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Avengers #286: Review

Dec 1987
Ralph Macchio, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

The Fix is On

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #286 Review by (March 22, 2024)
Comments: Part one of five parts. Namor’s lawyer, Michael Costello, was first seen in issue #270 then in #278; this is his third and final appearance. FBI Agent Derek Freeman was previously seen in issues #263, and 270-271; his next appearance is CAPTAIN AMERICA #394-395. Bobby Hutchinson was previously seen in CAP #311, where the Awesome Android was discovered to be in the barn. Russ the construction guy makes a Superman joke. The letters page includes one by noted letterhack Dale Coe.

Review: A quirky issue for some odd character bits. The big one is Dr. Druid’s sneakiness and attempts to undermine Captain Marvel’s authority; this will be a big deal over the next several issues. We also see Black Knight’s unrequited crush on Wasp, She-Hulk thinking CM’s powers are weird while admiring Namor’s shoulders. Namor has a hissy fit over being sued for damages to the USA in his super-villain past. The issue needs something as the main villain is the Fixer, never a formidable foe—but we’re in for a surprise because [spoiler for a thirty-five-year-old comic book] it’s not the Fixer but the Super-Adaptoid we’re dealing with and he’s quite a bit more powerful than Fixer.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #286 Synopsis by T Vernon
In a Manhattan research lab, scientist Todd Martin is examining the gear of the criminal known as the Fixer. He is hypnotized by the helmet, uses the gun to shoot his co-workers, then dons the full outfit to fly out through the skylight….

In the Avengers Communication Center, Doctor Druid sends out his astral form to spy on his fellow Avengers unawares….

At Hydrobase, Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner is angry over the lawsuits being brought against him. His rage lashes out, frightening his lawyer, Michael Costello. He stalks off into the ocean; his wife Marrina follows him and manages to calm him down….

At Avengers Mansion, Black Knight is examining the equipment salvaged from the bad guys’ invasion and finding much of it in excellent condition—but his is upset that he keeps failing to tell Wasp how he feels about her….

In the construction area of Hydrobase, Captain Marvel is looking over plans with the foreman Russ. Russ is surprised when She-Hulk comes up carrying a heavy girder. CM has to go so she leaves Shulkie in charge; Jen wonders what it’s like being able to turn into energy….

Captain Marvel arrives in the office of FBI Agent Derek Freeman, scaring the bejabbers out of him. She wants to locate Captain America who told her he was taking an indefinite leave of absence. Freeman does some checking but learns he does not have the security clearance to find the answers. While she’s there, he tells her about the disappearance of the Fixer’s equipment….

At the prison, Norbert (the Fixer) Ebersol is brought into the Warden’s office and questioned about the disappearance of his gear. Todd Martin crashes in, shoots the guards, and flies off with Ebersol in tow. Martin awakens an hour later at the Fixer’s hideout. Knowing he was used in a criminal scheme, Martin demands answers. The Fixer shoots him and moves on to the next phase of his plan….

On Hydrobase, the alarm goes off. She-Hulk, Black Knight, and Namor (with Marrina) gather around Dr. Druid who has arrived in a Quinjet. They pile in (Marrina over Namor’s objections) and take off. Captain Marvel joins them in flight and Druid cites the need for urgency—while CM wonders why he chose to alert her, the team chairwoman, last….

They arrive in Ohio, where a boy named Bobby Hutchinson has called Captain America’s hotline. He tells CM about the Android in the barn, adding the Cap said to call if anything strange happened there and someone showed up that day. Then the barn explodes and the Fixer stands revealed as taking over the Awesome Android. CM clouts him, knocking him out. She avoids touching the Android, knowing it can then mimic her powers but a gas bomb on Fixer’s vest fires, putting her to sleep. The Android picks her up, puzzled. The other Avengers arrive and the Android fires a particle blast, knocking him out of the air. She-Hulk fights the monster and is clobbered. Dr. Druid distracts the Android, giving Black Knight the opportunity to slash its arm with the Ebony Blade, causing it to drop CM. The Android blows up a giant wind, hurling the Avengers about. The Avengers surround it; Druid informs She-Hulk mentally that he has located a strange nerve ganglion under one armpit; she strikes it and the monster shuts down. CM resents Druid’s taking charge of the team. They unmask the Fixer and find a confused stranger….

Meanwhile, Marrina has seen a truck fleeing the scene so she takes a shortcut and leaps atop the vehicle; a panel opens, dropping her inside. She is captured and bound by the real Fixer; she bursts her bonds so he shoots her with a ray gun and goes about his new master plan….

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)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)

(Jennifer Walters)

Plus: Awesome Android, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Marrina.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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