning tale in Iron Age #2 before Code of Honour #2.

The title Masters of Evil has been used twice before (so far), both in this series. The original Baron Zemo organised the 1st group in #6-16. Ultron used the name in #54-55 and #83. Whirlwind is the only character who's been in the team before, in Ultron's mob. In the short gap before next issue Iron Man teams up with Moon Knight to fight AIM in IM#161. Thor misses next ish out, but Th#320-322 has him vs a Menagerie of beast spirits who take over his friends before #224.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #222 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
She-Hulk is spectacularly failing to mend her cadillac that Hawkeye broke last issue, so she trashes it. Janet Van Dyne arrives just then and commends her decision - the pink colour didn't go with her green skin. And speaking of fashion statements, she's designed a load of new clothes for Shulkie.

At Stark International Scott Lang has a word with his boss about Henry Pym, in jail awaiting trial. Scott can't explain that he's concerned because Yellowjacket helped him become the 2nd Ant-Man (Marvel Premier #48). Tony Stark is also worried about Hank, but he's also concerned about the affect this and the divorce are having on Wasp.

It's time for the weekly Avengers meeting, and Steve Rogers shakes off the exhaustion from an all-night art job to attend as Captain America. In Chicago Don Blake changes to Thor to fly to Avengers Mansion. And Hawkeye leaves his Cross Technological Enterprises job to make it by cab.

When Cap, Iron Man and Thor arrive they compliment She-Hulk on her new 'Arabian Nights' outfit. But Clint Barton jokes about the green Amazon trying to be a fashion model. He's already for a fight when she grabs him. But she takes the wind out of his sails by kissing him.

Meanwhile in his laboratory Egghead bemoans the fact that Pym wrecked his chance to get hold of some adamantium to build super-robots with (#217). His French maid gives him the idea of discovering the secret of eternal youth, which he thinks the world would pay anything for. So he sets out to recruit some supervillains to do the heavy lifting for him.

His 1st act is to send a missile to Atlantis to free Tiger Shark.

The 2nd stage happens in Ryker's Island prison where Henry Pym is incarcerated. Fellow inmate Dave Cannon (Whirlwind) gets revenge for the times Pym defeated him by promising to 'take care of' his ex-wife Jan when he gets out today. Hank loses it and attacks him, which earns him some time in solitary.

But Cannon may have been lying about his imminent release because he readily goes along when Tiger Shark breaks into the jail and rescues him, Scorpion and Moonstone. The 4 villains wait impatiently in a safehouse until the mastermind behind their freedom reveals himself as Egghead. Elihas Starr explains his plan, which will start by the 4 of them stealing data and supplies he needs from a medical research centre. He makes Moonstone the leader.

The raid will be that night, so in the meantime Whirlwind decides on a little side-trip of his own. The Avengers meeting breaks up and everyone leaves apart from She-Hulk who's living in for the moment. Jan finds that Danny Cannon has replaced her chauffeur Carrothers and tries to kidnap her. But Wasp fights back.

Hawkeye is sneaking back in to get some food because his own cupboards are empty. He runs to Jan's aid but the others 3 supervillains turn up looking for Whirlwind - calling themselves the new Masters of Evil. Clint figures that he and Wasp are outmatched, and sends up a flare arrow. Moonstone blasts him in the back, and Tiger Shark swats Wasp.

But Thor and She-Hulk answer the distress signal. Wasp recovers and forbids Jennifer to damage her new outfit. So Shulkie has to take the time to get undressed before fighting in her undies. Then Hawkeye joins in too, and Egghead watches by remote as his gang are beaten and carted off by the police.

Clint pays Shulk a genuine compliment. Jan's limo got totalled in the fight, so she and Jen go shopping for new cars.

Greg Larocque
Brett Breeding
Christie Scheele
Greg Larocque (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Jennifer Walters)


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