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Avengers #274: Review

Dec 1986
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Divided…We Fall

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #274 Review by (November 17, 2023)
Comments: “Avengers Under Siege” part five of eight. Title comes from the saying, “United, we stand; divided, we fall.” Monica Rambeau is still waiting to hear about the small business loan she applied for in issue #236; maybe she should try another bank. Cap fought Whirlwind in CAPTAIN AMERICA #324. Porcupine’s costume is on display at the Mansion since his death in CAPTAIN AMERICA #315.   

Review: And I was right, Part 2 of the Master Plan is to wait until the Avengers come home then gang up on them individually. Hey, I could be a criminal mastermind! Anyway, having just written “Zemo gloats” for a dozen or so times, it looks bad for our heroic team as the bad guys definitely have the upper hand in this issue. The action is brutal and things only get worse next time, especially for Jarvis. An action-packed classic story continues!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #274 Synopsis by T Vernon
With the Masters of Evil having captured Avengers Mansion, Baron Zemo and Fixer watch via a monitor as an unwitting Black Knight walks through the newly repaired gate and into the building. BK is suspicious when he finds the lights in the foyer out, then Yellowjacket zips past him, causing a distraction. Mister Hyde then crashes through a wall and beats the hero into unconsciousness; Yellowjacket stops him from killing BK only by reminding him he would be more valuable as a living hostage. BK is deposited with the captive Jarvis and the Masters gloat over the victory but Zemo reminds them it is too soon to celebrate, all of the Avengers must be defeated and humiliated….

Monica Rambeau is at home in New Orleans, relaxing at breakfast, when she receives a distress call from Wasp, summoning her to the main assembly room at the Mansion. Changing into Captain Marvel, she is there instantaneously and discovers the bound Jarvis and unconscious Black Knight. She instantly realizes it is a trap but Blackout approaches and encases her in the Darkforce, sealing her in and transporting her to another dimension. Zemo enters, impressed at Blackout’s power and confident that he can control the villain with his headband. Zemo boasts to Jarvis how CM was lured there by a simple voice simulator. And Wasp and Captain America should be easy to defeat. In the computer room, Yellowjacket is having trouble cracking the security codes; Fixer, claiming to be smarter, offers to do it for her, reaching a hand toward her so she nearly breaks his thumb. Zemo enters for a progress report: Fixer tells him that the Fantastic Four are out of the country and he has used the voice simulator to send the West Coast Avengers to Indonesia. Zemo gloats….

Janet Van Dyne relaxes by the pool at her New Jersey estate when a helicopter appears overhead and Captain America leaps out, hits the diving board, somersaults through the air, and lands beside her. Cap tells her he has just had a run-in with Whirlwind, one of Wasp’s longtime enemies. Cap says he contacted the Mansion and the Avenger who answered did not seem interested—and that was Wasp. So clearly someone has either tapped their communication lines or taken over the Mansion…

…where the Wrecking Crew are looting the Mansion and smashing up the place. They resent Moonstone joining in the search for valuables, unaware that Wasp is watching from nearby. She flies through the duct work to look for the other heroes, finally locating the bound Jarvis and unconscious Black Knight. Jarvis fills her in but warns her that Hercules must be stopped before he walks into the trap…

…and Hercules is arriving now, returning from a party with Tanya Sealy a/k/a the villainess Black Mamba, who was hired by Baron Zemo to fill Herc with drugged wine so that he can barely walk. Steve and Wasp intercept him outside the Mansion and take him into a van to explain the situation. While Cap tries to contact reserve Avengers, Wasp advises Herc to wait for reinforcements and a plan. Herc, however, drunk and fed up with Wasp giving him orders, punches his way out of the van and creates a new entrance, coming upon Tiger Shark and engaging him. Zemo is surprised by his alternate means of entry and Fixer draws his attention to Captain America and Wasp coming through the front door. Zemo orders the plan to be put into action. Pincered tentacles rise from the front stoop and seize Cap and Wasp. The heroes break free but a sonic device knocks Cap out. Wasp makes it to the sidewalk before collapsing and police officers come to her aid. They look up to see Avengers Mansion encased in the Darkforce. Inside, Moonstone still seeks a way to use Blackout against Baron Zemo….

Elsewhere, Herc clobbers Tiger Shark but Hyde wraps him in a huge chunk of machinery, the Wrecking Crew battering it tighter around Herc. But Herc bursts out and drunkenly challenges them all. Goliath picks him up by the leg and swings him around, bashing his head against the walls and floor. Herc is stunned and the cadre of powerful baddies beats him mercilessly….

Outside, Wasp’s sting can’t penetrate the Darkforce while inside, Baron Zemo and his gang gloat over the captive Cap, who does not lose hope, so long as one Avenger remains free. Zemo points out that that one Avenger is the Wasp, the least formidable member of the team who indirectly led to Hercules’ defeat….

Hercules’ body is thrown out through the Darkforce and Wasp can’t detect a pulse….      

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.

Baron Zemo
Baron Zemo

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Monica Rambeau)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Mister Hyde
Mister Hyde

(Calvin Zabo)

(Karla Sofen)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Blackout, Fixer, Goliath (Erik Josten), Masters of Evil, Wrecking Crew, Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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