Look Homeward, Avengers!

Avengers #87

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Letterer: Mike Stevens

Featured Issue: Avengers #87

Plot Summary

Returning from their recent dimension hoping adventure, the Avengers settle down for some well deserved relaxation. While the general tone around the mansion is cautious, one Avenger can’t help but be distracted in their new found down time. Questioned about it by Iron Man, Black Panther admits that he is suffering from home sickness, that most common of maladies. In an effort to help their teammate, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch encourage Black Panther to tell them about his home. With this, Black Panther begins to regale the Avengers with the story of how he became the legendary protector of Wakanda.

As son of the great chief T’Chaka, T’Challa was groomed from birth to follow in his father’s footsteps. Soon after sharing the secret of vibranium with his son, T’Chaka is killed by Klaw. Refusing to give him the vibranium that he sought for his sound transformer, Klaw orders his men to cut the chief down. Still being a young man, T’Challa is sent away for his schooling while the kingdom is ruled over by N’Baza, the witch doctor and his father’s most trusted advisor. Accompanying him on his journey is N’Baza’s son, B’Tumba. For years the pair are inseparable, studying and competing with one another, but still remaining close friends. After graduation, the pair return to Wakanda so that T’Challa may finally claim his throne.

On his arrival, T’Challa is greeted by N’Baza and immediately must begin the trials that will prove he is worthy of succeeding his father as chief. First he must face off against a half dozen of the best warriors, a challenge he quickly completes, though a lesser man would have fallen before any one of his foes. Next, T’Challla must hold a vigil in the temple of the panther god. Again having successfully completed his task, T’Challa was lead in to a gigantic panther statue where he finds the costume of the Black Panther. Donning the suit, T’Challa emerges to the cheers of an assembled crowd and ready to face his final trial. T’Challa must travel to the great plateau and obtain of the rare, heart-shaped herb. If successful, T’Challa must then eat the herb in order to gain the powers of the panther. With this, T’Challa sets out to fulfill his destiny.

Through jungles and swamps and up sheer cliffs, T’Challa overcomes any and all obstacles that cross his path. Just as his journey is coming to an end, T’Challa hears unexpected voices in the distance. On further investigation he discovers a small expedition from Advanced Idea Mechanics, AIM for short. The team is busily loading up a shipment of refined vibranium for transport back to their headquarters. As T’Challa contemplates the ramifications of his discovery, he himself is discovered by a hidden camera left behind by AIM. The young king is quickly ambushed by the now alerted AIM squad.

Although surprised and outnumbered, T’Challa quickly takes the offensive and shows off the incredible power now under his control. His speed, strength and agility end up proving no match for the technological wonders of AIM and he is soon brought down the their portable sonatron. While he recovers, Black Panther demands to know who is responsible for this brazen act of thievery. The traitor is soon revealed to be none other than T’Challa’s close friend B’Tumba. In the process AIM also reveals that it is there intent to beat the US and Soviets to the moon using a rocket constructed of vibranium, eventually leading to a invulnerable space station made of the same metal.

Broken and imprisoned by AIM, Black Panther can only face his death with dignity. His final demand is that his former friend B’Tumba be the one to pull the trigger and end his life. After T’Challa’s repeated taunts, B’Tumba finds himself unable to do the deed and instead decides to free his friend and make their escape. AIM it seems is less forgiving than the Wakandan king and they attack both T’Challa and B’Tumba. With his enhanced abilities as Black Panther, T’Challa is able to avoid the onslaught, but B’Tumba is not so lucky. With the AIM soldiers defeated, Black Panther returns to B’Tumba’s side just in time to comfort him in his final moments. Leaving the body behind, Black Panther returns to his kingdom a changed man.

In New York, the Avengers listen to the end of the story and offer words of sympathy and comradeship to Black Panther. As he leaves to the room, Black Panther informs the Avengers that N’Baza, who has been ruling Wakanda as T’Challa’s regent, has just died and so Black Panther must now choose whether to return home or stay in New York with the Avengers.


Black Panther



The World Is Not For Burning

Avengers #85Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Letterer: Mike Stevens

Featured Issue: Avengers #85

Plot Summary

Having defeated Arkon and Enchantress, the Avengers seek to return to their home dimension. Wielding his magical uru hammer, Mjolnir, Thor calls upon the power of Odin to summon a portal which will transport the Avengers and their mansion home. Black Knight is the first to arrive home, or rather from his point of departure, Stonehenge. His mission accomplished, Black Knight returns to his manor while wondering if the rest of his teammates have made it home safely.

Back in New York Thor and Black Panther find themselves returned safe and sound as well. Noticing that Avengers Mansion has also returned, the pair enter the headquarters in search of their compatriots. Unfortunately and rather curiously the remaining Avengers are not where they should be. Just as they begin to wonder what may have happened to their comrades, Black Panther realizes that both men are late for an important engagement. Rush across New York they manage to arrive in the nick of time in order to pass out toys to under privileged children as part of the Toys for Tots program. Although they find it wonderful to be able to spread so much joy, Thor and Black Panther are troubled by the absence of their friends and cannot help but wonder what has happened to them.

On a street not unlike the one that Black Panther and Thor arrived on, the remaining Avengers arrive bu find themselves failing to materialize fully. At first it is thought to just be Vision, but on closer inspection all four Avengers suffer from the same affliction. Having orientated themselves to their new condition, the Avengers look around their new surroundings to find a scene of abject horror. As a man runs through Quicksilver, the team finds that the world around them is rapidly dying from extreme heat. They quickly identify that the sun is responsible, somehow being dramatically hotter and brighter than normal. The results are utterly devastating. People collapse in the streets while the asphalt smokes and melts around them. Even more shocking is that when Quicksilver finds a newspaper, the Avengers discover they are several days in the future. Not knowing what else to do, Scarlet Witch uses her hex powers. The unexpected chain reaction again sends the Avengers hurtling through time and space, returning them back in time to the day they left. Determined to figure out and prevent the cause of the fate they just witnessed, the Avengers return to Avengers Mansion to regroup.

Upon arriving at the mansion, all is not well. As Quicksilver enters through the front door, he is attacked by an automated defense system that the Avengers have no memory of installing. The team is given little time to think about the occurrence before they are confronted by Nighthawk, member of the Squadron Sinister. After a brief encounter with Vision, Nighthawk, who has no memory of the Avengers, acknowledges that he is severely outnumbered and quickly retreats through a hidden door. Looking to pursue Nighthawk, Goliath prepares to smash the secret door when he is forcefully stopped by Vision. Using his ability to pass through walls, Vision opens the door from the other side, revealing a hidden explosive device, set to detonate if anyone tried to force the door.

Rushing down the secret corridor, the Avengers are stunned to find an entire team of costumed supers waiting for them at the other end. After trading a series of barbs, the two super powered teams rush headlong at one another. In the middle of the battle, another member of the Squadron Sinister, Dr. Spectrum, attempts to make contact with the headquarters of the Squadron Supreme in Cosmopolis. Dr. Spectrum announces that the Brain-Child One rocket is one hour from lifting off on its solar orbit journey. This discontinuity, paired with the information about the rocket force Vision to only one conclusion, that the Avengers have arrived in yet another parallel dimension, one where the Squadron Sinister are not villains, but in fact the super heroes of the Squadron Supreme. Not only that, but that this Brain-Child One rocket is most likely responsible for the solar catastrophe they so recently witnessed. With this, the Avengers change their strategy and attempt to disable the Squadron Supreme so that they can talk and determine where the rocket launch is taking place in hopes of stopping it before it’s too late.

While the Squadron Supreme puts up a good fight, they are eventually beaten down by the superior might of the Avengers. Leaving all of the Squadron members except Nighthawk in the mansion, the Avengers depart on a mission to find the rocket launch site. When Nighthawk regains consciousness in the middle of their flight, the Avengers explain the situation to him. Unable to explain why, Nighthawk believes their story and directs the Avengers towards the launch site, hoping desperately that they will arrive in time to stop Armageddon.


Black Knight
Black Panther
Scarlet Witch


Squadron Supreme