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Avengers #18: Review

Jul 1999
Jerry Ordway, Jerry Ordway

Story Name:

The Battle for Imperion City!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #18 Review by (January 14, 2020)
Al Vey inks p1-15, Jerry Orway inks his own pencils for p16-21 and regular penciller George Perez inks the last page.

The Wrecking Crew will resurface in Thor #28-29 where they try to regain their Asgardian power by absorbing it from Thor and the Warriors Three.

Arkon and Thundra won't show up again until the JLA/Avengers mini-series.

Warbird will be in most of Iron Man #18-25 and at the end she will finally attend an AA meeting. The she and some other sort-of Avengers will take over our #26.

Photon will be considered for the new lineup in #27 before joining another sort-of Avengers group for the Av Infinity mini-series.

Black Knight will join other British heroes for an Otherworld-ly adventure in the 2001 Excalibur mini-series and then will rejoin our team in #38.

Our main 8 heroes will go straight into their Wizard #0 as a prelude to the Ultron Unlimited story which will occupy #19-22.

Wasp will be on hand for #19 and Giant-Man will join her in #20 re-taking the name Goliath.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #18 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In #16 Photon (Monica Rambeau) was whisked off to other-dimensional Polemachus as a captive of the Wrecking Crew. Last issue some Avengers followed her here to find the capital Imperion City in flames and ruins. They met up with Thundra who told them that the Grand Vizier started a civil war against her husband the ruler Arkon. Then the Wrecking Crew arrived and with power drained from Photon helped the Vizier win and capture Arkon. At the end of last issue Captain America was brought in chains before the Wrecker.

Now we see the Wrecker wearing Arkon's crown and his Crew and the Vizier with Photon trapped in a typical containment tube. A crowd of their supporters are baying for Cap's blood. But Wrecker is suspicious of Cap's calm surrender and hesitates even when the Vizier threatens to withdraw his support. This prompts Dirk Garthwaite to remember how they got here. A robot (who we know as the Doomsday Man) sent them to capture (the ex-)Captain Marvel (Monica) but then left them with their captive to face the Avengers (and we know it's because he really wanted (the ex-)*Ms* Marvel (now known as Warbird)). Then they believe the robot started to teleport them and Monica away (but we know it was really killing them) but Scarlet Witch cast a hex and they wound up here.

That's his interpretation of #16. They arrived in lab of the Vizier who seemed to be expecting them and trapped Photon's energy form between 2 'lightning' generators and later put her in her current prison. He welcomed them as allies against Arkon and they soon captured the boss. Thundra escaped but Wrecker told Arkon she was dead which subdued him.

Wrecker suspects that Cap isn't alone so he and his gang touch Monica's encasement to power up. The Vizier still insists on the sacrifice and an armoured soldier leaps from the audience volunteering to be the executioner. We leave him preparing to strike.

The palace is atop a very tall mound with a winding path to reach upon which we see Firestar, Scarlet Witch, Thor and Wonder Man with Thundra and some Arkon-loyal troops. Impetuous Thundra wants to rush into the attack but Wanda Maximoff tells her that they can only 'rush' up this narrow path in single-file and the sentries above will just pick them off. They must wait for Black Knight with air cover. Thundra also insists that honour dictates that the Polemachan troops must win this battle, not the Avengers from Earth.

Then Dane Whitman turns up on a winged reptilian 'horse' but behind him are old Polemachan airships that had been mothballed because the Vizier and the priesthood condemned science (but that doesn't apply to the Vizier's own equipment or as we will see that of *his* troops). They are piloted by teenagers because the older troops were too superstitiously afraid to fly them.

The troops continue their upward march. Cannons above start shooting at them, but the airships attack *them*. BK rescues a downed pilot and Thundra relents her stance and unleashes the Avengers. Firestar and WM fly up to destroy the cannons while Thor uses Mjolnir to take him and SW in amongst the defending troops.

Meanwhile Captain America's executioner has hesitated. Wrecker urges him on but the trooper hurls him away with a judo throw as Cap seems to melt away leaving his costume on the floor. The 'trooper' dives for a red glove which allows him to activate Cap's photonic shield which he aims at Photon's encircling 'bell-jar'. But it has no effect and so he grabs the costume and makes his escape as Thunderball works out that *he*'s the real CA.

Now we see Vision floating down through a ceiling. It was *he* inside Cap's uniform with his holographic imaging system providing the face. But now he defeats some guards (with his fist through the chest trick) to get to Arkon. But the Imperion has lost all hope. Meanwhile Thor is holding back more guards as Wanda seeks another way in. She remembers when she 1st met Arkon (#75-76 of the original series) and found a way to his heart. She wonders (as I did last issue) if this was why her Chaos Magic hex led them here. Then Vision dumps the dejected Arkon at her feet, and the sight of her raises the ruler's spirits. But their tender reunion is interrupted by the arrival of Thundra and Wonder Man with their troops. Immediately the spell is broken and Arkon runs to the mate he thought dead. And Simon Williams wonders about the feelings of *his* love, while also hoping Arkon doesn't still hate him for playing him in movies.

Elsewhere Firestar discovers Black Knight trapped under the corpse of his 'horse'. Angelica Jones beats herself up for destroying the last cannon just too late to stop it killing the beast. She admits to Dane that she blamed him for injuring her boyfriend Vance Astrovik (#16) and now her mistake almost got *him* killed. Dane in turn admits that he had been trying too hard to impress his old team when he accidentally struck Justice. They shake hands and she flies him back into the fighting.

The Vizier sees Arkon leading his freshly-inspired troops to overwhelm the opposing forces and sends his pet lizard to fetch the Wrecking Crew. Wonder Man goes to head it off while Scarlet Witch judo throws the Vizier into submission. Arkon joins her and is about to kill his traitorous advisor but Wanda persuades him instead to force the old man to order his side to stop fighting, which he does. Apparently 1 of the reasons for the uprising was that the energy rings in the sky which provide heat and light for the world were failing (as they have done several times before in Marvel history). But now the wizard admits that he had been *making* them appear to be unstable. The mob turns on him but the Avengers protect him.

Thor has fought his way through guards to reach the crowned Wrecker on his throne. The rest of his Crew are supposed to be off searching for Captain America but Bulldozer and Piledriver have taken time off for food and pretty serving wenches. However Cap finds *them* and he pulls 'Dozer out through a window and kicks 'Driver in the head. Next thing we see Steve Rogers has joined Thor in the throne room to suggest that the Thunder God's hammer might make more of a dent in Photon's confinement than his shield did. And it does. But Monica Rambeau still can't break free and Wrecker handily explains that the Vizier fixed it so she can't escape while the Wrecking Crew are using her as a power source. And the same effect has somehow trapped Mjolnir inside so Thor has to fight Wrecker without it (reflecting that the hammer has been acting strangely lately in his own series - which will turn out to be because it's possessed by Enrakt of the Enchanters).

Meanwhile Cap his fighting Bulldozer, Wonder Man is getting beaten by Thunderball and Thundra is equally falling to Piledriver. All 4 villains are crackling with energy from Photon, who can't stop it but tries the old trick of attempting to overload them by giving them even more power. Vision was going to try to free her but then realises what she's doing. The Wrecking Crew have their foes at their mercy but then the 'circuit' between them and Photon burns out and Monica returns to her human form. Thor retrieves his hammer (before 60 seconds reverts him to *his* human form) and uses it to drain the residual power from Wrecker and his pals and send it as reverse lightning to the power rings of Polemachus.

Photon has collapsed in Cap's arms. Arkon says all the damage will be repaired by the disloyal troops. And he and Thundra swear to return their culture to a mixture of science and the 'old ways', for the sake of the children. So the Avengers return home ...

... where they find Giant-Man, Iron Man, Justice on crutches and Wasp with Carol Danvers (in her original Ms Marvel outfit) winding up *their* adventure from last issue. Henry Pym says he's going to help try to separate Kerwin Korman from inside the Doomsday Man robot. And they were all working out how to go help their teammates. Angel is shocked to see Vance has a broken leg (not caused by Black Knight). Jarvis brings tea. Carol, Dane and Monica leave the Avengers to it.

Later Hank Pym has returned to his scientific research at Nugent Technologies, pulling an all-nighter. Suddenly robots surround him and subdue him with an encephalo-ray, saying they'll take him to his progeny which of course is Ultron.

Jerry Ordway
Al Vey
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)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Arkon, Firestar (Angel Jones), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Photon (Monica Rambeau), Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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