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Avengers #81: Review

Oct 1970
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

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Story Name:

When Dies a Legend

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #81 Review by (December 14, 2011)
The fight against Zodiac will be taken up next issue, while Black Panther's quest will take him through Daredevil #69. Captain America, Iron Man and Thor only appear at the beginning of this issue. This issue includes the first signs of the attraction between Scarlet Witch and Vision. It claims here that Avengers Quinjets have no weapons, as part of the general no killing clause in heroes' contracts. (But that doesn't stop Thor probably killing Aries next issue.) I am confused over the state of the conflict between Van Lunt and the Cheyenne. We will learn next issue that he wants them off their land so they won't see Zodiac's army training on his adjacent estate. To this end he has built a dam to deprive them of water. Tommy Talltrees was killed for refusing to sell his land. William Talltrees says Van Lunt has stolen their land. But the bad guys are still attacking them. And Zodiac's army must have been training for a long time already, because they go into action next issue, immediately after this one. Red Wolf may next appear in Red Wolf #7-9 (taking over the comic from the Wild West Red Wolf I mentioned last issue). However his name there is Thomas Thunderhead, and there is some dispute over whether he is the same person. However the Will Talltrees version will definitely be seen in many other comics, starting with Marvel Chillers #3 starring Tigra. He will join the superhero group Rangers in Hulk #265. Next issue we will hear that Cornelius Van Lunt was the financial backer of Zodiac, as well as training an army for them. He didn't die in the flood. He will return in #120-122, where it will be revealed that he is more than a financial backer. In fact he is the Zodiac member Taurus.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #81 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

The Avengers split into the teams reluctantly agreed on last issue. Black Panther goes to protect his schoolchildren from the lure of crime. Captain America, Iron Man, Quicksilver and Thor go to confront the major threat of Zodiac. And this issue will follow Goliath, Scarlet Witch and Vision helping Red Wolf against Cornelius Van Lunt, who had Red Wolf's family murdered for their land. Cap, Iron Man and Thor wonder if this is the end of the Avengers.

As they approach Red Wolf's reservation in a Quinjet, the Avengers are attacked by another craft. Vision goes intangible and floats into it, to find it is controlled by robots, reporting to Van Lunt. Vision destroys the enemy craft, but not before it downs the Quinjet. As he searches for survivors, Vision wonders how Van Lunt got such advanced weaponry.

He finds Wanda floating at the edge of a lake and revives her. But she is too weak to use her power, so Vision surrenders when Van Lunt's men, led by Jason Birch, appear and threaten her. They are taken to Van Lunt. Vision agrees to be his bodyguard, again to protect Scarlet Witch.

Goliath and Red Wolf survived the crash too. Goliath had dropped Wanda into the lake, where she swam to shore. The Quinjet sank, but Clint grew to 30 feet and burst out of it, carrying Red Wolf and his wolf Lobo with him.

They meet up with Red Wolf's tribe, led by William Talltrees, who tells them how his brother Tommy stood up to Van Lunt, and how he and his wife were killed, and their son Will disappeared. He also questions whether Red Wolf is the hero from their legends.

Van Lunt's men attack the village, but Goliath and Red Wolf fight them off. The tribe are inspired to confront Van Lunt.

Goliath leads one group to Van Lunt's house. But Vision opposes them for the Wanda's sake.

Meanwhile Red Wolf leads some other tribesmen against men on a dam Van Lunt built to starve them of water. Van Lunt flies there with Scarlet Witch. But she has got her strength back, and unleashes a hex to save Red Wolf. Unfortunately the hex cracks the dam. Red Wolf and can Lunt are locked in conflict as the waters sweep them away.

Wanda escapes to Van Lunt's house, and her appearance halts the fight between Goliath and Vision. The bodies of Red Wolf and Van Lunt can't be found. But the missing Will Talltrees arrives. Only the Avengers seem to notice that he and Red Wolf are the same person.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay
Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Buscema
Tom Palmer
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Tom Palmer (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Goliath (Clint Barton), Red Wolf, Taurus (Cornelius Van Lunt).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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