The Warlord And The Witch

Avengers #75

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

Featured Issue: Avengers #75

Plot Summary

Panic races through the heart of Jarvis, butler and caretaker of Avengers Mansion. An alarm has been tripped indicating an intruder in the headquarters aircraft section. To his shock and concern, the invader seems to be hurtling past all of the Mansions defenses at unimaginable speed, quickly arriving before the astonished servant. The culprit is none other than the mutant speedster and former Avengers, Quicksilver. Demanding to know where the Avengers are, Jarvis informs him that they are away at Pier 12. Quicksilver begins to rest from his long journey but is driven to action at Jarvis’ mere mention of Quicksilver’s sister, the Scarlet Witch.

At the pier, the Avengers are seeing off their teammates Yellowjacket and Wasp, along with Bill Foster. Yellowjacket has accepted a research position in Alaska and the trio’s ship is preparing to set sail. As the vessel departs, the remaining Avengers notice a strong breeze suddenly sweeping through the area. Captain America rightly determines that the breeze is no accident but instead caused by someone moving at high speed. Instead of trying to talk to Quicksilver, Goliath takes the impulsive action to attack. Quicksilver makes short work of most of the Avengers, but when he tries to knock over Vision, the mass-changing android manages to stop Pietro dead in his tracks.

As cooler heads prevail, Quicksilver explains that the reason for his haste and temperament is that Scarlet Witch is in dire peril and that he has come to ask the aid of the Avengers in saving her. Having lost her hex powers many months earlier, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Toad journeyed on a quest attempting to restore Wanda’s lost powers. After scouring every library they could find, Toad suggests they try a cloister that he had forgotten about until just then. When the trio arrive they are greeted by an ancient figure who offers they access to the library, but warns them not to attempt any restorations without him present for fear that they could not handle it alone. After many hours and just when they were on the verge of abandoning their search, Pietro accidentally discovered a hidden compartment with yet another book. The siblings both feel that the book is calling to them and that the book itself in enchanted, turning pages all on its own until it reveals a nameless spell. Failing to heed the counsel of their host, Wanda reads the spell and inadvertently summons Arkon the Magnificent.

Almost immediately Arkon’s gaze seizes upon Scarlet Witch and he declares her his mate. When this does not go over well with the trio of mutants, they attack Arkon, but are hurled back with Arkon seemingly destroying Toad with a lightning bolt shaped javelin. With his attackers subdued, Arkon goes on to tell Scarlet Witch that he has come from a parallel Earth where he is the magnificent ruler of the world, having earned this position by being the most powerful warrior in their brutal and martial society. After obtaining power Arkon is visited by an elderly man who informs him of a pending doom for his planet. An energy ring which surrounds their world and provides it with light has begun to disintegrate. Soon all life on the planet has begun to break down and even Arkon is unable to stop the decay of his home. Then suddenly, when all hope seemed lost, light returned to their world. Summoning the elder again, Arkon demands to know where this light came from. He soon learns that it has been generated by the energy from a nuclear blast on Earth and that the light will only last for a year. The elder goes on to say that although the people of Earth use the weapon for war, they are quickly turning towards peace, a peace which will once again endanger his world. Seeking to prevent this, Arkon is determined to travel to Earth so that a properly placed nuclear blast of sufficient magnitude can provide light for generations. Being unable to travel there of his own power, he caused the book to appear to Scarlet Witch, thus leading her to read the required incantation to bring Arkon to Earth. His tale complete, Arkon uses another one of his lightning bolts to transport Scarlet Witch to his home and then quickly follows suit.

Back in New York, Quicksilver finishes relaying everything that has happened to the Avengers. While they are concerned, the Avengers feel that Quicksilver’s story is a bit beyond belief. That is until a news report comes across the television claiming that a man wielding lightning bolts has attacked a meeting of top international scientists. Arkon singles out the top nuclear physicists in the group and teleports them away, leaving the world shocked and worried what nuclear horrors are in store.

Avengers

Black Panther
Captain America
Goliath
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Vision
Wasp
Yellowjacket

Villains

Arkon The Magnificent

Pursue The Panther

Avengers #74

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

Featured Issue: Avengers #74

Plot Summary

Staring intently at the TV, the Avengers cannot believe what they are hearing. The news announcer informs the audience that the Black Panther has turned to a life of crime and the Avengers take it upon themselves to capture him, less they also be considered criminals. So far his criminal acts to date have all been directed towards those suspected of supporting the Sons of the Serpent. The news anchor states that this must imply Black Panther is African-American and that he is leading a new form of militant. The Avengers contest this assessment as it goes against the character of the man they know, but again the news shows Black Panther actively involved in crimes and fighting back against the police. Concluding the broadcast is a recently received tape from the Supreme Serpent. The villainous leader slanders the Avengers before declaring that the Sons will unmask Black Panther within a few short hours.

In the bowels of the Sons’ submarine Black Panther is forced to watch the broadcast, driving him to further frustration. The Panther is disgusted by the idea of being used to incite civil unrest or even a civil war and declares his intention to obtain his freedom. Adding insult to injury, the news report is followed up by a new episode of the Dan Dunn Show. Dunn immediately begins to provoke Hale by demanding to know what he will do when Black Panther is unmasked to be an African-American. Although Monica Lynne tries to argue that these are the actions of a single man, Dunn vehemently insists that it is a referendum on the cause of all African-Americans. Further, Dunn manages to maneuver Hale into a position that he knows will compromise Hale. Dunn finally provokes Hale to the point where he physically attacks Dunn. Even within the television station’s control room racial tensions are already beginning to flare to a dangerous point. As Black Panther watches, he correctly judges the basics of the Sons’ plan and the precarious position he finds himself in. The Supreme Serpent informs him that soon he will be used to ignite the national powder keg.

The Avengers have taken to the streets in an attempt to hunt down their wayward teammate, dividing in order to cover more ground with their limited time. Vision pass through the ground in order to walk through the sewers while Yellowjacket is swarmed by autograph seeking teens. In order to get back to his work, Yellowjacket is forced to shrink so that he can make his escape. Goliath has a less pleasant experience as he is mocked up passers-by and confronted by a police officer directing traffic. Only Wasp is successful in her mission to find Black Panther, discovering him while robs a jewelry store and assaults the salesman. Wasp takes a moment to inform the rest of the Avengers and then confronts her wayward teammate. As she fights with him, Wasp begins to suspect that this Black Panther is not the real one. Soon she is joined by Goliath who climbs the side of the building in order to reach the scene faster. Although Black Panther manages to avoid Goliath, he encounters the remaining Avengers on the roof and is saved only by the timely arrival of an escape vehicle. On their way out, the aircraft blasts Goliath with gas grenades causing him to fall off the roof, taking large parts of the building with him. Goliath is saved by Vision’s quick thinking and mass shifting.

Back at Avengers Mansion, the team is visited by Monica Lynne. Ms. Lynne arrives just as the Supreme Serpent begins his speech and informs the Avengers about her encounter with Black Panther. The team determines that they have mere minutes to prevent the Supreme Serpent from unmasking Black Panther and starting a national race war. They are able to make it to the abandoned television station just as the Supreme Serpent is finishing his speech. Fighting off several guards, the Avengers and Ms. Lynne make their way into the studio in time to see an imposter Black Panther unmasked. Vision is able to locate the real Black Panther and free him in time to further unmask the imposter as a white man wearing a mask. In the chaos that ensues, the Avengers gain the upper hand and unmask the Supreme Serpent and his lieutenant as none other than Dan Dunn and Montague Hale. The pair admit that they had no other motivation than obtaining power for themselves at any price. As the dust clear on the scene Monica Lynne decides that she will abandon her singing career for one as a leader in the civil rights movement.

Avengers

Black Panther
Goliath
Vision
Wasp
Yellowjacket

Villains

Sons of the Serpent