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Avengers #198: Review

Aug 1980
David Michelinie, George Perez

Story Name:

Better red than Ronin

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #198 Review by (April 14, 2015)
George Perez returns to pencils for 5 issues. The sky-sled was mentioned in #159 when Jarvis(!) used it off-screen. But this is the 1st time we've actually seen 1. Hawkeye got his job with CTE in #189, and has since been seen protecting them from Mr Fear in Marvel Team-Up #92. His app here is coincidental, but he'll hang around until #204.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #198 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Beast and Wonder Man greet the dawn after a night's drinking to drown the memory of last issue's failed double-date. And are surprised to see a giant robot striding up the Hudson River. Then grapples on the end of metal tentacles hoist them up into an Avengers quinjet. Robot Jocasta's cyber-senses had tracked down Beast's mutant energy signature. Now after a liberal amount of coffee and changing into their fighting togs the duo are ready for battle.

Captain America gives them a quick rundown on the situation. The robot is Red Ronin built by Stark International and used by SHIELD to fight against and with Godzilla in his eponymous series. Someone hijacked it last issue.

The hijacker Dr Earl Cowan brings Ronin ashore at the Harlem River landfill, where it's attacked by Cap (on a sky-sled), Iron Man, Vision, Wasp and husband Yellowjacket (who stayed at Avengers Mansion last night). Jocasta lands the quinjet with Beast and Wonder Man. Vision can't phase through a proton field protecting Ronin's surface. But Simon Williams batters open a hatchway in the robot's foot. However he is stunned by a defense system, which Jocasta blasts with her eyebeams. So it is she and Beast who are inside the foot when Ronin takes another step.

The Avengers are joined in their fight by the Behemoth, a SHIELD craft specially designed to combat Godzilla in that series. Director Nick Fury is personally running this mission. But a laser fired from a disc/shield on 1 of Ronin's arms causes them to turn aside.

Cap sends Wasp and Yellowjacket in through eye-slits to the robot's control room where Dr Cowan explains what he's doing. He was brought up in the shadow of nuclear war and has seen reasons to fear only multiply since then. He intends to attack Russia with Red Ronin, thus triggering WWIII. He figures mankind will then unite and there'll be no more fear. The insect-sized Avengers think he's nuts, so a giant fan blows them back out of the eye-holes.

We cut away from the action to a hospital where Scarlet Witch is with Ms Marvel. MsM claims that there is no way she could be pregnant, which she discovered last issue. And anyway the pregnancy is strange in that it's gone from the 3 month stage to 6 months overnight. Seeking comfort she reveals her identity as Carol Danvers to Wanda.

Meanwhile Red Ronin has traveled over the Hillview Reservoir to Yonkers. Cowan wants to take the robot to a less populated spot to avoid collateral damage as the Avengers and SHIELD continue to attack them. But he doesn't want to fly away because he's conserving fuel for the flight to Russia. He heads for Long Island Sound and the Behemoth hits Ronin with all it's got. RR is unscathed but damages the SHIELD craft in response.

The mid-air Avengers assemble in the Behemoth for a strategy meeting with Fury. Cap goes out alone on the sky-sled while Behemoth attacks Ronin again. Cowan was about to leave for Russia, but now the crazed scientist switches the robot into Destroy mode. (What mode was he in before?!) Cap signals that Ronin is now in position standing in the water. Iron Man stands on 1 of Behemoth's hover-jets, attached by cables which channel all its electric power into his armour. And IM lets rip at RR.

Red Ronin goes down, with Cowan unconscious inside. But the Behemoth has lost power, and the Golden Avenger hangs lifeless beneath it. Then Cap reports that he can see the robot moving. It gets up and heads towards Queens, stuck in Destroy mode.

At the HQ of Cross Technological Enterprises its Security Chief Hawkeye is playing cards with his staff when he hears an alarm. Going to investigate he bumps into Red Ronin's legs.

George Perez
Dan Green
Ben Sean
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Red Ronin.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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