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Avengers #205: Review

Mar 1981
David Michelinie, Alan Kupperberg

Story Name:

Shadow of the Claw

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #205 Review by (April 27, 2015)
Bob Budiansky plotted this again. Alan Kupperberg is the 3rd of the 1-off pencillers, before Gene Colan takes over for a run. Yellow Claw's few later appearances will follow the pattern of his earlier ones:- against Captain America in Marvel Fanfare #31-32, Nick Fury and SHIELD in NF: Agent of SHIELD #12-14 and with Jimmy Woo in Agents of Atlas #2-5 where he will die. Beast, Captain America, Iron Man and Wasp all cameo in Dazzler #1 before next issue. And there Hawkeye appears to be visiting them again.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #205 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The team have returned to Avengers Mansion from Yellow Claw''s island fortress. Last issue they rescued Shu Han who had asked for their help, but in the process Vision was captured and drained of energy. Now Iron Man recharges the android under the watchful eye of his wife Scarlet Witch. But for some reason it takes more energy than usual.

Meanwhile Wasp tells Beast, Captain America, Wonder Man and their robot guest Jocasta what she saw when she infiltrated Claw''s lair. She broke in via an air shaft that strangely was capped with an air-tight cover. She saw tubes full of mist (which I didn''t notice last issue). But they had to leave when YC gave them Shu Han. He said his intention was to raise a family. And he had other women who were glad to become his brides.

Just then Jarvis announces a visitor - Dr Liu, Yellow Claw''s top scientist. The fully-assembled Avengers are still suspicious about the arch-villain''s true motives, and scan Liu for weapons. He says he''s come to tell them of his boss''s real plan, which he can no longer support. But then his chest explodes. As he dies he gives them a desert map reference in Australia. And Beast discovers that his body is part machine, like the creations of Yellow Claw they fought last issue. (And somehow this got past the scan.)

The Avengers get ready to leave by quinjet. But Jarvis finds a note from the Vision saying that he won''t be joining them. Mystified the team go without him. But as soon as they''ve gone the android takes another quinjet.

The main team find a cave at the coordinates they were given. Inside they see 3 rockets being loaded with the gas Wasp reported. But someone interrupts them.

Meanwhile Vision flies back to Yellow Claw''s island and ghosts through the walls again. He faces no opposition this time and expects it''s a trap. Claw is waiting for him with his selection of brides. Vision confirms that he found an alteration that the villain made to his android body while he was captive last issue. He examined Liu''s body and detected an ultra-wave beam that let Claw keep track of him. He then found his own body emitting the same beam, and deduced that was why his body needed more power. So he separated himself from the rest of the Avengers so that Claw couldn''t track them.

But YC was ready for this. He found the sealed air-shaft that Wasp broke through, and knew that the Avengers'' suspicions would be aroused. Now Vision finds himself trapped in an energy sphere that even his diamond form can''t break out of, and his low-density form can''t pass through. The mastermind allowed Liu to escape because he wanted the heroes to face death in Australia, as he now shows Vizh on a viewscreen.

The team are confronted by 3 cyborgs:- Bludgeoner, Transformer and Compressor. Transformer catches Iron Man''s repulsor rays and Jocasta''s eye-blasts on his shield and returns them transformed into an energy blast. Only Cap''s shield saves him and Wonder Man from Bludgeoner''s metal hammerfists, and Wasp''s bio-stings don''t help. Compressor traps Beast between the large slabs on his hands with jets of compressed air which help to squeeze the bouncing hero, until Scarlet Witch distracts the villain by dropping a stalactite on him. But Compressor crumbles the rock and sends it back to Wanda. Shellhead flies against the 3rd villain, only to be repulsed by the air blasts.

Now is the time for Yellow Claw to explain his masterplan (which we learned about last issue) as he offers Vision a place as Liu''s replacement. He''s getting old despite his longevity treatments. He has recruited brides as perfect in mind and body as Shu Han to bear him sons who will fight each other for the right to rule the world. Now we hear more - YC has a store of genetic material from the world''s best humans. His successor will use it to create a population of ubermen to serve him. And the Australian rockets will spray the Earth with a gas that will render the rest of humanity sterile.

Now another element of the plan becomes clear. Claw''s base turns out to be a spaceship (which is why it has to be air-tight). They take off to rendezvous with the rockets.

In Australia the Avengers turn the tables on their foes with teamwork. Wasp puts rocky dirt in Bludgeoner''s armour joints, which slows him down enough for Wonder Man to knock him down. Beast holds Transformer''s shield-arm out of the way so that Jocasta can blast him. Captain America bounces his shield off the insides of Compressor''s giant paddles, allowing Iron Man to launch himself between them. The angry watching Yellow Claw throws a switch which makes his cyborg fighters link together. And then they explode.

Believing his foes dead, YC watches his rockets launch. But Wanda has protected the team with a hex sphere. Iron Man and Wonder Man jet off after the rockets. The missiles dock with Claw''s spaceship to form his 3-fingerd trident symbol, and the Avenging duo find the combination protected by a forcefield. Then the rockets bend to form a claw, with the tips preparing to rain gas down on the Earth.

Meanwhile Vision tries a desperate ploy. He increases his mass further than he has ever done before, which strains the energy sphere enough that his feet finally touch the floor. But more, his extra mass disturbs the balance of the spaceship so that it starts to fall to Earth. Angry Claw cancels the energy sphere so he can get at the android. But Vizh goes intangible. But YC has installed circuitry in his armour designed to allow him to grapple with the ghostly android.

Vision goes dense again, and the 2 battle as the spaceship plunges into the ocean. A quinjet arrives to find that the android had ghosted out of the crashing ship. They believe the villain is dead.

Alan Kupperberg
Dan Green
Ben Sean
Alan Kupperberg (Cover Penciler)
Dan Green (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Yellow Claw.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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