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Giant-Size Avengers #3: Review

Feb 1975
Roy Thomas, Joe Giella

Story Name:

... what time hath put asunder

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Giant-Size Avengers #3 Review by (January 21, 2014)
The confusion over the state of the Unliving Legion continues. Despite sometimes being described as dead this issue, when they are returned to when the came from Midnight and Wonder Man are shown as alive, in the comic panels that the original Avengers Index says they came from. And the Ghost is similarly in the quoted panel, although he of course *is* dead but still active. Due to an editorial mix-up Torch isn't here when the story continues in Av#133. He was presumably sent back whence he came, and Vision has to learn their secret connection alone. This issue includes a reprint of Avengers vs Space Phantom from Av#2. Presumably *not* because many years from then Avengers Forever will claim that Immortus uses Space Phantoms in disguise as his minions. It will claim that the characters supposedly brought forward from history by Immortus in Av#8 were in fact such SPs. AvF#9 doesn't mention the Legion of the Unliving in its history of Kang. Probably because it would suggest that the characters Kang used Immortus' machinery to grab from history in Av#131, including Human Torch, were also in fact SPs. Which would mess up a lot of the story between there and here.

Hawkeye didn't actually see Human Torch kill Iron Man in Av#132, because he'd already left to round up the other Avengers. Kang on the other hand *should* have known about it because he *was* there when it happened. An editorial comment says Baron Zemo must have spare paste-gun because 1 was destroyed when he dies in Av#15. However the theory that the Legion of the Unliving were actually brought from times just *before* their deaths means that he would still have the paste-gun from Av#15. But he'd still need a spare because Hawkeye destroyed 1 in Av#132. We are never told how exactly Torch saves Vision, but presumably it's all down to his intimate knowledge of the workings of his own body.

Mantis' comments during the fight with Midnight indicate that she is coming to believe that she *was* taught by the Kree Priests of Pama, as Libra and Star-Stalker related in Av#123 and #124 - even to the extent of swearing by Pama. The star over Avengers Mansion announcing the Celestial Madonna is here described as a mini-star which is therefore presumably floating much nearer its target, thus answering my complaint about Av#129. The policeman's walkie-talkie is very advanced, having a viewscreen for the time. Reed Richards and/or Tony Stark have obviously been busy inventing. We don't know it yet but we've been seeing the escaped Libra as the hooded figure in Av#130-132.

The cover blurb of Avengers #132 predicted 1 of Iron Man, Mantis or Thor would die. This issues cover does the same for Iron Man, Thor and Vision. But we already learned in Av#132 that Iron Man died, and this issue just confirms it. Roy Thomas is writing again from Steve Englehart's plot, as he was for Av#132. Apparently letterer L G Peter doesn't exist and hides Gaspar Saladino and John Costanza.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Giant-Size Avengers #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This story continues from AVENGERS #132.

In the dungeons of Immortus' castle in Limbo Mantis holds the dying Vision. He tells her how (in Av#132) he and Ghost materialised their arms inside each other's chest. Vision thinks Ghost was destroyed, and he himself is dying with his rematerialised arm hanging useless. Mantis tries to comfort him, but in his delirium he calls her his love Wanda.

Mantis is interrupted by Midnight, the martial arts master Kang resurrected specifically to oppose her. They fight again, and Midnight is slipping out of Kang's control and so is less bound to take her alive (Kang wants her because she is to be the Celestial Madonna). But Mantis eventually renders him unconscious with a choke grip. Only to find Vision gone.

Elsewhere Hawkeye sees the Frankenstein Monster carrying what he assumes is Vision's dead body. He's already seen Iron Man die in Av#132. His heart wants him to attack the Monster but his head tells him to follow Iron Man's instructions (Av#132 again) to rally the other Avengers trapped here, whom Clint now reckons are only Mantis and Thor.

In another elsewhere Kang leads his remaining recruits Baron Zemo, the WWII Human Torch and Wonder Man.  He sends Torch and Wondie to find Vision. Zemo suggests a partnership with Kang, but the Conqueror asserts his superiority by threatening to return the Nazi to the death he plucked him from.

We last saw Thor following the Monster of Frankenstein (Av#132, where else) hoping to be led to Kang. But he obviously lost him before Frankie picked up Vision. He's now wandering the labyrinth of Limbo, until he comes across the body of Iron Man. Confirming that he is dead, the Asgardian swears vengeance.

Back in the real world crowds are gaping at the mini-star hovering over Avengers Mansion, which appeared in Av#128 to herald the Celestial Madonna. A policeman arrives to tell the Avengers' butler Jarvis that the Mayor wants to speak to them on his police radio - Libra of Zodiac has escaped from prison and His'onner is worried that the rest of the gang will follow. Jarvis tries to inform the only Avenger in residence, the Scarlet Witch, who is still ensconced with Agatha Harkness being trained in witchcraft (since Av#128). But he is warned away by a harsh inhuman version of Wanda's voice.

Wonder Man doesn't know that the Golden Age Human Torch is an android, and makes beingist remarks about their target Vision. Before Jim Hammond can show his offence they run into Frankie carrying Vision, who's still breathing. Wonder Man intends to finish him off but the Monster won't let him. Simon Williams chooses the better part of valour and leaves to fetch Kang. Torch examines Vision's body and comes to a stunning conclusion. The android body is actually his!

Torch also says he thinks he can save Vision's life, and the protective Monster agrees to let him try.

Kang himself has gotten tired of Zemo's ranting about what he'd like to do to Captain America. He sends him to check on Immortus and Rama-Tut whom he left imprisoned in transparent tubes (Av#131 this time) after using the Limbo-master's machinery to snatch his minions out of the past. But he regrets his decision when attacked by Thor.

Thor is righteously angry that Iron Man is dead, which is good news to Kang. The villain thinks his personal forcefield will protect him from Thor's hammer, but Mjolnir strikes with such force that the forcefield itself transmits the blows. He is only saved by the arrival of Wonder Man.

The 2 powerhouses have at it toe-to-toe until Simon and Kang make their escape as Wondie pulls down a tunnel between them and Goldilocks. But of course Thor just starts to smash his way through the boulders.

Meanwhile Hawkeye has found the control room with the captive Immortus and Rama-Tut. Tut says he wants to help against his earlier self Kang, as he did in #2. So Clint agrees to free them with a button on Immortus' throne. But Baron Zemo arrives before he can do it. There follows a quick duel between arrows and a blaster built into Zemo's glove, until Hawkeye breaks the blaster. But Zemo whips out a paste-gun and glues Clint's upper body to the floor with Adhesive X.

Zemo goes into 1 of his rants about how Cap caused the hood to be permanently stuck to his face. Immortus offers to help him with that, by sending him back to before the incident happened. But this is really a distraction while Hawkeye uses his free feet and teeth to fire an arrow at the button on the throne. The arrow frees Immortus and the Pharaoh. And Immortus turns Zemo into a blob of protoplasm.

Wonder Man tells Kang about the Monster carrying the broken Vision, but then the Thunder God catches up with them. But Frankie, Torch and the revived Vision turn up too. The Monster and the Torch declare that they won't obey Kang any more. But Vision's arm is still useless.

Simon attacks Vision, not knowing that Vision shares his brain pattern but getting (and ignoring) a funny feeling like he's fighting himself. The injured and weakened Vision fares badly until he turns his body to diamond as Wondie's fist hits it (as he did in Av#132). And then Vizh lays him out with his 1 good fist. Meanwhile a berserker Thor is battering Kang's forcefield again, until the villain escapes through time.

Vision assures the calmed Thor that the Monster and Torch are on their side. Frankie was able to resist Kang because of his special state - a living being made from dead bodies. And the Human Torch is an android.

At this point Vision also explains that his android body is that of the Torch. Which explains him freezing when faced with quicksand (Av#118) and water (Av#122). Because Torch was once buried alive by his maker and kept underwater by criminals (both in the Golden Age Marvel Comics #1). But neither of them know why they share a body.

Then the 5 characters are zapped by Immortus to the control room, along with Iron Man, Mantis and Midnight. Immortus waves his magic hand and brings Iron Man back to life, fixes Vision's arm and brings Ghost back from wherever he went when he almost killed the android, before sending him back to where and when Kang got him from. Hawkeye even persuades Immortus to restore Zemo, before sending him back too, and all the others of the Unliving Legion except the Torch.

Rama-Tut says his goodbyes and vanishes into the timestream. Immortus explains that he's kept Torch here because he wants him and Vision to learn how they are related. And then he adds, which Tut seemed to have guessed, that he is a future version of both Tut and Kang.

The plot continues in AVENGERS #133.


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> Giant-Size Avengers: Book info and issue index

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Joe Giella
Joe Giella
Petra Goldberg
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Layouts: Dave Cockrum. Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Roy Thomas.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Baron Zemo, Frankenstein Monster, Ghost (Flying Dutchman), Immortus, Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Midnight, Rama-Tut.