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Avengers #264: Review

Feb 1986
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Stings & Sorrows

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #264 Review by (September 2, 2023)
Comments: Title echoes the phrase “slings and arrows” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet; we’ll assume it was intentional. First appearance/origin of the new Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) who is next seen in issue #271, showing up frequently thereafter. Wasp’s strength was enhanced by Hank Pym circa MARVEL TEAM-UP #59-60. Captain America’s appearance is a cameo showing him on the way to fight the Serpent Society in CAPTAIN AMERICA #315.

Review: A nice Wasp-centered issue is quite entertaining. She gains new powers and confronts a new villain who is stealing the powers of an old hero. And the scenes of the stolen suit sneaking itself out of the Mansion unawares is hilarious. And yes, we’ll see more of this rookie villainess very soon.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #264 Synopsis by T Vernon
In the basement of Avengers Mansion, Wasp is undergoing tests by Dane Whitman, in his role as physicist not the Black Knight. She shrinks, maneuvers through an obstacle course, and can bend a steel rod as Hank Pym had enhanced her strength some years earlier. At Dane’s suggestion, Jan tries slowly enlarging herself and discovers she can maintain her wings at nearly her full height. She is delighted so she plans to go out and have fun. He suggests dinner and she agrees before departing to fly around the city….

Parked near the Mansion is a mystery woman (later named Rita DeMara) who dons a special helmet which enables her to control an old Yellowjacket outfit in Hank Pym’s old locker. She has it levitate up the stairs and through the mansion. Black Knight is too busy pondering his connection to his mystical Ebony Blade to notice it. Hercules is helping Reed Richards adjust a device for tracking the Beyonder, Herc doing the literal heavy lifting, and they miss the suit going by. Jarvis offers a newly baked cookie to Franklin Richards as the suit leaves the Mansion behind them. It flies over the wall and into the van. Rita drives off….

The newest Avenger, Namor the Sub-Mariner, broods over his recent loss of a kingdom but is distracted when Invisible Woman stops by; he realizes he is still in love with her but Franklin’s entrance distracts them and Namor departs….

In New Orleans, a major fire in the warehouse district has the firefighters overwhelmed. Frank Rambeau is trying to extract a trapped firefighter when Captain Marvel zaps in, frees the man and leads the crew to safety. Frank thanks her and another firefighter expresses his admiration, not knowing the heroine is Frank’s daughter, Monica. CM then appears at the dress shop owned by her mother Maria where she tries on a dress designed for her. Monica again wonders whether she should reveal her secret identity to her teammates, wondering whether she can trust Namor or Hercules….

Wasp continues to fly around the city, unwittingly crossing paths with Captain America who is off on a mission of his own. Jan visits her home in Palisades, New Jersey, and is surprised to see a strange van parked outside. She encounters a woman in a Yellowjacket outfit altered to fit her body. Angered that this stranger would steal Hank’s identity, Jan grows to her full height and punches the woman but her sudden growth makes her dizzy; she shrinks just in time to avoid a disruptor sting—which blows up the van. Wasp startles Yellowjacket by growing nearly to her full height and stinging the villain’s arm. Yellowjacket, aware that she is outclassed, flees into the woods with Wasp in pursuit. YJ shrinks to insect size to hide in the tall grass but her first experience of changing size causes her to panic and surrender. Jan turns her over to the police and gets ready for dinner with Dane….

Story continues in SECRET WARS II #8.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Franklin Richards, Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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