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Avengers #85: Review

Feb 1971
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

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Story Name:

The World is Not for Burning

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers #85 Review by (January 13, 2012)
Thor and Captain America only appear at the beginning of the issue. Thor will be back with Iron Man next issue and #87. Cap will rejoin them in #88. There is no explanation here or next issue why the Avengers end up in the wrong universe. The Avengers met the villainous Squadron Sinister in #69-70. Dr Spectrum, Hyperion, Nighthawk and Whizzer were based on DC's Green Lantern, Superman, Batman and Flash. Continuing this conceit the Squadron Supreme is the Justice League, and American Eagle, Hawkeye, Lady Lark and Tom Thumb are analogues of Hawkman, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Atom. The Brain-Child 1 probe is named after its inventor Brain-Child, who will turn out to be a villain next issue. The 4 new Squadron members won't carry over to next issue. They will reappear in a story that threads through #141-149. Hawkeye (renamed Golden Archer) will pop up in #141 with Lady Lark. American Eagle (as Cap'n Hawk) won't be seen until #148 with Tom Thumb. This is the 2nd alternate Earth the Avengers have visited, and I think only the 2nd alternate Earth in the Marvel Universe. The 1st was in Annual #2. Only Clint Barton (as Hawkeye not Goliath) was there then. But he's the last one to work it out this time. This Earth is designated Earth-S (for Squadron Supreme) or Earth-712 (because 1971 February is the cover-date of this issue). John Buscema lost his inking partner Tom Palmer this issue. And from next time his brother Sal will take over the art, with a succession of inkers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #85 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

On Arkon's world, Thor uses his hammer to return the Avengers and their mansion to where they came from. Black Knight goes back to Stonehenge. Thor and Black Panther find themselves back in New York with the mansion. But the other four Avengers, who had been abducted with the mansion, aren't within it. Thor and Panther put off investigating to attend a scheduled children's charity event with Captain America and Spider-Man.

Goliath, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision are intangible, and they see the world burning up due to the sun. A newspaper tells them they are a few days in the future. Wanda casts a hex which makes them real, and the world isn't melting anymore. Another paper shows they are back to the present. But they don't notice clues that they are in an alternate world.

Arriving at a somewhat different mansion they encounter a man they recognise as Nighthawk of the villainous Squadron Sinister, but he doesn't recognise them. Chasing him they meet four new characters American Eagle, Hawkeye (not our one), Lady Lark and Tom Thumb.

Vision suspects he knows what has happened. His suspicions are confirmed when a screen shows a message from the other three Squadron Sinister characters Dr Spectrum, Hyperion and Whizzer. They refer to the whole group as the Squadron Supreme, and the city the mansion is in is Cosmopolis rather than New York. The Avengers realise that they are in an alternate world.

The other three Squadron members are in Atomic City launching rocket Brain-Child 1 to gather data from the sun. The Avengers guess that this rocket might cause the disaster they saw in the future, and swear to stop it. But the Squadron members present of course fight them.

Hawkeye is an archer. Tom Thumb is a midget with lots of gadgets. American Eagle flies and is strong. Lady Lark emits a sonic cry. The Avengers defeat them, and take a jetcraft to Atomic City. They take Nighthawk with them and convince him that the sun is going to go super-nova.

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

John Buscema
Frank Giacoia
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Sam Rosen (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Kyle Richmond)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Peter Parker)


Plus: American Eagle (Jason Strongbow), Arkon, Goliath (Clint Barton), Squadron Sinister, Squadron Supreme.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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