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Avengers #283: Review

Sep 1987
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Whom the Gods Would Destroy

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #283 Review by (March 1, 2024)
Comments: Part three of five parts. Title comes from a quote traced back to Euripides, “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.” Apollo cites two previous incidents when the Avengers came to the aid of Olympus; these were in AVENGERS #50 and #100. Namor met Aphrodite in SUB-MARINER #57, incidentally her first appearance in a Silver Age Marvel comic. First appearance of Cupid in a Silver Age Marvel comic.  

Review: Things are growing desperate for the Avengers. First, they have to escape from Hades, then hole up while they debate their options, then look for allies which entails fighting with Athena and Hephaestus and eventually facing an angry Zeus. Well-done tale draws the heroes from problem to problem and when victory is possibly almost maybe in sight, the bottom drops out and a scaled back roster is on their own against overwhelming odds. More to come!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #283 Synopsis by T Vernon
Attempting to escape from Hades, the Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel (MR), She-Hulk, Black Knight, Doctor Druid, Thor, Sub-Mariner) are halted when a central portion of the Pathway of Infinity crossing the dimensional abyss is destroyed. Pluto leads his army and war machines toward them but Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) transforms into living energy and enters each machine’s power source and overloads it, destroying each machine. Pluto orders his foot soldiers to attack and there is a mighty battle, Cap telling the others not to hold back as the armored troops are spirits and can’t be killed, only stopped. Pluto blasts the massive tree which passes over the Pathway and a giant chunk falls toward the Avengers. Thor catches it on his shoulders, helped by his armor, and he flips it into the gap in the Pathway, plugging it so the heroes can escape. Hades’ troops follow but their weight causes the chunk of tree to drop into the abyss. Thor, who has been there before, leads them through a dimensional doorway back to Olympus….

Emerging from the portal they encounter two centaur guards and easily overpower them, escaping into the forest to make their plans. Cap suggests the only way out is to convince Zeus he is mistaken about their harming Hercules. The mystery man from last issue (Prometheus) suddenly appears to bring them a warning. He conjures up the image of Zeus questioning Apollo about Hercules’ condition. Zeus vows to bring the Avengers to justice; Apollo reminds him that the Avengers had aided Olympus in the past. Ares arrives to claim that the Avengers did so for their own ulterior motives and they cannot be trusted. Zeus assures them his decree is final. Dr. Druid suggests a strategic retreat to Earth but Thor knows they won’t make it to the dimensional nexus without being seen. And Prometheus adds that Ares would gladly slaughter them all. Captain Marvel suggests finding some allies who might be able to intercede for them with Zeus and Namor has someone in mind….

Subby and CM pay a call on Venus a/k/a Aphrodite, roughing up her son Cupid on the way. The Goddess of Love, recalling Namor’s support of her years earlier, agrees to listen to his plea….

Athena sits with Hephaestus as the mighty blacksmith tries to unlock the secrets of Mjolnir; suddenly, the hammer flies to the hand of Thor as the Avengers enter the forge. Hephaestus calls forth his automaton guards, golden statues of women brought to life to fight his enemies. The heroes battle them with Druid using magic to flip them into a crucible of molten metal; the crucible cracks and the metal pours out into the room. She-Hulk picks up Hephaestus and Thor Athena and the gods are carried to safety. This gives them pause. CM and Namor arrive with Aphrodite and the Avengers make their explanations to the gods, assuring them that Hercules is still an Avenger, despite his delirious ramblings causing Zeus to judge the heroes in the first place….

So the three gods, accompanied by the disguised Avengers, head to the Hall of Apollo to enlist his support. But Ares has spotted them and heads to Zeus’ throne room where Artemis the huntress is presenting Zeus with the latest captive: Wasp. Ares rats out the Avengers and leads Zeus to Apollo’s Hall where Dr. Druid is using his psychic powers to heal Herc’s mind. Angered, Zeus blasts the heroes, taking them all down save for Thor, She-Hulk, Namor, and Captain Marvel. And so the four most powerful Avengers face Zeus in his own realm. Observing from a distance, Prometheus pronounces it the final battle between gods and man in which there will be no victors….

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: John Buscema. Letterer: Bill Oakley.
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)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Cupid, Hephaestus, Pluto (Hades), Prometheus, Venus.

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