FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE
THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 93 (November 1971)
AVENGERS ROSTER: THOR (Donald Blake, MD), IRON MAN (Tony Stark), CAPTAIN AMERICA (Steve Rogers), ANT-MAN (Hank Pym, PhD), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)
NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
THIS BEACH-HEAD EARTH
Synopsis: We open at Avengers Mansion. Iron Man has summoned Thor, Captain America, the Wasp and Yellow Jacket in response to an alarming and confusing letter that Tony Stark (Iron Man) received. That letter was from Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler, resigning his position since – as we saw last time around – Thor, Iron Man and Captain America expelled the Scarlet Witch, Goliath, Quicksilver and the Vision from the team.
Iron Man, Cap and Thor make it clear they have no idea what Jarvis was talking about. Obviously some imposters threw out the four expelled Avengers using their apparent complicity in Captain Marvel’s flight from S.H.I.E.L.D. as the excuse.
Suddenly the Vision bursts into the room. He has clearly been in a fight and is badly wounded. Before he can tell Thor, Iron Man and Captain America what happened he collapses into unconsciousness. The Big Three get the Vision to the Avengers’ infirmary and are alarmed to realize that he no longer has a pulse.
Ant-Man (Hank Pym, PhD) arrives from Alaska, where he says his wife the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) is laid up with an illness after the Avengers’ recent battle with Kree forces there. Since Ant-Man created Ultron who in turn created the Vision, Hank’s expertise is called upon to see if the Vision can be repaired.
Ant-Man shrinks himself down the most that he can and enters the Vision’s body through the android’s nostrils. This begins an adventure through the Vision’s body in which Ant-Man will face the android’s dangerous artificial defenses. Obviously the whole setup is an intentional homage to the sci fi movie Fantastic Voyage.
After a lengthy mini-epic taking him throughout the Vision’s body Ant-Man at last reaches the android’s brain where he effects repairs that cure the Vision. He also gets momentarily shocked by an unexpected discovery – “WHAT’S THIS?” he exclaims.
Before he can probe further he gets attacked by more of the Vision’s body’s automatic defenses. This distracts him and it left the mystery of what he discovered in the Vision’s brain a puzzle for years.
NOTE: As seen during my issue by issue look at The Celestial Madonna Saga last year, what Ant-Man discovered was a vestige of the Vision’s original android body when he was the Original “Human” Torch in World War Two-era Marvel Comics (then called Timely Comics). It turned out that Ultron secretly overhauled the “dead” android body of the Original Torch into the Vision’s current form, unknown to anyone for years.
Back to the story: With the Vision cured and on the verge of regaining full consciousness, Ant-Man departs, returning to Alaska to take care of the Wasp and resume his crucial research into the Alaskan eco-system.
When the Vision fully recovers, he expresses anger at Thor, Cap and Iron Man over their expulsion of him, the Scarlet Witch, Goliath and Quicksilver. Thor and the others explain to the Vision that they are just as puzzled about that as he is and that imposters obviously are to blame.
They ask Vizh to explain what happened to him and the others. Vision states that when they left Avengers Mansion in Wanda’s (the Scarlet Witch’s) car they headed north to the Upstate New York farm to which Carol Danvers took Captain Marvel in order to hide from the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents trying to arrest him.
When they arrived at the former government facility disguised as a farm they found the place surrounded by tall fencing and with a closed gate at the entrance road. Goliath recklessly passed over the gate and went exploring.
The Vision offered to help the Scarlet Witch over the fence but Quicksilver flew into one of his creepy Scarface-style protective fits about his sister Wanda. The Scarlet Witch enters into the argument on the Vision’s behalf but Vizh, still feeling that his growing attraction to Wanda is pointless since he is an artificial being, backs down.
When Vision, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver finally enter the grounds the Vision accidentally trips a high-tech defensive ray that blasts him out of the sky. He lands on the ground and is paralyzed. As the Avengers are attacked he is still unable to move so he wills himself intangible enough to sink into the Earth, so that he cannot be used as a hostage against his teammates.
While Goliath is still off wandering the farmland, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver find themselves attacked by three members of the Fantastic Four – Mr Fantastic, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm version) and the Thing. The battle is joined.
The three seeming members of the Fantastic Four are really three of the shape-shifting alien race called Skrulls, the ancient enemies of the Kree. These three Skrulls impersonating Mr F, the Thing and the Human Torch were the three captured from the first Skrullian attempt to conquer Earth back in Fantastic Four number 2 (January 1962).
Since then the Fantastic Four assumed the Skrulls were being kept in hypno-captivity at this government facility posing as a farm. It turns out that a Skrull “hyper-beam” was triggered when the Fantastic Four first fought the Super Skrull in their 18th issue (September 1963).
That hyper-beam set off by Super-Skrull woke the three Skrulls out of their hypnotic slumber. Ever since then they alternated between pretending to still be hypnotic captives and using their shape-changing powers to outsmart their government “captors.”
Helped by the fourth Skrull from their war party – who escaped way back in Fantastic Four # 2, the three Skrulls covertly made the farm a secret Skrull outpost on Earth. These three Skrulls also trained themselves, honing their shape-changing abilities to the point where they could reproduce the powers of a Fantastic Four member – one each. (As opposed to the Super Skrull, who had the powers of all four Fantastic Four members at once.)
Thanks to the recent Kree assault on Earth the Skrull agents activated themselves. Since their ancient foes the Kree consider Earth to have strategic value they decided to seize it immediately. The three Skrulls impersonated Thor, Iron Man and Captain America last issue, expelling Wanda, Pietro, Goliath and the Vision from the Avengers.
Back to the action, the Scarlet Witch defeats the bogus Human Torch, but she and Quicksilver are defeated by the bogus Mr Fantastic and Thing. The Vision, still paralyzed, found that he was able to will himself to float very slowly, so he rose above ground in his intangible state and slowly – very slowly – drifted his way south to Avengers Mansion.
By the time he reached the mansion he was able to solidify his body. That was when he burst in on Thor, Iron Man and Captain America before collapsing.
With everyone up to date now, Thor, I.M, Cap and the Vision board an Avengers Quin-Jet and fly off to the Upstate New York farm/ Skrull station.
Meanwhile, back at that site, Goliath encounters the Avengers’ civilian friend Rick Jones. Rick fled Senator Craddock’s hearing against the Avengers last issue because he got a brief flash of his old mental link with Captain Marvel. (See Parts One and Two). That flash let him know that the farm was really a trap and that Mar-Vell and presumably Carol Danvers were captured.
Rick tells Goliath that he has been skulking around the farmland and there is definitely something suspicious about the place. The Skrull version of the Thing shows up and defeats Goliath.
Elsewhere in one of the phony farm buildings the three Skrulls are securing their new captives Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the same high-tech chamber as Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers. Wanda and Quicksilver are in chryo-sleep but the Skrulls have kept Mar-Vell conscious for taunting and interrogation purposes.
When a nearby video-screen shows that the Quin-Jet with Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Vision has landed, the three Skrulls reassume their disguises as Mr Fantastic, the Thing and the Human Torch and leave to attack the newly-arrived Avengers.
While the battle between the Fantastic Skrulls and the Avengers rages, Captain Marvel is able to complete a maneuver he’s been trying bit by bit to escape his high-tech prison. He succeeds and then frees Carol Danvers.
With the Skrulls making their own bid for the Earth Mar-Vell uses parts from the Skrullian lab to start assembling an Omni-Wave Projector. That device can be used for instantaneous communication across the galaxy, for instant teleportation across the galaxy AND as a weapon. Mar-Vell plans to warn his Kree people about the Skrull’s plans.
It turns out that the “Carol Danvers” who led Captain Marvel to this farm/ Skrull station and has seemed to be a fellow captive is really Super-Skrull. He was posing as Carol precisely in hopes that Mar-Vell would assemble an Omni-Wave Projector, a device that the Skrulls have still not been able to create.
Captain Marvel realized it was really Super-Skrull and destroyed the Omni-Wave Projector before it could fall into Skrullian hands. Super-Skrull and Captain Marvel now fight each other while the Fantastic Skrulls continue fighting the Avengers outside on the farm grounds.
Eventually Super-Skrull defeats Captain Marvel and gasses him into sleep. The Avengers defeat the Fantastic Skrulls and – seeing this on the viewscreen – the Super Skrull decides it is time to leave with his three captives.
The farm’s “barn” turns out to be a disguised space ship and with the Skrull piloting it it starts to rise toward the sky. Goliath comes to after having been knocked out by the fake Thing earlier and leaps on the rising craft, trying to drag it back to the Earth.
Unfortunately it’s been several days since Goliath drank any of the liquid serum with Pym Particles – the serum which lets him grow like it used to do with Hank Pym when he was Goliath. Goliath shrinks back to normal size and falls off the Super Skrull’s spaceship. Thor is forced to cut short his pursuit of the Skrull craft to save the falling Goliath. The ship darts off at hyper-speed for an unknown location.
The Avengers plus Rick Jones mull over the grim situation: Earth being fought over by two super-advanced alien races, Senator Craddock’s investigation against the Avengers still ongoing and now the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Captain Marvel are captives of the Super-Skrull. +++
I’LL COVER THE NEXT ISSUE SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY EXAMINATION OF THE 13-PART BLACK PANTHER STORY TITLED PANTHER’S RAGE CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE LIST OF ATLAS/ SEABOARD SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MAIN LIST OF CENTAUR COMICS SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
FOR MY ARTICLE ON THE MEMBERS OF INFINITE HORIZON CLICK HERE
FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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