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Avengers #256: Review

Jun 1985
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

This Power Unleashed

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #256 Review by (June 16, 2023)
Comments: Part two of eight parts. Apollo, Greek God of the Sun, has appeared intermittently in Marvel history, starting with VENUS #1 in 1948. Terminus first appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR #269; this villain isn’t him, see next issue. The absence of the Fantastic Four is explained in their own comic, issues #278-279.

Review: The issue begins on a (literally) bright note, with an appearance by the Sun God, then gives each of the Avengers a moment to shine. The issue then bogs down in administrative matters with a lot of talk while giving us a brief glimpse of Captain Marvel out in space. And finally, the main plot begins with a giant monster terrorizing Earth. Kudos to the creative team for being able to cram so much into a single issue.

The most interesting bit comes when the team is deciding to make Wasp the team leader again; Hercules is surprised to learn she formerly held the position and deduces from Cap’s support that there must be more to her than meets the eye. This shows us a wiser and more perceptive Herc than is usually featured; this version won’t supplant the delightful Bob Layton/David Micheline Herc in my mind but it makes him more than a fun-loving frat boy.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #256 Synopsis by T Vernon
Phoebus Apollo, Greek God of the Sun, rides his flying chariot through the air above the streets of Manhattan, stopping by Avengers Mansion. He has come to deliver a parcel of new Olympian clothing to Hercules, who has been wearing army fatigues since his original outfit was destroyed in issue #252. Herc brings his pal inside, astonishing Jarvis….

Elsewhere, the Black Knight is practicing his swordplay (and wordplay) against a robot. Wasp observes and Dane is surprised to learn she and Hank Pym are now divorced. Moments later, Jan is in the elevator with Starfox who asks why she has been avoiding him lately; she explains that she is a bit unnerved by the discovery of his power to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. He assures her he would never use that power on a friend…unless they wanted him to. They encounter Herc modelling his new duds while Apollo takes his leave….

At the team meeting, Captain America raises the issue of a new chairman and suggests Wasp be returned to the role, which Vision had manipulated her into leaving. The others agree and she is touched by their vote of confidence. Wasp then proposes to add Black Knight to bring the roster up to six again. Cap wonders what has happened to Captain Marvel

…who is aboard the Sanctuary II, now parked in another galaxy, too far away for her to travel home. She tests her powers and is gratified to discover they are returning, deciding to turn into a hologram of herself. She fools space mercenary Levan into thinking she is in her human form but she can’t hold it for long….

The team meeting is interrupted by a call from SHIELD, asking them to investigate a shipwreck in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. They take off in a Quinjet, observed by some men who are keeping surveillance on the Mansion, and head to the scene. The Agent in charge leads them to the sole survivor, who relates how they were transporting a giant metal shaft when the shaft and then the entire ship began to glow and it was pulled at an impossibly fast rate to the south and then a giant metal hand crashed into the ship—and then the crewman dies. The Avengers follow a trail of underwater damage while research shows that the giant shaft belonged to something called Terminus which Starfox explains is a legendary scavenger of alien worlds. They try to contact the Fantastic Four but there is no response. They reach the wreckage of an Antarctic research station, rescuing the scientists who tell of a giant sweeping through their site, heading south toward the Savage Land

...where Ka-Zar is guiding a team of researchers on an expedition when the giant metal Terminus arrives to proclaim his dominance….  

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: John Buscema. Letterer: Jim Novak.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Edwin Jarvis)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Apollo, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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