Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I remember this issue's cover from a house ad, but I don't think I had a copy until now: from 1982, Avengers #225, "The Fall of Avalon" Written by Steven Grant, pencils by Greg LaRocque, inks by Chic Stone.

This was a lot odder than I thought it was going to be, since I knew some of the story from old Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entries. Today's Avengers meeting has an inauspicious start, as Thor gets zapped by a new security system; more troublingly, they don't notice a mysterious cloaked figure entering the mansion behind them. It's Doctor Druid, who's there to give the team "a most urgent and perilous mission," and he doesn't have time to ask nice or take no for an answer, so he hypnotizes the lot and sends them to Avalon! (With the exception of Iron Man, as Druid notes his iron cancels his magic, even though we all know there's probably not that much iron in there.)

The Avengers aren't happy, but are quickly placated by their old teammate, the Black Knight! Hawkeye recaps BK's history for new member She-Hulk, namely that he had been turned to stone by the Enchantress, then his soul had been drawn back in time to his 12th century ancestor, and he had been fighting in the Crusades for the last five years. (It varies from interpretation, but here it seems like BK spent that time fighting monsters defending Avalon, as opposed to fighting in the actual, bloodier Crusades.) Hawkeye also has to be the one to tell him, oh yeah, your stone body was destroyed...

Avalon's leader, Amergin, explains briefly how he used his own ancestor, Dr. Druid, to get the Avengers for help, against the monstrous Fomor. If the Fomor took Avalon, earth would be next, and Thor agrees for the team to fight them.

The Fomor, or Fomorians are based on Celtic mythology, about which I know just about nothing, because Thor got a comic and Leir didn't! If you don't know anything about them, they might as well be the Salem's Seven, though. While the Avengers fight them, Amergin holds the Black Knight in reserve, since they needed to steal the power for their weapon, which I recognized as Prester John's Evil Eye, a device that may have made more appearances than its owner. (I remember its OHOTMU listing too!)

Once the Avengers pull the traditional change of sparring partners, they take down the Fomor fairly quickly; leaving the Fomor to call in their big gun: the giant Balor! Thor and She-Hulk figure they can take him, but are seemingly disintegrated by his giant eye. Meanwhile, in the present, the precognitive Fomor Bres has arrived, ditching his brethren. Druid appeared to be in a trance, and Iron Man still hypnotized, and this was to be continued. Pretty sure Black Knight would be back in the present after the next one, but it would still be like two years before he'd become a regular member, and I think a little longer for Dr. Druid.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Ooh, look! Floating Hawkeye head!