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Avengers #272: Review

Oct 1986
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Assault on Atlantis

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers #272 Review by (November 3, 2023)
Comments: “Avengers Under Siege” part three of eight. Story follows ALPHA FLIGHT #39. Namor resigns from the team for the first time; he rejoins in issue #282. Namor’s account of Marrina’s transformation was in ALPHA FLIGHT #16. The letters page includes one by Jeremy Ulrey, future PopMatters contributor, and one by future comics podcaster John Steven.

Review: What should have been a stirring climax to the epic invasion of Atlantis somehow went out of control. The whole thing has a cluttered look and the art is not Tom Palmer’s best. There’s a lot of talk and the guest stars of Alpha Flight have little to do beyond some of them standing out in the melee scenes. And for logistics fans (lookin’ at you, Peter!), the events that overlap the two issues do not easily match up, indicating that Mantlo and Stern were not working closely together. A mild disappointment.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #272 Synopsis by T Vernon
Story overlaps/continues from ALPHA FLIGHT #39.

The Avengers head underwater in a submersible while Captain Marvel scouts ahead. Captain America asks the Sub-Mariner about Marrina whom he has never mentioned before. Namor reveals she is an extraterrestrial whom he has fallen in love with and asked her to marry him but she was brought into contact with another member of her race, which unleashed a monstrous nature in her and she fled. And now Namor has learned that his enemy Attuma has captured Marrina and is using her as bait in a trap for Namor. He tried to rescue her but his own people turned against him and now he needs the help of his Avengers teammates….

In Atlantis, Attuma gloats over the imprisoned Marrina. Informed of the approach of two small parties, the despot gives orders to destroy them….

The Avengers arrive at Atlantis’ outer fortifications and Namor calls on his former subjects to lay down their weapons. Instead, the Atlanteans start shooting. Wearing underwater gear designed by Black Knight, the Avengers go into action, Wasp unleashing her stings, Hercules and Namor together wrecking a huge ship, Captain Marvel delivering non-lethal electric shocks, all forcing the enemy to retreat. They see another group approaching but not to worry, it’s Alpha Flight (Vindicator, Aurora, Northstar, Puck, Shaman, Box, Madison Jeffries, and Snowbird, the latter in the form of a white whale). The two teams confer; Namor explains to the group that their mission is to rescue Marrina and not to reclaim his throne as he has come to accept that the Atlanteans had good reasons for overthrowing him….

Attuma is confident of victory until a messenger informs him that Namor has allies and the city is under siege. The Avengers and Alpha Flight fight their way into the palace with Namor taking on Attuma himself. Meanwhile, Northstar locates Marrina in her glass prison and sets her free, carrying her out of the palace. Soon, the heroes are surrounded and Attuma gives the order to kill them all. But Hercules does not like that and Wasp tells everyone to follow his lead and an aggressive counter-offensive leads to the heroes breaking free. Namor pummels Attuma and finally convinces him Namor does not want his kingdom back and all the destruction was Attuma’s fault as, if he had not taken Marrina hostage, Namor would not have returned in force. Marrina swims toward Attuma and is shot by a zealous guard. Namor clobbers that guard and swims after Marrina. Captain Marvel assures Attuma that if he tries anything like this again, he will surely regret it and she swims after Namor. Attuma silently vows vengeance for this humiliation….

Namor catches up with Marrina and discovers her big secret: contact with her alien mate triggered a change in her and she is now ugly and in constant pain. She tries to escape but Captain Marvel, who observed this all while unseen in her neutrino form, stops her to suggest that the Avengers know a lot of scientists who may be able to help her. Marrina swims off in despair. CM offers the Avengers’ help to Namor but while rescuing Marrina from captivity was an honorable aim, saving her soul is more personal and only Namor can try. He informs CM that he will be taking a leave of absence from the team and pursues his lost love. Monica, who had not trusted Namor, now realizes she has seen his true character….  

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Paul Becton
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (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

(Monica Rambeau)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Aurora, BOX (Roger Bochs), Madison Jeffries, Marrina, Northstar, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird, Vindicator (James Hudson).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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