Comic Browser:


Avengers #17: Review

Jun 1999
Jerry Ordway, Jerry Ordway

Story Name:

Cage of Freedom

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #17 Review by (January 14, 2020)
Wes Abbott joins Richard Starkings in lettering this issue.

Carol Danvers started her Marvel career as a supporting character and love interest in the original Captain Marvel series. CM was of course a Kree and in his #18 Carol was accidentally affected by the Psyche-Magnitron which supposedly made her genetically half-Kree and gave her powers which didn't manifest until the spinoff 1st Ms Marvel series. Kerwin Korman/Destructor was a villain in the 1st 4 issues and the Doomsday Man robot also featured in #3-4 (after débuting in Silver Surfer #13). The finale in the Psyche-Magnitron cave was the explosion that caused a cave-in.

Much later than the current issue Carol will discover that the PM didn't make her half-Kree because it will turn out that her mother was secretly a Kree.

This issue doesn't say what happens to Kerwin/Doomsday Man but AIM must get them back somehow because they will turn up again with AIM in MsM(2006)#11-12.

We 1st met Arkon in Avengers #75-76 where he kidnapped Scarlet Witch to Polemachus to become his queen. In Fantastic Four #129 Thundra came from a future ruled by the Femizons in order to prevent their rival timeline Machus from comimg about. To do this she intended to defeat the strongest man in our present which she figured was Thing. Later she became ruler of the Femizonia future and in in Avengers West Coast #75 they went to war against Arkon. But it ended with the pair falling for each other and making peace. They've remained together since then in Av#358-359 and Quicksilver #2-3.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the Wrecking Crew were sent by a mysterious (robot) boss to bring him Ms Marvel (now Warbird) but instead they captured Photon (who used to be Captain Marvel). The angry boss remotely triggered their comms device to disintegrate them. Scarlet Witch used a hex to stop it but instead the Crew and Photon were sent out of this universe.

Now Thor uses his hammer Mjolnir to open a portal to where they've gone. Apparently Iron Man 'sampled the residual energies' and used the quinjet's computer to determine that their destination was Polemachus, home of sometimes-foe Arkon. Wanda Maximoff's impulsive Chaos Magic hex may have homed in on the place because of her previous visits there in #75-76 and #84-85 of the original Avengers run plus Av West Coast #75. Captain America, Firestar, SW, Vision and Wonder Man with guest Black Knight follow the Thunder God through the vortex. What they see is not what they remember (including Black Knight who was last here in #358-359). Before them is a city in flames.

Last issue Justice was KO'd by an accidental blow from BK's sword. Iron Man has stayed behind and taken Vance Astrovik to Avengers Mansion where Dr Jane Foster is examining him, now awake. She finds nothing wrong but puts him on the injured list for a few days to make sure. IM tells Vance to follow her orders, and Dr Foster makes a wry aside because *he* (as Tony Stark) was an awkward patient (after IM#10) when he'd been severely injured by Mandarin. But they are particularly concerned that Justice doesn't use his telekinetic power in the meantime. Jarvis shows him to a guest room. (Obviously Vance and Angelica Jones haven't yet acted on their decision (#13) to move into the Mansion. Maybe because Justice was having doubts just as Firestar came round to the idea.)

Just then Giant-Man and Wasp rush in with news about Warbird. Janet Van Dyne bumped into Carol Danvers last issue and saw her disappear in a flash of light (not 1 of her powers). She called Henry Pym at Nugent Technologies and they both hurried here (in costume) looking for help. There was a brief blackout in Manhattan just before Carol vanished and Hank theorises that the 2 things are connected. IM uses the Mansion's computers to trace who tapped the power grid. The 3 of them will investigate, but Justice must stay behind.

In fact we know they are right. After disposing of his useless minions the boss robot did use the city's power to locate Ms Marvel and did teleport Carol to its base, despite knowing this risked being detected. Danvers was rendered unconscious by the teleportation beam but now she awakens to find herself trapped in a transparent containment tube, and dressed in her original Ms Marvel outfit.

The hulking robot welcomes Ms Marvel but Carol says she's Warbird now and tries to escape, but is zapped when she touches the wall of her prison. The robot tells us again that its memory has only recently been reactivated so it knows nothing of Warbird. Carol says *she* doesn't remember *him*, because Rogue sucked her memories out in Annual #10. The robot tries to jog her memory of the Doomsday Man. They fought (in Ms Marvel #4) in the cave containing the Psyche-Magnitron which originally gave her her powers. AIM scientist Kerwin Korman, known as Destructor, wanted the device's power core but it exploded. MsM survived but Korman and the DM were killed/destroyed.

However the robot now reveals that AIM salvaged the remains and rebuilt the Doomsday Man, and here he is now after being kept in storage since then. Carol admits she did get her memories returned (by Prof X) but they feel like someone else's. The DM rants that they share a bond because Psyche-Magnitron explosions have made them both genetically part-Kree. And for some reason he believes he can't survive without becoming 1 with her. Warbird has only been stalling for time while she used her great strength to dig down into the base of the container. Now she rips wires loose and the force-field wall collapses. She attacks her foe as he declares that he is *not* a robot. And whatever he is he soon has her on the ropes.

Giant-Man, Iron Man and Wasp in their quinjet have traced the source of the power drain to the ruins of the AIM warehouse that was destroyed during their battle with Lord Templar (#13). As they approach a laser beam sets the craft's fuel tanks ablaze. The Avengers abandon ship in midair and Hank Pym grows to giant-size to force the quinjet to crash harmlessly in the ruins.

But then the Doomsday Man bursts up out of the ground clutching Ms Marvel/Warbird. Giant-Man forces the robot to let her go but it zaps the Golden Avenger with its tachyon blast eye-beams and IM responds with his repulsor rays while Wasp just flits around. Carol asks IM where the rest of the Avengers are. He tells her they've gone to Polemachus but he could call on more inactive members if necessary.

On that planet the team are wandering through a ruined and seemingly deserted city. Captain America recalls that in WWII Londoners took refuge underground in the subways (and he was there). Firestar wants to get away from Black Knight who injured her boyfriend Vance so she says she saw some stairs from the air and invites Cap to investigate with her. He tells the others to separate and search elsewhere before following Angel.

They spot a hooded figure at the bottom of the stairs who runs away when Cap calls to him. Steve Rogers follows him but is attacked by a female figure referred to as Majesty who we recognise by costume as Thundra. Lots of armoured troops dogpile on Cap as Firestar and the other Avengers arrive. Thundra tries to hit Cap from behind with her chain but Vision interposes his diamond-hard body. For some reason she recognises *him* rather than the others and the battle ends.

Many of the team now recognise *her* but are shocked to see that she now has an eyepatch. She tells them what has happened to Imperion City (which is presumably the same place we've seen before but now given a name). The Grand Vizier started a civil war against the ruler Arkon and then the 5 Earthfolk arrived to help him win it. She claims that the 'being made of light' (Photon) powered the other 4 (Wrecking Crew). Wanda says she must have been forced to do it. But Thundra says that the Earthers even defeated and captured Arkon.

Back on Earth Justice has absconded from the Mansion and telekinetically flown to the site of the battle against the Doomsday Man. But now he collapses from the strain just out of sight. Henry Pym is also straining as he grows big enough to lift the crashed quinjet and smash it on the enemy. Iron Man's repulsor blasts keep him down, and it seems that the robot can't summon the power to fire back or teleport away. The Golden Avenger and Warbird keep him busy while Wasp flies into his mouth to see if his insides are more vulnerable, and ant-size Hank sneaks in through a gap in the neck armour. He calls for Wasp to bring him some miniature explosives from his miniature flying craft (disguised as a pager). But Doomsday Man accidentally(?) crushes the ship in mid-air.

Vance Astro has crawled onto the battle-scene and launches a TK bolt. But DM responds with an armoured swipe which fractures Justice's leg. IM and Warbird try to prize open DM's neck to free Pym. Justice adds a TK push and (Gi)Ant-Man is free. But Vance's TK is now *inside* the robot and with a supreme effort he breaks the bot apart.

Iron Man summons an ambulance for Vance, and then they turn their attention to the fallen foe and discover a man inside who Henry Pym deduces is being kept alive by his 'exo-skeleton'. Carol Danvers realises that he is Kerwin Korman and he tells her that it was he whose DNA the Psyche-Magnitron turned partially Kree (the Doomsday man robot of course didn't have any DNA). But it also scrambled his body with the robot. When AIM rescued them they could only repair the *joined* body, or possibly their leader MODOK *wanted* to keep the combination which might prove useful. But then they put him in storage. Now Kerwin is dying and the awakened DM was seeking Ms Marvel in order to use her as a replacement Kree body.

The ambulance arrives to take Justice to hospital. Iron Man tells him off for disobeying doctor's orders but the others praise him for winning the battle.

And in Imperion City on Polemachus Captain America is brought in chains before the Wrecking Crew and Photon. Needless to say that's continued next issue.

Jerry Ordway
Al Gordon
Tom Smith
Jerry Ordway (Cover Penciler)
Jerry Ordway (Cover Inker)
Tom Smith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Bob Harras.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Hank Pym)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Doomsday Man, Firestar (Angel Jones), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Photon (Monica Rambeau), Warbird (Carol Danvers), Wrecking Crew.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

Share This Page