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Flashback: Review of Avengers 248 (October 1984) June 9, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, Flashback.
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In Flashback, LOTRKing reviews a random back issue (in most instances, one he hasn’t read before) and attempts to make sense of both the story and its place in Marvel history.

As much as I’d like to say that this issue’s involvement of Eternals was done purposefully to relate to this week’s release of Eternals #1, I have to admit that it was purely coincidental. Still, that’s a pretty cool coincidence. The issue starts off in the middle of an ongoing story with the Scarlet Witch and the Vision searching for a villain named Maelstrom who had kidnapped the Wasp and Captain Marvel (Frankie Raye, not Mar-Vell). Before they actually rescue them, we get a rather odd scene as Vision returns from a reconnaissance mission, accidentally scares Wanda, and then the two have a bit of a lover’s spat. What makes this scene odd is at the very end when Vision is hugging and comforting her, he reassures her that she is “very important” and has a very evil looking grin while saying this (she has her face buried in his shoulder so does not see it). I’m not sure if it was just a blunder in drawing his face, or if the Vision was under control of an evil entity (likely Ultron) to be revealed in a later issue, but if it was purposeful, it certainly was a good use of foreshadowing, and I for one want to know what’s going on (though I’m not going to dig through the next several issues to find out).

After this, we see Maelstrom who, in one of the common “bad guy reveals his master plan to doomed hero speeches,” tells us that he has tricked all the Eternals into transforming into one fused “Uni-Mind,” and the he intends to use a machine to transfer all of their wisdom and power into himself, but killing them in the process. (I’m assuming he wants to do this to take over the world, or something, he never really gives a good motivation other than wanting power.) Of course, the Vision shows up and messes up the transfer while Wanda frees the Eternals. With Wasp and Captain Marvel freed as well, the issue heads into its obligatory fight scene with all of the “goodies” taking on the “baddie.” You’d think it’d be a quick win for the good guys seeing as how Maelstrom is severely outnumbered, but it turns out that apart from being very tall, he also has the power to absorb and manipulate kinetic energy, therefore draining most heroes of their energy when they get close. Once the heroes figure this out, they simply use non-kinetic attacks, and Maelstrom is quickly weakened. Sensing his imminent defeat, Maelstrom summons Death-Urge, a sentry of his who had been stationed on a nearby tower, who throws a mysterious Ebon spear which passes through Starfox’s hand (leaving it cold and lifeless) before completely passing (bloodlessly) through Maelstrom, seemingly killing him and making his body as black as carbon. Captain Marvel attempts to capture Death-Urge, but he becomes immaterial and sinks through the ground faster than she can catch him.

After this, a large portion of the Eternals reform the Uni-Mind and leave Earth, while leaving Ikaris, Thena, Makkari, Starfox, and a few others behind (I’m assuming this was resolution to events in earlier issues). Their adventure seemingly over, the Avengers and Eternals return to the Quinjet to leave to New York. In an interesting epilogue, we see Death-Urge return to an underground bunker containing several tubes each containing a body of Maelstrom while Death-Urge vows to continue serving “until all of his lives have been lived.”

Overall, this issue was nothing spectacular, but it was by no means horrible either. The story was fairly entertaining even if the villain (at first) seemed to fit the stereotypical villain mold and the art was very well done. Allen Milgrom (the penciler) made the actions scenes very dynamic and did a wonderful job in conveying the story. Likewise, with the exception of Maelstrom’s facial expression when he realized he was losing, the characters never looked cartoony, and that’s always a plus in my book. So if you enjoy Eternals #1 this week (I thought it was pretty interesting) and you feel like picking up one of their older adventures with the Avengers, this issue certainly wouldn’t be a bad one to look into.

Next week: Uncanny X-Men 92