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Avengers #97: Review

Mar 1972
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Godhood's End

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Avengers #97 Review by (January 27, 2012)
At then end of this issue it says that Anelle will take over from her father the emperor to be regent of the Skrulls. However this doesn't happen, and the emperor will still be in charge in FF#207, where we at last discover his name Dorrek. More immediately he is emperor in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 described below. Anelle herself won't be see again until she dies when Galactus consumes the Skrull throneworld in FF#257. But she will have some flashbacks in Young Avengers #10-11. She was shown to be a peace-loving girl in this and previous issues, and Captain Marvel ends the issue with possible romantic thoughts about her. In #95 I mentioned that YA#11 showed they had gone further than that, and I now add that YA#10 revealed that she will give birth to the Kree/Skrull hybrid Hulkling, a member of Young Avengers. Clint Barton will resurface at the end of next issue, having reverted to his old super-hero identity Hawkeye. #99 will tell how he stopped the Earth being destroyed by the bomb-carrying Skrull spaceship he was last seen in at the beginning of this issue. He did it with a makeshift bow and arrows. Iron Man will form the Illuminati (with Black Bolt, Dr Strange, Mr Fantastic, Prof X and Sub-mariner) immediately after this in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 (the one-shot). They will go to the Skrull homeworld to warn them off attacking Earth again, in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 (the 1st of the mini-series). But things the Skrulls learn from temporarily keeping them captive will lead eventually to Secret Invasion. #93-97 of this saga were reprinted in 2 large issues in 1983, probably the 1st such Marvel reprint collection (outside anthologies such as Marvel Tales), pre-dating the Masterworks series which began in 1987. (The whole story #89-97 was reprinted as a TP in 2000.) The story as a whole used the Avengers' connection to Captain Marvel via Rick Jones to stake a claim in the FF territory of the Skrulls, Kree and Inhumans. They had already inv

The system has chopped off most of the last sentence in my next section, which was:- They had already invaded the FF's domain by co-opting Black Panther as an Avenger in #52-88, and even earlier in #8 by converting FF villain Rama-Tut into their own Kang.

The Supreme Intelligence will restimulate Rick's mental power in the Avengers Forever limited series, therein called the Destiny Force. I am far from certain that this is a general power that all future humans will have, rather than something special about Rick. The WWII heroes Rick generates here aren't the real people, they are just products of Rick's mind. However in Avengers Forever he pulls real characters out of the past. The heroes here are all from WWII Timely comics. Captain America, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner each had their own series, and appeared in many other comics besides. Angel, Patriot and Vision all racked up an impressive number of appearances, mainly in Marvel Mystery Comics. Angel will be the central character of The Marvels Project, Patriot will be retconned as 1 of the successors of Captain America, and Vision has lent his name to the android Avenger. Blazing Skull and Fin had much briefer runs, in Mystic Comics and Daring Mystery Comics respectively. Rick will hang around with the Avengers until #100. He will pop back in #103 before returning to the Captain Marvel series, restarted with #22. There he will be told that his body can't hold Mar-Vell's life force. By the end of #23 he will have found replacement Nega-Bands, and he and Marvel will be back to their old Negative Zone arrangement. The Supreme Intelligence will involve himself with Mar-Vell again starting from CM#35. Much later the Supremor will try to re-start the Kree's stalled evolution in the Operation Galactic Storm crossover. In FF#2 4 Skrulls impersonated the FF. At the end of the story 3 of them were hypnotised into living as cows. (FF Annual #17 will show what happened to some people who drank their milk.) The 4th Skrull was assumed to have escaped and gone home. Super-Skrull came to Earth and awoke the 3 cows. (In #94 we were told that only Super-Skrull could get through Kree defences to Earth, and so he has to make use of Skrulls already here.) They imper

The system has lost the last bit of my next section, which was:- They impersonated Cap, Iron Man and Thor in Av#92. Now we learn that the 4th Skrull stayed on Earth too, and he replaced Craddock before #92.

This is the final part of the 9-issue Kree/Skrull War. And the final SF-based title is from Arthur C Clarke's "Childhood's end", which is probably the most relevant source out of all those Roy Thomas has misquoted, with its children displaying psychic powers. Neal Adams pencilled most of the last 4 issues, but John Buscema helped out with part of #94. Now John returns for 1 issue to finish off the saga. He retains Tom Palmer as inker. And the cover is by Bill Everett and Gil Kane. Neal Adams does have a hand in this issue, possibly as co-plotter with Roy Thomas. I wonder if he also had plotting input into the last 4 issues too, as well as the Inhumans stories in Amazing Adventures #5-8 which he and Roy did, and which led into Av#95. The Fantastic Four discovered the Negative Zone in FF#51, along with a destructive anti-matter region within it. In FF#51 the region was centred on Earth (or its Negative Zone equivalent). Here Rick refers to multiple such regions. Later sources will say there is only one such place at the centre of the Zone. The Neg Zone inhabitant Annihilus was introduced in FF Annual #6. The FF met him again in FF#108-110, leading an army, which was when Captain Marvel learned of their portal to the Zone, according to Av#89. Now he is here. The Indexes seem confused as to where in this sequence another appearance in Marvel Team-Up #2 should go. But they agree that his next shot will be FF#140-141, where we will learn his origin. Scarlet Witch asks Marvel why he didn't just use the Omni-Wave as a weapon himself. He claims that a Kree can only use it as a galaxy-spanning communication device. Only a non-Kree can use it as a weapon, against any Kree anywhere. Sounds like plot-hole-plugging to me.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #97 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Rick Jones is in the Negative Zone facing Annihilus. He also has visions of the far-flung protagonists of the previous issues. In the Andromeda galaxy Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch hold off Skrulls while Captain Marvel tinkers with an Omni-Wave Projector, and Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Vision battle other Skrulls in an invasion fleet that had been meant for Earth. In the Kree galaxy Ronan watches another invasion fleet head to the same destination, while the imprisoned Intelligence Supreme has manipulated Rick and Mar-vell for reasons of his own. And on Earth itself H. Warren Craddock continues to accuse the Avengers of being alien sympathisers, while the de-powered Goliath tries to stop a Skrull spaceship from unleashing a bomb to destroy the world.

On the Skrull throneworld, Mar-Vell tells Wanda he tried to use the Omni-Wave to contact Rick, and hence the Avengers, but instead plunged him into the Negative Zone. He now destroys the Omni-Wave to stop the Skrulls using it as a weapon.

In the Negative Zone, Annihilus attacks Rick, partly in revenge for Rick helping to keep him away from Earth in #89, and partly because Annihilus attacks everybody. But Rick beats him off with an inexplicable mental blast.

Rick is then pulled towards one of the destructive anti-matter regions of the Zone. But he uses his new-found mental power to transport himself back to the prison cell on the Kree homeworld he shared with the Supreme Intelligence last issue.

Ronan sends guards to investigate the energy surges in the cell. The Supremor urges Rick to call up heroes from old comics he read. Rick conjures up the Timely heroes Angel, Blazing Skull, Captain America, Fin, Human Torch, Patriot, Sub-Mariner and Vision. They hold off Ronan and the Kree, until they suddenly fade away.

But now Rick somehow knows what he must do. He emits a cosmos-spanning beam which freezes all Kree in their tracks. It also reaches Captain Marvel on the Skrull throneworld, from where it freezes all Skrulls in the Andomeda galaxy, including those in the armada fighting the Avengers. The Avengers take the opportunity to fly to the throneworld.

The beam also touches H Warren Craddock on Earth, and exposes him as the Skrull he really is. He is killed by hate-filled crowd he had been inflaming against aliens.

The Supremor explains that now he will be able to take control of the Kree empire back from Ronan. Also the Kree and Skrulls will revert to their state of uneasy truce. He further claims that all humans have the potential mental powers that Rick exhibited. And the human race will one day overtake the Kree and Skrulls, who are stuck in a rut.

Rick collapses from his exertions. Supremor transports Mar-Vell and the Avengers from the Skrull throneworld. Captain Marvel merges with Rick to save his life. Rick awakens without his mental power.

Supremor sends them all back to Earth, where they learn that the real H Warren Craddock had been kidnapped and replaced by the 4th Skrull from Fantastic Four #2, who wasn't turned into a cow back then with his companions. They figure that Supremor had influenced the Skrull to attack the Avengers, to bring them into the fray.

There is just 1 loose end. Goliath wasn't gathered together with the rest of the Avengers by Supremor, and no-one knows what happened to him.


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Preview Pages
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Page #1from Avengers #97
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Page #3from Avengers #97
Page 3


John Buscema
Tom Palmer
?
Bill Everett (Cover Penciler)
Gil Kane (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Andromeda, Annihilus, Goliath (Clint Barton), Kree, Ronan (Ronan the Accuser), Skrulls.