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Avengers #275: Review

Jan 1987
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Even a God Can Die

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #275 Review by (November 24, 2023)
Comments: “Avengers Under Siege” part six of eight. Baron Zemo’s apparent death at the hands of Mother Superior was in CAPTAIN AMERICA #301. Absorbing Man and Titania battled Spider-Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #283. Ant-Man says they have as much chance of defeating the baddies as Steven Spielberg has of winning an Oscar; Spielberg had been nominated five times by this time and it looked like he would always be passed over for more artsy films; eventually he would win three Oscars. Ant-Man also mentions the recent film HOOPER and its stars Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Robert Klein. He also uses the phrase, “Bang-Zoom,” a violent reference to THE HONEYMOONERS TV series (1955-1956).  

Review: This story is an example of the “Any Given Day” theory of comic books, the idea that on any given day, any character can defeat any other character no matter how inequal the power. Thus, Squirrel Girl can defeat Doctor Doom. And so herein we have Wasp and Ant-Man defeating Absorbing Man and Titania though it isn’t very believable: I find it highly unlikely that Scott Lang could deck Crusher Creel even in his normal form and the baddies can’t stand up very long to Wasp’s (and the ants’) stings. Well, some writers can make it more convincing than others. It’s an exciting sequence, if a bit silly. And Zemo still gloats. And one of the series’ darkest moments occurs in this issue when Mister Hyde tortures Jarvis who will be out of commission for several issues. Of all of Marvel’s superstrong villains, Hyde is easily the nastiest; I have never had any sympathy for him and seeing him show up in a Thor or Hulk comic carries with it the promise of seeing him get a beating from a stronger hero. His day will come.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #275 Synopsis by T Vernon
A CBS News bulletin describes how Avengers Mansion is encased in Darkforce, and the area is now under martial law. Meanwhile, Wasp has been seen accompanying an unconscious Hercules to the hospital….

Inside the Mansion, occupied by the Masters of Evil, Moonstone is trying to persuade the addled but powerful Blackout that he can trust her. Goliath and the Wrecking Crew, searching for loot in the Mansion, are destroying Tony Stark’s lab. Baron Zemo and Mister Hyde hear on the news that Tiger Shark, whose aid was no longer needed, has successfully escaped the police. Yellowjacket is disgusted by their gloating over how they’ve made the city squirm. Zemo goes up to taunt the captive Captain America once again, as Cap is held with Jarvis and the still-unconscious Black Knight….

Meanwhile at the hospital, medical staff are working on the badly beaten Hercules. Wasp is called out to the hall where a staffer asks questions about Herc’s next-of-kin; they are interrupted by Ant-Man (Scott Lang) suddenly appearing before them, having heard on the radio of something crazy happening. She tells him about the Masters of Evil seizing control of the Mansion, Cap, Black Knight, and Jarvis being captured, Captain Marvel going missing, and Herc being injured….

At the Mansion, Baron Zemo continues to gloat as Cap asks that Jarvis and Black Knight be freed to seek medical attention. Zemo responds by slapping Jarvis across the head. Cap promises that Wasp will assemble a new lineup of Avengers and defeat him, despite his having apparently cheated death; Zemo refuses to explain how he survived the attack by Mother Superior. Later, Fixer asks how he survived and Zemo reveals that his headband blunted MS’s psychic attack so she assumed he was dead and departed. He escaped, reflecting on his family’s defeats at the hands of Captain America so he vowed vengeance against Cap’s family, the Avengers. Absorbing Man and Titania check in to report that Spider-Man prevented their completing their mission; Zemo has a second task for them and he directs them to the hospital….

Captain Marvel is trapped in the Darkforce Dimension, unable to find her way out and feeling cold despite being in her energy form. She sees a small glimmer of light and heads toward it but it disappears, leaving her to light up in frustration….

At the hospital, Jan blames herself for the Avengers’ defeat; Scott tries to tell her otherwise but she demonstrates that it was all her fault. Then a doctor comes out of the OR to tell her that Hercules has died. She is bitterly discouraged and about to give up, telling Scott to call the Fantastic Four. She asks for a moment alone with Herc’s body and is startled when the heart monitor gives a single beep. She calls for help and the doctors discover that Hercules does have a heartbeat, only inhumanly slow, one beat every ten minutes. Wasp goes out to tell Ant-Man there is hope when a tremor shakes the building. It is Absorbing Man and Titania assaulting the hospital; a team of police open fire which only results in Creel becoming the steel of the bullet jackets hitting him. He swings his ball and chain into the ground and the shockwave scatters the cops. The villains crash through the hospital wall; Wasp and Ant-Man watch from cover with Scott giving poor odds for their success….

Zemo watches the event on live television, mocking Cap and tearing up a photo of Bucky found in Cap’s locker, noting that Bucky died attempting to stop Zemo’s father. He also produces Cap’s original triangular shield, handing it to Mister Hyde to destroy. Zemo leaves Hyde with them, allowing him to do as he pleases. Hyde brutally tortures Jarvis, whose screams revive Black Knight, who wonders where his sword is….

His sword and Cap’s shield are in the lab, being analyzed by the Fixer, who is interrupted by Zemo ordering him to help Yellowjacket, who has so far failed to crack the computer’s security codes, in removing the memory circuits for later study….

Back at the hospital, as everyone runs from the invading bad guys, Wasp and Ant-Man swing into action; Jan stings Creel in the eyes, forcing him back to normal so Scott can punch him out. Titania then leaps at Scott, who shrinks so she crashes into a wall. Creel grabs a transformer and turns electric for no clear reason. Titania invades the operating room and Ant-Man sics the ants on her; Creel splashes himself with alcohol so he can wash the ants off her. As he is still non-solid, the heroes sting him in the head. Ant-Man sprays Titania with shrinking gas so Wasp can flatten her with stings. She then jumps on Creel’s shoulders, lifting him off the floor and then stinging him into a coma….

The doctor tells Jan that Hercules will live, so she starts planning to take back Avengers Mansion….



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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Ant-Man
Ant-Man

(Scott Lang)
Baron Zemo
Baron Zemo

(Helmut)
Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Jarvis
Jarvis

(Edwin Jarvis)
Mister Hyde
Mister Hyde

(Calvin Zabo)
Moonstone
Moonstone

(Karla Sofen)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Blackout, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Fixer, Goliath (Erik Josten), Masters of Evil, Titania, Wrecking Crew, Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara).

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