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Avengers #55: Review

Aug 1968
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Mayhem over Manhattan

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #55 Review by (June 17, 2022)
Roy Thomas seems to have forgotten that in #48 the Avengers realised that this Black Knight isn't the same as the earlier villain with that name.

The team will be back next issue but Edwin Jarvis will be recovering from his wounds until #59.

Ultron will return before then in #57-58 for his origin and the intro of the Vision.

Black Knight will deepen his own origin next as he stars in Marvel Super-Heroes #17 where he learns of his connection to the original Arthurian BK (Sir Percy of Scandia who starred in his own 50's Atlas series). After that he'll be a guest at the wedding of Wasp & Yellowjacket in #60.

Whirlwind will pop up as part of Batroc's Brigade in Captain America #130. And then he'll rejoin Klaw, Melter & Radioactive Man as the Masters Of Evil to fight the Lady Liberators in our #83.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #55 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the 4 Avengers were captured by Crimson Cowl's new Masters Of Evil. Before that the new heroic Black Knight infiltrated them and then left to warn the Avengers, but the villains were onto him and the MOE beat him up on the roof of Avengers Mansion. And Crimson Cowl was revealed to be a robot while the *real* CC was the Avengers' butler Edwin Jarvis.

Now Klaw, Melter, Radioactive Man and Whirlwind take off from the Mansion roof in a futuristic airship. Black Panther, Hawkeye and Goliath are unconscious and trapped behind laser beams, while Klaw still has conscious Wasp in a bottle. Crimson Cowl contacts them by vidscreen, his identity once more concealed by his (crimson) hooded cloak. The ship lands back in Cowl's hi-tech undergound lair beneath the derelict building we saw last issue.

Melter goes ahead to bring CC up to date while Klaw steers a mobile platform carrying the 3 male Avengers restrained by metal bands, and being kept unconscious by electric shocks. But Goliath proves more resistant to the shocks and breaks free to attack Klaw. However Cowl downs him from behind with a sleep-gas. The mastervillain blames Ulysses Klaw for the escape but the proud Master Of Sound batters his boss with a large blast from his sonic claw. It should have killed anyone human but the Cowl withstands it and threatens to kill him, until Klaw grovels for mercy.

When all 4 of the Masters Of Evil are assembled Cowl reveals his plan. They will place the Avengers inside a hydrogen bomb and threaten to drop it on New York unless the city pays them a large sum of money. The minion villains protest that if they pay up the Avengers won't die! But Cowl says that they can just drop the bomb in the Atlantic - the Avengers will be just as dead. Satisfied the gang lower our team into the bomb ...

... where the 3 heroes awaken to be informed of their situation. Hawkeye lets Wasp out of her container. Goliath tries to batter his way out but discovers that the hull is made of a metal stronger than anything he knows. A screen deliberately shows them what's happening outside. They see Crimson Cowl bring in Edwin Jarvis under a hypnotic spell. The Jarvis/Cowl thing was just a joke. Now CC gives the butler back his free will and memories of how he betrayed his employers. Jarvis breaks down and claims that when he gave Cowl the plans for the Avengers security system for money (last issue) he never expected the bad guys to *win*. He appeals to Cowl's humanity to kill *him* and let the Avengers go. But Cowl of course reveals that he is in fact the robot.

Naming himself Ultron-5 the robot knocks Jarvis down and tells Melter to dispose of him. But on the way the stunned butler revives and runs away. Melter brings a load of rubble down on him and leaves him for dead. But Jarvis fights his way out and staggers in pain through the streets, his tattered clothes making people ignore his pleas for help. Finally he makes it nearly to the Mansion ...

... where Black Knight finds him and helps him get inside. Edwin explains what happened and BK takes to the sky on his winged horse Aragorn. (His thoughts explain to us that the MOE left *him* for dead too and forgot about him.) He spots the distinctive airship and blasts a way in with his laser lance. Leaving Aragorn outside he dives in on the attack. Another laser blast opens a big hole in the bomb casing so the Avengers can join the fight. Initially it's only against Melter and Radioactive Man, but soon Klaw and Whirlwind hear the commotion and join in.

Ultron watches in anger from a 2nd hidden base as Hawkeye fashions a bow and arrows from pieces of metal and wire. Goliath wraps RM in lead-lined metal. Panther KOs his old foe Klaw, but hyper-fast Whirlwind escapes through the hole in the ship (to resume his cover identity as Janet Van Dyne's chauffeur Charles). Melter tries to escape through a hatch in the floor but Goliath punches through that floor and clobbers him. (Wasp just seems to keep out of the way, as does BK.)

Afterwards the Avengers query the previously-villainous Black Knight why he turned against the MOE, but the Knight elects to keep his secrets. Instead he chooses to make a plea for Jarvis. When they get back to the Mansion BK flies off and the team listen as Edwin tells them how his mother was very ill and the treatments were expensive. So he sold their secrets to Crimson Cowl, telling himself that the team would be able to handle any attack. He offers to hand himself over to the police, but they forgive him because he proved himself a hero in the end.

Meanwhile Ultron-5 swears revenge.

John Buscema
George Klein
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
George Roussos (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Panther
Black Panther


(Clint Barton)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Goliath (Hank Pym), Melter (Bruno Horgan), Radioactive Man, Whirlwind (David Cannon).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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