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Avengers #89: Review

Jun 1971
Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

The only good alien ...

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #89 Review by (October 7, 2022)
The Captain Marvel/Rick Jones linkage began in Captain Marvel #17 but their comic was cancelled in #19. The duo appeared in our #72 without Rick telling the team about CM.  Their comic was then revived for 2 more issues but went away again. A guest app in Sub-Mariner #30 followed but since then Rick says he's left Mar-Vell in the Negative Zone.

Rick Jones' musical career began in CM#18 where he acquired manager Mordecai P Boggs who is referenced in Rick's flashback here.

Sentry 459 was the 1st hint of the Kree Empire when the Fantastic Four awoke it in FF#64. The Kree Supreme Intelligence and Ronan The Accuser were introduced in the next issue when SI sent Ronan to punish the FF for damaging Kree property. And this led directly to Captain Mar-Vell being sent to investigate Earth in Marvel Superheroes #12. Mar-Vell deactivated the Sentry robot on the Cape base in CM#1. The Kree Galaxy has not yet been identified as the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The Negative Zone was introduced in FF#51, and Annihilus in FF Annual #6 who returned in FF#108-110 as referenced in this issue.

I think this is the 1st time the area/rocket base where Captain Marvel worked as Walter Lawson has been called Cape Kennedy. In his own issues from 1967 on it was referred to as Cape Canaveral even though any name change in our world from Canaveral to Kennedy happened long before that.

Was the radiation Captain Marvel suffered the result of staying in the Negative Zone? Or was it the Negatron radiation he absorbed in CM#16?

The Supreme Intelligence will be back in #95 (but it turns out he manipulates events in between).

Annihilus will next appear in Marvel Team-Up #2 when Wizard nearly lets him out of the Negative Zone, and then in our #96-97 at the climax of the Kree/Skrull War.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #89 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens in the middle of the action with Captain Marvel on the run in Miami pursued by Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision. The Avengers claim they must capture him for his own good but volatile Pietro starts a fight so the other 2 have to join in. However CM gets away to a nearby rooftop. Where he's zapped by Rick Jones. The team take his unconscious body to their quinjet and fly him to the Cape Kennedy hospital where Dr Donaldson is ready to treat him in a decontamination chair (looking more like the electric chair used for executions). The Avengers know this is to save him and the Earth.

Rick remembers in flashbacks how they got here. The basic setup was of course that Mar-Vell was stuck in the Negative Zone and could only be temporarily freed by Rick Jones swapping places with him (see Captain Marvel #17). However apparently Rick had opted out of the deal for a while to concentrate on his career as a singer/songwriter. Then Marv contacted him to tell him how he'd recently seen Mr Fantastic in the Neg Zone (in Fantastic Four #109-110) being watched by Annihilus. And they both saw Reed Richards escape through a temporary hole back to the Earth dimension. So Rick agreed to clash his Nega-Bands together to free Captain Marvel to break in to the empty FF HQ in the Baxter Building.

The FF HQ was empty because the FF are away at Whisper Hill where Agatha Harkness is looking after Reed and Sue's baby Franklin. But before they went Sue Richards had a premonition (I don't know how) that somebody would break in while they were away, so they asked the Avengers to monitor the place. Captain America, Goliath, Iron Man and Thor went off with Hulk to a Pacific island (as seen last issue). Vision was on monitor duty when the Baxter Building alarm went off. He alerted Pietro and Wanda and the flew a quinjet there.

Captain Marvel got the Negative Zone portal open just as the 3 Avengers burst in. Rick Jones dived through but Annihilus followed him. However the heroes opened the portal again and he was sucked back to his home dimension. Then strangely Mar-Vell stole the quinjet while the others noticed that a detector indicated that he was emitting copious radiation. Rick guessed that it might kill him while Vision theorised that it might destroy the world. They went after him, Rick taking an FF weapon with him. Delirious CapM was heading to the Cape where he used to work as Walter Lawson, intending to steal a rocket to get back to the Kree Galaxy. The quinjet ran out of fuel so he abandoned it and continued on foot. Which brings us to where we came in.

Dr Donaldson tries to drain the Nega-Radiation from Marvel but his machine isn't powerful enough. So they hook Vision up to supply solar power from the jewel on his forehead. By the time they've finished both chars are in a bad way but the doctor is hopeful that they'll both survive.

Meanwhile in the Kree Galaxy the Supreme Intelligence has an unwelcome visitor. It's Ronan The Accuser who was imprisoned in CM#16 for conspiring with Prime Minister Zarek to overthrow the ruler. His followers have freed him and killed SI's guards and now Ronan declares himself in charge. He activates a viewer which shows them comatose Mar-Vell, and Ronan then triggers the awakening of Kree Sentry 459 at the Cape to kill Mar-Vell and any who ally with him.

Sal Buscema
Sam Grainger
Sam Grainger
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Sal Buscema (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel


(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Ronan (Ronan the Accuser), Sentry 459.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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