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Amazing Adventures #8: Review

Sep 1971
Roy Thomas, Neal Adams

Story Name:

An Hour for Thunder!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Amazing Adventures #8 Review by (March 12, 2024)

Review: And there is an interesting denouement to the Inhumans story arc: the Inhumans are useless. It is Thor who resolves everything, the Inhumans are there only to provoke some actiony page filler. And Black Bolt is locked up all the way until the last two panels. All the necessary plot bits are Thor, Dibbs, and Roscoe. And then there’s the big mystery: how did Dibbs know that Roscoe could imitate Black Bolt’s powers by wearing his costume? Did the reader have any means of knowing this? Was it mentioned in any previous Inhumans stories? Whatever the reason, it gives the tale a shocking (no pun intended) climax and closes out the story nicely, if a bit too conveniently.  

Wait, what? Enough plot for a three-issue story arc has been crammed into ten pages while adding an oddball new bad guy with terrible clothing sense who is sacrificed to the whims of the publishing world. Post-mortem: This Black Widow series was halfway decent but needed more snap to it; it started off slowly and never really caught on. And it was no favor to pair it with the larger-than-life Inhumans and their world-shattering exploits. Maybe that’s why Natasha works best in a team, balancing the other members. On her own, she is best in limited series, tightly written and with a focused plot.

Comments: Inhumans story: Part four of seven parts. The Avengers apparently don’t know who the Inhumans are, though that won’t be the case for much longer. Does Tony Stark really create gun hands for anyone who asks?

Black Widow story: Last Black Widow story in this title; her next regular appearance is in DAREDEVIL #81-124 as that hero’s partner. The title is a play on the beginning of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Only appearance of the Watchlord. Ivan Petrovich refers to horror film star Bela Lugosi, the Looney Tunes cartoon series, newspaper feature/radio show RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT, escape artist Harry Houdini, action film star Errol Flynn, Russian actor Akim Tamiroff, and western star Gene Autry. Letterer Jean Simek credited as Jean Izzo.

The letters page includes one by a John D. Warner, who is likely the future writer/editor, known for editing Marvel’s black and white magazines in the 1970s and writing Son of Satan’s series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Adventures #8 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At Avengers Mansion, the heroic team (Captain America, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Goliath (Clint Barton)) watches on television as the events in San Francisco unfold. They consider heading out to the West Coast to avert a catastrophe but Thor says them nay. The God of Thunder tells them he must go alone to deal with this matter for unspecified reasons; Cap tells the others Thor can be trusted so he goes….

As the disguised Medusa, Gorgon, and Karnak watch from a distance, Lionel Dibbs tells the crowd that for years, his people have protested the terrible living conditions in this neighborhood but had never seen any action. So now Dibbs makes a gesture, Black Bolt opens his mouth and buildings fall. The Inhumans are shocked that their king would use his power in the service of violence. A delegate from the Mayor pleads with Dibbs but he won’t listen: he had vowed to see these tenements torn down before he died and today that has become a reality. The tanks fires a smoke bomb at the National Guard and the Inhumans rush forward, hoping the sight of them will shock BB out of his amnesia. The Inhumans battle the militants and then Thor arrives. He announces the militants are under his protection; Medusa wraps him in her hair and Karnak strikes at Thor’s wrist, causing him to drop Mjolnir….

Joey escapes from the room where Dibbs has him a prisoner and he kicks the chair out from under the guard who falls and thumps his head. Then Joey checks on the other prisoner and discovers [Spoiler: Black Bolt]….

Gorgon kicks Thor, hurling him a distance. Dibbs removes his prosthetic hand to reveal his gun; Medusa wraps him up, the National Guard arrives in force and Thor, to simplify matters, calls down a thunderstorm that scatters the soldiers. Thor then confronts Dibbs, telling him he understands the man’s anger and pain; Dibbs doesn’t believe him but we find out how: it was Dr. Don Blake who told Dibbs he was dying of cancer and had only two months to live as well as amputating his diseased hand. At that time, Dibbs mentioned going to Tony Stark for a new hand for his next move. Dibbs calls to Black Bolt to destroy the rest of the tenements. By now the Inhumans are close enough to see that it is an impostor wearing Black Bolt’s suit. The fake BB, Roscoe, draws on the suit’s power to emit another shout but the suit’s feedback kills him….

Joey and the real BB watch the news in a television store window and discover the results of the day’s protest. They learn Roscoe is dead and that Lionel Dibbs has been arrested and will face trial in two months—which made him smile…. 

Story continues in AVENGERS #95.

“How Shall I Kill Thee? Let Me Count the Ways!” 3/5
Writer: Roy Thomas. Plot: Gerry Conway. Pencils: Don Heck. Inks: Bill Everett. Colors: ? Letters: Jean Simek.

Synopsis: Black Widow receives an urgent call from Ivan Petrovich, summoning her to a remote hunting lodge. She enters and rings the bell and is immediately attacked by two men in red-and-gold armor; she holds them off…until their master arrives and stuns her with a blast. The Watchlord then causes the planks in the floor to surround her and put her in a strait-jacket. She sees Ivan Petrovich held securely to the ceiling by a strange wooden device. Watchlord explains that he was a German war orphan whose parents were killed by the Russians; a friendly priest hid him in a warehouse where the Nazis had been experimenting with radioactive isotopes. Exposure gave the boy the power to mentally alter inanimate objects; he is pursuing the goal of exterminating all Russians in the United States—even the ones who fled the Communists (Nat asked). He then mentally sets the lodge on fire and departs. Natasha wriggles around until she can free a hand and shoot Ivan free with her bite. He frees her and they escape the burning lodge; they come upon the Watchlord’s henchmen and overpower them in a scuffle. Natasha pursues the baddie but he sees her first and has tree roots and branches try to grab her before calling a huge rock down the hill. She jumps out of the way but a shot from the bad guy grazes her head. As the Watchlord takes better aim, boulders that he had inadvertently loosened roll down the hill and crush him. Natasha wonders, did he bring his fate on himself…or was it her curse?

Neal Adams
John Verpoorten
Neal Adams
Neal Adams (Cover Penciler)
Neal Adams (Cover Inker)
Neal Adams (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Ivan Petrovich
Ivan Petrovich

(Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Goliath (Clint Barton).

> Amazing Adventures: Book info and issue index

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