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Avengers #3: Review

Apr 1998
Kurt Busiek, George Perez

Story Name:

Fata Morgana

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #3 Review by (September 18, 2019)
Morgan Le Fay will return in #77-81, the Lionheart of Avalon story-arc, although she'll be behind the scenes until the last issue.

I don't think Mordred is ever seen again in the modern age.

Wonder Man will continue to appear from #5 on, initially only manifesting when Scarlet Witch conjures him up.

The Avengers will choose a new lineup next issue but there are some other apps in between.
In a flashback in #10 Hank Pym and Tony Stark try and fail to find out why Wanda was able to summon WM back to life. And another fb in a backup tale in our 2001 Annual has Iron Man exonerated by Cap, Thor, Wasp, Hawkeye and Black Widow of the 3 murders he committed under Kang's control in the Crossing Event.
Then Cap, IM, Thor, Giant-Man, Wasp, Hawk, Quicksilver and ScW are mind-controlled by Baron Zemo in Thunderbolts #11-12. Cap, IM, Hawk, ScW, Firestar and Justice feature in the Silver Surfer/Thor 1998 Annual as the duo travel back in time to find out what happened to Asgard but get sidetracked by a villain and never succeed in their task. Tony Stark has a cameo at a Sebastian Shaw party in X-Men (1991) #73. Then Cap, IM and Wasp cameo in Spider-Man's 2nd outing as Hornet in Sensational SM #28.
While all this is going on Black Knight, Hercules and She-Hulk return to their Heroes For Hire jobs in #12 + part of #13 as the Master raises sunken Hydra Island, and Sub-Mariner lends them 2 Atlantean subs. Meanwhile Crystal cameos with several other Inhumans as Thanos attacks the Earth (again) in Ka-Zar (1997) #10.
Then Cap loses his shield in the ocean fighting Hydra in his #2, and in #3 he uses a replica of his triangular shield before Tony Stark makes him a new round 1. Thor, GM, Wasp, Hawkeye, Namor, Black Panther, Quasar, Hercules, Machine Man, Tigra, Black Widow and Spider-Woman are all there representing the 39 Avengers. Subbie is then in Marvel Team-Up (1997) #8 with Dr Strange discovering that Heroes Reborn/Return has mixed up versions of him from previous times.

When Beast says their are 39 Avengers he must be including Firestar and Justice. But not Wonder Man who has supposedly died again. But he'll be back soon in this series.
US Agent skips all this and next issue's lineup call and will next appear in CA#10. 3 others will leave and send their apologies to the meeting, but no-one escapes the Avengers that easily:- Firebird will pop back in #12, Photon in #16 and Living Lightning in #27. After her app in CA#3, Black Widow will leave *without* warning to visit Daredevil #375 before starring in Journey Into Mystery #517-519. She won't meet up with the Avengers again until Ant-Man's Big Christmas 1-shot between our #15 and #16.
So out of the 39 Avengers that end this issue, 34 of them will stay around for the next 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Morgan Le Fay has used captive Scarlet Witch and the Asgardian Twilight Sword to rewrite reality of Earth to a medieval world which she rules from Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. And most Avengers past and present have been transformed into her soldiers, the Queen's Vengeance. But Yeoman America (Captain America), Longbow (Hawkeye), Squire Justice (Justice), Daystar (Photon), Star-Knight (Quasar), Donar (Thor) and Pixie (Wasp) have regained their real memories and rebelled. And in her dungeon cell Wanda Maximoff has called the supposedly-dead Wonder Man to her aid.

The 7 rebels are hiding out in the forest, practising teamwork while waiting for Morgan to make a slip they can capitalise on. Hawkeye suggests they use outlaw tactics like sneaking into the castle disguised as monks. Cap says sneaky isn't his style.

Morgan is unhappy because she's just discovered that the Witch has escaped. Priestess Selene (Moondragon) reads the mind of the guard (restrained by the Ghost Of Stone (Vision) and learns that he only knows that there's a large hole in the wall of her cell. So Morgan kills him.

Then her nephew Mordred enters with Warlord Kro, ambassador from the Lemurian Empire of the Deviants. But angry Morgan kills *him* too. Mordred is shocked, but his aunt points out that she can destroy the Deviants with a thought as long as she has the Witch and the Sword. So getting Wanda Maximoff back is the only important thing now. It *must* be the rebels who freed Scarlet Witch, so it's time to deal with *them*. She tells Selene to mentally locate them.

Next we see an image of Morgan appearing before the outlaws demanding the return of Scarlet Witch. She gives them a day and then vanishes. Our troop of course didn't even know Wanda was missing. But Steve Rogers reckons this is the chink in her armour he was waiting for. They strike tonight! But not before wondering where the Witch *is* ...

... sitting wrapped in her cloak before a campfire. And the ionic form of Wonder Man returns with lots more firewood. Wanda isn't sure whether he's the real Simon Williams or just something she used the power Morgan fed her with to conjure up to free her from her prison. After all he died (in Force Works #1). WM says that his ionic body was disrupted and dispersed by the explosion of the Kree ionic cannon. But something kept him from dying. And when (last issue) she used her power to call out to the Avengers (waking Cap's memory) that power dragged him back to life.

Wanda asks Simon what helped him hang on, but he says it's not important right now [and don't call me Shirley]. [Spoiler, it was his love for her, and it appears Wanda knows it.] But now she stares into the fire and wonders how to defeat Morgan. But when she turns back Simon has gone.

That evening a group of monks enter the castle. It seems Hawkeye's idea worked. Cap's plan is to find the Asgardian Twilight Sword so Thor can try to wrest it from Morgan's control. But it turns out Clint Barton's idea didn't really work because the rest of the Queen's Vengeance attack the 'monks'. Battle is joined. Wasp vs Gypsy Davy (Quicksilver). Thor vs Iron Knight (Iron Man) and Lady Magdalena (Magdalene). Quasar and Justice vs Sir Devilfish (Stingray), Sir MacHinery (Machine Man), Sealord (Sub-Mariner), Knave Of Hearts (Starfox) and Falconer (Darkhawk). Photon and Wasp (again) vs Gigantus (Giant-Man). And Cap and Hawkeye standing back-to-back against countless foes. Thor's hammer clashes with the mace of Heracles (Hercules) as Jade Giantess (She-Hulk) is downed by a Photon blast while Blacksmith (Rage) looks on. Justice dodges Sorceress Circe (Sersi) while striking Blackbird (Falcon). Photon evades Sir Devilfish and Cap fights Black Knight (played by himself) as Quasar blasts Sir Fulminator (Living Lightning).

Over them all stands a giant-size Morgan Le Fay grasping the giant-size Twilight Sword laughing at the Avengers fighting each other. Mordred runs up and begs her again to kill them all before they find a way to defeat her. But the villainess is tired of his constant whining and kills her nephew. Captain America says Mordred was right, the Avengers *will* find a way to beat her. Morgan laughs because in this reality *she* is the only 1 with magic power ...

... but Scarlet Witch shows up to challenge that assertion. (And we see Kreature (Beast) in the background.) Morgan is glad to see her because her proximity means she can use the Twilight Sword again, and now she can put an end to the rebellion. Wanda reminds us that Morgan shared her power with ScW to act as a bridge between her Celtic magic and the Asgardian magic of the Sword. But now she's going to use that power *against* her.

As the fights continue below (including Cap vs Lady Magdalena and Chevalier (Swordsman)) the mystic battle is waged above. Morgan's experience with her power is proving more than a match for Scarlet Witch but Wanda perseveres and tries to mentally control the Sword. She wishes Wonder Man hadn't left her ... and suddenly he's back, as large as Morgan and fighting her for the Sword.

Down below Justice defeats Sir MacHinery and Knave Of Hearts but is mind-blasted by Priestess Selene. But then Serf (Demolition Man) brains her with his staff, saying he's just woken up to who he really is. Justice figures Morgan's concentration must be faltering.

Morgan is winning her contest against ionic WM and he calls on Wanda for aid. So she channels Morgan's own power into him, plus her own willpower. Quasar and Cap join her and add their mental strength. And suddenly Iron Man and Quicksilver are with them. Then Black Knight, Vision and Crystal (no longer Elementelle) join in. And now it is Simon Williams who has Morgan on the ropes. And then *all* the Avengers have regained their senses, including Black Panther (Nubian Prince), Black Widow (Tsarina), Firebird (Firemaiden), Firestar (Lady Comet), Tigra (Grimalkin), US Agent (Liegeman), Binary (Lady Marvel), Spider-Woman (Arachne) and Sandman (Quarryman) and link up with the others to add their wills to the fight.

Morgan blasts wildly at the assembled Avengers, splitting them up and breaking their combined power. Simon feels his strength ebbing and tells Wanda she knows what to do - give him everything in 1 big surge that will defeat Morgan, but disperse his ionic energy again. She hesitates because of her feelings for him. But then 1 of Morgan's blasts cuts the (still stone) Vision, her ex-husband, in 2. And with a scream she sends the cumulative will-power into Wonder Man. He rips control of the Twilight Sword from Morgan. There's a mighty ionic explosion. And then both Morgan and Simon are gone.

All the Avengers are back to normal in their proper costumes. Vision is once-again a synthezoid, but still missing his lower half. Wanda asks Sersi to use her transmutation powers to repair him but she doesn't know what his technology should be like. Thor lifts the Twilight Sword and says he'll take it back to the Sea Of Eternal Night. But then he must go seek the missing Asgardians before returning as an Avenger. Photon zooms off to get more quinjets to head here on autopilot to pick up the team. And Beast paraphrases Angel from Giant-Size X-Men #1 "What are we going to do with 39 Avengers?".

George Perez
Al Vey
Tom Smith
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
George Perez (Cover Inker)
Tom Smith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Bob Harras.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Hank Pym)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Wendell Vaughn)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: D-Man (Demolition Man), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Mordred, Morgana Le Fey (Morgan Le Fay), Photon (Monica Rambeau).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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