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Avengers #226: Review

Dec 1982
Steven Grant, Greg Larocque

Story Name:

An eye for an eye

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #226 Review by (November 25, 2015)
Black Knight's winged black horse Valinor was 1st seen in the Black Knight strip in the 63 issues of the British Hulk Weekly. That story is set in the current day and the Official Index places it after this 1. Later a tale in Marvel Fanfare #52-54 will explain how BK got the horse. The Evil Eye has been seen twice before this, but various online sources suggest that this appearance predates them. After this the Eye will be guarded by Prester John. The Fantastic Four came across them in FF#54. The Eye overloaded and appeared to self-destruct. However it was actually split into 6 pieces and scattered across the globe, where it became the maguffin for the Avengers/Defenders War in Av#115-118 and Def#8-11, at the end of which PJ came to reclaim it. Thor Annual #17 will insert an adventure of Prester John and the Eye before FF#54. The Eye will also turn up in later continuity, wielded by Morgan Le Fay in Black Knight #3 and as 1 of the maguffins in the JLA/Avengers mini-series. Prester John will also use it again in various issues of Cable & Deadpool, where it is called the Stellar Rod. Dr Strange transported BK's statue from Avengers Mansion (where we saw it get shattered in #157) to Dane Whitman's English ancestral home Garrett Castle in DrS(1974)#36-37 (where it got shattered again). Black Knight will go from here to the aforementioned Hulk Weekly, in the middle of which he will be abducted along with every other superhero to Contest of Champions. Then he'll pop in to DrS#68-69 before guesting here in #252-255 and joining the team in #256.

Amergin and most of these Fomor won't be seen again. But Bres is still in the 20th Century. He gets imprisoned in Project PEGASUS and briefly escapes in Power Man & Iron Fist #113. Balor will be released from the Eye by Morgan Le Fay in BK#3. BK will destroy the Eye, and Balor with it. But the Eye will be back, as noted above, and Balor will return in Thunderbolts #163.1. Some unnamed Fomor will attack Avalon again in a tale in Marvel Comics Presents #30, and some will be the minions of Morgan Le Fay (her again) in Av(1998)#1.

There's a long gap between this and next issue, and the whole team will play away. In Iron Man Annual #5 the Golden Avenger gets dragged into Black Panther's world by the scheming of Mandarin. Meanwhile Captain America battles the forces of Baron Zemo in CA#275-279, joined in the last issue by IM. And Thor fights Darkoth the Death-Demon and teams up with Scarlet Scarab in his #325-326. Then the whole team get involved in the Contest Of Champions mini-series courtesy of Elder Of The Universe Grandmaster. This is Marvel's 1st 'event' series but without any tie-in issues. And they're part of another gathering of heroes in Hulk #277-279 as Greenskin gets a Presidential Pardon. Then Cap is on hand in Marvel Two-In-One #92 as Jocasta is mind-controlled into recreating Ultron, and in Fantastic Four #250 when Gladiator of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard comes calling. Then the Avengers watch as Thing fights another Elder Of The Universe called Champion in MTIO Annual #7 and help protect him in hospital in MTIO#96. Tony Stark has a nightmare in a tale in Marvel Fanfare #4, while She-Hulk and Wasp team up with Storm and Tigra in Marvel Graphic Novel #16 - The Aladdin Effect. Then the team gather together again for Vision & Scarlet Witch (1982) #3 as Grim Reaper confronts his 'brothers' Vision and Wonder Man again. Iron Man joins the recovered Thing to fight dinosaurs in MTIO#97. Then the team are on hand for the origin of the new Captain Marvel in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, which leads directly into our next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #226 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Avengers Mansion is somewhat empty. Apart from Jarvis, who's presumably around somewhere butling, the only occupants are Iron Man (who was hypnotised by) Dr Druid (who is in a trance maintaining a path through time and dimensions to Avalon) and Bres the Fomor (who came up that path). Bres intends to kill Druid, thus trapping the Avengers in the past and leaving current Earth ripe for conquest.

But suddenly She-Hulk and Thor appear. From their bemused comments Bres deduces that another Fomor Balor the 1-eyed giant has trained his gaze on them, thus disrupting the spell that kept them in the past. Bres magically rips Mjolnir from Thor's grasp, and then initiates hand-to-hand combat with the Thunder God, all the while firing mystic blasts in Shulk's direction.

Jennifer Walters dodges behind immobile Iron Man, and notices that Bres' magic bounces off him. She also remembers that Dr Druid's spells didn't work on him either (not counting the non-magical hypnotism). So she takes a chance and throws the Golden Avenger against their golden foe. That hurts Bres giving Thor the chance to deck him with 1 blow (and retrieve his hammer before he is changed back to Donald Blake).

Back in the 12th Century Captain America, Hawkeye and Wasp think that Balor has killed their comrades. So they keep dodging his eye-blasts, until a smoke arrow from Clint Barton temporarily blinds that gaze.

Meanwhile Black Knight is saddling his bat-winged horse and preparing to ride to the Avengers' aid. Despite Amergin, High Druid of Avalon, ordering him not to.

Balor is blasting again, but Cap has his comrades dug into a protective trench. BK attacks from the air and hurts the giant with his mystic Ebony Blade. Balor lashes out and knocks the Knight from his steed. But Hawkeye saves him with a parachute arrow while Wasp buzzes round the Fomorian to distract him. Then Knight and Avengers escape on the flying horse.

The other Fomor (Dulb, Elathan, Indech and Tethra) try to get Balor on their side, despite the fact that they had imprisoned him (out of fear) until last issue. But his wife Cethlann tries to get her husband to side only with her. However Balor agrees to Elathan's plan because he would enjoy wrecking Avalon. (Elathan plans to dispose of him once he's served his purpose.)

The Avengers think they've failed, but Amergin tells them that they did what they were supposed to do - get the Fomor to release Balor. The giant will be the power source for the weapon that will save Avalon. He is about to tell them that She-Hulk and Thor aren't dead when he senses the Fomor breaking through his mystical defences of Avalon. And he teleports with the weapon to face them.

Amergin meets them at the gates of the city. Balor blasts him, and the Fomor prepare to enter the city and find the gateway to Earth. But the High Druid still stands, and the weapon has absorbed Balor's blast. Now Amergin uses that energy against the giant to suck out more of his energy. And child-like Balor is in pain.

Elathan leaps towards Amergin, only to be stopped by Cap's shield. The angry Fomor leader causes the ground to rise up and entomb Captain America. But before he is engulfed Cap throws away his shield. Hawkeye gets a rematch with Dulb, but Wasp helps out and they destroy Dulb's weapon the Tathlum Balls. Then the shield comes ricocheting back and cracks open Cap's tomb.

Elathan has returned to attacking Amergin, who is too busy concentrating on syphoning Balor's energy to defend himself. The Avengers are too busy to notice. Wasp gets Dulb to fire some more Tathlum Balls at her. They magically follow their target, so she flies into Tethra's mouth allowing him to take the deadly strike. Cap is caught between Indech and Cethlann, but he flips Cethlann into the other's sticky blob body.

Amergin is dying when Black Knight steps in to intercept Elathan's blasts with his magic sword. But the druid is more worried about the fact that he's lost the weapon, which he calls the Eye. Balor has it, and touches it to his own eye in an attempt to get the stolen energy back. There's an almighty explosion.

When the dust settles the Fomor head towards the portal to Earth. The Avengers go after them. Black Knight stays with the dying druid. Amergin tells him that Balor has now been transmuted completely to energy stored in the Eye. But whoever uses the weapon will be destroyed by it. Dane Whitman promises to do it. But Amergin casts 1 last spell which will give BK his horse and sword in the 'next life'.

The Avengers try to stop the Fomor from reaching the gateway to 12th Century Earth. But as Elathan reaches it the Black Knight hurls him back, holding the Eye bursting with energy. The Avengers urge him to seal the portal, even if it means they die too. BK takes them up on it, and theirs an even more almighty explosion.

Avalon is now cut off from  Earth, and all that remains is the skeleton of the Black Knight.

But the 3 Avengers reappear in Avengers Mansion, overjoyed to see She-Hulk and Thor there as well. Dr Druid awakes now his mental link with Avalon is no longer needed. But with the last of the power Amergin lent him he shows them BK's body. But he also shows them the shattered bits of BK's turned-to-stone original body in the present. Amergin's last spell recreates the statue and then transforms it back into flesh, with Dane Whitman's spirit back inside. And true to his word the Ebony Blade and the flying horse are with him.

Hawkeye jumps for joy, and Dr Druid teleports away.

Greg Larocque
Chic Stone
Christie Scheele
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
John Beatty (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Jennifer Walters)


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