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Avengers #184: Review

Jun 1979
David Michelinie, John Byrne

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Story Name:

Death on the Hudson

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #184 Review by (December 11, 2014)
Brett Breeding, Dan Green and Klaus Janson also inked this issue. Diana Albers and Gaspar Saladino were letterers. Irving Watanabe was the cover letterer. Roger Stern was the editor. While disposing of Absorbing Man's energy Iron Man muses that his armour's been unreliable in recent issues of his own mag. He is probably referring to the malfunctions caused by Justin Hammer in IM#118,120,123 (that last issue published this month). Unfortunately as in our #181 the Official Index puts this story earlier, again between IM#116&117. Absorbing Man will rebuild himself on an island in Hulk #261. He'll find love with villainess Titania during the 1st Secret Wars. The pair will share many adventures together, eg as part of the Masters of Evil during the Under Siege Avengers arc and the Acts of Vengeance crossover.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #184 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Avengers Beast, Iron Man, Vision and Wasp with new addition Ms Marvel and recently ex-Avenger Hawkeye are facing Absorbing Man who has just absorbed the power of the electric turbines of a freighter. He'd booked as a passenger on the ship to South America, where they don't have so many pesky superheroes to interfere with his bad guy stuff. But now the heroes are getting in the way again.

Crusher Creel stuns Ms Marvel and hurls her into the river. Beast dives in to save her. But he can't swim very well (water-logged fur?), and she ends up saving him.

Wasp's sting predictably has no effect, and Hawkeye isn't even wasting arrows. Vision gets the villain's attention by hitting him with his own ball and chain while Iron Man sneaks up behind and absorbs the electrical energy into his armour, and throws the now merely-human Creel of the ship into a warehouse. Beast takes the opportunity to attack him. But the Golden Avenger has to fly to the edge of space to safely release the pent-up energy.

Meanwhile Captain America has returned to Avengers Mansion and impatient government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich with new recruit Falcon. Sam Wilson resents Gyrich drafting him in as the token black man, and shows it by talking in a Southern slave patois. Jarvis informs them that Hawkeye called the other Avengers to fight Absorbing Man. So the duo head off to join them, ignoring HPG's complaint that Falcon hasn't filled out the induction forms yet.

Cap uses a sky-cycle to keep up with Falcon and his bird Redwing. They arrive in time to see Iron Man heading for the sky. Beast is spinning Creel in the air to keep him from touching anything to absorb. But Crusher manages to touch Beast, absorbs his agility and tosses him aside. Cap makes a rare mistake when he throws his shield at the villain, who now takes on the properties of its unique metal alloy.

Last issue Crusher Creel kidnapped Sandy Herkowitz to take with him on his journey to South America. When she hears that the ship is about to sail she slips off it sharpish. Just in time to see Iron Man returning and rejoining the battle.

The Golden Avenger confidently takes over from his comrades, and takes the battle out of the warehouse, right in front of Sandy. Unfortunately he didn't know that Absorbing Man now has the durability of Cap's shield. So Shellhead can't make a dent, but Creel can.

After downing his armoured foe Crusher reverts to human, grabs Sandy again, and makes a dash for the freighter. Only to find it gone. The angry ex-con turns to face his enemies. But 1st he advises Sandy to move away to avoid getting hurt. Then Vision takes him on. But when Creel tries to absorb the android's power, Vizh switches to ghostly low density. Not understanding what's happened to him, Crusher sinks through the pier into the water.

Now he reverts to his original plan, to escape from superheroes by fleeing to South America. But he can't swim fast enough to catch up with the ship. Flying overhead some of the Avengers see him give up in weary resignation. He turns to water and lets himself disperse into the ocean.

Back on shore, while Beast tries in vain to lift Creel's abandoned ball and chain, Sandy wonders if the Avengers should have just let him go in the 1st place (but presumably without her).

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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