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Avengers Annual #13: Review

Nov 1984
Roger Stern, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

In Memory Yet Green

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Annual #13 Review by (March 18, 2023)
Comments: Story falls between AVENGERS #245 and 246. Title comes from volume one of Isaac Asimov’s autobiography. Bruce Banner/Hulk went missing and presumed dead in INCREDIBLE HULK #300. Only appearance of Douglas Cartland but he represents Cross Technological Enterprises, a shady firm appearing occasionally in the MU, most notably in ASTONISHING ANT-MAN in 2015. Beast is reading The Panda’s Thumb, a science book by Stephen Jay Gould. And Arnim Zola returns in CAPTAIN AMERICA #350; Hulk’s living pants do not.

Review: They should have titled this, “The Deadly Pants of Hulk!!” Because that’s what stands out the most from the story. The story is a fun one with all the camaraderie among the heroes giving it a warm feeling, followed by an army of Hulks with living pants. And the Ditko-Byrne art collaboration is a quirky one that adds to the offbeat nature of the tale.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Annual #13 Synopsis by T Vernon
The Fixer breaks into Northwind Observatory only to face Captain America. Cap easily deflects all of Fixer’s weapons and punches him out….

Agent Sikorski of the National Security Council meets with Cap and Vision via viewscreen at Avengers Mansion about the problem of Northwind Observatory. It is revealed that, in his last days, Bruce Banner devised several new inventions and then disappeared and now villains are trying to break into the lab there to steal these devices; Fixer is just the first one who made it all the way into the facility. Now a team of scientists will be going over the machines to see what use to make of them while the army provides security for the site. Vision proposes a team of Avengers led by Cap should also be there….

The next day, Avengers start arriving at the facility: Captain Marvel, Beast, Wasp, Hank Pym, Thor, and Cap show up, all greeting their present and former teammates and initiating or renewing friendships. A scientist named Douglas Arthur Cartland also arrives and is put off by all the camaraderie among the Avengers and he has taken a strong dislike to Beast. Mr. Fantastic and She-Hulk are the last to arrive and Cartland fawns all over Reed, who doesn’t like him. As they study Banner’s Gammascope, Jen tells the others of growing up with her cousin Bruce and how they were both changed by gamma rays…but then Hulk rises from the ground outside and smashes his way into the lab and attacks the heroes. Thor hits him with Mjolnir while Wasp unleashes her sting and the combination somehow immolates Hulk, leaving him a burned-out husk on the floor. And we see that Arnim Zola is watching through Hulk’s eyes, expanding his plan from stealing Banner’s devices to capturing Richards and Pym. He sends out a flock of birds with special capsules to seed the ground near Northwind….

Reed, Hank Pym, and Hank McCoy study Hulk’s corpse and report to the others that it was an unstable variety of clone. And then phony Hulk’s purple pants come to life as an elastic blob, entrapping Reed and Hank Pym. Arnim Zola appears above the mess via projected image, taunts the heroes and merges with the purple blob, giving it a screen with his face in it, gloating how his Hulk smuggled the protoplasm in as Hulk’s pants. And then more Hulk clones, grown from the seeds planted by the birds, arrive to battle the Avengers. The Zola blob with his two prisoners checks out the lab where the inventions are kept and encounters Douglas Cartland, who had already been warned by Cap against filching anything for his own use; deciding Cartland is a nobody, Zola hangs him from the ceiling by his ankles and checks out what the room has to offer. Reed, whose stretching ability is contained by the biomass, and Hank try to figure a way out. Meanwhile, Cap, seeing an inexhaustible army of Hulks coming against them, decides to take the battle to its source. Captain Marvel fires a huge burst of infrared energy directly into the Zola-blob, causing it to explode. She then uses electric shocks to force Zola into a vault which holds him, at least until he can batter down the door. Hank identifies the source of Zola’s transmission; Cap M follows it as microwave and finds a living chamber with Zola’s empty machine body in it. She sends an electric blast through the transmitter and all of the Hulks (and their pants) are destroyed and Zola returns to his body. He knocks the unwitting Cap M out with a thump to the head but when Thor comes knocking at the door with a magic hammer, Zola decides the wise move is to flee. The top of the mountain reveals itself to be a spaceship, taking off into the sky. Cap M escapes but Zola is surrounded by Hulk clones. Angry Hulk clones. The ship spins out of control and crashes into a reservoir; Cap M searches for survivors but finds none. Back at the lab, Reed and Hank assure She-Hulk that they will destroy any inventions that can be used against mankind so as not to taint her cousin’s legacy. And Beast locates Douglas Cartland, hanging by his ankles. Beast hangs by his feet next to him and teases him mercilessly.

Steve Ditko
John Byrne
Ken Feduniewicz
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
John Byrne (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Arnim Zola, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Fixer, Ray Sikorsky.

> Avengers Annual: Book info and issue index

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