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Avengers #76: Review

May 1970
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

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Story Name:

The Blaze of Battle ... the Flames of Love

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #76 Review by (December 4, 2011)
I don't think Thor's hammer was used as a power source for the Avengers' dimension-travel machine. I think he just used it to directly transport his team to Arkon's world and back. We've seen this kind of thing before, for example when Thor sent Enchantress, Executioner and Zemo to another dimension at the end of #7. Toad was taken to Arkon's world along with Scarlet Witch last issue, and we briefly see him imprisoned in this one, but nothing is said about him at the end. When he next appears in #137-138 he will say that he stayed on Arkon's world voluntarily. There he will use knowledge he'd (not very believably) picked up from his time with Magneto to build a ship that will take him across dimensions as well as through space. And with that he will seek out the planet where the Stranger imprisoned him in X-Men #11, to steal advanced machines and weapons. Arkon will return several times. The first one in #84 when he's under the spell of the Enchantress. Captain America and Thor aren't in next issue, but Tony Stark makes an appearance.

The Index lists Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch as Avengers this issue, but they don't actually say they're rejoining here. It isn't until next issue that they are treated as active members (or Hulk #128 where the team appears in between times). In fact Wasp and Yellowjacket still appear in the masthead (but they aren't actually replaced there by Pietro and Wanda until #78). Natasha doesn't explain why she is leaving here. But in her next appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #86 she will say that she cut her ties with Clint and the Avengers because they remind her of the death of her husband Red Guardian in #44. It isn't made clear, but she stops working for SHIELD as well. In ASM#86 she will change her costume, preparatory to getting her own series in Amazing Adventures, a new split-book like eg Tales to Astonish used to be.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #76 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Captain America and the Avengers are trying to use a machine to pierce the dimensional barrier between their world and that of Arkon, to rescue Scarlet Witch and some scientists, and to prevent Arkon from igniting a nuclear holocaust on Earth to provide power for his own world. Quicksilver is impatient with the fact that the Avengers can't get a power supply stable and powerful enough. But Cap has an idea.

Meanwhile Clint Barton, who upgraded from Hawkeye to Goliath in #63, is combining his identities by practising with a giant crossbow. He is interrupted by his lover Black Widow, who abruptly tells him she is leaving him.

Meanwhile on Arkon's world, the barbarian ruler woos Wanda even as his scientists extract the secrets of atomic bombs from the captured Earth scientists. He lies to her, claiming that they have found a way of supplying their world with power without destroying the Earth. But he still won't let her return home, because he wants her for his queen.

At that moment the assembled Avengers arrive, including Iron Man and Thor. Thor's hammer had provided the power to get them here. They fight their way through an army to get to Arkon. Instead of the yellow 'lightning bolts' he used last issue to transport people to his world, Arkon now uses red ones as explosive weapons.

The battle goes against Arkon's forces. But he uses a yellow bolt to take himself and Scarlet Witch to Earth to the top of the Empire State Building. Thor sends the Avengers and Quicksilver back after him. They fight, and Arkon defeats each one. But this is only a delaying tactic while his scientists prepare to destroy the Earth.

But then Arkon gets a message from his Vizier. Cap, Iron Man and Thor stayed behind. Iron Man has built a device to re-energise the light-giving ring that encircles Arkon's planet. And Thor powered it up with his hammer. So there is no need to destroy Earth.

Arkon leaves, but not without informing Scarlet Witch that crossing the dimensional barrier has kick-started her hex power. He says he no longer wishes to force her to marry him, but may return someday to ask her. And it seems Wanda may not be averse to the idea.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay
Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Tom Palmer
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Arkon, Goliath (Clint Barton), Toad (Mortimer Toynbee).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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