Lo! The Lethal Legion

Avengers #79

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Art Simek

Featured Issue: Avengers #79

Plot Summary

In Avengers Mansion, reserve members Iron Man and Thor arrive, responding to the emergency summons of their fellow Avengers. The pair can only surmise that something major must be happening based on the grim expressions on everyone’s faces. With pleasantries out of the way Captain America declares that the team must stand together or else they will almost certainly fall. Noting that Black Panther is missing, Cap recalls the attack he suffered at the hands of M’Baku and the solo mission on which Black Panther embarked. Based on the available evidence the Avengers are forced to conclude that they face not just one villain but a cabal of such rogues. Before the Avengers can formulate a plan, Scarlet Witch points out that Black Panther has recently begun teaching at a local school and that classes were about to start in a few short minutes. Quickly donning a disguise, Vision volunteers to inform the schools administration that Black Panther’s alias, Luke Charles, will not be in class today. As the synthazoid departs, Iron Man wonders if the villains were having a similar meeting in which the fate of the Avengers was being decided.

Little does Iron Man realize how correct he really is. Though they are meeting in similar fashion, the Lethal Legion fill the room with their contempt for one another. Melodramatically grandstanding in front of the others, Grim Reaper attempts to remind the assembled villains that it was he who was responsible for the formation of their team. Reaper takes things a step too far when he claims credit for the capture of Black Panther and Monica Lynn. M’Baku promptly interrupts Reaper and demands to know why they have yet to kill Black Panther. Grim Reaper responds that it would be much more fitting that all the Avengers die together and proceeds to give orders to the rest of the team in preparation for ambushing the Avengers in their mansion. With this the villains depart.

Almost the moment Grim Reaper leaves the room, the force field imprisoning Black Panther and Monica Lynn disappears. Not waiting for an explanation to the fortuitous event, Black Panther smashes his way out of the restraints and begins to scour the base for a transmitter in order to warn the Avengers of the imminent attack. Managing to contact his teammates, he informs the Avengers of the Prometheus Priority alert. Just as he finishes explaining the situation to the Avengers, Black Panther’s transmission is cut off by Grim Reaper. Unknown to the Avenger, Reaper had set him up and allowed him to escape and contact the Avengers as part of his master plan. While Black Panther lands pummeling blows on Grim Reaper, the deadly villain reveals that he has been training and preparing. To back up his words, Grim Reaper unexpectedly gases Panther and Monica Lynn in to unconsciousness.

At Andrew Jackson High School, Vision arrives to complete his mission. Although he successfully covers for Black Panther in his absence, his visage isn’t quite as convincing as he believed and his chilling, inhuman voice leaves the secretary haunted and flustered.

In the sewers beneath Avengers Mansion Goliath and Scarlet Witch begin their search for the villains they know to be lurking. Unfortunately for them, the pair of Swordsman and Power Man lay in waiting, using a high intensity light beam to blind the heroic duo. Although Power Man is able to take advantage of Goliath’s momentary disability, Scarlet Witch uses Swordsman’s voice to locate him and rain down hex bolts on him. As Goliath regains his sight he is able to turn the tables on Power Man and the villains find themselves on the verge of defeat until Swordsman gases the heroes.

Meanwhile, Captain America and Quicksilver explore the power station. The Avengers suddenly find themselves under attack from M’Baku and the Living Laser. While Cap and M’Baku square off in a rematch of their earlier encounter, the Living Laser attempts to demolish Quicksilver. Unable to keep up with Quicksilver, Living Laser gets lucky when debris from his attacks manages to trip up Quicksilver, removing him from the fight. Meanwhile Cap is overwhelmed when M’Baku uses damaged equipment to shatter the hydraulic generators behind Cap, nearly drowning the star-spangled Avenger.

Returning to their lair, the Lethal Legion imprisons the disabled Avengers within a mammoth hourglass. The hourglass is then slowly filled with a toxic vapor as Grim Reaper watches excitedly, vengeance for the death of his brother so close at hand. As the vapors continue to collect, Power Man returns dragging Vision along with him. The Legionnaires decide to throw him in with the others, hoping he would also die. Along with Vision, Power Man returns with secret files about each of the Avengers. As Grim Reaper reads the files, he discovers that Vision’s brain pattern is based on that of his deceased brother, Wonder Man. Panicking and terrified of losing his brother yet again, Grim Reaper smashes open the hourglass, saving the heroes. As Vision crawls out, gasping for air, M’Baku realizes that Vision is not who he seems to be, but is in fact Power Man. His cover blown, Vision abandons his Power Man disguise and attacks, shattering Swordsman’s sword. Soon the rest of the Avengers join the fight, admitting they were playing along. Black Panther’s use of the Prometheus Priority informed the Avengers that they were walking into traps and as such they were prepared. With the Lethal Legion defeated, Vision stuns the Avengers by announcing his departure from the team. His feelings of alienation and lack of humanity have finally caught up with him and Vision must go and find his place in the universe.


Black Panther
Captain America
Iron Man
Scarlet Witch


Grim Reaper
Living Laser
Power Man

Mightier Than The Sword?

Avengers #65Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Gene Colan
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Featured Issue: Avengers #65

Plot Summary

The villainous Swordsman slashes his way through a rooftop billboard and makes his way to a warehouse, where he answers a summons from an unknown client. Upon his arrival, Swordsman finds Egghead is behind the offer, and Egghead attempts ingratiate himself with the swashbuckler by informing him of the identity of the Avenger known as Hawkeye. Much as Swordsman suspected, the heroic archer is none other than his former apprentice, Clint Barton. Having filled in the details of their past relationship, Egghead hires Swordsman to kidnap his longtime foe, Goliath. At Avengers Mansion, a black mood has settled over the Avengers. After the fateful conclusion of the events on the space station, the heroes discovered that their deceased informant, Barney Barton was the older brother of their friend and teammate, Goliath. When pressed, Goliath fills in the Avengers about the last time he and his brother parted ways. In spite of the words of his compatriots Goliath’s mood cannot be lifted and he is wholly bent on avenging his fallen brother. Unfortunately, their grief is interrupted by the arrival of Swordsman, who manages to gain access to the mansion using his old access codes. Given his mental state and the connections between his past and Swordsman, Goliath refuses to allow his fellow Avengers to help him take on Swordsman, going so far as to attack his fellow Avengers to prevent them from interfering. All this serves to do is allow Swordsman to defeat Goliath and abduct the oversized hero.

Rather regrettably, Egghead failed to be more specific when giving orders to Swordsman. As such, Swordsman kidnapped the wrong Avenger, not knowing that Hawkeye was Goliath and Goliath now Yellowjacket. When Egghead discovers Swordsman’s mistake the two villains throw themselves at one another in rage. During the scuffle Goliath awakens, just as Egghead uses a stun weapon to force Swordsman out a window. Quickly disabling Egghead, Goliath assembles a makeshift bow and rescues Swordsman, moments before he would have perished against the pavement below. Thinking back on his actions, Goliath decides that his actions are in atonement for giving up on his ne’er-do-well brother. Had he done differently, Barney might still be alive.


Black Panther