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Avengers #279: Review

May 1987
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Command Decision

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers #279 Review by (February 5, 2024)
Comments: Captain Marvel’s intro and origin were seen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #16. Monica’s mother was a fan of THE ODD COUPLE, either the classic 1970-1975 version (a long time earlier), or THE NEW ODD COUPLE, with an all-Black cast that ran for a season in 1982-83, which would have been closer to the comic’s date. Biggest revelation: Dr. Druid is a real jerk.   

Review: “Her light will lead the way.” Every so often the editors/writers switch things up and add an issue that focuses on a single character and this month it is Captain Marvel’s turn. I’ve always felt she was underappreciated—note the scarcity of solo comics featuring her, all available elsewhere on this site. Well, Roger Stern has also felt the lack it seems so he makes her the new Chair of the Avengers and to that end, we have a “Best of…” section. We already know her powers, showcased quite often over the last few years but here we see another set of skills: wisdom, compassion, bravery, in short, heroism. And we also have a recap of her origin, which helps for those who don’t have that odd Spidey comic. Of course, this promotion still did not result in her getting a series of her own—or even a miniseries until long after she became Photon.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #279 Synopsis by T Vernon
Atlanta police are dealing with a barricade situation with a madman holding his wife and kids hostage. Captain Marvel arrives and, despite police hostility, she flashes into the house to confront the man who thinks his family are demons. He takes CM for an angel and allows her to lead him to surrender without further incident. CM stops to comfort the children before taking off, leaving impressed cops behind….

Monica appears on her parents’ television in New Orleans, to check if anyone else is there. She tells her mother about Wasp resigning as Avengers Chairwoman which led to a big meeting. Captain America declined the position because of his commitment to his nationwide hotline and then he suggested Monica. Black Knight seconded—but she didn’t think she was ready. Doctor Druid secretly wished he could be named leader while Thor openly denigrated CM, leading to She-Hulk rebuking him. Cap tabled the matter until the next meeting when CM would say whether she would accept the nomination. She shares her apprehension with her parents, including her plans to start a business (which she secretly hoped would involve her father so that he would retire from the fire department)….

The next day, She-Hulk goes out to the beach at Hydrobase where she sees Dane Whitman (the Black Knight) swinging his Ebony Blade at a boulder. It looks as though he missed every time but a light tap sends the rock crumbling. As they sit talking about the leadership issue, Doctor Druid swims by and, for a bit of fun, sends an illusion to She-Hulk of a huge ape-monster attacking. She leaps at the thing, which Dane can’t see, and lands on her face in the sand. Druid reveals himself, laughing, but Jen and Dane don’t find it funny….

Captain Marvel visits the prison ward of a New Jersey hospital to check up on Moonstone who broke her neck fleeing CM in issue #276. The villain is bitter and hostile, blaming Baron Zemo for her defeat, which CM does not agree with. CM leaves concerned that Moonstone is just another egotistical, irresponsible villain….

Monica visits the comatose Hercules in the hospital and briefly asking if he would follow a woman who wasn’t Wasp. She departs and Herc speaks his first word since his injury, “Pater,” Greek for “Father”….

CM then flies out to the now abandoned Roxxon oil tower where she received her powers and she mentally reviews the events of her origin as the new Captain Marvel, joining the Avengers soon after. She decides to talk to someone who has been the team leader, Captain America…

…who is on the site of mine collapse in Appalachia, trapping six children and an adult guide inside. He manages to clear a small entrance to the mine when Captain Marvel arrives, offering to help. They reach the kids and lead them toward the entrance when another tremor causes the ground to drop out, trapping two children on a lower level. CM descends to that level and has the boy climb up on her shoulders so she can raise him to where Cap is reaching down. Soon, the boy is safe but when she tries the same with the girl, the ledge she is standing on crumbles beneath them. Cap grabs the girl but Monica drops—not to worry, she can fly back up. Cap tells the kids to follow Captain Marvel, “Her light will lead the way.” Monica tells Cap she was looking for him to ask if the pressures of leadership are worth it but she knows now and accepts the nomination….

A few days later, a mysterious Thor-shaped figure breaks into the hospital and carries off the comatose Hercules, witnessed by a nurse on the security camera….

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)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Karla Sofen)

(Jennifer Walters)


Plus: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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