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Avengers #280: Review

Jun 1987
Bob Harras, Kyle Baker

Story Name:

Faithful Servant

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers #280 Review by (February 9, 2024)
Comments: Title is an echo of Jesus’ commendation in Matthew 25:21, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Edwin Jarvis was beaten by Mister Hyde in issue #275. The Avengers formed between AVENGERS #1 and 2. The new lineup was in AVENGERS #16. Jarvis was controlled by Ultron in #54-55. Vision joined the Avengers in #57-58. Mantis and Swordsman became Avengers in #112-114; Swordsman died in GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #2. Tony Stark’s alcoholism was the subject of the classic “Demon in a Bottle” arc in IRON MAN #120-128.

Review: And possibly the least appreciated Avengers recurring character, the super-butler Edwin Jarvis, finally gets his due in an issue that both shows off his accomplishments and is narrated in his voice to see things from his point of view. It’s a very sweet issue, dealing with a man’s decision to overcome his troubles and go back to the scene of the tragedy. Jarvis may be one of the greatest of heroes, facing his fears without the benefit of superpowers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #280 Synopsis by T Vernon
The hospitalized Edwin Jarvis is told he has lost 90% vision in his left eye, his leg injuries will heal but after a long period, and they cannot rule out the possibility of brain damage. His doctor suggests adopting a less dangerous profession. Jarvis had never considered the role of butler to the Avengers a dangerous one but he has a flashback of Mister Hyde and reconsiders. Tony Stark visits, apologizing for having Jarvis in such a hazardous situation and tells him he can retire on full salary and benefits if he so chooses. Jarvis wonders if he will ever feel safe again—with another flashback to Hyde….

He reviews his history with the Avengers—the day Tony Stark informed him that the superheroes would be coming to dinner, leading to the rest of the staff quitting on the spot. So Jarvis undertook the task alone and welcomed Iron Man, Thor—and then he fainted when Hulk smashed in the door. Ant-Man and Wasp revived him and then after the meal when the talk turned to drafting a charter, Wasp excused herself and Jarvis showed her around the building. He is moved by the breakup of the Pym’s marriage but also impressed how the flighty girl he met that day turned into a confident and mature leader….

Then he recalls being told that Thor, Wasp, and Ant-Man were leaving the team—and that Captain America would be leading three new members, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver, soon to be dubbed, “Cap’s Kooky Quartet.” Cap forged them into a team, which then broke up. Cap was still mourning the death of Bucky and Jarvis told him he needed to put that in the past and move on. Hawkeye went on to lead the West Coast Avengers and Scarlet Witch was now a mother while Quicksilver became an outcast….

Jarvis then recalls how, while leaving his mother’s house, he was attacked and hypnotized by Ultron and used to set a trap for the Avengers, commands he would not remember until it was too late. A traitor, he was cast out by the Avengers though he helped Black Knight rescue the Avengers. But he was held at a distance until his memory cleared enough to exonerate him fully….

Then Jarvis was introduced to the Vision and the butler was uneasy around this non-human figure until they bonded over a love of poetry. And Jarvis may have been the first one to note the growing affection between Vision and the Scarlet Witch. But then Mantis and the Swordsman arrived and her machinations caused trouble. Then Swordsman was killed and Jarvis had his most painful duty in cleaning out the man’s room but they never could contact his family. Moondragon also brought strife to the team with many more teammates of varying tenures. He recalls overseeing alterations to the mansion and clashes with Henry Peter Gyrich….

Over the years he had been taken hostage by villains but never harmed—until Hyde came along. He recalls the other time he had resigned, caused by Tony Stark’s alcoholism and he may have been instrumental in Tony’s reform. He notes how other Avengers managed to put sorrow and tragedy behind them and move on. He decides he can too and calls Mr. Stark to inform him that he will be back to work when his rehabilitation is finished….

Kyle Baker
Kyle Baker
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Bob Hall. Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Jim Shooter.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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