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Avengers Annual #10: Review

Nov 1981
Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

Story Name:

By friends betrayed

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Avengers Annual #10 Review by (July 27, 2015)
This Annual has a completely different staff from the main title. Writer Chris Claremont was the editor along with David Anthony Kraft or Mark Gruenwald (sources disagree), and the story ties in to Claremont's titles. He wrote most of Ms Marvel's series where he introduced Mystique in #16. He debuted the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in Uncanny X-Men #141-142. Rogue is his latest creation. He's also been writing Spider-Woman where Lt Sabrina Morrel is a supporting character. The masthead corner box matches the Avengers in this issue. It drops Wasp from the roster but adds Hawkeye and Thor. But Jocasta still doesn't count. As is made plain this is a sequel to #200. There was a fan outcry that Ms Marvel's experience in #197-200 was tantamount to rape. This issue addresses that somewhat. There is a little girl in the hospital named Maddy Pryor. The Official Index declares that she is nothing to do with the later X-Men character of that name. Chris Claremont just liked the name of the Streeleye Span singer. The fact that Madelynne Pryor's childhood image in UXM#238 resembles the girl here is supposedly CC's in-joke after fan speculation that they were the same person. Lt Sabrina Morrel appeared in SW#39-40 before this. The Marvel Chronology Project goes along with the idea that before that she was an unnamed character in CC's Marvel Team-Up #66. Mrs Arbogast has been Tony Stark's secretary since Iron Man #118 but a backup story in IM Annual #11 will describe how she was hired, and the Official Index puts an appearance in Fantastic Four #214 in between them. Spider-Woman recently met the X-Men in CC's SW#37-38 and then had a night out on the town with them in UXM#148. Also in #37 Nick Fury helped her get a PI licence. Their paths had crossed before when Hydra sent her to kill him in her origin in Marvel Spotlight #32, and then when she helped her SHIELD boyfriend in her #7 - neither of these were by CC.

This is Rogue's 1st appearance. Mystique started life as Ms Marvel's opponent in her #16-18,22. Her very next gig was leading the new Brotherhood in UXM#141-142, and now she's here. Avalanche, Destiny and Pyro were invented in #141, but of course Blob goes all the way back to UXM#3. The Brotherhood members except Mystique were taken into custody in UXM#142 and are broken out of jail here. But this doesn't explain why the Official Index has Avalanche free in between in Hulk #263, although he does get captured again. Nor why it places a Destiny app in the time-spanning X-Men Forever #2 here. On the other hand the placement here of Blob and Mystique's apps in Unlimited Access #3-4 isn't a problem because they are yanked out of time, and Blob could as easily as not have been taken from prison. Claremont will take on Carol Danvers as a fairly regular supporting character in UXM from #150, leading to her becoming Binary in #164. But of course she'll go through a variety of super-ids after that, including returning to Ms Marvel. Mystique and Nightcrawler's similarity was already noted in UXM#142. It will eventually be confirmed that she is his mother. She has also adopted Rogue, and the pair will be seen next clashing with Danvers in UXM#158. The whole Brotherhood will be in Rom #31. The 'nuclear family' of Mystique, Destiny and Rogue will continue in Rom #32 and Dazzler #22-24,28 until Rogue runs away to join the X-Men in UXM#170. The Brotherhood try to 'rescue' her from the X-Men in #177-178. In #199 they will become Freedom Force working for the government.

Hawkeye continues to be the ex-Avenger who just won't stay away after his last guest-shot with them in Marvel Two-In-One #75. Next he'll join the crowd for the next roster change in #211. Thor continues not to be an active Avenger but he's in a run of single issue stories in his own title at the moment. In between his #310 and #311 he joins the team for Fantastic Four #230 and this issue. After Thor #311 he too will be on hand in #211 (and #210 as well). But there's a gap between here and #210. Iron Man nips out for a 2-parter against Blacklash in his #146-147, then Captain America and Jarvis cameo in #148, and #149-150 sees Shellhead vs Dr Doom (involving King Arthur). Meanwhile Beast and Wonder Man fall under the spell of Xemnu in Marvel Two-In-One #78. After all that Beast, IM, Vision and Wondy cameo in CA#261 which starts the latest 3-issue Red Skull plot. Followed by 2 strange single-issue stories:- In #264 Morgan McNeil Hardy tries to rewrite reality, and in Annual #5 a millionaire pays to watch people killed. Then Beast, Cap, IM and Wondy reunite to call in the Defenders for help against a mystic menace in Def#98. And the whole team (including Wasp who hasn't been seen since #208, and guest Jocasta) gather for #210. (Except Jarvis who'll duck out until #211.)




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Annual #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In San Francisco Spider-Woman saves a female who falls from the Golden Gate Bridge. She realises the woman is unconscious, so someone must have thrown her off the bridge. Her glider wings aren't enough to keep them both aloft, and eventually she has to swim to get them both ashore.

In a hospital the mystery woman is diagnosed as physically great but mentally blank. Police Lt Sabrina Morrel tells SW that her fingerprints match Carol Danvers, missing from New York for 6 months.

Jessica Drew rings the X-Mansion to talk to Prof X, hoping that he can find out what's wrong with Carol's mind. The X-Men are in the middle of repairing the Danger Room damaged during Kitty Pryde's fight with a N'Garai demon in Uncanny X-Men #143.

Storm flies Charles Xavier to California in the X-Men's Blackbird to scan Carol's mind. While he's examining the patient, Lt Morrel tells Spider-Woman that Ms Danvers' parents are on their way. But also that Mrs Danvers suggested they contact the Avengers, and mention Ms Marvel. Prof X mentally tells Jessica that Carol's mind was emptied by an assailant. He has an image and a name - Rogue.

In New York's Central Park that Rogue has just knocked Captain America unconscious, using the powers and knowledge of Ms Marvel. She now kisses him, and we learn that she copies powers by skin contact. But she's careful this time. Last night with Ms Marvel she went too far and permanently transferred the powers and memories (leaving Carol Danvers' mind empty).

In Avengers Mansion Beast, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wonder Man with permanent guest Jocasta and visiting Hawkeye are being served tea and cake by butler Jarvis when Cap's body is thrown in through a window. Iron Man wasn't expected today but the Avengers send him a priority alert. Tony Stark is upgrading his armour, but he answers the call by vidphone (software supplying the image and tone of the Golden Avenger). Jarvis asks him to contact Dr Donald Blake to minister to the fallen Avenger. Meanwhile Vision searched the grounds but found no-one.

Stark suits up as he calls Blake, and they agree to meet at the Mansion. His secretary Mrs Arbogast calls to say that Janet Pym has come to see him. Iron Man is happy to see Wasp and tells her about Cap's state. He suggests she call in her husband Yellowjacket as well while they head for the Mansion. But 'Wasp' immobilises his armour with an inhibitor field generator. She reveals herself as Mystique, leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. (We never learn where the real Wasp is during this issue.)

Storm has flown Spider-Woman to New York. Jessica arrives at the Mansion and doesn't notice Rogue sneaking about. Thor arrives too, and transforms to Don Blake. And that's when Rogue KO's him and prepares to steal his mind. And that's when Spider-Woman stops her.

Rogue can't apply her touch to to SpideyW because Jessica's costume covers most of her skin. Blake recovers and switches back to Thor. He grabs Rogue, but this allows her to touch his face with her bare hand. She now has the power of a god.

Hawkeye, Vision and Wonder Man come out to investigate what's happening. Rogue shrugs off Spider-Woman's venom blast. She uses Thor's body as a shield against Vision's attempt to do his hand-phased-through-the-chest trick, then decks him with 1 punch. Wonder Man does a jet-assisted body slam into the villainess, but she just tries to absorb his powers too. Except that his ionic nature makes her touch ineffective. So Rogue makes a strategic exit, flying by Ms Marvel power.

Thor is still out of it, but Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, Vision and Wonder Man join Scarlet Witch in the Avengers' meeting room. Jessica Drew has deduced that Carol Danvers is Ms Marvel, who both disappeared at the same time. But apparently Carol resurfaced in San Francisco 3 months ago where she's been keeping a low profile.

Wanda tells her the story of #197-200. Carol suffered a mysterious pregnancy which came to term in a few days. Her son rapidly grew up and named himself Marcus, son of Immortus. He was born and lived in Limbo, but planned to escape from there by being reborn on Earth. To that end he abducted Ms Marvel, seduced her and implanted his essence within her. He then returned her to the moment he had taken her, with no memory of Limbo.

Clint Barton takes up the tale. Marcus' presence on Earth caused disruptions in time. He expected this and quickly built a machine to put things right. But the Avengers, especially Hawkeye, didn't trust him and Clint destroyed the machine. This meant Marcus had to return to Limbo but Carol went with him, claiming to have fallen in love with him.

Beast and Jocasta join them. Beast has been looking after Cap and Thor. He's compared their brain scans with 1 Spider-Woman has brought of Carol. The effects on Cap and Thor are much less and should wear off. But Rogue has taken out 2 of the most powerful Avengers, and with Iron Man not responding they fear the worst there too.

Along with Ms Marvel's powers Rogue has taken on her unique Human/Kree energy signature, which Beast is able to track. She's heading towards the supercriminal prison Ryker's Island.

Mystique and Rogue are in a hoverplane over the prison, and they drop Iron Man like a bomb onto its power generator. The captive members' of the Brotherhood are ready, and the disruption in service allows Avalanche, Blob, Destiny and Pyro to escape. They meet up with their comrades, but they are attacked by the assembled heroes from the Mansion.

Vision recognises them as the latest incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (from the Days Of Future Past story in Uncanny X-Men #141-142). Only Rogue is new.

Avalanche and Pyro send rock and flame against the good guys. Spider-Woman heads inside to find Iron Man. Destiny uses her precog ability to warn her friend Raven Darkholme to stop this, and Mystique grabs a gun and follows disguised as Nick Fury. Irene Adler then directs the others' tactics, and a 1-2 from Pyro and Blob has Wonder Man lierally out of the picture. Scarlet Witch is semi-conscious too.

Pyro disperses the smoke from Hawkeye's arrow that was supposed to mask Beast's attack on Blob. But Hank McCoy just bounces off Fred Dukes to KO Pyro. However Destiny had foreseen this and knew that Beast would land where a guard tower would fall on him (weakened by Wonder Man's exit trajectory). Vision's hand-in-chest tactic only mildly irritates Blob, until Rogue knocks him down.

Only Hawkeye and Jocasta are still standing. Destiny warns Avalanche to stop Clint firing his next arrow, but Barton is too quick for him. The screamer arrow temporarily blinds and deafens Blob, but Rogue shakes it off even as Hawkeye is buried by an eruption of ground. Irene is still worried about Iron Man, and sends Rogue to backup Mystique.

Spider-Woman has found Shellhead. Only his armour is paralaysed, and he tells her to remove the inhibitor from his back. But 'Nick Fury' arrives to warn them it might be booby-trapped. However Tony Stark knows Fury is in London at a Nato security conference, so he suspects this is Mystique again. SW's senses also warned her something wasn't right, and she attacks dodging Mystique's machine gun bullets.

Jessica takes time during the fight to notice that the real Mystique looks a lot like the X-Man Nightcrawler. She fires a close-range venom blast, but her target disappears. She then figures getting Iron Man back in action is the priority. She removes the inhibitor and kickstarts the Golden Avenger's suit system with her bio-electric blast.

Rogue flies in as Mystique runs out, only to be met by IM's fist. She gives as good as she gets, but feels Cap and Thor's powers fading leaving her with only Ms Marvel's permanent ones. As a recovered Scarlet Witch casts a hex at Avalanche, Destiny and a recovering Pyro exploding a gas main,  Rogue tries to strangle the other SW in mid-air. Jessic Drew breaks free to give IM a clear shot with his repulsor rays. But he chooses to save her from falling. Mystique is back in the hoverplane and picks Rogue up, leaving the others behind.

Tony Stark recognises the converti-plane as a top-secret design, and the inhibitor was a recent SHIELD invention. How is Mystique getting her hands on such things?

Pyro turned the burning gas into a giant creature. But another hex from Wanda turns flame to stone, which Iron Man demolishes with his repulsors. Hawkeye knocks Pyro out again with a suitable arrow. So Simon Williams is a bit late when he return carrying a water tower.

Beast is still trapped in the ruins of the watchtower. Avalanche threatens to bury him even further, but the Witch hexes Hank free and he lands on Avalanche's head. Blob is about to stomp on Vision but the android makes himself intangible, and then gives the villain temporary blindness again with his eye blasts. He and Jocasta join eye-beams to dig a pit to sink him in. Then Wanda hexes rubble into dust and Spider-Woman breaks the water tower, burying Blob in quicksand. He surrenders to avoid drowning.

Weeks later this cast of Avengers (without Jocasta and still missing Wasp) visits the X-Men's school. Jessica Drew is already there, as is the much-recovered Carol Danvers. Jess and the X-Men leave Carol to talk with the Avengers alone. Prof X has helped her to regain much of her memory, but her powers are completely gone.

Hawkeye asks after Marcus. Carol says he's dead, and Iron Man and Thor commiserate with her loss. But now her facade cracks and she shouts at them that she never loved him. Marcus himself told them that he used Immortus' machines to help woo her. Her feelings were never real.

She relates that Marcus' now-human form was his downfall. In Limbo he aged rapidly and died within a week. No longer under his mind control Carol realised what he'd done. She mastered Immortus' technology enough to get back to Earth, where she hid in SanFran.

Her friends Simon and Wanda ask why she didn't come to them. Carol says she hated the Avengers for their betrayal. She had been a woman who wanted a career rather than children, and was obviously distressed by her mysterious pregnancy. But they just accepted it and went along with her 'decision' to go to Limbo with Marcus. None of them did anything to save her.

Carol says she's going to build a new life away from the Avengers. The team wish her well and leave in their quinjet. Wanda is the most affected, but her husband Vision ends the issue with the platitude that they'll learn from this experience.



Michael Golden
Armando Gil
Michael Golden
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Avalanche.

> Avengers Annual: Book info and issue index

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