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Avengers #261: Review

Nov 1985
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Earth and Beyond

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #261 Review by (August 4, 2023)
Comments: Part eight of eight parts. Issue bannered SECRET WARS II. Starfox leaves the Avengers yet he appears in SECRET WARS II #5 and the MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL: EMPEROR DOOM, which fall after this, likely via artist’s error; his real next appearance is in SILVER SURFER (1987) #19-20. Firelord keeps it simple: his next appearance is in SILVER SURFER (1987) #19-20.  

Review: And here we have the Beyonder, omnipotent and childlike, sort of a less sophisticated Impossible Man, less malevolent Mr. Mxyzptlk, more powerful Bat-Mite. Trouble? Certainly but at least he cleans up after himself. And once we’ve shed all of the loose plot threads from the Skrull story arc, this issue definitely ties in with the SECRET WARS II event as the Avengers try to tame the super-powerful being. Manages to include a couple of exciting sequences that make sense outside the big event. Nicest moment: Monica Rambeau makes it a point to return home and reassure her parents that she is well after her long absence; it’s rare enough for a superhero to have both parents; to have her get along with them, even rarer.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #261 Synopsis by T Vernon
Story continues from AVENGERS ANNUAL #14.

The Avengers (Captain America, Hercules, Starfox, Wasp, Black Knight, Captain Marvel) are with the Skrulls, summarizing the most recent developments in the plot. The Hyperwave Bomb has eliminated the Skrulls’ shapeshifting abilities so they decide to content themselves with claiming the Sanctuary II. But Starfox destroys the craft, which, as brother to its late owner (Thanos), he has the legal right to do. As the Avengers prepare to take their leave, Firelord tells them to beware of the Skrulls’ treachery—until Wasp and Captain Marvel inform him that it was the Skrulls who saved his life and Firelord is astonished. General Zedrao sees them off, noting that while he doesn’t understand such selflessness, he does appreciate their help….

Starfox’s ship takes off from the Skrull liner and enters sub-space. Starfox informs his teammates that he is leaving the Avengers. He tells them of Nebula’s claim to be Thanos’ granddaughter and his personal and familial responsibility to stop her. Firelord adds that, as Nebula destroyed his homeworld, it is his duty to capture her as well. The Avengers leave the starship by their own Quinjet and return to Earth. Cap M departs before they land to visit her parents in New Orleans to assure them she is well after her long absence….

The rest of the team arrives at the Mansion to be met by Jarvis, telling them of a strange visitor looking for the Avengers, whom Captain America deduces was the Beyonder. They decide that tracking him down is their priority. Then Jarvis shows them a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration, giving them 30 days to move the Quinjets out of the city….

Cap and Wasp follow it up with the FAA and learn that their stockpile of jet fuel is considered a safety hazard and their exemption has been revoked by the government. Cap argues that they are facing a new menace and, to oblige, the Beyonder appears in the room. He agrees to talk to them but only after they catch him and he dashes out. Cap and Wasp pursue him though Washington but when they catch up to him, Beyonder decides that it was too easy and vanishes again….

Black Knight and Hercules visit Project Pegasus with a recording of the Beyonder’s energy signal, asking if it can be used to track him down. The Beyonder then appears before them; Herc seizes him and the alien visitor blasts Herc away, taking half of the mountain with him. Terrified, Black Knight challenges the Beyonder to a sword duel so the visitor raises sword-wielding arms from the floor; Dane chops them down and finds they weren’t illusions. Beyonder faces BK with a flaming sword and impales himself on the Ebony Blade; he decides he must go elsewhere and process this experience and vanishes, leaving the sword behind….

The Avengers convene to talk over the problem and when Hercules says he knows what he would do if he met the Beyonder. The Beyonder then appears and asks what so Herc punches him, sending him upward through several floors. Jet fuel is ignited, touching off an explosion and fire. The automatic extinguishers deal with it and Beyonder tells the Avengers he just wants to understand everything and thought he would ingratiate himself to the heroes by having them pursue him. Wasp offers to make him an Avenger-in-Training; her thinking is that if they can keep him under watch, they can guide him into that appropriate behavior among humans. He is uncertain about membership but he does them a favor and restores all the damaged parts of the Mansion and departs. The Avengers wonder what will happen next….

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
Christie Scheele (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: John Buscema. Letterer: Jim Novak.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Edwin Jarvis)


(Janet Van Dyne)

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