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Avengers #300: Review

Feb 1989
Walt Simonson, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Inferno²

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Avengers #300 Review by (July 6, 2024)
Comments: Bannered for the INFERNO event. Part one of two parts. Thor and Black Knight are returning from THOR #396-399. Growing Man was introduced in THOR #140 and most recently seen in AVENGERS #268. Nanny and Orphan-Maker return in X-FACTOR #40. Reed Richards says, “It’s clobberin’ time!” The second story rehearses the events of AVENGERS #1 from Loki’s point of view. Issue includes a complete roster of the Avengers, brief bios of Avengers staff, a longer profile of Edwin Jarvis, and a map of Avengers Park. The Time Bubble returns, with some changes, in FANTASTIC FOUR #337-341. Marc Siry contributed to the colors for the first story. One of the letters in the letter column is by Hurricane Heeran, future contributor to ALTER EGO, Roy Thomas' fanzine; there’s also a complete set of cover logos for the book.

Review: Kang returns, from a unique vantage point, as he falls through the sci-fi nonsense set up a few issues ago. But he gets the plot rolling with the proto-Avengers battle with Nanny and company then sending them into the plot of the X-Men Inferno event. Both parts are quite good, with an unusual role for the Growing Man, an underappreciated villain. And we come out with half of the Fantastic Four forming a new Avengers, along with a misplaced Eternal and a pair of familiar faces, Thor and Cap. It’s an unusual line-up but it works.

There’s not a lot to the second story in terms of plot: the entire story is AVENGERS #1 with Loki throwing a fit. The selling point is that the art is by Walt Simonson; even the nth rehash of a classic comic has something new to offer when done by Walt Simonson.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #300 Synopsis by T Vernon
Kang-Fred finds himself trapped on the surface of the Time Bubble. He looks into a reality in which Earth has been invaded by demons from Limbo—but he does not see the Avengers. Deciding his only hope lies in entering the Avengers’ timeline, he surveys the invaded planet, seeing buildings corrupted by the demonic plague. He sees the villains: Sym, Nastirh, and the Goblin Queen in their separate locales, then he spies the Captain, recognizing him as Captain America in a different guise, Invisible Woman, and Mr. Fantastic, engaged in battle in a park; Kang flies there. He finds Cap, Reed, Sue, and the Forgotten One fighting Nanny, Orphan-Maker, and the red-armored villain who is Franklin Richards. The battle is a stalemate until Reed, realizing OM is a literal child, wraps him up in his coils, forcing Nanny to free Franklin in order to get her own kid back. Nanny unleashes Franklin, still armored, with a compulsion to kill. Reed runs electric current through his armor in order to save him and, as Nanny’s craft takes off, Sue uses her force beam to bring it back. But the ship explodes and the debris falls into he lake. Reed says that Franklin is okay but removing him from the armor will be a challenge. Forgotten One notes that the ship’s debris is less than it should be, indicating that it was a decoy while Nanny got away cleanly. After the Forgotten One introduces himself, Reed suggests he return to one of his ancient names, Gilgamesh, which the eternal hero agrees to. While they are talking, the demon N’astirh, having discovered that he can harness Franklin’s powers to conquer the Earth,  steps through a portal, picks up the armored boy, and vanishes with him. The four heroes hop in the Fantasti-Car and pursue, Reed trying to latch onto some emanation to track them by. Kang, fading into nothingness, decides to help the proto-Avengers to locate their quarry and bond as a team; to that end, he reactivates his Growing Man, lying in an abandoned tenement, and it sets out on its task. The doll is attacked by a demon; it grows in size and clobbers the monster, continuing on its way. Ordered to disguise itself, GM coats itself in the demon plague dripping from various buildings….

Atop the World Trade Center, N’astirh removes Franklin from the armor and places him into walls which will draw off his power while he sleeps eternally, ready to be directed into a pentagram which will open a portal allowing all of the demons to enter Earth at once….

As the heroes search the city, Cap recognizes a thunderstorm in the distance and directs Reed to the site. It’s Thor, smashing demons left and right with Mjolnir, while he guards the paralyzed Black Knight. Gilgamesh joins in the smashing and soon the monsters are vanquished. After getting each other caught up in their stories, Thor puts a stasis vortex around Black Knight to keep him safe until they can retrieve him later. But they don’t know where to go to find Franklin. So the Growing Man, now a giant, hurls a car at them to provoke pursuit and leads them to the World Trade Center; it begins to climb so they continue upward after it until they reach the demons on the roof. While the men fight the monsters, Sue discovers Franklin trapped in the walls and being drained of power. She contains him with a force field but his power grows until it bursts the force field, melting the walls holding him, and causing the pentagram to explode. This makes the demons angry so the battle grows in intensity, but the good guys win. Franklin seems okay but they need to take him home, when the building begins to shake. It’s the Growing Man; Thor conks it with the hammer and it grows, making Thor recognizes him—and his power. So Reed rigs something that, when shot into GM, causes him to shrink with each blow; Thor and Gilgamesh pound it into nothingness….

Back at the Richards home, they put Franklin to bed and Cap explains his plan to reform the Avengers. Thor, Gilgamesh, Reed, and Sue agree to join and they vow to stand together over the sleeping Franklin….


Story 2: The Coming of the Cursed Avengers - rating 4/5

Writer: Ralph Macchio. Art: Walt Simonson. Colors: Gregory Wright. Letters: John Workman.

Synopsis: Loki makes his annual pilgrimage to Asgard’s Isle of Silence. There he throws a major fit over the fact that his sinister actions to defeat Thor resulted in the formation of the Avengers and his own defeat. After showing us the story in flashbacks and wallowing in self-pity, he returns to Midgard to forget about his embarrassment for another year.




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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Loki
Loki

(Loki Laufeyson)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Captain (Steve Rogers), Franklin Richards, Gilgamesh (Forgotten One), Goblin Queen (Madelyne Pryor), Growing Man, Nanny, Nastirh, Orphan Maker (Peter), Sym.

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