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Avengers #81: Review

Jun 2004
Chuck Austen, Olivier Coipel

Story Name:

Lionheart of Avalon (part 5)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #81 Review by (May 28, 2021)
The Richard Starkings/Albert Deschesne lettering partnership is still in full flow.

Morgan Le Fay was actually last seen in her previous app in this series, the opening #1-3 story arc.
The Avengers Index says that her knight possessing Thunderball in this story arc is the same minion that possessed a guy called Excaliber in Spider-Woman #2. Morgan calls him her Black Knight but he's nothing to do with the line of Black Knights from Percy of Scandia to Dane Whitman.
That knight won't be seen again but Morgan will cameo along with lots of other magic folk in Witches #1 before playing a role in 2 of the 4 Mystic Arcana 1-shots. Her next Avengers app will be in another mystic crowd scene in New Av #53 before a major app in Mighty Av #9-11.

Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) (and his wife Meggan from last issue) will (possibly) next appear in Uncanny X-Men #445 (or it may be an illusion caused by Jamie Braddock). But they'll definitely be back in UXM#462-465 in the altered universe of House Of M.

Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh) will be an Avenger until the end of this series in Av: Finale. Her family will occasionally appear too.

The team will continue straight into the next arc Once An Invader in #82-84 where they'll be rejoined by Falcon and Vision.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #81 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In #78 Kelsey Leigh died after protecting Captain America's unconscious body from Thunderball of the Wrecking Crew. Now Cap and She-Hulk have taken her children Jenny and Martin to Kelsey's mother Mrs Shorr. They learn that Kelsey was a schoolteacher of English Lit and History. They also hear the story of the scar down her face. She got it fighting against an attacker. Her husband watched and did nothing to stop it. After that his feeling of guilt ended their marriage. Steve Rogers asks the frail Mrs Shorr if she will be able to look after her grandchildren without her daughter's support.

In another English town giant-size Wasp and a wrecked quinjet have crashlanded. Tony Stark is trying to get injured Hawkeye out of the wreck and calling for an ambulance. Jan van Dyne shrinks to normal size and then to wasp-size to help Tony free a civilian from the wreckage.

Last issue the spirits of Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) and his wife Meggan turned dead Kelsey into a new Captain Britain. But because she chose the Sword Of Might rather than the Amulet Of Right she's now forbidden to reveal herself to her children on pain of their death. She understandably blames Thunderball for all this.
Also last issue Thunderball turned out to really be (or to be possessed by) a knight who was working for a mystical female to get the Arrows Of Thor from Hawkeye. CB/Kelsey attacked him with the Sword and Captain Britain's quarterstaff. Scarlet Witch tried to stop *her*. And the mystery female whisked them all away ...

... to Otherworld. Wanda Maximoff takes note of the portal they came through as Kelsey sees the knight and woman surrounded by goblin(?) underlings, and a man chained to a rock. Kelsey recognises him as the man who made her choose the Sword and lose her children, so she's angry with him too. Morgan Le Fey, for it is she, sets the goblins on them and then fires 1 of the Arrows into Brian Braddock's shoulder. She expects that to cause damage to England but a scan shows nothing has happened. She explains that *killing* him should *destroy* all of England, leaving *her* in control of Avalon. (And the Arrows Of Thor can harm gods.) But it seems it won't work.

Then Morgan realises what Braddock has done. He foresaw her intention and transferred the 'power of England' to Kelsey. Her knight is glad to test the theory. He stabs 1 of the Arrows into Leigh ... and her scream rocks London. And Morgan feels the power of Avalon start to flow into her.

Wanda noticed that Brian called this costumed woman Kelsey and has figured out who she is. Kelsey says they've got to save England because her children are there. Scarlet Witch tells her she kept Morgan's portal open and help is on the way. But Morgan tells the knight who was Thunderball to kill Kelsey to finish the job. And she blocks SW's powers so she can't help and the knight KO's her. Then as he prepares to cut Kelsey's face as her earlier attacker did she flashes back to that scene with her husband Richard too afraid to help her ...

... but this time Captain America is here to answer Wanda's mental call. His hurled shield smashes the knight off Kelsey. But Morgan fires a Thor Arrow into *his* shoulder and then attacks him with the Sword Of Might that she's picked up. Kelsey tells him to take Scarlet Witch and run, but Cap leaves no-one behind. But Kelsey still has the quarterstaff and she hits Morgan who disintegrates. The 2 Captain Britain's think she's dead, to Cap's disapproval. Brian frees himself and then another burst of energy upgrades Kelsey's costume.

Later the new Captain Britain is in Avengers Mansion with Scarlet Witch and has just explained how she got the powers and the curse that comes with them. Wanda hasn't told anyone else her identity and agrees to keep it secret. She also tells Kelsey that she, Cap and Shulk persuaded Tony Stark to bring Granny Shorr and the kids to live in the Mansion because the family had lost their breadwinner. She also suggests they tell Wasp her secret because she's the chairperson and as rich as Stark. And she know how to keep a secret.

Captain Britain drops in on Martin Leigh who's busy putting up his posters. And she meets Ant-Man there. Then she finds Gran and Jenny Leigh with She-Hulk. I get the impression that Mrs Shorr recognises her daughter. Finally Kelsey goes to her own room to cry.

Olivier Coipel
Andy Lanning
Chris Sotomayor
Scott Kolins (Cover Penciler)
Scott Kolins (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Scott Lang)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh), Jenny Leigh, Martin Leigh, Morgana Le Fey (Morgan Le Fay).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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