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Avengers #82: Review

Nov 1970
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Hostage

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #82 Review by (December 14, 2011)
Before Zodiac returns as a group Aquarius, Capricorn, Libra and Sagittarius will feature in a story spanning Iron Man #35, DD#73 and IM#36. This story will explain the origin of the Zodiac Key, which wasn't destroyed with Aries here. Gemini will appear in the Ka-Zar stories in Astonishing Tales #17-20. The other Zodiac members won't be see until #120. But it should be noted that there is probably no Scorpio at this time. Jake Fury is (apparently) dead, and a new Scorpio takes over in #120. None of the big 3 are in the next issue, wherein a group of heroines including Scarlet Witch, Wasp and Black Widow form the Lady Liberators, under the influence of Enchantress. Strangely Black Widow and Goliath don't have anything to say to each other. Thor will be back in #84, joined by Captain America in #85 and Iron Man in #86-87. Then all 3 will grace #88.

The 12 members of Zodiac were seen in #72. The rest are behind the scenes here, but Aries claims to represent them. He has the Zodiac Key weapon, which Scorpio handed over to him in #72. This Aries presumably dies in the explosion this issue, because he will be replaced the next time Zodiac appears as a whole group in #120. The Fantastic Four are visiting Whisper Hill, where Agatha Harkness has been looking after Reed and Sue's baby Franklin since FF#94. The X-Men would also be outside the force field in Westchester. If Dr Strange were at home in Greenwich Village he would be inside the dome, so he's presumably away somewhere unspecified. The Thunderbolts that Black Panther and Daredevil fought in DD#69 are no relation to the later hero/villain group. No explanation is given for how Aries captured the 4 Avengers.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #82 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Zodiac's army takes over Manhattan Island and surrounds it with a force field. Zodiac's leader Aries demands 1 billion dollars ransom. He says that the Fantastic Four are out of town, and he has captured the only four Avengers present:- Captain America, Iron Man, Quicksilver and Thor.

Goliath, Scarlet Witch and Vision have returned from their adventure with Red Wolf, but they are stuck outside of the force field. The FF are visiting Whisper Hill. Spider-Man is with Aunt May in Queens, also outside the zone.

Black Panther and Daredevil are also in Manhattan, and have just teamed up in Daredevil #69 against a street gang called the Thunderbolts. They track down where Aries was broadcasting from, hoping to free the Avengers. But Aries has moved his captives, and reveals this was a trap to lure Panther in. Aries attacks the heroes with the Zodiac Key, but they escape.

Aries' army round up loads of people to witness the execution of the four Avengers. Among them is Daredevil's alter ego blind Matt Murdock. Matt causes a riot, and is taken to be executed as well. But this was all a plan to get him near enough to use his billy-club to disable the machine holding the Avengers in stasis.

The assembled heroes attack the Zodiac army. Aries flees in a plane, chased by Thor. The villain uses the Key to collapse the force field on Manhattan, suffocating the populace. But Thor destroys the plane, and the force field vanishes with it.

The Avengers discover that the three cases they have been involved in were all part of Zodiac's scheme. Goliath, Scarlet Witch and Vision investigated Cornelius Van Lunt running Red Wolf's tribe off their land last issue. And it turns out that he was financing Zodiac, and using the land to train their army. Meanwhile Black Panther and Daredevil discovered that the gang they fought in DD#69 was financed and armed by someone unknown. And it transpires that they were part of Zodiac's army.

Daredevil wraps up the issue by likening the heroes to the fable of the blind men trying to figure out what the elephant in front of them was by each feeling a little bit of it. The Avengers don't understand why he says it's ironic for him to use that metaphor. Except Panther, who used his superior senses in DD#69 to figure out what Daredevil's secret identity was.


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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Daredevil
Daredevil

(Matt Murdock)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Aries (Zodiac), Goliath (Clint Barton), Zodiac.