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Avengers #285: Review

Nov 1987
Roger Stern, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Twilight of the Gods

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Avengers #285 Review by (March 15, 2024)
Comments: Part five of five parts. Dr. Druid takes Hercules back to the events of issue #274 in the Avengers Under Siege story arc. The sea god is called by the Roman name Neptune rather than the Greek Poseidon, putting him at odds with the other gods; Pluto likewise goes by the Roman name over the Greek Hades, which is herein used for the name of his realm. And Cap has been stripped of his position in the classic “Cap No More” story arc beginning in CAPTAIN AMERICA #332.

Review: The epic battle continues between Zeus and the Avengers, leading to the dramatic climax of the book, Zeus mourning the injured Hercules. Unfortunately, the comic continues for five more paragraphs in the synopsis of anticlimactic details setting up future developments in the long-running comic series. Still good but growing tedious by the end.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #285 Synopsis by T Vernon
Black Knight, hiding in the forest of Olympus, watches as Zeus has withstood the attacks of the other Avengers (Thor, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Sub-Mariner) and is still standing. Zeus is determined to destroy the Avengers for what (he thinks) they have done to his son Hercules….

In Prometheus’ cavern, Hercules has recovered from his injuries but he is insane, seeing enemies everywhere, even in Captain America, Wasp, and Doctor Druid. Wasp shrinks down and buzzes around his face, trying to recall him to his senses but it does not work. Wasp tries to revive the unconscious Hera and Prometheus but Hercules claps his hands together and the blast of air pressure knocks Wasp to the ground. Cap, his legs broken, tries to stop Hercules as the demi-god picks up Wasp to crush her in his hands. Dr. Druid leaps on Herc’s back and hypnotizes him into letting her go; he then forces his way into Herc’s mind to uncover the memories of the siege of Avengers Mansion and what happened to him there. He cries out, “No more!”

Zeus allows She-Hulk and Namor to regain consciousness so they can be aware of his vengeance being poured out on them. Black Knight, armed with the Ebony Blade and Cap’s shield, steps forward to challenge Zeus. Zeus hurls a thunderbolt and the Blade absorbs it and BK hurls it back at its sender…then Shulkie and Namor leap forward and start pummeling Zeus from both sides. Thor hurls Mjolnir, hitting Zeus full in the face. Zeus is humbled and Captain Marvel asks for a truce but She-Hulk expresses how she would like to keep hitting the big guy which causes Zeus to erupt in rage, blasting the heroes surrounding him into unconsciousness. Zeus picks up the groggy Thor to end his life but a hand on the shoulder tries to stop him; in a rage Zeus strikes out at this newcomer and a battle ensues wherein the newcomer takes a severe beating. The Avengers restrain Zeus and point out to him that he has just brutally beaten his own son, Hercules. The King of the Gods falls to his knees and begs Herc’s forgiveness. Prometheus arrives with Cap and Dr. Druid and Hera shows up with Wasp. Together they convince Zeus that the Avengers were not at fault, that Herc was delirious when he accused them. Hera explains that Prometheus saved Hercules’ life by sacrificing part of his own life essence and he will bear the scars forever. Prometheus says it is the least he could do as Herc had rescued him from Mount Caucasus many centuries earlier. Hercules confesses that it was all his fault, leaving Zeus to say, “What have I done?”

Later, the Avengers are treated as honored guests in Olympus, though CM is a bit uneasy being the guest of someone who was just trying to kill them. Cap and Dr. Druid arrive, completely healed from their injuries by the ministrations of Apollo. Thor arrives but Apollo was unable to help him, as his brittle bones were the result of a curse by Hela….

The Avengers are invited to a Tribunal of the Gods. Ares asks Athena why they were commanded to attend. Zeus comes out in his Robes of Penance and apologizes for his treatment of the Avengers, saying it is the result of the gods’ arrogance so henceforth, the gods of Olympus are banned from setting foot on Earth. Ares and Neptune are enraged but Zeus silences them with a shout….

Prometheus is tasked with sending the Avengers back to Earth, informing them that Zeus’ admission of error was unheard of in Olympus and he hopes that the other gods may learn from it. He also assures them that, despite Zeus’ edict, they have not seen the last of Hercules on Earth. As he sends them back, he warns that they will be sorely tested soon, which causes some consternation among the heroes….

Back on Earth, Wasp returns to her vacation, Thor must see about lifting Hela’s curse, and Captain America has business elsewhere. The rest return to Hydrobase where Namor meets his wife Marrina who tells him that the sight of Namor being carried off to judgment by Neptune has caused his subjects to desert him; he decides then that they must find a place for themselves on the surface world….

A week later, Captain Marvel calls a meeting to update the team on their enemies at large, starting with the Fixer. She-Hulk and Black Knight arrive and tell CM that they cannot locate Captain America. Concerned, CM makes that their first order of business….

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: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Apollo, Athena, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Hera, Marrina, Neptune, Prometheus.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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