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Avengers #278: Review

Apr 1987
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #278 Review by (January 26, 2024)
Comments: Wasp departs but not to worry, her next appearance in this title is issue #283, with a few other titles in between. Hercules was beaten by the bad guys in issue #274, Jarvis in #275. Thing returned to the FF in FANTASTIC FOUR #286. Tyrak’s previous appearances were in AVENGERS #154, 156, and 172 so it’s been a while. His next appearance is in AVENGERS ANNUAL #18 for “Atlantis Attacks;” after that it’s an epic in issues #319-324. Namor’s lawyer, Michael Costello, was first seen in issue #270; his third and final appearance is in #286.

The letters page includes a column by Mark Gruenwald explaining what an editor does.

Review: “Stunulator cannons?” Sounds like a throwback to Jack Kirby! Which would be a good thing—but this issue is already cool as it stands. Well, most of it is Wasp running herself ragged (mentally) with the pressures of the job so in the end she splits on a vacation. The centerpiece of the tale is the team fighting a surprisingly powerful giant Atlantean warrior, though it’s hard to believe Captain Marvel didn’t have a few dozen more ways of taking him down, after all, he’s just a big strong guy in a water-filled suit. And so we see he does go down easily once a big enough hole is punched in his armor. And two of the cooler Avengers are back—Thor and She-Hulk—and we get a brand-new guy, Doctor Druid who, sad to say, was always quite underwhelming…and his performance here will be quite surprising.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #278 Synopsis by T Vernon
Avengers Mansion is closed for extensive repairs after the invasion of the Masters of Evil. A band of crooks breaks in one night, hoping to loot the deserted place but one falls through a rotten floor then Wasp arrives distributing punishing stings. One crook gets away but runs into Captain America and is so intimidated that he surrenders on the spot. Wasp calls for police and an ambulance to pick up the baddies. Later, Cap approves of her performance which is not what she wanted to hear as she’s in need of a vacation but she has so much to do….

Wasp visits Hercules in the hospital to find he is still in a coma. She visits Jarvis and cheers him up while he waits for knee replacement surgery. She visits Black Knight only to learn he checked himself out of the hospital. She returns to the Avengers’ temporary office in Four Freedoms Plaza where she fields a call from the Sub-Mariner’s lawyer, explaining that she doesn’t know where he is. All of the trouble of having to deal with the mansion’s repairs gets to her and she dozes off to dream: The other Avengers, all in business attire, speak to her like the Board of Directors, complaining about her performance. Sub-Mariner, in a tuxedo, returns to the team but when Janet touches him, he turns to water and washes away. The Board’s criticisms grow heated and she is woken up by She-Hulk. Jen has stopped by to apologize for not being available when the Masters of Evil took over the Mansion as she was busy with the FF. She helps clean up and notifies Jan that she can return to active status now that Thing has rejoined his team. Jen also mentions that Black Knight left word he was going to the Hydrobase

…where Dane is now practicing battling with quarterstaffs with Doctor Druid while exchanging details of their earlier histories. Wasp contacts the base and scolds Dane for leaving the hospital. Dane responds that he does have a doctor with him and Druid reassures her that BK is not overdoing things while recuperating. Then the island’s alarms go off so Black Knight and Doctor Druid investigate. The giant Atlantean warrior Tyrak the Treacherous has come ashore, shrugging off a barrage from the stunulator cannons. Black Knight approaches on his atomic horse and challenges the villain who claps his hands together and knocks BK out of the air. Dr. Druid tries to hypnotize Tyrak who fights it off. Captain Marvel arrives and uses a heat ray to dry the underwater villain out and he collapses on the beach. Wasp and She-Hulk arrive and Tyrak reveals he was only faking unconsciousness and he punches CM out of the air. She-Hulk starts a slugging match but Tyrak is able to punch her into a hole in the ground. Wasp flies around him, distracting him; Black Knight spots the bad guy’s weakness and jumps forward, slashing open Tyrak’s armor and water pours out. With no means of retaining moisture CM dries him out quickly and She-Hulk punches his lights out. They put Tyrak in a containment tank and he reveals that he had come to fight the Sub-Mariner to curry favor with Attuma….

Wasp confesses to Dr. Druid that she had spotted Tyrak’s weakness and could have blown holes in it but she wanted Black Knight to figure it out so he would regain confidence. She also confesses that she is tired of the leadership role and Druid tells her that only she can let herself off the hook….

At the next meeting of the Avengers, Thor and She-Hulk have returned to active duty and Wasp proposes Doctor Druid for membership. And then she announces she is leaving the Avengers, naming Captain America as acting head and she departs, asking them not to call her for a month. So Cap asks for nominations for the team’s next chairperson….

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
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)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Tyrak.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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