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Avengers #225: Review

Nov 1982
Steven Grant, Greg Larocque

Story Name:

The fall of Avalon

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #225 Review by (November 25, 2015)
We take a break from the Trial of Yellowjacket for this 2-part story, for which Steven Grant and Greg LaRocque return as writer and penciller. A character called Dr Droom appeared in early issues of Amazing Adventures (1961) (before it was retitled Amazing Adult Fantasy and eventually spawned Spider-Man). Dr Druid 1st appeared by name in Hulk #209-211, but about the same time the Dr Droom adventures were reprinted in Weird Wonder Tales with the character renamed as Dr Druid. (Some other reprints were included with Dr Druid shoe-horned in. The most significant being the tale of Gorgilla from Tales to Astonish #12, which will be later connected in to the adventures of the 1950's Monster Hunters, including Dr Druid, in Marvel Universe #4-7.) Another outing in Ghost Rider #26 brings us to the present issue. The Black Knight's story is more complicated than this issue reveals. Dane Whitman inherited the name and flying horse technology of the Black Knight from his villainous uncle in #47-48, and allied himself with the Avengers to redeem the name. He had several other adventures with the team (#54-55, #60-62, #70-71, #84-85 and #100), but in the middle of these in Marvel Super-Heroes #17 he discovered his Arthurian connection and gained the magical Ebony Blade. Then Enchantress turned him to stone in Defenders #4. Defender Valkyrie took charge of the Ebony Blade and his winged horse Aragorn. In Def#11 the Defenders found him in his ancestor's body in the 12th Century. Val gave him back the sword but kept the horse. The object of power is the Evil Eye, but more on that next issue. The Avengers took charge of the stone statue. It was brought to pseudo-life in #157, probably by Ultron, and shattered. Dr Strange took it and magically mended it in DS(1974)#35, but then it got possessed and broken again in DS#37.

Avalon was invented as part of the Arthurian legend, but is probably based on other places in Celtic mythology that can be translated as 'the isle of apples'. In Marvel it has previously cropped up in Fantastic Four #54, which also introduced the Evil Eye. Marvel's Avalon is considered to be part of a larger dimension called Otherworld which 1st appeared in the British Captain Britain comic. The Fomor or Fomorians also spring from Irish mythology, including all the characters seen here (although not necessarily with exactly the same spelling). They were enemies of the Tuatha De Danann. (Not-so-magical Tathlum Balls also exist in Irish myths, but not connected to Dulb. It is said that 1 of them blinded Balor.) This is their 1st Marvel appearance. Amergin is the name of a warrior druid in Irish mythology, 1 of the Milesian successors of the Tuatha. He too makes his 1st Marvel app here.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #225 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Thor arrives on the roof of Avengers Mansion and is attacked by a malfunctioning new security system. The other Avengers (Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, She-Hulk and Wasp) rush up to see him break free. Nobody notices the hooded and cloaked figure watching. Nor when he follows them inside. (Maybe the security system was reacting to him?)

Chairperson Wasp suggests they upgrade some ex-members to reserves for emergencies. But they don't have time to discuss it because the mystery man reveals himself. The team switch to attack-mode but he stops them with super-hypnosis. (Probably that's how come they didn't see him before. Or maybe he was just using the Force.)

He announces himself as Dr Druid (but with his Earth Magic enhanced by someone else). He says they are needed and uses a mystic smoke to transport them elsewhere and elsewhen. Druid remains behind in a trance. And frozen Iron Man remains because DD's magic is blocked by the iron of his armour.

The others find themselves on the Mystic Isle of Avalon, greeted by the druid Amergin and ex-Avenger Black Knight. Hawkeye explains to She-Hulk who BK is:- Scientist Dane Whitman inherited a magic Arthurian sword (and a flying horse) and became Black Knight. He helped the Avengers occasionally, but later the Enchantress turned his body to stone. Dane's spirit left to occupy an ancestor in the 12th Century Crusades.

The Knight now says he's been in that time for 5 years, and the Avengers have been brought to the 12th Century to help defend Avalon (and the rest of Earth). He asks after his stone body and Hawkeye has to admit it's been smashed, which means Dane is now stranded in the past.

Amergin explains that Avalon lies in a dimension between Earth and a Dark Realm. The druid led his people here from Earth long ago, and drove monsters called the Fomor back into the Dark Realm. But Amergin's power is fading and the Fomor have attacked again, killing most of the Avalonians and intent on invading Earth. The Avengers look out of a window and see the wasteland the Fomor have made of Avalon.

6 Fomor are watching this scene through a mystic pool. Elathan their war-leader is challenged by supposedly-bovine female Cethlann as to why they haven't completed their conquest. Elathan reminds her she's only on the council because of her husband. He is supported by his son Bres who predicts victory in the coming battle. The other Fomor side with him too:- Indech a stangely insect-eyed blob, Tethra a sea creature and Dulb the weapon-maker. Cethlann's opposition plan is to free her husband Balor who would defeat their foes single-handedly. But the others fear him too much.

At the Avengers' strategy session Amergin admits that he's the only Avalonian warrior left. Which his why he made contact with his descendant Dr Druid to bring the team here. Just then the Fomor attack and a magic wind drags the Avengers out of the palace to face their foes. Amergin stops Black Knight from rushing to the fight. We learn that they have a weapon that will defeat the enemy if the Avengers can steal the energy to power it.

Elathan pelts the Avengers with giant hailstones until Thor engages him in combat. Hawkeye takes on Dulb, but his magic Tathlum Balls break the archer's arrow and tangle him up. Superstrong Cethlann starts to choke She-Hulk. Cap's shield just sinks into Indech. Tethra grabs Wasp.

Bres keeps out of the fight. The victory he foresaw was for him alone, and he sneaks into the palace to confront Amergin and Whitman. He bats the Knight aside and makes magic eye contact with the druid. When Dane recovers Amergin is in a trance and Bres has gone.

Meanwhile the Avengers are using teamwork to best their enemy. Cap throws his shield to deflect the Tathlum Balls from Hawkeye. Then uses his gymnastic skill to dodge them and KO Dulb. Clint Barton returns the favour with a freezer arrow against Indech. Wasp grows out of Tethra's fist and stingers him. Then she does the same to Cethlann, making her let go of She-Hulk. SHulk then punches Cethlann, who runs off crying for her husband. The 2 heroines look round to see who else needs help just as Thor hurtles past propelled by a blow from Elathan. The baddie brushes SHulkie aside and closes in for hand-to-hand combat with the Thunder God. But Thor's might proves the stronger.

But then Cethlann's plea is answered, and the giant 1-eyed Balor climbs out of the ground. His eye is shut, but when She-Hulk and Thor attack it opens and they vanish. And Balor turns his attention to the 3 weaker Avengers.

Meanwhile (if that means anything in this circumstance) Bres appears from Dr Druid's fog in the 20th Century. Druid is still in a trance and Iron Man is still immobile. With the other Avengers trapped in the past, Bres can conquer the world.


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Greg Larocque
Chic Stone
Christie Scheele
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
John Beatty (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)