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Avengers #153: Review

Nov 1976
Gerry Conway, John Buscema

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Story Name:

Home is the hero

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #153 Review by (June 4, 2014)
Last issue Scarlet Witch left the team in New Orleans to think about her recently-acquired real witch power. Which doesn't exactly explain why she decided to come looking for the Serpent Crown. Could be it was calling to her, because she was under its influence for a while in #147. Also her now-revealed ability to fly doesn't make it obviously reasonable that she only took 1 hour longer than the quinjet to get from New Orleans to New York. The Living Laser who died in Captain Marvel #35 was said to be a cyborg with artificial insides. But the character's thoughts in that issue suggested he was the real Laser, presumably *converted* to a cyborg. What Wanda doesn't comment on is that Laser now has completely new powers, which will be explained in Annual #6. A caption mentions Whizzer as being in the WWII group Liberty Legion (in the recent Marvel Premiere #29-30). When we 1st met Whizzer in Giant-Size #1 that team was less than a gleam in Roy Thomas' eye. Living Laser admits here he had nothing to do with Wonder Man's resurrection, and doesn't know how it happened. We won't find out more until #160. This issue says it will continue in GS#6, when it actually concludes in Annual #6. This may be just an editorial slip. Or maybe the Annual was *intended* to be GS#6, although it would be nearly a year since the all-reprint GS#5.

Later comment:- In #164 Scarlet Witch will say that she no longer uses a flying belt that Tony Stark provided, because it proved unsafe. This was supposed to explain how she flew (so far and so fast) here, but the editorial comment got mangled. It won't be properly explained until the letters page of #168.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #153 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens with Scarlet Witch flying in to the ruins of the Brand Corporation where the Avengers finished their fight against the Squadron Supreme and the wielders of the Serpent Crown. But the site isn't as deserted as she thought, and a laser beam brings her crashing to the ground. Coincidentally right next to the Serpent Crown she's come looking for.

Another laser beam attack is followed by Living Laser materialising in front of her. Laser boasts revenge for his defeat in #79 (although Wanda didn't have much to with that). But the Witch is more concerned with the fact that he supposedly died after that in Captain Marvel #35. Except LL says that was an android.

Laser grabs the Crown and prepares to kill the Witch. But she's saved by the arrival of some of Brand's armed troops. Laser chooses the better part of valour and disappears in a glow of energy.

An hour earlier the other Avengers arrived home in their quinjet from New Orleans (last issue). They sneak in the back entrance to Avengers Mansion to avoid the crowd and press still waiting to learn what the arrival of a zuvembie Wonder Man meant in #151. Wondy is comatose again after his brief spate of activity last issue. But Vision says his heartbeat has been gradually getting stronger.

Jarvis tells them they have a visitor, Bob Frank the Golden Age Whizzer (in costume), who wants to see Vision. Whizzer is wondering if Wanda, his daughter, can forgive him when the android walks in through the wall. Vision complains that his wife has been worried. They haven't heard from Daddy Frank in the months since the wedding of his son Quicksilver (#127 and Fantastic Four #150).

As Vision explains that Scarlet Witch isn't with the team at the moment, a beam of light hits Bob's eye. And suddenly Whizzer is attacking him. The aged speedster takes on Beast, Captain America and Iron Man too, all the while shouting names such as Isbisa. He manages to defeat them all because they don't want to hurt him, until he's taken down by Wasp and Yellowjacket in his ears. But when they take Whizzer to the lab to examine him they find the place wrecked and Wonder Man gone.

Simon Williams has staggered out of a side entrance to the Mansion, but some of the crowd still spot him and chase him. Still not in his right mind he lashes out at them. But that activity seems to speed up his recovery, and he moves off more purposefully.

This brings us up-to-date, and we rejoin Scarlet Witch at Brand Corp. When the soldiers attacked they recognised Wanda and assumed this was a return visit by the Avengers. Now they intend to capture her for Hugh Jones and Col Baxter (see #149 and previous). The Witch has no intention of going quietly and downs them all with a hex/spell. But 1 guy gets in a lucky shot which wounds her in the arm. And she flies off to warn her team about Living Laser and the Serpent Crown.

Meanwhile Wonder Man seems drawn to a particular alley. And his recovery has progressed to where he's talking normally (but to himself). Then Laser appears wearing the Crown. He explains that it was he who caused Whizzer to hallucinate old enemies instead of Avengers, to give Simon the chance to escape. His new laser-power allowed him to mentally lure WM to this meeting, while he went to find the Crown. Now the Crown gives him even more control, and he sends Wonder Man to kill the Avengers.

This story concludes in ANNUAL #6.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Buscema
Joe Sinnott
Petra Goldberg
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Gerry Conway.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Janet Van Dyne)

(Golden Age)

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