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Avengers #183: Review

May 1979
David Michelinie, John Byrne

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Story Name:

The redoubtable return of Crusher Creel

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #183 Review by (December 11, 2014)
The price rises to 40 cents this issue. Most of the other Avengers have publicly known identities (or in Cap's case known to the authorities). But if Gyrich is worried about confirming it's the same person under the mask each time what does he do about verifying who's in the Iron Man suit, given that IM's identity is secret? Since Tony Stark bankrolls the team, maybe the government just accept his 'bodyguard' who might *not* be the same person all the time. Tony is fed up with Gyrich and wishes he had a drink. This ties in to the current Iron Man issues that David Michelinie is also writing. There Stark's liking for booze is being played up, and will culminate (at least for now) in the 'Demon in a bottle' story in IM#128. Ms Marvel has only been in existence (in superheroine mode) for 23 issues of her own mag but she's already clocked up 7 guest shots in the Avengers (not to mention a costume change, several appearances in Defenders and Marvel Team-Up and a single app in Spectacular Spider-Man, so I won't), so she feels like a team member already. (So Shellhead doesn't object to her like he does to the 'untested' Falcon.) Falcon on the other hand has been around since Captain America #117, became Cap's partner-in-crimebusting in CA#133, with his name added to the masthead #134-222. But in all that time he only accompanied Cap into these pages in 3 issues, #88, #141, and #146. In fact both of these characters have recently lost their starring vehicles. Ms Marvel's 23-issue series has just ended, and Falcon stopped being Cap's regular co-star a couple of issues before his name was dropped. Absorbing Man is totally new to the Avengers. He's basically been a Thor villain since Journey Into Mystery #114, with a small sideline in Hulk appearances. His biggest feat so far was absorbing the power of Asgard itself in JiM#123. After that everything must be anticlimax. In current comics, he's now temporarily a hero due to Axis.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #183 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Because Scarlet Witch has taken time off to explore her origins, there's a vacancy in the government-determined 7-person Avengers squad. (That's ignoring  the fact that the 7th man Falcon hasn't even been invited in yet.) Ms Marvel will be her temporary replacement.

Beast, Wasp and Tony Stark watch as Henry Peter Gyrich oversees her induction. MsM declines to have her fingerprints recorded, so they can confirm it's really her in future. (Carol Danvers knows they'll show up on her NASA file, blowing her secret identity.) Stark suggest using retina prints, which will identify her without appearing on other databases. Gyrich adds voice print recording as well.

Vision gets a farewell phone call from his wife Wanda. She and her brother Quicksilver are going to Europe with Django Maximoff, but she's asked the Avengers not to come see them off. They're going to investigate Django's claim to be their father, and they're going to take a slow boat rather than a fast plane to give them time to learn more about him. (Vision also relays a message from Pietro's wife Crystal in the Inhumans' Great Refuge.)

After Beast and Iron Man help take out the trash the sanitation workers take it to the dump, where they meet up with a truck from a construction site. Later shards of glass assemble themselves into a body which then transforms into the Absorbing Man. A thought balloon tells us that the other truck brought his last components here, after he was turned to glass and smashed on the construction site in Hulk #209.

Meanwhile Steve Rogers tells Sam Wilson that the government wants him to be an Avenger. But Falcon doesn't want to join a team (apart from partnering Captain America). His brief stint with the Defenders (during their membership drive in Def#62-64) convinced him of that. And he especially doesn't want to be asked just to be the token black face. But Steve begs him as a favour, because the government won't restore their privileges without him. (I don't think Cap mentions that they asked Black Panther 1st.)

Absorbing Man breaks into a closed clothes shop for a disguise and some money. He intends to buy passage on a freighter to South America, to get away from superheroes. On a whim he decides to take the store owner Sandy with him for female company.

Later still Hawkeye, now an ex-Avenger, comes to a dock to see Wanda, Pietro and Django off. He knows she said she didn't want a fuss, but he can't let such an old friend go without saying goodbye.

When the boat has left, Clint Barton goes for a coffee. But wouldn't you know Absorbing Man and Sandy drop in the same place for a burger. Crusher Creel gets into a bar fight. When Clint realises who it is he calls the Avengers before donning his Hawkeye outfit and taking him on.

Creel shrugs off various arrows. But then Beast, Iron Man, Ms Marvel, Vision and Wasp show up. Absorbing Man doesn't really want a fight, so he grabs Sandy and leaps onto a ship (next issue will say it's the freighter he booked passage on). As the Avengers follow, the villain bursts up through the deck having absorbed the power of the ship's electric turbines.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Byrne
Klaus Janson
Bob Sharen
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)
(Unknown artist) (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Defenders.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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