Avengers #259-261 (1985): Secret Wars II tie-in

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I’m not a big fan of SW2.  But it’s worth it to see Herc punch out Beyonder.

The Avengers go to space to help Captain Marvel in a space war, and Firelord tags along to make amends for all the wreckage he caused last issue (and in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man).  And Black Knight asks the deep questions.IMG_1078

Once there, they join up with Marvel and the Skrulls to take on Nebula, a powerful villain from the Titan galaxy—home of Starfox and Thanos.  Nebula is using Thanos’ craft, the Sanctuary II, to boost her power.  It would have been cool for Firelord to join the team, but I guess with Hercules, Thor and Starfox, they’re already pretty over-powered.

In one cool sequence, the Skrulls shape-shift to look like Thanos and the Avengers to fool and frighten to crew of the Sanctuary II.

Firelord learns that Nebula destroyed his home planet and seeks revenge.  Which makes sense, since he gave up his own life to become a herald in order to save his planet from Galactus, and then Nebula blows it up anyway.  But she easily defeats him, which leads to an interaction with Beyonder (who was supposed to be hanging out on Earth learning to be human, but now he’s working with a Xandarian galaxies away).

And then in a literal deus ex machina, Beyonder joins the fray and easily ends the battle.

The closeout to this story takes place after the Avengers/FF annuals in which the Skrulls’ genetic codes were altered and they got stuck in whatever form they were occupying at the time.

The Avengers are still in space, and it is basically just an issue showing them flying home.  Starfox decides to quit the team, and Firelord decides that the two of them should bromance and road trip together.  So, they decide to go chase down Nebula together.  I was never a big fan of Starfox, so I’m not sad to see him go, but it would have been cool for Firelord to replace him on the team.

When the team gets back, they decide that The Beyonder’s Secret Wars II shenanigans are unacceptable and make a decision to hunt him down, but since he’s omnipresent and omnipotent, he appears before them and engages in hand to hand combat.

Absolutely silly.  It ends with Wasp offering Beyonder a position on the team…

And Hercules is the only one who can see how stupid that is.  Hercules.  He’s the deep thinker here.

I love Roger Stern, but it seems like the stench of SWII got on him.  This is a rare misfire in an otherwise glorious run on Avengers.

Creators: Roger Stern and John Buscema
Grade: B- (#259-260); C- (#261)

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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