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Avengers #93: Review

Nov 1971
Roy Thomas, Neal Adams

Story Name:

This Beachhead Earth

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Avengers #93 Review by (January 27, 2012)
Scarlet Witch and Vision admitted their love for each other in #91, while alone, but Vision pulled back into his shell. Last issue Quicksilver was angry over how cold the android was towards the Witch. But he probably senses what's really going on, and fears Vision will break the bond between the mutant brother and sister. It isn't explicitly stated until next issue that the 3 cow Skrulls were the fake Avengers last issue. Next issue also the FF will let slip that there was a 4th Skrull in FF#2 who avoided being turned into a cow. In #97 we will learn that Craddock is that 4th Skrull. The Super-Skrull who has all the powers of the FF was in the Skrulls next appearances in FF#18 and #32, and made an obligatory showing in FF Annual #33. Since then he has cropped up in Thor #142 and fought the Kree warrior in CM#2-3. The Kree had been introduced in FF#65. CM#2-3 was the first hint of the enmity between Kree and Skrulls. Marvel picked up the Uni-Beam blaster in #89. Next time we will find that the Skrulls want Captain Marvel to give them the secret of the Omni-Wave Projector. Super-Skrull will somehow use Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's mutant brain waves to guide him to the Inhumans' city of Attilan. But after that the Skrulls will merely use the mutants as hostages to force Marvel to do their bidding. Clint's feeling of inadequacy is why he will give up Hank Pym's growth serum next issue (but the residual drug in his system will last a couple more issues).

Hank suggests that Vision uses different types of energy bubbles to control his mass and density separately, to become the super-heavy version or the floaty one. But the science-geek in me knows that since Vision remains the same size, changing his mass *is* changing his density, and vice versa. (This doesn't deny his abilities.) Hank likens Vision's internals to Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis. (But it looks much more high-tech than that to me.) I don't think we ever hear exactly what Ant-Man thought strange in Vision's brain. But these things are now taken to point to Vision's body being the Human Torch's. The availability of such advanced tech before WWII won't be addressed until Annual #21 within the Citizen Kang storyline. It's a bit irresponsible of Ant-Man to leave the Avengers in the middle of obvious trouble. Especially without waiting to see if Vision has actually recovered. After this he will tangle with an old foe Scarlet Beetle in a backup story in Iron Man #44, before visiting the Avengers again in #99, to be joined by Wasp for #100. Carol Danvers helped Captain Marvel last issue, supposedly in repayment for saving her life several times in his own series. But we also saw through Rick Jones' mind that Carol led him into an alien trap. And Rick set out for the farm to save him. Now we learn that she is actually the Super-Skrull in disguise. (Rick Jones vision seemed at the time to be due to a residual link to Marvel. But in #96 we will learn that the Kree Supreme Intelligence sent it.) The real Carol Danvers did pop up in #90, in her role as head of security for Cape Kennedy. She was caught in the explosion of a Kree device in CM#18. She will return when Captain Marvel's series restarts in a year's time. But later the results of that explosion will transform her into Ms Marvel in her own series.

This issue is split into 3 sections, each with their own title. The title of part 1 is really the title for the whole issue - "This beachhead Earth". That short section only covers the meeting of 5 Avengers at the mansion. Part 2 is "A journey to the center of the android", and includes, besides Ant-Man's internal curing of Vision, the android's tale of what happened between last issue and this one. The 3rd part "War of the weirds" follows Captain Marvel and the other Avengers to the Skrull farm/spaceship. This issue Roy Thomas starts using titles based on SF books or films, and he will continue the practice 'til the end of the saga. This issues titles are from the 1952 novel and 1955 film "This island Earth", Jules Verne's "A journey to the center of the Earth" and H G Wells' "War of the worlds". Ant-Man lets the original Avengers know he has turned his leave-of-absence into full resignation (but he's answered the call now because it sounded important). He and Wasp took this step at the end of #91. He has reverted from Yellowjacket to his original super-hero identity. In #58 Ultron supposedly built Vision from a prototype synthezoid created by Hank Pym (then Goliath). This would be a good reason for expecting Ant-Man to be able to fix him. But Roy Thomas makes no reference to this direct connection, and Hank doesn't recognise Vision's components. I believe Roy already had the idea for making Vision's body that of the WWII android Human Torch, which will be made explicit in #133-135.

This is part 5 of the 9-part Kree/Skrull war which started in #89. In that issue Rick Jones helped Kree Captain Marvel escape from the Negative Zone, ending the symbiotic relationship they had since CM#17. In #90-91 the Kree Sentry took Marvel to Alaska where Kree Ronan the Accuser was experimenting reverting humans to ape-men. There the Avengers met up with their on-leave members Yellowjacket and Wasp. #91 ended with Ronan hearing that the Skrulls had restarted the age-old Kree/Skrull War. In #92 politician H. Warren Craddock investigated the activities of the Kree on Earth, including suspected sympathisers like the Avengers. The 1st 4 issues didn't feature any of Captain America, Iron Man or Thor (although Yellowjacket and Wasp were in #90-91). But now the big 3 have returned for the duration of the war, and will remain active Avengers afterwards. Neal Adams did the cover last issue, and now he takes over the interior pencils from Sal Buscema, bringing back Tom Palmer as inker, who had collaborated with John Buscema in #74-77 and #79-84. They will continue the partnership (with help) to #96, almost to the end of the War in #97. This is a double-sized issue, the first for the Avengers outside of Annuals. There were other such issues with the same cover date November 1971, such as Fantastic Four #116. They were priced at 25¢. But this disguised the fact that the run of 15¢ issues was ended, and the normal price would be 20¢ from the next issue.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #93 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Last issue ended with Captain America, Iron Man and Thor appearing to disband the current Avengers, who were accused of collaborating with the Kree (because of their alliance with Captain Marvel).

But appearances can be deceptive. Jarvis the butler wrote to Tony Stark to resign after that, and now Iron Man has called the original Avengers together to find out what is going on. The Big Three are in Avengers Mansion when Vision bursts in and collapses. As they study his inert form, Hank Pym turns up to answer their call as Ant-Man.

They recall how Hank built the villainous robot Ultron, and Ultron created the synthezoid Vision, as they learned in #58. Ant-Man is the nearest they have to an expert on the Vision. And he and his ants now enter the android's body to find out what is wrong with him.

The first obstacle is a bunch of protective tentacles at the back of Vision's throat, which grab the invaders. They drag one ant into range of an array of spray guns round the throat, which kill it. Ant-Man uses his human strength to break free, and free the other ants. Then he sends them back out of danger.

Continuing alone he jet-packs his way through the sprays. The active defences indicate Vision's body is still working, so the problem must be in his brain. So he tries to head that way, but instead falls down a tube carrying energy pulses which are the Vision's equivalent of nerve impulses. And winds up in the chest.

While he's trying to figure out how to proceed, one of Vision's internal energy bubbles turns Ant-Man's hand temporarily intangible, as Vision can do to himself. Then Hank is attacked by small metal plates that are the equivalent of anti-bodies. To escape them he runs through bubbles to make himself untouchable. This also allows him to walk through a wall into an up-tube, and fly up to the head.

Once there he finds a loose wire. Reconnecting it starts the brain humming again. But before he leaves Ant-Man spots something strange.

Before he can investigate (or even give us a clue what he's seen) he's attacked by anti-bodies again. Diving down a hole he exits via the mouth again.

Ant-Man now leaves, saying he and Jan have still resigned, but promising to be on call if the Avengers ever need his specialist help again.

Vision awakes. Comparing notes with the original Avengers, they come to the conclusion that it was fakes who disbanded the current group last issue. Vision describes what happened afterwards.

Vision, Goliath, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch went to a farm where Carol Danvers had taken Captain Marvel for safety. Goliath enters the property, leaving the other three to have an awkward interpersonal moment. Vision flew off, to be struck down by rays from three cows.

Lying immobile, Vision saw the cows transform into the 3 male members of the Fantastic Four, who captured the mutant twins. Vision hid underground by going intangible, then floated back to the mansion, which is where we came in.

Now we turn to Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers captives of 3 Skrulls. It becomes obvious that they were the cows/FF. The Skrulls now notice that Goliath is still at large.

Goliath comes across Rick Jones. But before Rick can tell Clint what's happening, they are attacked by the fake male FF. Goliath is knocked out, and the Skrulls tell captive Rick that they are the 3 Skrulls who were hypnotised into thinking they were cows at the end of FF#2. They have now been reactivated by their race.

Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Vision turn up at this point, and the fight resumes.

Inside the Skrull spaceship disguised as the farmhouse, Captain Marvel breaks free and frees Carol. He uses Skrull technology to turn his Kree Uni-Beam into an Omni-Wave Projector. He intends to use it to contact his homeworld. But it is also a weapon which the Skrulls would love to get their hands on.

Suddenly he destroys it. He has realised that Carol used his Kree name Mar-Vell, and deduces she is a Skrull. In fact she turns out to be the Super-Skrull, who launches the spaceship, taking Mar-Vell, Pietro and Wanda with him. He claims that these 3 were his intended prizes all along.

The other Avengers have defeated the Skrull FF. Goliath has revived, and grows enormously to latch on to the ascending craft. His punches are starting to cripple it, when his growth power wears off, and the Skrull ship escapes.

Back on the ground the remaining Avengers are dejected, especially Goliath.


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Neal Adams
Tom Palmer
?
Neal Adams (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man

(Hank Pym)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Goliath (Clint Barton), Skrulls.