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Avengers #232: Review

Jun 1983
Roger Stern, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

And now Starfox

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #232 Review by (January 18, 2016)
Iron Man's head has already been removed from the masthead this issue, after his resignation last issue. It is replaced by Captain Marvel and Starfox.

Wasp considers some ex-Avengers as replacements for Hawkeye.
She doesn't know where Hercules is, and we've only seen him since the 'membership drive' in #211 as part of mass gatherings in Marvel Graphic Novel #1 and Contest of Champions. And he won't resurface until he rejoins the team in #249 (from vacation).
The others on her mind are those who turned up for Jocasta's funeral last issue. But Wonder Man has his acting career on the West Coast, Beast is a Defender, and Vision and Scarlet Witch are enjoying married life.
Strangely Jan doesn't think of Black Knight, who they recently rescued from the past in #225-226. He's currently in a long run in the British Hulk Comic, but he will return to these pages in #252 that will lead to him becoming a regular team member.
There are others she could have included on the list.
Quicksilver is with the Inhumans. But he was recently in V&SW's 1st mini-series, and he'll be in the Inhumans-based tale in our Annual #12. And later his story in the background of #243-245 will lead into the 2nd V&SW series.
Black Panther too since #211 has mainly been seen in the mass gatherings in MGN#1, CoC and Hulk #278-279, but in between he co-starred in Fantastic Four #241 and Iron Man Annual #5. But he won't be seen again until an Avengers gathering in #239.
Black Widow was last here in another membership drive in #221. CoC happened after that, and she's currently appearing semi-regularly in Daredevil, though at the moment she'd be between his #187-190 and #200-201. After that she too will be at the bash in our #239.
Hellcat too is with the Defenders on and off.
Falcon has gone back to being an occasional guest star in Captain America, but is about to have his 1st mini-series.

Since she quit in #216 Tigra was in the CoC and Hu#279 crowds, then with Wasp and She-Hulk in MGN#16 and co-starring in Marvel Team-Up #125. In the near future she'll be in at the end of Spider-Woman's series in #49-50 which will lead directly to our#238,240-241. Then, despite quitting the Avengers because she didn't feel up to it, she'll be a founder member of the West Coast team.
Even Hulk could be a member of the Avengers these days, but he turned it down in his #285.

In his next appearance in #235 it will be confirmed that Wizard escaped from prison by substituting a plant duplicate as Plantman did. They probably did it while being transferred between prisons in #227.
Plantman will continue to pop up occasionally, next in the 2-part Hawkeye story in Solo Avengers #19-20. He'll be in many issues of the 90's Namor series. And he'll join the Thunderbolts for a long stretch.

Hawkeye will arrange for something to be built for him at CTE next issue, and in #234 will use the skysled for the 1st time to foil a robbery there, but will go on to his own 4-issue series before returning healed (and with wife Mockingbird) to the team in #239. Clint's head is taken of the masthead after this issue, and they don't bother to reinstate it when he returns because he's soon off to found the West Coast Avengers.

This issue follows directly from the previous 1, so Tony Stark and James Rhodes app here is immediately after Iron Man #170. The Golden Avenger really has left the team. When Rhodey turns to Avengering it will be with the West Coast group. And when Tony Stark takes up the armour again it will also be with that bunch.

The Official Index puts the epilogue much later than the rest of the issue, and fits some things in between. The whole active team does Annual #12, interacting with the Inhumans. Then Captain Marvel and Starfox are on hand in the 1st part of Thor's 2-issue battle with Dracula in TH#332-333.

The epilogue itself is duplicated in Fantastic Four #254. Annihilus has taken over the Baxter Building while the FF are away in the Negative Zone, and erected a Null-field around it, which is expanding to encompass more of New York. The Avengers will break through the barrier next issue and meet up with the returning FF in FF#256.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #232 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Hawkeye broke his leg. Now back at Avengers Mansion Dr Donald Blake has set the bone and put the leg in plaster. When he's alone with Captain America and Wasp Blake turns back into Thor. And Jan asks them if she should resign as chairwoman.

She's lost Iron Man who resigned last issue. Luckily they could promote trainee Captain Marvel to take his place. And she doesn't know how they'll (at least temporarily) replace the injured archer. She can't think of any ex-members who they could bring back. Her fellow core team members assure her she's doing a good job. Thor thinks they should accept the membership application of Eros of Titan (last issue again). CapA is doubtful. But Wasp decides they can make him a trainee like CapM was, and contacts the President for permission.

Jan convenes a meeting including the rest of the team (CapM, Hawkeye and She-Hulk) to discuss the matter. Clint Barton is incensed about being replaced, but has to admit he can't go into action with his leg in a cast. Eros says he wants to join for the adventure. Some of them have seen him in action before so they know his abilities. Thor points out that that was when his brother Thanos threatened the universe, but Eros counters that by mentioning Loki. And Eros' charm wins over the ladies.

Wasp declares the matter settled. But the President had demurred at having someone named Eros on the team. So Jan suggests a code name - Starfox because he's a foxy guy from the stars.

For his 1st training exercise Jan sends him with CapM and Thor to help the navy track down the submarine that was involved with last issue's kidnap of the Pres. CapA and Wasp leave together on some other business. Leaving Hawkeye with She-Hulk.

As the trio fly to their destination under their individual powers, Monica Rambeau demonstrates a new twist to her ability to travel as light. She's worked out how to create an image of herself during the flight. She also takes time to ask Eros about his deceased friend the original Captain Marvel. The Titanian praises Mar-Vell as someone worthy of the title hero. And is surprised when the newbie chooses to streak ahead to their destination.

The others arrive soon after her and the Navy Captain explains that they tracked the submarine to a deep too far down for frogmen. And it seems impervious to depth charges. At the moment the Navy are awaiting their own subs.

We know that the occupant of the sub is Plantman. His technology enables him to detonate depth charges before they get too close. But he doesn't fancy tangling with a Trident submarine. So he takes the offensive by firing a ray at some kelp, which grows to giant-size and attacks the ships on the surface. Thor dives into the ocean to combat the threat, as strands of the seaweed drag his companions under.

Now we find out where Janet Van Dyne and Steve Rogers went to. They have been worried about Tony Stark's long absence, and weren't satisfied with Iron Man's abrupt resignation by phone last issue. They track him down to 1 of his Manhattan apartments and find him drunk. He also denies having made the resignation call. His friends are even more confused when Iron Man flies in through a window and says that the caller was him. After all they both know that Tony is Iron Man.

Stark slurs an explanation that he's decided to stop being the Golden Avenger. He's hired someone else to do the job, making his previous cover story a reality. This guy has just been out on his 1st test flight. The new guy (who readers of IM's mag know his his pilot and friend James Rhodes) explains that his inexperience makes it risky for him to be an Avenger - that's why he resigned this morning. The helmet's computer made his voice sound like Iron Man's, and he didn't know that these 2 Avengers knew of his boss's double identity.

Tony brings him up to speed about Thor knowing the secret too, and has another drink. He refuses to take help or advice from his Avenging allies, and orders them out of his home.

Back in the Atlantic all 3 Avengers have their own ways of surviving underwater. Then CapM blasts her way free of entangling kelp, and helps Starfox break free too. Meanwhile Thor is ripping kelp away from the ships. Then they go after the submarine. Plantman uses more of the advanced weaponry his silent partner equipped him with, sending out anti-personnel torpedoes that the Avengers deal with easily. Then they smash and blast their way into the sub. But Plantman pulls an emergency lever supplied by his friend. And the walls of the control room encase him in a metal ball which ejects skyward.

Elsewhere She-Hulk has carried the injured Hawkeye to his penthouse apartment supplied by his other job as security chief of Cross Technological Enterprises. Embarrassed by his disability he ungratefully tells her to go away. Then he calls the company with a plan.

As his escape pod rises into space Plantman gets a recorded message from his partner, who turns out to be the Wizard. The tech-savvy villain gave Planty the gizmos as thanks for helping him escape prison. But he knew Plantman would be a liability as a long-term partner, and pretty soon he would find the need for the last-resort handle. Wizard's signature anti-gravity devices will take the other into orbit, where he'll soon die from lack of oxygen.

But of course the heroes rescue the villain. CapM zips through the wall and solidifies inside. She then blasts a hole in the wall, and Plantman is sucked out into the upper atmosphere. Monica transformed back into light to avoid the same fate. And Planty is caught in mid-air by Thor.

In an epilogue Jan goes out with Jennifer Walters to help her find her own place to live. But they find trouble instead as they come across crowds running from something. And then the duo run into an invisible barrier.

Al Milgrom
Joe Sinnott
Christie Scheele
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (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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