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Avengers #139: Review

Sep 1975
Steve Englehart, George Tuska

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Prescription: violence

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers #139 Review by (March 23, 2014)
There is some confusion over Doom's time machine. The 1st time we saw it in Fantastic Four #5 it was in his castle in the US, and that's where the Avengers (including Hawkeye) used it in #56 and Annual #2. The Official Index says he built another 1 in his Latverian castle between Marvel Super-Heroes #20 (where he went back to his US castle to use the machine) and these issues and then Marvel Team-Up #41-44 where various characters use the 1 in Latveria. This still doesn't explain why Hawkeye didn't go to the US castle, and why Iron Man assumed he went to Latveria. The simple answer is that the writer and editor forgot about the US castle and assumed Doom's time machine was always in Latveria. The simplest answer that respects the original siting is that Doom didn't build a 2nd time machine, he took the only 1 from the US to Latveria. Otherwise what happened to the US 1? Maybe it's been taken to Area 51? Another question is where's Doom while Avengers are freely wandering around his castle? 1 possibility is that he's on Hydrobase with Sub-Mariner in Supervillain Team-Up #2-4 at this time. But how would the Avengers particularly know that? In fact the simplest explanation of all is that Hawkeye, Iron Man and Moondragon actually go to Doom's US castle. Toad will bounce around, trying various things in the future but never really sticking with any of them. He will come after Scarlet Witch and Vision again in V&SW(1985)#6-7. X-Men Forever will give him a new look, with the prehensile tongue he has in the X-Men film. It isn't clear here but Whirlwind possibly intends to abduct Wasp because he fancies her, as seen in MF and some later stories. He will continue to attack the Avengers, usually as a member of a group. We saw him lately as part of Mandarin's army in Iron Man, and in Spymaster's group in Infinity: The heist.

Human Top was Giant-Man's most persistent foe in Tales to Astonish. He débuted in that run's 1st 2-parter in #50-51, returned in #55 and #59, and was there for the end of the series in another 2-parter #68-69. He reappeared in his new identities as Whirlwind and Jan's chauffeur Charles in Av#46. In #54-55 he was 1 of Ultron's Masters of Evil. He took time in Captain America #130 to be part of Batroc's Brigade then returned here in #83 to rejoin the Masters of Evil, this time working on their own. Then he featured as Charles in #6 and #9 of Ant-Man's strip in Marvel Feature. It is Thor who says that Whirlwind has always proved an elusive Avengers foe. But he wasn't on the team whenever they clashed before. Henry Pym must have developed the Cellular Disruptor gun before the MF run for Charles to have seen what it could do, given that they would have fired him soon after. This also raises the question of how Charles knew about YJ's size problem, given that he himself supposedly didn't discover it until after Captain Marvel #35&37, themselves after the MF series. I don't know what Beast tells YJ that is helpful, unless it is confirmation that Charles' limo is still outside the hospital. Moondragon suggests Daredevil and Captain Marvel also were in love with her. While DD#108 did say she and DD were attracted to each other, I don't believe there was any mention of emotional involvement in CM#31-34. We'll find out in #141 that the mystery woman seeking Beast is Patsy Walker.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #139 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Wasp was critically injured in #137 by Toad disguised as the Stranger. The Avengers unmasked him last issue and now they have brought him to Jan's hospital bed where her distraught husband Yellowjacket demands that the  villain cure her. Toad obviously doesn't know how to do that, and Iron Man and Thor restrain Henry Pym as Jan's doctor orders them out of the room.

Police take Toad away as YJ takes his frustrated anger out on anyone. He blames the doctor for letting them in to disturb the unconscious Wasp. He lashes out at Iron Man when he points out that Hank forced his way in.

The arguments are cut short by an attack by Hank and Jan's old enemy Whirlwind (since his début as Human Top in Tales to Astonish #50), who says he's come take Wasp. The whirling villain gets past all the Avengers and picks up Wasp. But a mind-burst from Moondragon drives him away.

Adding to his understandable frustration, YJ is trying to hide the pain he keeps getting after he used his shrinking power for too long last issue. He leaves his confused friends at the hospital to avoid questions about it.

Iron Man changes the subject and suggests someone should investigate why Hawkeye hasn't returned from his time trip (#137). He elects to take Moondragon with him to go check out Dr Doom's time machine. Chairman Thor objects to the Golden Avenger making decisions without consulting him. IM quips that Thor got to partner with their potential recruit last issue. Now it's his turn to 'evaluate her suitability'.

Outside the hospital Henry finds the Pyms' ex-chauffeur Charles, who we learn was fired after trying to steal Jan's money in Marvel Feature #9 while Wasp and YJ were stuck at insect-size. (Strangely Charles has arrived in uniform and with a limousine.) They still don't know that he is also Whirlwind. And he now approaches Jan's room again as Charles to make another attempt at snatching her, but backs off when he see that Beast and Thor are still there.

En route to Dr Doom's castle im Latveria Iron Man makes a pass at Moondragon. She pretends to respond, only to knock him back. When they get there they find the time-platform absent, which means that Hawkeye must still be in the past.

Elsewhere a woman sees a picture of the new Avengers lineup in a paper and heads out to confront Beast. And on Rurutu island Vision persuades Scarlet Witch it's time they returned to the Avengers.

Back at the main action Hank Pym is at home remembering the good times with Jan, when Whirlwind attacks him. YJ orders a nest of ants to weaken the lawn beneath his enemy's feet, and the whirling villain sinks into a hole. The hero pulls out his new Cellular Disruptor gun (demonstrated in #137) and Whirlwind suddenly flees.

Henry wonders how the baddie knew that the gun would be dangerous to him (normal bullets bounce off his spinning form). He suddenly realises how the villain could have seen it before. He rings the hospital and, after checking that Jan is no worse, asks Beast for confirmation of something.

YJ finds Charles near the hospital and accuses him of being Whirlwind. The ex-chauffeur is 1 of the few people who have seen the Cellular Disruptor before. Charles drops his disguise. He presumably also knows about Pym's current size-changing problem, because he's astonished when YJ grows to giant-size.

But large YJ doesn't have much success catching Whirlwind. So he switches to ant-size, flies inside the villains costume and starts blasting his chest with palm-stingers. Whirlwind is almost beaten, but Hank's pain returns and he falls off the baddie's body. He is just about to get stepped on when Beast arrives an KO's their foe.

Beast carries the unconscious villain off as Yellowjacket accompanies him, still not wanting to tell anyone about the pain he keeps getting.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

George Tuska
Vince Colletta
Phil Rachelson
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Irv Watanabe.
Editor: Len Wein.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)

(Clint Barton)

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Toad (Mortimer Toynbee), Whirlwind (David Cannon).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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