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Avengers #161: Review

Jul 1977
Jim Shooter, George Perez

Story Name:

Beware the Ant-Man!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #161 Review by (February 27, 2010)
Part one of a two-part story. Ant-Man can take on all the Avengers? Ant-Man?

Avengers #161 Review by (July 1, 2014)
Hawkeye and Two-Gun Kid struck out on their own in #147. Since then they faced Purple Man in Marvel Tales #100, Hawkeye popped back to Avengers Mansion when Cap was dying in the out-of-sequence #145-146, and the duo teamed up with the Champions in their #11. Captain America also tries to contact Quicksilver and Thor. Quicksilver doesn't respond because Attilan has been destroyed in the Inhumans' 1st series. Although he and wife Crystal remained behind when the Inhuman royal family left for space, there is no communication device left working in the Hidden Refuge. Thor is also in space, sent back there by Collector after last issue. Ultron says he survived his destruction in Attilan in Fantastic Four #150, witnessed by some of these Avengers, because he was rebuilt by previously-conditioned minions (probably some the Inhumans' Alpha Primitives). He also mentions a bargain with Grim Reaper - so Ultron is the tech-supplier GR mentioned last issue. In fact Ultron has been meddling with the Avengers for a while, according to the Official Index. He was the 'silver shadow' involved in the revival of Wonder Man in #151-152. His was the silver metal hand that animated the Black Knight statue in #157. And he was behind Grim Reaper's attack last issue.

Because Ant-Man thinks it's just after #1 he doesn't recognise any of the group. Iron Man had a totally different bulky yellow armour, and apart from his partner Wasp the other members should be Hulk and Thor. Captain America was presumed dead since WWII, and the rest of the crew hadn't been invented yet. Wasp wears a new costume designed to perk her husband's interest. She never wears it again, probably because of the memory of what happens next issue. Here Jim Shooter starts to develop Hank Pym's mental problems (from #59-60 where he adopted a 2nd personality as Yellowjacket) which will eventually get him fired from the team. The subliminal recall inducer has been used before in #26 and #99.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #161 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As the Avengers witness the unveiling of Wonder Man’s new costume, Ant-man arrives for "the first official meeting of the Avengers" and demands to know who these strangers are with Iron Man. With his swarm of trained ants and his growth momentum, he gives his puzzled teammates a hard time until the Wasp appears and knocks him out. Jan explains that Hank has been struggling with tough times lately: his growing discomfort with the hero role, setbacks in his research, and insecurity over being supported by his wife, leading him to a breakdown. When Beast drives Jan home to pick up some items that may snap Hank out of his amnesia, she is captured by an unexpected foe. Back at the Mansion, nothing seems to be helping Hank recall his lost memories. Captain America puts out a call for the absent Avengers, but none answers, especially Hawkeye, who is relaxing at a dude ranch with the Two-Gun Kid. Back at the Mansion, a critically injured Beast is barely able to get out a warning when Ultron explodes through the floor, blasting apart the Vision and absorbing Iron Man’s energy. He fires encephalo rays to shoot down Beast and Wonder Man. Scarlet Witch uses her special powers to collapse part of the mansion on the enemy robot but when she is distracted by Cap, the villain seizes the opportunity to shoot them down as well. His final act is to capture his "father" Ant-Man and blast through the ceiling. Later, Jarvis returns to a scene of carnage….

Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, Ant-Man (Hank Pym), Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast, Wonder Man, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Two-Gun Kid.

George Perez
Pablo Marcos
Jim Shooter
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Pablo Marcos (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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