Come On In…The Revolution’s Fine

Avengers #83

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Herb Cooper

Featured Issue: Avengers #83

Plot Summary

While in town to visit an ailing aunt, Janet Van Dyne, formerly known as the Avenger Wasp, decides to pay her old teammates a visit. Little does she know that there has been a change in management at Avengers Mansion. Upon entering the meeting room where the team would hold council, Wasp is greeted by several of her fellow female heroes. Black Widow and Scarlet Witch are old allies, while Madame Medusa is at least known to the Avenger. The groups leader however is new, and introduces herself as Valkyrie. When Wasp questions why they are in Avengers Mansion, Scarlet Witch informs her that the building is now under the control of the Liberators, a new, all female group. Black Widow then ask Wasp to join them for a moment and hear what they have to say.

With that Valkyrie begins to tell her story. Working in a lab for Dr. Erwin, Valkyrie found herself pushed aside and looked down upon by the men she worked with. Determined to prove that she was even  better than they were, Valkyrie worked late into the night and fell asleep while still clutching a smoking test tube. When she awoke, she found that she had gained super human abilities. After that she vows to use her powers to in pursuit of female dominance and begins to call herself Valkyrie.

Although her story is compelling, the assembled women don’t immediately see how the Avengers and other male heroes are to blame for the slights they have suffered. Valkyrie then begins to make the case that in every instance the male heroes have taken the credit and glory for themselves while simultaneously belittling the contributions of the women. Valkyrie points to headlines that refer to “Quicksilver and sister” as well as the fact that Black Widow was repeatedly turned down for membership in the Avengers as evidence to support her argument. One after another, the heroes fall silent as they are unable to refute Valkyrie’s claims. With all of the other women on her side, Valkyrie and the heroes take to the skies in Valkyrie’s chariot in order to attend to their urgent business.

Meanwhile in Rutland, Vermont, the Avengers find themselves the guests of honor of Mr. Tom Fagan, local comics creator and co-founder of the town’s Halloween parade. Little do the Avengers realize that lurking nearby are the Masters of Evil, have recently escaped from prison. Having lead their escape, Klaw now takes control of the team and directs them to kidnap renowned mathematician and expert on parallel time, Dr. T.W. Erwin. As the Masters approach Dr Erwin, Vision notices that they may not be simple revelers in costume, but the real Masters of Evil. With this the Avengers spring into action. Soon the small town of Rutland is engulfed in a vicious life and death struggle between the Avengers and the Masters of Evil with the tide of battle swinging back and forth between the two teams.

It is only with the timely arrival of Valkyrie and her Liberators that victory lies firmly with the Avengers. Unfortunately their victory is short lived as the Liberators quickly turn on the Avengers and take Dr. Erwin into their custody.

Returning to Dr. Erwin’s lab, the Liberators behold the parallel time projector. Having what she truly desires, Valkyrie can no longer keep up her façade and reveals herself to be the mighty sorceress Enchantress. After having been banished along with Executioner, Enchantress is abandoned by her companion when he is seduced by Queen Casiolena. Seeking vengeance at having been spurned, Enchantress swears to take out her rage on all men, everywhere. To further this end Enchantress sought Dr. Erwin’s device in order to return her to Asgard and her full powers.

Just as she is attacked by Scarlet Witch, Enchantress disappears by a means obviously not of her own devising. With that, the device explodes, leaving a smoking crater in the lab. Although the immediate threat is over and the remaining Liberators have been freed from Enchantress’ spell, Scarlet Witch and Wasp still have some choice words for their male counterparts regarding their equal treatment.

Avengers

Black Panther
Black Widow
Goliath
Medusa
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Vision
Wasp

Villains

Enchantress
Masters of Evil
Valkyrie

Hostage!

Avengers #82

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Featured Issue: Avengers #82

 

Plot Summary

In the early hours of September 21st, 1970, the island of Manhattan begins to awake to a new and horrific reality. As the sun rises, the citizenry is stunned to find that they are being held hostage by a small and well armed military force. Although the NYPD make a desperate stand, they are laid low by a gas attack, knocked unconscious by the non-lethal concoction. With the primary form of resistance under control, the army goes about destroying bridges and tunnels and then taking the mayor into custody.

Deep within the White House, the President receives the ransom demands from Aries, leader of the criminal cartel known as Zodiac. Aries makes it clear that he and his forces are in complete control of Manhattan, having just defeated an attempt by Army paratroopers to invade the island in an effort to retake it from Zodiac. Not only was the invasion defeated, but now all the paratroopers have been added to the island’s population as hostages. To make matters worse, Aries displays the motionless figures of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Quicksilver. Aries then demands one billion dollars in ransom or else he will begin to execute the entire population of the island. As the news makes its way across the nation, the remaining Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man all wonder what kind of help they might be able to render from outside the ensnared island.

Unbeknownst to the invading army, the Avenger, Black Panther remains free and on the run. Having recently aided Daredevil, Black Panther heads to Hell’s Kitchen in order to again illicit his aid in saving the city. Unfortunately, Daredevil’s alter ego, Assistant District Attorney Matt Murdock is wanted by the occupying army. Just as they are about to take him in to custody, Black Panther kills the lights in Murdock’s office allowing Daredevil to make quick work of the two soldiers. Black Panther then quickly catches Daredevil up on the current situation and that to the best of his knowledge the pair are the only two heroes left free in Manhattan. The duo decide that their first objective should be to rescue the Avengers from the television studio where they were being held.

Smashing their way through a skylight, Daredevil and Black Panther eliminate the waiting guards. Unfortunately for them, Aries had foreseen this possibility and moved the Avengers away from the studio shortly after recording his ransom message. Although he faces the heroes alone, Aries still holds the Key to the Zodiac, his supremely powerful badge of office. Using the emblem, Aries destroys the station, knocking out Black Panther. Fortunately for Black Panther, Daredevil faired better and manages to drag his comrade out of the burning building.

Knowing that his position is vulnerable, Aries decides to make an example of the captive Avengers as punishment for Daredevil and Black Panther’s defiance. Soon, Zodiac’s army has rounded up thousands of New Yorkers and herded them in to Madison Square Garden in order to watch the execution. Among those in the crowd is Daredevil, once again in the guise of his alter ego, Matt Murdock. When Aries’ plan becomes clear, Murdock begins to rouse the crowd into an angry mob, hoping to overwhelm their captors. While some members of the crowd join in, others are too afraid to resist. Murdock is quickly taken captive by the soldiers, but not before launching a fine wire out of his cane and into the machine holding the Avengers in suspended animation, causing it to fail. No longer immobilized, the Avengers break free of their restraints and with the help of Black Panther and Daredevil, quickly route Zodiac’s army. Aware that he is rapidly losing control of the situation, Aries flees in his aircraft but is pursued by Thor. Before the Asgardian Avenger is able to stop him, Aries directs the nerve paralyzing force field around the island to begin closing in, attempting to kill everyone in Manhattan. Thor then manages to land on the aircraft and using his enormous power, destroys the plane and shutting down the field. With their leader gone and a counter attack sure to begin any moment, Zodiac’s army surrenders to the Army. Back at Avengers Mansion, the reunited team realizes that their various missions were all related as Cornelius Van Lunt was using his land in order to train the invasion force. When the Avengers thwarted Van Lunt’s plans, Zodiac was forced to move up their time table so they wouldn’t be detected by the Native Americans. Their mission complete, Daredevil says he farewells and takes leave of the Avengers.

Avengers

Black Panther
Captain America
Daredevil
Iron Man
Quicksilver
Thor

Villains

Aries
Zodiac