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Avengers #288: Review

Feb 1988
Ralph Macchio, Tom Palmer

Story Name:

Heavy Metal

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #288 Review by (April 6, 2024)
Comments: Part three of five parts. Sentry 459 was introduced in FANTASTIC FOUR #64, then famously battled Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #13. His most recent appearances were in CAPTAIN MARVEL (still Mar-Vell) #47-49. TESS-One was activated in CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #8; this is its second appearance. Doomsday Man first appeared in SILVER SURFER #13, followed by MS. MARVEL #3-4; from here it goes on to AVENGERS (1998) #15-17, in better repair. And we learn that the Avengers employ a clipping bureau, searching newspapers for items of interest. The letters page includes an explanation of why writer Roger Stern was leaving, accompanied by a brief farewell by Stern.

Review: A tourist trap is defiled, Dr. Druid undermines Captain Marvel at every opportunity, we take a break for some robot philosophy, there’s a cool fight scene wherein Black Knight and Dr. Druid are defeated by the robots who form a new villain team and invade Hydrobase. Pretty cool issue with a surprising bit: She-Hulk wants Subby’s wife out of the way so she and Subby can…what? We’ll never know.

Best Moment: Super-Adaptoid and Machine Man discussing robot philosophy. MM: There’s a lot of fascinating ideas in all sorts of robotic philosophy. SA: What’s the point? MM: Knowledge is its own reward. SA: Loser.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #288 Synopsis by T Vernon
Having reached an accord, the Super-Adaptoid (in a body which combines features of his two victims, the Fixer and Mentallo) and Machine Man (in his usual body) fly to the Texas Panhandle. There they come to a cheap tourist attraction: the dormant Sentry 459 is on display for visitors to gawk at. SA and MM land and reactivate the Sentry while its “owner,” a crochety old man, shoots at them to prevent them from stealing his meal ticket. No use, the three robots depart, ignoring him as though he wasn’t there….

At Avengers Hydrobase, the Sub-Mariner directs the workers who are putting the repaired Avengers Mansion into place at its new location. A passing comment by Doctor Druid about not photographing the event rankles Captain Marvel, who resents Druid questioning her every move. Black Knight approaches, showing them a newspaper item about the theft of the Sentry. Recognizing the work of the Super-Adaptoid and discovering he is searching for robots, the three make plans. CM asks the others to come up with a list of robots SA may be interested in while she moves at the speed of light to Texas to search for the bad guys….

Meanwhile, Super-Adaptoid and Machine Man are flying over the Grand Canyon, held back by having to keep pace with the Sentry which can only walk. On the way, the two discuss philosophical concepts of robotic life while MM wonders if Super-Adaptoid can truly reunite him with his beloved Jocasta….

Unable to locate Super-Adaptoid and the Sentry, Captain Marvel returns to Hydrobase and calls a meeting. Studying the list of robots compiled by Dr. Druid and Black Knight, they decide the most likely targets for the villain would be Ultron, TESS-One, Machine Man, or the Sentinels. Black Knight and Dr. Druid will go to Colorado to check on TESS-One, Sub-Mariner and She-Hulk to Washington and the Sentinels, the West Coast Avengers are investigating Ultron (unseen), and Marrina will remain behind; this last causes Namor to bristle as he is her husband and the one responsible for her; Marrina says it’s okay. CM will check out the robots listed as destroyed to verify their status….

So Black Knight and Dr. Druid take a Quinjet to the Colorado AirForce Base where TESS-One is being guarded and Druid hypnotizes the soldiers into handing over the robot and loading it onto the Quinjet for them. BK finds this a bit shady and points out that CM didn’t tell them to bring TESS-One home with them. Druid thinks it the reasonable thing to do, especially if the Super-Adaptoid intends to steal it. Then the Quinjet is knocked out of the sky and the Sentry tears it open and grabs Black Knight. The hero uses the Ebony Blade to slice the robot’s hand off but he is still encircled by the fingers, needing some careful surgery with his cursed sword to free himself. Druid conjures up illusions of Thor and Sub-Mariner to intimidate the Super-Adaptoid but the robot isn’t fooled. Sentry and Machine Man clobber Black Knight while SA absorbs Druid’s mental abilities. With his last strength, Druid sends a cerebral distress signal towards Hydrobase…

…Captain Marvel destroys the Doomsday Man in a Florida cave and departs and the distress signal just misses her, so it moves on…

…to the Situation Room where CM checks the monitors for an electronic distress signal and blinks out quickly, the mental signal just missing her again…

…and back in Colorado, Super-Adaptoid hands Druid and Black Knight over to Machine Man for disposal while he reactivates TESS-One….

Soon, at Hydrobase, Subby and Shulkie report back that all Sentinels are accounted for. CM, worried about BK and Druid, flies out to see what’s happened to them…

…and then Super-Adaptoid arrives at the Hydrobase, leading Machine Man, Sentry 459, and TESS-One, laying claim to the island in the name of this new group, Heavy Metal….

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Christie Scheele
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . 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: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Marrina, Sentry 459, TESS-One.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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