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Avengers #296: Review

Oct 1988
Walt Simonson, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Hearts of Oak…and Heads to Match

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #296 Review by (June 1, 2024)
Comments: Part three of four parts. The title is taken from a gag by Walt Kelly, creator of the comic strip POGO, with an apology added to the splash page. First appearance of the Time Bubble. Marvel’s versions of Clark Kent and Lois Lane appear in a cameo. Pop culture references: TV sitcom BOSOM BUDDIES, interviewer Barbara Walters. There’s a reference to President Ronald Reagan’s helicopter defense wherein he would deflect reporters’ questions by pretending he couldn’t hear them over the sound of the helicopter. The letters page includes one by a Leah Rosenthal, who may be the future comics artist of that name.

Review: The Kang’s time travel device is called the Breakthruway and that alone led me to give the issue an extra half-star. The rest of it was pretty cool too: the capture of the Avengers, the endless fussing of the Kangs, and the epic description of their destination, the Time Bubble. But the usual krazy Kang stuff will cause it all to fall apart next time.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #296 Synopsis by T Vernon
Thor arrives at the hospital to check on Black Knight, seriously injured last issue; multiple orderlies attempt to prevent his entry into the private part of the hospital and fail. The doctor informs Thor that BK has been discharged. Outside the Thunder God finds his friend surrounded by reporters; Thor picks him up and flies off. BK tells him that the Curse is growing worse, he is fused to his armor and can now slice things with his hand….

Back at Avengers Hydrobase, Doctor Druid and She-Hulk, under the hypnotic spell of Kang-Nebula, are planning to ambush Thor and BK when they return….

Elsewhen, the Council of Cross-Time Kangs confront the members and discover many of them have been seduced by K-Nebula into handing over technology from their timestreams. It is clear she is interested in seizing the great weapon they seek for her own ends and the Chairman decides to intervene personally….

Thor and Black Knight arrive at Hydrobase and discover that She-Hulk has escaped and overpowered Dr. Druid…but it’s a trap: Druid jumps up and places a Mindbender in BK’s head then helps Shulkie subdue Thor and place several in his head and now all of the Avengers are under Kang-Nebula’s control…

…which the Kangs discover when looking in on the scene. The Chairman informs Kang-Fred, the newest member, what is at stake. The weapon is a bubble of time, home to a renegade Celestial; many Kangs have tried to enter the bubble but none have succeeded and most have died. But a scan of history shows that it will be a group of Avengers who finally enter the bubble, which K-Nebula also knows and is counting on. The great unknown is which team of Avengers will succeed; for now, only Thor is known to be in that group. And so the Kangs must send a team of bodyguards to protect the Avengers from the possible dangers….

Back at Hydrobase, K-Nebula tells the mind-controlled Avengers pretty much the same story but with more glorying in the power she will control once she is successful, accompanied by some horrific pictures. So K-Nebs has the Avengers modify a Quinjet for deep space exploration….

And the Kangs also set out to stop her, comprising the Chairman, Kang-Fred, and Kang-Mesozoic. They set out to defeat their renegade member by working to manipulate events unseen, keeping the Avengers safe while foiling her plans. They activate the Breakthruway and arrive just as the Avengers say their goodbyes to Jarvis and take off. After some extended bickering with Jarvis, the Kangs make an adjustment and return a few seconds earlier….

Meanwhile, the Quinjet hurtles through a time storm and breaks through into sight of the Bubble at the Heart of Time….

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: John Buscema. Letterer: Bill Oakley.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Kang the Conqueror)

(Jennifer Walters)


Plus: Kang-Nebula (Ravonna).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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