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Avengers #78: Review

Jul 1970
Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

The Man-Ape Always Strikes Twice

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #78 Review by (December 14, 2011)
Sal Buscema spells his brother John on pencils for this issue, but keeps Tom Palmer as inker. John will be back next issue. People do seem to like entering Avengers Mansion via the roof. Other examples are Black Panther in #52, and Captain America and Rick Jones in #72. Cap got the forged message from Man-Ape via SHIELD, which doesn't say much for their security. I understand that Vision floats when intangible, rather than flies. As such he shouldn't have been able to descend faster than his teammates were falling, unless Pietro had slowed their fall almost to nothing. Grim Reaper declared his enmity towards the Avengers in #52, blaming them for the death of his brother Wonder Man in #9. The other 3 members of the Legion have become Avengers stock villains. The last time they were all together was in Annual #1, working for Mandarin. Since then Laser and Swordsman were part of Batroc's Brigade in CA#105. And Swordsman stepped into the spotlight in #65 to explore his relationship with Hawkeye/Goliath. But none of them have ever yet been Masters of Evil. Nor will they be until Power Man joins up as Goliath under Baron Helmut Zemo, and eventually becomes one of the Thunderbolts as Atlas.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #78 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

An urgent note supposedly from Black Panther has brought Captain America to the roof of Avengers Mansion, where he is attacked by Panther's foe Man-Ape, who actually sent the message. After a fight Man-Ape throws Cap off the roof, just as the current Avengers less Panther come out to see what's happening.

Quicksilver dives off the side of the roof, grabs Cap's hand, and vibrates his legs to slow their fall. It's not enough, but Vision has sunk wraithlike through the mansion and catches them at the ground.

Goliath and Scarlet Witch are left on the roof to tackle Man-Ape, until his henchman N'Gama winches him up into their flying craft.

Goliath tells Cap who Man-Ape is, a Wakandan named M'Baku who had tried to usurp T'Challa's throne in #62. They had left him crushed by a falling statue.

Meanwhile Panther is visiting Monica Lynne whom he met in #73-74 battling the Sons of the Serpent. Since then she has abandoned her singing career in favour of fighting for black rights. When he leaves her she is abducted by Man-Ape. And Panther wonders whether he should quit the Avengers to join her cause.

When the Avengers bring panther up-to-date with what's been going on, he deduces that N'Gama must have rescued M'Baku and nursed him back to health. But then Man-Ape contacts them and challenges T'Challa to a duel for the life of Monica.

Panther flies up to fight him on board a helicopter of advanced non-Wakandan design. Man-Ape almost wins the fight. But then N'Gama tries to help his boss, and Panther throws him at man-Ape, temporarily stunning him. Panther uses the moment to free Monica, who turns out to be an exploding mannequin.

Man-Ape takes the unconscious Panther, along with the real Monica, to an underground lair. There it transpires that he is a member of a group, the Lethal Legion, led by Grim Reaper. The rest are other Avengers foes Living Laser, Power Man and Swordsman.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Goliath (Clint Barton), Grim Reaper (Eric Williams), Lethal Legion, Man-Ape, Monica Lynne, Power Man (Erik Josten).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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