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Avengers #8: Review

Sep 1998
Kurt Busiek, George Perez

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #8 Review by (October 29, 2019)
Dave Lanphear helps Richard Starkings with the lettering.

Costa Verde is 1 of Marvel's fictional Central American countries (although sometimes is called South American). It was invented in #35 of the original series when Living Laser helped a rebellion against a dictator. Thor was there in his #246-247 this time putting down a rebellion.

We've just dealt with 1 super-powered corporate boss Imus Champion (#5-6 and the Av/Squadron Supreme Annual) and now we get another 1 Moses Magnum, weapons manufacturer.
He initially faced Spider-Man and Punisher in Giant-Size SM #4 doing biochemical testing on unwilling subjects.
Power Man Annual #1 saw him tapping the Earth's core for energy, which resulted in him getting buried by an earthquake. The new stuff in Classic X-Men #25 revealed that Apocalypse saved him then, made him his servant and gave him seismic powers. he used those powers in X-Men #118-119 to threaten to sink Japan.
He founded his new company Magnum Munitions and tried to get the Deathlok technology in Deathlok (1991) #11. He tangled with Deathlok again in #22-25 where he used his army to take over the fictional African country Canaan and then used that as a base to attack (the equally-fictional) Wakanda.

Thor may have left the Mansion but he's still around in X-Man #46 with Captain America and Scarlet Witch when Nick Fury tells them to stay out of Latveria.
Then in his own #5 Mjolnir starts to manifest an evil personality. Tony Stark has a cameo.
Then Thor cameos with Cap in the end of Silver Surfer's current series with #146.
But then he'll be back here for the Avengers Day celebrations in #10.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Avengers butler Edwin Jarvis gets time off to go to the airport to meet a little girl from Costa Verde. He's been sponsoring Maria de Guadalupe Santiago and now her village is sending her to a school in New York. But when the plane lands there's an explosion and lots of armed and armoured men leap out. As he shelters from the bullets he notes that they seem to be deliberately aiming high to avoid casualties. But even so a small explosion makes him lose his Avengers Communicard. And then a silver female follows the men, calling herself La Garra Argentado/Silverclaw and telling everyone to stay still or they die.

Back at Avengers Mansion Angelica Jones is complaining to her boyfriend Vance Astrovik about the new costume Wasp has designed for her. Jan van Dyne has taken Firestar back to her original colours of yellow with orange flames, but with added black. However the neckline is cut way too low for Angel's taste (although Justice seems to be enjoying the view). She stalks off to alter it. Vance figures now isn't a good time to mention the idea of moving into the Mansion.

In the Combat Simulation Room Captain America is putting his new shield through its paces. It's a plasma shield given to him by SHIELD after his triangular 1 was destroyed by the Kree Lunatic Legion in his #8. His thoughts also mention an inferior copy of the triangular shield which he kept at the Mansion for emergencies (actually to explain away an editorial gaff which gave him a triangular shield in our #7 (a sequel to CA#8 in the Live Kree Or Die crossover) and the Av/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998). Thor drops by to say he can't be a full-time live-in Avenger anymore (because of his new secret identity as paramedic Jake Olson) but he'll try to respond to any urgent summons.

Wanda Maximoff is worried about Warbird who was fired/quit last issue over an accusation of addiction to alcohol. She rings Carol Danvers' mother who tells her she's moved to the West Coast. Clint Barton interrupts her reverie to complain about the Thunderbolts villains getting magazine coverage about being heroes (fighting Graviton in TB#17). He's angry because the pretence of these Masters Of Evil will make it harder for real reformed villains like he and Scarlet Witch were. When he's stormed out the hologram Vision pops in to comment of Wanda's new costume. She says she's returning to her gypsy roots (but it looks rather like the garb she was given in Morgan Le Fay's medieval world in #2-3). Left alone she too contemplates leaving the team.

But then their Communicards ring with a message from Jarvis (he evidently managed to find his again) calling them to Kennedy Airport. Tony Stark also gets the message in a meeting in the Capitol building which he leaves immediately. Jake Olson also to gets the call but he's already on his way there in the ambulance with his partner Demitrius Collins. Jarvis tells Cap about the armed raiders causing mayhem but also how Silverclaw is telling the troops not to harm anyone. He thinks this may be a diversion. Their target appears to be another plane which they are emptying of people.

The 5 Avengers (Vision's hologram can't leave the Mansion) arrive via flying Justice's TK field. (Firestar has given her new costume a polo-neck addition for modesty.) Cap tells the team to scatter and take down all the attackers before they can take hostages. Hawkeye thinks they should concentrate on capturing the obvious super-powered female boss, but he follows orders. However Wanda knows that he's chafing at the bit, wanting to be a team leader again.

But the soldiers are prepared for something like this. Their actual team leader calls for the Omega Containment strategy, and flying even-more-armoured warriors fire rays which form an energy cage (they call it the Powerprison 170) holding the Avengers. None of their efforts can break them out. They notice similar green coruscations of power from a platform which a passing soldier refers to as the Powerpodium 310 which he says is providing the power for their cell and is also a stage for the gang's boss ...

... and a figure appears there announcing himself as Moses Magnum, head of Magnum Munitions. He's a hologram because he's banned from the US. He thanks the Avengers for the chance to demonstrate some of his products including his Magnum Force troops and the Magnum Shells armour of the flyers.

As the Avengers continue to try to find a way to escape a speeding blur takes out many of the ground troops and destroys the Powerpodium, which of course disrupts the hologram and also frees the our heroes. They see an African-American guy in a multi-coloured costume now being fired on by the fly-guys. Firestar and Scarlet Witch blast at them and Justice telekinetically slams them into each other while Cap and Hawkeye help the new guy with the rest of the grounders. He introduces himself as Triathlon, 3 times as fast, strong and agile as a normal human.

The Avengers are winning but then Jarvis shouts a warning as Silverclaw attacks Cap. She's morphed into a human/jaguar mix but also expresses regret at what her masters are making her do. Steve Rogers counters her with a move he's practised against Tigra, so then she uses the (much enlarged) wings of a cockatoo to soar above him and then switches to anaconda to begin crushing the breath out of him.

But worse, the foe turn out to have weapons attuned to each Avenger. Ultrasonics disrupt Justice's concentration so he can't use his TK. Firestar is wrapped in radiation-proof tape. Shock blasts make the Witch unable to aim her hexes. Hawkeye has been firing gas arrows but troopers with high-powered fans blow the gas back at him. Cap asks Wanda to call on the 'spirit' of Wonder Man again, but she's become increasingly unwilling to *use* Simon Williams as a weapon.

Then Triathlon whacks Silverclaw making her release Captain America. He explains that the real point of Magnum's operation is to steal an experimental Seismic Cannon from the plane we saw earlier. Cap recalls that Magum has used earthquakes as weapons before. And as they speak a Magnum Force trooper appears in the door with the Cannon aimed at them ...

... but just then the Iron Man and Thor cavalry arrive to turn the tide (Jake Olson is presumably not needed as a paramedic until the hostilities are over). So the trooper fires the Cannon at some buildings forcing the heroes to switch to saving civilians. Triathlon notices that Magnum Force are stealing the whole aircraft with the Seismic Cannon inside. As it taxis down a runway and takes off he leaps onto the undercarriage to go with it.

The Avengers clear up the mess. Hawkeye finds Silver Claw in the form of a Central American girl who apologises for attacking Cap. She claims that the troops took over the plane and threatened to kill the other passengers if she didn't help them. She agreed but only on the condition that they didn't hurt anyone. She confirms that they didn't care about anything but the Seismic Cannon.

Meanwhile Edwin Jarvis is desperately searching through the released passengers looking for his little ward. Steve finds him and suggests the picture he has of the girl might be some years old. (Edwin says he's had it for more than 10 years, since before the Avengers were formed - a hint at Marvel's sliding timescale.)  Cap introduces him to the teenage Silverclaw for she is his Maria de Guadalupe Santiago, or as she likes to be known Lupe. (We don't get an explanation here why she was wearing her 'superhero' costume, or indeed anything about her power.)

Later at the Mansion Lupe patches up Tio Edwin's scrapes and bruises. The Avengers look up Moses Magnum in their database and Vision tries to find anything online about Triathlon. Vance Astrovik is blaming himself for the team being beaten, but Thor tries to buck him up by pointing out that even Captain America had to be rescued today. Angel is worried about Wanda who's gone straight to her room. Cap blames himself for pressurising her to channel Wonder Man.

Upstairs Scarlet Witch feels alienated from the team. Her brother Pietro and her friends Jan and Carol are no longer on the team. She can no longer talk to her ex-husband Vision since his personality was destroyed. And Clint who joined the team with her feels as out of it as she does. Then Wonder Man materialises in her room saying he sensed she needed him. She falls into his arms and they kiss and sink onto her bed. And Vision who's come up to check she's alright fades back into the wall he was phasing through.

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.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Demitrius Collins, Firestar (Angel Jones), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Moses Magnum, Silverclaw (Maria de Guadalupe Santiago), Triathlon (Delroy Garrett Jr.).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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