Did You Hear The One About Scorpio

Avengers #72

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Featured Issue: Avengers #72

Plot Summary

As Captain America makes his way across the roof of Avengers Mansion, he collides with another man running along the roof. To Cap’s surprise, it’s his former sidekick, Rick Jones. While Rick is initially terse with Cap, things calm when Cap explains that the “Cap” who recently treated Rick poorly was in fact Red Skull in disguise. Reunited, the pair enter the mansion so that they may attend a meeting, called at Cap’s behest.

Encountering the other Avengers, Cap and his teammates gather around their meeting table as Cap calls the meeting to order. Noting their missing members and their reasons for not being present, Cap goes on to say that several top New York City officials have gone missing. Not only that, but S.H.I.E.L.D. has gotten involved and will provide the Avengers with a briefing. Almost on cue, and interrupting Vision, the video transceiver alerts the Avengers to an incoming message from Dum Dum Dugan, the right hand man of Director Nick Fury. Dugan informs the heroes that the city officials have been abducted by a man named Scorpio. Fighting off tears, Dugan further tells the Avengers that he is making the call because Nick Fury has been murdered by Bulls-eye while attending a concert.

Shocked by the news, the Avengers attempt to regain control of the situation but are interrupted by Rick Jones. As he explains, he was on Nick Fury’s roof, looking to discuss with the spymaster the potential of becoming his sidekick. When Rick made his way inside through an open window, he encounters Scorpio. The surprised villain unleashes an energy blast on Rick. Unbeknownst to Scorpio, and the Avengers for that matter, Rick has become connected to the Kree hero Captain Marvel. As he struggles to get up, Marvel convinces Rick to give him a chance at Scorpio. By slamming together two golden bands on his wrists, Rick switches atoms with Captain Marvel, releasing the hero from the Negative Zone and sending Rick in his place. Captain Marvel quickly pursues Scorpio and even manages to get the upper hand for a moment. But when Scorpio turns on Captain Marvel and releases another blast from the Key to the Zodiac, Marvel is laid low.

As Rick finishes his story, of course leaving out his personal connection to Captain Marvel, he presents the Avengers with a list of three city officials that was dropped by Scorpio. The Avengers are shocked to discover that the list matches exactly. Just as Cap is about to press for more answers from Rick, he is cutoff by a voice coming from the display screen. Suddenly the faces of the three missing men appear on the screen. Almost as unannounced, the faces begin to dissolve into a single face, that of Scorpio. Without warning and on Scoprio’s command, the Avengers’ view screen explodes in a massive fireball, an impressive attempt to rid the world of the heroes.

When the Avengers awaken, they find themselves imprisoned by Scorpio, unable to move or speak. As Scorpio gloats over his prisoners, he reveals his co-conspirators, the criminal cartel Zodiac. It becomes clear that Scorpio has undertaken all his actions in order to be welcomed back into Zodiac. While Scorpio is distracted, Yellowjacket uses his control over ants to free the Avengers, send the insects into the controls for the device holding the Avengers captive.

As the Avengers take on the various members of Zodiac, they are stunned to find that Scorpio is none other than Nick Fury. Although they have tons of questions, they must first deal with the threat at hand. Meanwhile, Rick and Captain Marvel discuss the what must be done and they agree that Rick must do what he feels is best.

The Avengers and Fury make quick work of the Zodiac, until Ares inflicts the Key to the Zodiac on the heroes, With the plan rapidly unraveling, the members of Zodiac flee, covering their escape route with an impenetrable substance to prevent the Avengers from pursuit. With the situation under control, Nick Fury explains that he impersonated Scorpio in order to flush out Zodiac. What he tells the assembled heroes is that, much to his surprise and shame, the real Scorpio was in fact Fury’s own brother.

Avengers

Captain America
Goliath
Vision
Wasp
Yellowjacket

Villains

Scorpio
Zodiac

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Endgame

Avengers #71

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Featured Issue: Avengers #71

Plot Summary

Deep within the bowels of Garrett Castle, Black Knight rushes to ignite the Brazier of Truth in the hopes that he might speak with the spirit of Sir Percy, his ancestor. Black Knight is attempting to discover what has happened to the Avengers following the events he witnessed in London. Although Sir Percy is scornful of Black Knight’s impatience, he begins to fill in his successor of those events occurring in the 41st century. In addition, Black Knight is told that the fight he interrupted was only one of four as part of the Grandmaster’s game which pitted the Avengers against the Squadron Sinister. Unwittingly Black Knight disrupted the final battle and as a result, Grandmaster removed all the combatants for a final round to determine the result of the game.

In the 41st century, Kang wanders through the corridors of his headquarters, pining over his love Ravonna who is trapped between life and death. At the feet of her pedestal Kang rededicates himself to the cause and becomes more determined than ever to beat the Grandmaster’s game. Back in his control room, Kang dials in the vidscreen so that he may watch the final round and while he does, he questions the Grandmaster about his replacement champions. Kang is informed that he will see them soon enough.

The remaining three Avengers, Vision, Black Panther, and Yellowjacket find themselves standing in front of the Louvre, which is flying a Nazi flag. Vision identifies that they have been transported back into the middle of World War II, but before the Avenger can truly come to grips with their surroundings, they are attacked by several Nazi soldiers. Although no match for the super heroes, the Avengers find that they are not the only foes nearby. Emerging from a portal step the Human Torch, Namor and Captain America just as they had been back in 1941. As their future teammate and his allies don’t recognize the Avengers, they attack, assuming that they are allied with the Nazi scum inhabiting Europe at the time.

In modern England, Black Knight continues to search for a way in which he can help the Avengers to make up for the mistake he had committed. Sir Percy does what he can by putting Black Knight into astral contact with his ancestral sword. With this, the Ebony Blade pulls Black Knight through space and time, depositing him in the 41st century. Finding himself in front of four Avengers, seemingly trapped in some dreamlike state, Black Knight is attacked by several of Kang’s guards before he can gain his bearings. After making quick work of his attackers, Black Knight makes his way out of the chamber and stumbles upon Wasp, still hold up in Kang’s fortress. Wasp enlists Black Knight’s help in order to rescue the Avengers so that they might have a fighting change to win.

Back in 1941, the Avengers face off against the contemporary heroes. Although Cap and Namor are the matches of Black Panther and Yellowjacket, Vision proves to be the most difficult to defeat and ultimately the key to the Avengers victory. After some back and forth, Vision is able to line up all three heroes and phase through them, becoming solid just long enough to disrupt the trio and leave them beaten.

With this, Kang celebrates the victory of his champions over those of the Grandmaster. Since Grandmaster decided the first round was a stalemate, he grants Kang the power over either life or death, half a prize for half a victory. As Kang contemplates his choice, the recently freed Avengers and Black Knight arrive in the control room. Admitting that Kang saved the Earth, the Avengers request to be sent back to their own time, leaving Kang alone as a thank you. Kang is unwilling to let the Avengers go, as he still considers them to be his most dangerous enemy and Kang once again demands that Grandmaster grant him power over both life and death. When Grandmaster refuses, Kang chooses the power over death, so that he might eliminate the Avengers. With his new power, the attacks by the Avengers bounce off him harmlessly, with Mjolnir even passing straight through Kang. No longer amused to watch his foes hurl themselves helplessly against him, Kang uses his new power to bring the Avengers within a hair’s breadth of death. As Kang gloats over his defeated foes, he is interrupted by Black Knight, who, not being an Avenger is unaffected by Kang’s new power. Knocking Kang senseless with the flat of the Ebony Blade, Black Knight redeems himself with the very act that initially condemned him. The game completed, Grandmaster departs, returning the Avengers to their mansion, in their own time. In gratitude for their rescue, the Avengers offer their frequent ally Black Knight the ultimate honor they can, membership amongst their ranks. Black Knight accepts, and they team celebrate with a vigorous “Avengers Assemble!”.

Avengers

Black Knight
Black Panther
Captain America
Goliath
Iron Man
Thor
Vision
Wasp
Yellowjacket

Villains

Kang the Conqueror
Grandmaster
Captain America
Namor
Human Torch