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Avengers #236: Review

Oct 1983
Roger Stern, Joe Sinnott

Story Name:

I Want to Be an Avenger

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #236 Review by (December 24, 2022)
Comments: Part two of three parts. Special twentieth anniversary issue. Spidey visited Project Pegasus in MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #4; Wendell Vaughn is better known as Quasar. The Guardsman (Michael O’Brien), introduced in IRON MAN #82, was last seen in IRON MAN #109. Blackout was introduced in NOVA #19; this is his second appearance. Moonstone most recently appeared in issues #228-230. Lava Men were introduced in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97; Cap and the team encountered them in AVENGERS #5, their second appearance. Electro goes all the way back to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 and Rhino to ASM #41.

Review: Spider-Man returns and proves himself a complete pain in the neck. It’s what he’s famous for outside his own titles and most writers trying for his lively banter only make him an irritant. But this story arc is pretty cool, with a bad guy team all set to cause trouble next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #236 Synopsis by T Vernon
A quiet day at Avengers Mansion: Scarlet Witch has monitor duty while Captain America watches over the comatose Vision, Starfox flirts with Wasp, and She-Hulk reads the real estate page while taking a bath (and making Jarvis nervous). The intruder alarm sounds and everyone scrambles to the front door where they find the detention coils ensnared in webbing, which leads to the discovery of Spider-Man in the dining room, lying in a web hammock over the main table. Spidey wants to join the Avengers, having been invited by Thor in issue #221. Cap explains that their active roster is full, once Hawkeye returns and suggests Spidey join as a trainee like Starfox, but Spidey balks. The priority alert sounds and they head to the monitor room, while Shulkie throws Spider-Man out the door. Spidey broods a bit over his financial problems and his desire for an Avengers salary; he then spies the Quinjet taking off so he webs himself to the bottom and goes along unawares. Inside the jet, Cap, She-Hulk, and Starfox discuss the mission: a low-level alert from Project Pegasus, which has been targeted by baddies in the past….

The Quinjet arrives and they discover Spidey hanging on underneath in a web cocoon. Cap rebukes him for the security breach just as an Earth tremor shakes the building, which Spidey knew was coming with his Spider-Sense. The guards take the Avengers through the underground levels on a railcar as Spidey mentions he’s been there before and knows security chief Wendell Vaughn. But Vaughn is no longer there, the new chief is Michael O’Brien, the Guardsman. They soon arrive at the end of the line where the emergency doors have sealed off the main chamber. She-Hulk and Starfox rip the doors off and the heroes find a scene of devastation with multiple casualties among the staff, including the Guardsman. O’Brien explains that they were sinking a magma tap into the Earth when it exploded and an army of Lava Men poured out, attacking and defeating the staff. The Lava Men then went through the maintenance section toward the nuclear research dome. Cap decides they need help; he calls Monica Rambeau while she is at a bank arranging a small business loan; once done, she dons her Captain Marvel outfit and flies to Project Pegasus, passing Wanda and Jan in a Quinjet on the way….

Zipping through the tunnels, Cap M passes a room where scientists are experimenting with Dr. Croit’s power stabilizer and her radiation activates the machine, releasing Blackout who was trapped inside. The villain overpowers the techs and leaves the room where he discovers an imprisoned Moonstone and she persuades him to set her free….

The Avengers battle the Lava Men in the maintenance room where Spidey messes up by failing to follow orders. Captain Marvel burns through the doors to the nuclear research dome and the Lava Men fall to the ground in worship, taking her for the long-foretold Lady of Light. The Lava Men explain that the Project’s drill devastated their village and they were only reacting in self-defense. Captain America apologizes for the surface world and promises to set things right. Wasp and Scarlet Witch finally arrive and Spidey tells them the show is over…

…but it isn’t. Moonstone and Blackout have found and freed Electro and the Rhino and they are plotting revenge by seizing the nuclear research dome….

Joe Sinnott
Joe Sinnott
Carl Gafford
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Al Milgrom. Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Max Dillon)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Karla Sofen)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Peter Parker)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Blackout, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Guardsman (Michael O'Brien), Lava Men.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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