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Avengers #61: Review

Dec 1968
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Some say the world will end in fire ... some say in ice

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #61 Review by (July 8, 2022)
The title page of this issue is spread across the opening 2 pages. The title is from a poem by Robert Frost.

Dr Strange sported a new superhero look starting in his #177 which stops him being recognised as Stephen Strange. This was after he appeared in his old look at Hank and Jan's wedding last issue.

This is the 1st app of an Avengers quinjet (so-called because it has 5 turbojet engines at the rear). This issue starts a trend for such craft to get destroyed as soon as they're used.

The Sons Of Satannish flashbacked here only appeared in DrS#171-178 leading up to this. But other Satannish worshippers will use the name in Marvel Team-Up #126 and DrS: Sorcerer Supreme #6.

Surtur and Ymir were both introduced in the 1st Tales Of Asgard backup in Journey Into Mystery #97, and shown as existing before the Asgardians. Surtur will return in Thor #176-177, the end of Jack Kirby's continuous run on the title. Ymir will have to wait much longer until #419.

Dr Strange leaves for his #180 to rescue Eternity from the clutches of Nightmare.

Black Knight will stay with the Avengers for next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #61 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Now that Wasp and Yellowjacket are on honeymoon the Avengers are down to 3 active members again. Black Panther and Hawkeye are directing a beam of solar energy at the jewel on Vision's brow. This is the synthezoid's way of feeding, of gaining energy. But now they stop because he declares himself full. Just then the astral form of Dr Strange joins them to ask for their help to save the planet. Vizh stays behind to recover from his overdose while the other 2 follow Strange's floating form in a quinjet (designed and built in Wakanda) to a graveyard where his astral and corporeal bodies merge. Outside a mausoleum stands Black Knight's winged horse Aragorn, and inside is his comatose body.

DrS now relates the events of his #178 where he recruited BK to help him retrieve the Sons Of Satannish from Tiboro's 6th Dimension. In between issues he wiped the memories of all the cultists but 1 who he wanted to interrogate about the Spell Of Fire And Ice that their now-dead leader Asmodeus cast in #177. Marduk led them to this mausoleum promising a weapon that could help but when he grasped the Crystal Of Conquest he fired a blast from it at the mystic which the Knight intercepted. Strange forced the cultist to tell him what he knew and then spelled him to sleep and fetched our heroes.

The Avengers are primarily concerned with saving their friend so they fly him back to Avengers Mansion. They use their Rejuvenator machine and Doc's magic to stabilise him but he also needs minor surgery. The ex-surgeon Stephen Strange performs the op, for the 1st time since his hands were damaged before he became a sorcerer. Vision tells them of reports of a giant new volcano erupting in Antarctica, and T'Challa gets a message from Wakanda saying that they've been inundated with ice. This is the beginning of the Spell Of Fire And Ice. Black Knight joins them saying the Rejuvenator has made him good as new. DrS stays to study the Crystal Of Conquest while the others split into 2 teams of 2 - BP and Vision in the quinjet, and Hawkeye joining BK on Aragorn to fly to the airport and the Knight's private jet.

Panther flies the quinjet to hidden Wakanda where they are surprised to find the Ice Giant Ymir. They crash the jet into him, destroying their craft and smashing the foe into ice shards. However Ymir quickly reconstitutes himself. Meanwhile the other 2 and Aragorn find the Asgardian giant fire-demon Surtur emerging from the volcano. A blast arrow obviously has no effect, but neither does a foam arrow. Nor BK's new magic Ebony Blade (acquired in Marvel Super-Heroes #17). Back in Wakanda Vision slows the Ice Giant with blasts of energy from the jewel on his forehead until Ymir smashes him down with an icy fist, and then Panther drops some large boulders on both of them. Vision survives by going ultra-dense and floats free by going immaterial.

In the Mansion Dr Strange has gained mental mastery over the Crystal which he confirms by making it levitate. As the Avengers continue to keep their foes occupied DrS uses the COC to transport them and the Asgardian giants to a common (deserted) space. Surtur and Ymir were both poised to strike mighty blows, and now they strike each other and cancel each other out in an implosion. Strange's astral form joins the Avengers to say that the giants have returned to their Asgardian homes (Muspelheim for Surtur and Niffleheim for Ymir) and all is now well with the world.

John Buscema
George Klein
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
George Klein (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Clint Barton)

Plus: Surtur (Surtur the Fire Demon), Ymir (Frost Giant King).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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