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Avengers #185: Review

Jul 1979
David Michelinie, John Byrne

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Story Name:

The yesterday quest

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #185 Review by (December 12, 2014)
Mark Gruenwald and Steven Grant plot this issue and the next 2. Presumably their plotting only covers the Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch section of this issue. There are elements in this storyline which connect to Spider-Woman, a series which Mark was currently writing (along with Steven for his last 2 issues). The corner box on the cover switches this issue from the Vision to the heads of current Avengers. Hawkeye will next appear as a recalled 'reserve' member in Annual #9, followed immediately by starring in #189. We had heard nothing, I believe, before Giant Size #1 of Pietro and Wanda's childhood before Magneto found them on the run (as told in Uncanny X-Men #4). This is the 1st time we've heard of Pietro's memories of life as gypsies, but Wanda supposedly remembers life in Wundagore. The question of the twins' conflicting memories is I think only *weakly* resolved next issue.

Pietro mentions 2 times when the twins returned to their homeland to find a cure for Scarlet Witch's failing or lost powers. The 1st was #30-36. Within that period they also appeared in Thor #134 where we learned that Mount Wundagore is there, and heard of the legend of the lights appearing at their birth. They wondered whether that had anything to do with their mutant powers. (A panel here is based on that.) In #36 the Avengers came to investigate a problem in the village. This was the 1st mention of the name Transia, and it was applied to the village. Judging by the accompanying illustration for the 2nd period it must be #53-75, when the twins and Toad were searching for an occult cure for Wanda. But at the time it wasn't stated that they went to Transia. And she wasn't cured by the land, but by travelling to another dimension. (But events in the next 2 issues will suggest that the book that the Witch eventually read a spell from might have been the Darkhold.) Here Transia seem to have grown a little bit, and must comprise at least *2* villages. The village here is either *called* East Transia or is *in* East Transia.

Pietro remembers them being told stories of the great war by their gypsy father which Wanda came to believe had happened to *her*. I don't really understand this. It sounds like a rationalisation of why Wanda thinks they were alive during WWII. Which wouldn't be unreasonable when they were invented in the mid-60's but would be less feasible by 1979. But I don't recall her ever saying anything like that. And Whizzer already said in Giant-Size #1 that they were born after the War. Modred was created by Bill Mantlo and Marv Wolfman in Marvel Chillers #1-2. In the age of Camelot he tried to use the evil book Darkhold for good but was almost killed by its demon called The Other. He was placed in suspended animation and revived in the present day where he appeared to best The Other. In Marvel Two-In-One #33 he helped Thing and Spider-Woman, who he accompanied into her 1st issue. But now he's fallen under the sway of The Other who will be revealed next issue as Chthon. Wundagore citadel is in ruins because the High Evolutionary used its core as a spaceship to leave Earth. HE genetically evolved animals into his New Men. Bova was 1 of his 1st successes. The spacebound New Men recently appeared in Iron Man #110-112.

This issue is split in 2 parts with the Pietro and Wanda stuff happening later than the Avengers stuff. It says only a few days later. But the Official Index puts lots of things in the gap between the Avengers appearances in this issue and next, so it's probably longer than that. (In #183 Wanda *did* say they were taking a boat so they'd have plenty of time to get to know Django.) In the gap Beast and Ms Marvel will join the poker game in Marvel Two-In-One #51, while Captain America has a one-off adventure in CA#240. Meanwhile busy Iron Man has a cameo in Fantastic Four #214 before being targeted by SHIELD and suffering mysterious armour malfunctions in his #117-123. Then he and Cap have cameos with Falcon, Ms Marvel, Vision and many others in FF Annual #14, while Beast visits his old team in Uncanny X-Men #125. The gang (including Wasp) are altogether for the 2nd issue of Shellhead's 2-parter in IM#124-125 where Justin Hammer makes his armour shoot a foreign ambassador. Beast goes back to the X-Men for UXM#134-138 - the ending of the Dark Phoenix saga. This is all followed by Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's story here and the next 2 issues. But the Golden Avenger won't be involved because he's off in his #126-128 - digging himself out of the Justin Hammer situation, but sinking deeper into drink, ending with the 'Demon in a bottle' story in #128.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #185 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The current Avengers (Beast, Captain America, Falcon, Iron Man, Ms Marvel, Vision and Wasp) plus recently-fired Hawkeye survey the damage from last issue's fight with Absorbing Man. There's no sign of their foe when the police arrive, because he dissolved himself into the ocean. So Iron Man promises that Tony Stark will cover the costs.

Newest recruit Falcon bemoans the fact that he wasn't any use in the fight. Hawkeye is disgusted that they've replaced him with someone like that (despite the fact that he didn't do anything after the Avengers arrived, and his arrows didn't have any effect on Crusher Creel before that). But he changes into his civvies and leaves, with ill grace.

The team return to Avengers Mansion. Beast leaves for a date. Iron Man leaves to repair his armour ...

... and later Tony Stark turns up to check the new security system installed in #183. He finds Ms Marvel bonding with Jocasta. The 2 humans start to flirt, so the robot Jocasta leaves them to it, and goes to see the android Vision. She asks if he's worried about his absent wife Wanda, on a journey to Europe with her brother Pietro. But Vision seems to have returned to his old identity problem, because he says that machines like him can't worry.

That's it for the current Avengers for this issue, because we now turn to Scarlet Witch on her leave of absence with brother Quicksilver and their putative father Django Maximoff in Transia some days later.

They are welcomed to an inn for the night, the twins recognised as the famous superheroes (and even known by their names Wanda and Pietro Frank). Wanda goes to her room, and the men share the 1 next door. But Pietro can't sleep, and recalls why they are here.

Wanda and Pietro believe that they are the children of the WWII heroes Whizzer (Robert Frank) and Miss America who were adopted as infants by gypsies (as Wanda learned in Giant-Size Avengers #1). But gypsy Django Maximoff claims they are his own children Ana and Mateo.

Pietro's memories match up with much of what Django said. He remembers being brought up by gypsies, and his 'father' making puppets. He remembers he and his sister fleeing from the camp as it was burned down by villagers.

But Wanda has told him of Bob Frank's story of how they were born to Madeline Frank in the High Evolutionary's citadel on Mount Wundagore. Madeline died and they were looked after by the evolved cow midwife Bova. And Wanda herself claims to remember them running away as teens from Mount Wundagore (as she said in GS#1). Pietro himself remembers that they both returned to this area when Scarlet Witch's powers ebbed. And that they were often told of lights in the sky over Mount Wundagore on the night they were born.

Meanwhile Wanda is asleep, but is awakened by a medieval-garbed figure appearing in her room (speaking mock-Shakespeare). He names himself Modred and offers to show her the secrets of her past. He tells her to come without Pietro, because only magic-users can go this way. And he magics her costume on to save time.

They travel in 2 balls of light to Wundagore Mountain. They are attacked by a laser-blasting mechanical tentacle which Modred calls a dragon but Wanda reckons must be a device of the High Evolutionary. Whatever, she blasts it with a hex bolt.

They approach the ruins of HE's citadel, also called Wundagore. Then they see a floating altar, and a book floating above it. And Modred downs the Witch with a sorcerous blast in the back.

The next morning Django and Pietro come to find Wanda, and instead find her gone. Quicksilver does a high-speed search of the village but can find no sign of his sister. Then the inn-keeper's little daughter tells him she saw Wanda flying off to Mount Wundagore last night.

The mutant speedster races up the steep mountain-side (drawn almost vertical), but runs into a forcefield near the top. He bounces back down the way he came, and is knocked unconscious.

When he awakens he's in a house on the mountain with the midwife cow Bova.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Byrne
Dan Green
Roger Slifer
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)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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