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Solo Avengers #16: Review

Mar 1989
Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

The Sinister Secret of SODAM

Review & Comments

4 stars

Solo Avengers #16 Review by (May 24, 2022)

Review: The team-up tale wraps up in a satisfying manner with a science lab blowing up and a bittersweet coda, knowing that, aww, Clint and Bobbi still love one another, though maybe not enough to overcome his being a jerk to her.

The Moondragon tale has a unique feel to it as it primarily takes place in Pamela’s confused brain, for something a bit more impressionistic. Also the multi-part tale is not covered in consecutive issues for another odd point. The background is a little complicated to be springing upon those not familiar with the character from THE DEFENDERS so I did the best I could. It’s a rather complicated tale and referring to two different “Isaacs” doesn’t help.

Comments: First story: Part three of three parts. WEST COAST AVENGERS #36 introduced Maria Trovaya who here becomes SODAM, becoming MODAM in QUASAR #9. There’s a rare mention of Hawkeye’s hearing aid. Second story: Part one of three, continuing in issues #18 and 20. First appearance of Pamela Douglas, the future Sundragon. Moondragon died in NEW DEFENDERS #152; she had killed Gargoyle in issue #147.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Solo Avengers #16 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In A.I.M.’s underground headquarters, Mockingbird watches from the shadows as agents load the pods containing human brains on a tele-jumper in preparation for Project Brain Drain. Just as they activate the platform, Mockingbird jumps aboard and thus arrives in another lab where she is instantly spotted and guards called to apprehend her. She swings into action with her battle staves and takes out quite few of them….

Nearby, Hawkeye and Black Widow are held immobile by a pair of magnetic devices that look like huge triangles. As Enforcer Fourteen stands by, Hawkeye reveals that he is clearly not Hank Pym just a simulacrum. So they usher in the real Hank Pym, a captive since he was gassed during an attempt to cure his wife Maria of an artificially enlarged brain. Maria then enters in a huge protective vehicle, introducing herself as SODAM, Special Organism Designed for Agressive Maneuvers and revealing that she was not Hank’s wife, merely adopting that persona to trick him into fixing some problems inherent in her creation. Mockingbird arrives, fighting guards and in the scuffle the electro-magnetic computer is damaged, freeing Hawkeye and Black Widow to battle the guards. Hank has figured out that Project Brain Drain is designed to create a super-mind. The Imperial Council of Seven, watching remotely, gives SODAM the order to hit the self-destruct button. All A.I.M. personnel flee (the Hank Pym simulacra has already been destroyed) and Hawkeye, Widow, and Hank escape via rocket sled. Mockingbird jumps into the tele-jumper at the last minute and vanishes….

Outside, the police are rounding up A.I.M. personnel while Hank wonders if SODAM really was Maria. Hawkeye bitterly misses Bobbi and assumes she doesn’t care for him anymore…as we see her depart in secrecy, equally sad….

“Seconds” 3.5/5
Writer: Peter Gillis. Pencils: Don Perlin. Inks: Jack Abel. Colors: Andy Yanchus. Letters: Richard Starkings.
Synopsis: Magazine editor Pamela Douglas suddenly has all sorts of mad thoughts, mostly of violence, running through her head and she can’t understand why. At work she absently scribbles hate notes about her co-workers. She goes home to her fiancé Tom and screams at him that he doesn’t really love her. That night she goes into he bathroom and shaves her head. He crashes her car into a billboard of an unborn child and is convinced she is pregnant. While trying to explain this to Tom a giant ghostly hand crashes in through the ceiling and she flees into the night….

Hiding in an alley, she is contacted mentally by her cousin Heather, whom she has never met. Heather explains that she is called Moondragon, turned against her friends the Defenders and died but her shattered mind was set adrift and found Pam and she is now strong enough to communicate. On Titan, the computer Isaac is creating a cloned body for her. Moondragon summons her ship Sensia II to take them to Titan. Pam is approached by a military officer whose hand grow into giant claws and reach out for Pam. Heather speaks through Pam’s mouth and stops the solider, noting that he wears a crystal taken from Dr. Strange, containing the spirit of Isaac “Gargoyle” Christians, who was killed by Moondragon earlier. She apologizes and wants to start over, suggesting that Isaac can too. She takes the crystal and is beamed up to the ship which takes off for another world….

Story continues in issue #18.

Al Milgrom
Jose Marzan Jr.
Janet Jackson
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Isaac Christians)

(Clint Barton)

Plus: SODAM.

> Solo Avengers: Book info and issue index

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