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Avengers West Coast Annual #4

November 1989
John Byrne, John Byrne

Story Name:

Gather now ye seven brides

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

By Rob on September 27, 2017

Beast and Marvel Girl are part of X-Factor at this time, and Beast has returned to being blue and furry in XFa#31. Storm is here before she gets turned into a child between Uncanny X-Men #249 and #253.

Everybody in the main story in this issue goes straight to Thor Annual #14 except the android Human Torch who skips ahead to join them in Fantastic Four An#22.

Firebird follows *her* story with another Av Spotlight issue #27 as part of Acts of Vengeance where she and several other reserve Avengers face the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android on the Avengers' HQ on Hydrobase Island.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

What's happened in this crossover event since Avengers Annual #18?

New Mutants An#5 - Ghaur sent Deviants to steal the Horn of Doom from Namorita in Atlantis. The New Mutants got blamed and had to fight her and an Atlantean mutant group SURF. Then they all teamed up to stop Ghaur using the Horn to send a sea monster to attack Atlantis. But Atlantis was destroyed and the Atlanteans dispersed.

X-Factor An#4 - Ghaur kidnapped Marvel Girl to be a Bride of Set but Beast rescued her. They fell into the hands of Attuma in Atlantis, but Attuma's daughter Andromeda rescued Beast. Then they 2 rescued MG but then Ghaur took her again, and Andromeda as another Bride.

Web of Spider-Man An#5 - Spidey and the Fantastic 5 stopped Attuma and his Atlanteans and another sea-monster called Megasaur attacking New York. Ghaur took Invisible Woman as a Bride. Llyra's Lemurians destroyed Atlantis as a sacrifice to Set. On hearing the news Attuma and his troops surrendered.

Now read on ...

Ghaur has gathered the 7 Brides of Set. Besides the 3 mentioned above he has presumably caused 3 others that he previously marked as Brides to come to him (She-Hulk from Amazing SM An#23, Dagger from Spectacular SM An#9 and Scarlet Witch from Av An #18). Also off-screen he must have picked up Storm (who he *didn't* mark as a Bride in Uncanny X-Men An#13). They are all now in a trance.

Ghaur is unhappy because the Atlantean race was supposed to have been wiped out as a blood sacrifice to Set, but it didn't happen. (The Lemurians did bomb Atlantis in WOSM An#5 but the humans didn't kill the invading Atlanteans there (or in Av An#18). However he still has hopes for the 7 Brides. Until he discovers that Dagger is flawed - she's blind (since The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #1).

Captain America hosts a group of Avengers (the WWII android Human Torch, Iron Man, Quasar, Thor, Vision, Wasp and Wonder Man - others are dealing with leftover Atlantean invaders and Serpent-Men from earlier episodes in the crossover) on Avengers Island to discuss the situation, especially the disappearance of Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk from their ranks. Beast has joined them to tell them about Marvel Girl and the involvement of Ghaur. Cap has called in Sersi for her Eternal's knowledge of the Deviants and their priest-lord.

Thing arrives to tell them about the abduction of Sue Richards and the attempted blood sacrifice of Atlanteans to raise Set (presumably info from Attuma). Thor knows of Set, the creator of the Serpent-People and the Serpent Crown. He leaves to take the fight to godly-level (in Thor An#14, and he'll take Quasar and Thing with him because their previous exposure to the Serpent Crown should make them somewhat immune to Set).

Later Andromeda and She-Hulk are on a mission for Ghaur. They know they should be fighting him not aiding him, but they are compelled to obey. They approach the Altar of Neptune's Wrath where legend (and the Saga of the Serpent Crown backup in Spectacular SM An#9) says the sea-god smote Atlantean Set-worshippers who almost succeeded in bringing the serpent-demon to Earth. Apparently a piece of Set's life-force is there, guarded by yet another sea-monster which attacks them when they find what they came for.

Meanwhile Jean Grey brings a Lemurian artefact to donate to the Museum of Cultural Antiquities in Chicago. This gets her access to the collection of such objects. Then her Invisible Woman companion KO's the curator with a forcefield ball, and the pair slip out invisibly with a Lens of Power Ghaur sent them for.

Back off the New England coast She-Hulk's fight with the giant squid/kraken has reached the surface and the Avengers (including Beast and Sersi but not Torch) come to investigate. Iron Man joins in the battle but Shulk hits *him*. Wonder Man joins in too. Sersi can't transmute something that big. But Vision is able to ghost his way into the body and give the monster a heart-attack.

All this has allowed Andromeda to sneak off with the Set-fragment and take it to Ghaur, who resigns himself to having lost 1 of the Brides. Iron Man has knocked She-Hulk out but now she awakes and struggles to break free of those holding her. Sersi suggest they let Jennifer Walters go and she'll telepathically track her to Ghaur's lair. So they do.

Ghaur has been forcing Dagger to concentrate her light daggers into an extremely thin beam and aim them where he wants, which is difficult since she's blind. Invisible Woman and Marvel Girl arrive with the Lens. We don't see Shulk get back but the Avengers, who Sersi has temporarily turned into water-breathers, break into the Deviants' undersea fortress. Ghaur gets the news as he has Dagger sending her light beam through the Lens of Power into the fragment of Set.

Ghaur sends Storm to delay the team, which confuses them because the X-Men are supposed to be dead (but secretly relocated to the Australian outback since Uncanny XM #229). She meets Cap and Wasp. Ororo's resistance to Ghaur's control makes her restrain her power, and as Cap distracts her Wasp zaps her unconscious with her sting.

Wonder Man gets to the room  where Set is being raised, just as Dagger sags from exhaustion. And he smashes the Lens. Apparently Set was on the brink of materialising so Ghaur sends Andromeda, Invisible Woman, Marvel Girl and She-Hulk to keep WM busy while he gets Scarlet Witch to provide enough magical energy to complete the job. The glowing Set-fragment expands hugely. But Beast leaps in. He's stolen an iron gauntlet off a guard and now plunges it into the fragment expecting iron to disrupt the magic. There's an explosion but the rest of the Avengers arrive to see 7-serpent-headed Set here on Earth.


Story 2:- Rate the hunks

Script Mark Gruenwald, pencils Amanda Connor, inks Chris Ivy, letters Rick Parker, colours Chris Ivy, editor Howard Mackie.

She-Hulk and Wasp get together to rate the desirability of Avengers males. They cover Thor, Iron Man, Cap, Quicksilver, Hawkeye, Hercules, Black Knight, Falcon, Wonder Man, Starfox, Sub-Mariner, Dr Druid, Mr Fantastic, Gilgamesh, US Agent and Quasar. (That's basically the order they joined the team(s).)


Story 3:- The last good soldier

Script Mark Gruenwald, pencils Mike Manley, inks Mike Manley, letters Rick Parker, colours T Fine, editor Howard Mackie.

Dr Pym flies a quinjet to a Pacific island and U.S. Agent parachutes down to it. Someone shoots laser-beams at him but his shield protects him. Unfortunately it can't protect his 'chute so he has to use the shield to absorb the impact as he crashes into the trees.

Heading to where the laser fire came from USA finds an armoured man or robot.  What follows is a long fight, probably extended by John Walker continually thinking about irrelevancies like Gilligan's Island, the Rolling Stones and the names of Indian warriors. Eventually he triumphs and confirms that there *is* a man inside the suit.

When Henry Pym picks them up he recognises the suit as worn by the High Evolutionary's army in the Evolutionary War crossover in last year's Annuals. He guesses this guy never heard that the War was over.

(This story may be meant to explain why US Agent doesn't appear with the rest of the Avengers West Coast in Av An1#8 and FF An#22. But then Dr Pym's here as well so that can't be right. His chronology places it between those 2 issues.)


Story 4:- So what are you going to do after you conquer the world?

Script Fabian Nicieza, pencils Gavin Curtis, inks Chris Ivy, letters Rick Parker, colours Chris Ivy, editor Howard Mackie.

A detachment of Atlantean troops from the invasion of the Panama Canal (Iron Man An#10) got lost when their air/sea-craft was damaged and have been wandering in the Baja California Peninsula for 2 days. Firebird finds them and easily dispels their attacks, then uses her powers to cause them various problems. Eventually they give in.

Bonita Juarez asks them what Atlanteans would do with this barren desert even if they did conquer it. She leads them to the Pacific shore, and somehow reunites them with and repairs their craft. They leave and decide to sit the rest of the war out.

(This story is really to showcase Firebird's extended powers that she figured out in Avengers Spotlight #24. There she also learned that her powers weren't a gift from God but the result of a botched experiment by an alien student. This caused her to decide to ditch the super-id La Espirita and go back to Firebird. Since then she attended the big Avengers meeting in Av#305.)


Story 5:- The saga of the Serpent Crown chapter 12:- Crisis management

Script Peter Sanderson, pencils Mark Bagley, inks Keith Williams, letters Jade Moede, colours Marc Siry, editor Mark Gruenwald.

What has the Watcher covered since Av An#18?

Mainly a reprise of Sub-Mariner #8-13. Namor took the Helmet of Power to Atlantis (after a fight with Thing). Then he went away for while and came back to discover that the HoP had shed its covering to reveal the Serpent Crown inside. (This was the 1st published app of the Crown, invented here by Roy Thomas and Marie Severin.) It had taken control of Subby's love Dorma and the rest of the Atlanteans and they were going to sacrifice him to Set. Namor escaped with the Crown and even tried wearing it, but resisted its control.

Lemurian Karthon the Quester tried to take it from him, but they were both captured by pirate Captain Barracuda. They helped each other escape but Namor was hit by a canon shell (not actually what happened in the original) - so Karthon took Subby and Crown to Lemuria.

Naga had ruled Lemuria for a long time, kept alive but aged by the remnant of the Serpent Crown's power within him. It now restored his power (but not his youth) and set him on the usual path to conquest. He made Namor think he killed Dorma, killed Karthon's fellow Questers (who had sought the Crown for him) and made SM fight in an arena. But it was when Naga revealed that it wasn't Dorma who died but Karthon's sister that Karthon finally rebelled and beheaded his monarch.

Karthon and Namor allowed Naga and the Crown to be swallowed by an earthquake, and Karthon became ruler of Lemuria. This retelling has Llyra retconned as the high priestess of Set, planning to replace Karthon, which she would later, and Ghaur watching from afar and noting her as a potential ally.

Then in Captain America #180-182 Atlantean Warlord Krang found the Crown but it told him to take it to Madame Hydra, who changed her id to Viper and took over the Serpent Squad. They kidnapped Roxxon boss Hugh Jones and put the Crown on *him*. Their plan was to use Roxxon's facilties to raise sunken Lemuria. But Cap, then as Nomad, foiled the scheme and the Crown was lost again.

Next the Watcher related a lead-up to the story in Av#141-144,147-149. Hugh Jones still retained his link to Set and contacted the Squadron Supreme's alternate timeline where their Serpent Crown had been adopted by a business cartel who had taken control of President Nelson Rockefeller and thereby the USA. Watcher reveals the members of the cartel who turn out to be analogues of criminal businessmen in the main Marvel timeline. They took out the mystics Arcanna and Professor Imam (both of whom we didn't meet until much later), and when the other Squadron members (who we had met before) investigated they took control of *them*.

Then in the Avengers issues our team discovered the inter-timeline shenanigans and fought the Squadron. Vision grabbed the Crown off Rockefeller's head and gave it to his wife Scarlet Witch. But it began to affect *her* ...

... and now in *this* instalment we see Wanda resist the Crown. But Watcher concentrates on scenes we didn't see. Nighthawk and Power Princess of the Squadron had resisted the Crown too and have infiltrated the cartel. They rescue Arcanna, who in turn frees Imam from the dimension he was exiled to. Between them they cast a spell which frees the US from Set's control. Just as Beast thinks he persuades the Squadron by disguising himself as their President in Av#148.

The Avengers take the Crown back to *their* Earth. But the Squadron start their plan to take over the US *themselves* for its own good (as seen in the Squadron Supreme series).

Elektra


John Byrne
John Byrne
Terry Austin
Bob Sharen
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
John Byrne (Cover Inker)
Howard Mackie

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast
Captain America
Captain America
Human Torch
Human Torch
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman
Iron Man
Iron Man
Marvel Girl
Marvel Girl
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch
She-Hulk
She-Hulk
Storm
Storm
Thing
Thing
Thor
Thor
Vision
Vision
Wasp
Wasp

Plus: Andromeda, Attuma, Dagger, Ghaur, Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), Sersi, Set, Wonder Man.