The Avengers #127: "Bride And Doom!"

The Avengers #127
 "Bride And Doom!"
 September, 1974

 Steve Englehart: Story
 Sal Buscema & Joe Staton: Art
 Tom Orzechowski: Letterer
 Steve Englehart: Coloring
 Roy Thomas: Editor

 Edwin Jarvis knows the answer to the question, what is so rare as a day in June? There is not a finer turkey to be found in New York, and after hours of preparation -- Earth's Mightiest Heroes will be -- Not even the Bronx-born butler could have possibly foreseen the sudden arrival of Gorgon and Lockjaw of the Inhumans!

 Gorgon wonders if he has arrived too early and asks why they are not ready to depart -- for the wedding? The Mighty Thor knows not of any wedding and Mantis wonders if the Inhuman is speaking of -- Quicksilver and his little cousin, Crystal! The Avengers were unaware of this. Especially the Scarlet Witch, whose own brother swore never to speak to her again -- not while she loved the Vision! How could she have known that Pietro would not have invited her to the wedding? Her love for the synthezoid has traveled a rocky terrain... with arguments and her jealousy over Mantis -- the chasm which has forced this once-inseparable couple apart! Wanda has coped with this one day at a time, but this -- this is too much for her! Gorgon sees that Quicksilver had not seen fit to notify them -- and this drives him to stamp his hoof in anger! BLAM!

 Gorgon's hooves are quite capable of causing earthquakes and are now threatening Avengers Mansion! They are a wonder to behold, but if Avemgers Mansion is meant to survive this sudden onslaught --these wonders are to be stopped by Iron Man's repulsor rays! ZOT! Gorgon has endured much from Pietro for Crystal's sake -- endured it for several months -- but he will not brook such insolence! If the armored Avenger intends to take his side, Gorgon will smash him, as well! Mantis admits that Gorgon's frustration is justified, but he should not be taking it out on the mansion! The Scarlet Witch informs Gorgon that the Avengers will be attending the wedding!

 As Wanda exits the room, Maximus the Mad has finished the repairs on his newest ally! With this as his ally -- ZAM the brother of Black Bolt requires no enemies! Later, a Quinjet lands in the heart of the Great Refuge -- and Earth's Mightiest heroes meet with those who have already arrived -- the Fantastic Four and the Royal House of the Inhumans.

 Crystal and Wanda are delighted to be able to meet one another at last! When asked about her groom, the elemental says he has gone to see to the wedding preparations. Reed Richards introduces the Avengers to Agatha Harkness and Madame Medusa, who has become an unofficial member of their team. When Mantis asks about the statue, Medusa identifies it as Omega -- the product of Maximus the Mad. He had invented a device to harness the Inhumans' guilt over the enslavement of the Alpha Primitives. This guilt powered Omega, who led the Alpha Primitives in revolt against the Inhumans. The Great Refuge nearly fell before the Fantastic Four and the Inhumans discovered what drove this creation, and they overcame their prejudice! In that moment, Omega was defeated! Since that time, Black Bolt has instituted several reforms... so that today, all who dwell in the Great Refuge are equal.

 Twenty yards beneath their feet... RN-62 reports to the hooded one that the renegade Alpha Primitives are ready to begin! Now that Earth's Mightiest Heroes have arrived, there is no further need for delay! The time to strike is mere minutes away! In the late afternoon, the Great Refuge is filled with music and a joyful crowd play for Crystal... whose fiancée is nowhere to be found.

 Unfortunately for those present, Maximus' unknown ally has chosen this moment to strike! Iron Man and Medusa go forth -- to kill -- to kill the Alpha Primitives! WOM Madame Medusa seems determined to bury these rats! The Thing and Thor strive to keep Iron Man from renewing his attack! The armored Avenger moves and speaks as if in a daze -- as if under someone's control! Sue Richards uses her force-field to restrain Medusa -- when all of a sudden, Iron Man keels over, and Medusa follows suit! RN-62 insists to his fellow Alpha Primitives that Black Bolt wants them all dead!

 The Alpha Primitives hold Black Bolt responsible for this premeditated genocide! Later, the ruler of the Inhumans meets with Thor and Mr. Fantastic, and Crystal asks Pietro to reconcile with his sister. Since Wanda refused to obey him, he is most reluctant, and the Scarlet Witch arrives to discuss their differences. Quicksilver is in no mood to discuss things with someone who consorts with a machine!

 Outside, Johnny Storm wishes Crystal all the best, and as he wishes her all the happiness, she wonders if she is truly happy? The Swordsman must know if Mantis loves him, or the Vision? This one cannot be certain if she is a Saigon Street orphan or a specially-trained priestess -- or something else. And he would ask of her feelings? They see Crystal below and something else!

 Omega has come to life once more! And he is after the Exquisite Elemental! Mantis and the Swordsman can do no more than watch as Omega lumbers away -- and only then do they go to raise the alarm! Their alarm spreads like wildfire -- as does the mystery of who is behind this bizarre abduction? The greatest gathering of heroes since the Avengers/Defenders clash is determined to uncover the truth!

 Since the Alpha Primitives do not trust the Inhumans or the Fantastic Four, Black Bolt has Triton ask for the Avengers' aid in this matter. As Thor agrees, Pietro asks to join them, and the former Avenger is welcomed! The Fantastic Four and the Inhumans head off to visit Maximus in his cell! Triton informs the others that Black Bolt weighs the safety of his subjects against his own brother! A terrible inhuman choice for a man who dares not speak, and only with great difficulty seeks aid from his friends. Reed Richards was certain Maximus was behind what was happening -- and sees the brother of Black Bolt unconscious in his cell! The sight is enough to cause Ben Grimm's rocky jaw to drop.

 When asked if they were the ones who revived Omega, Mantis senses the Alpha Primitives' hostility and antagonism! RN-62 speaks for his own people when they say they have had enough of Black Bolt's repression! With his fiancée's life in danger, Pietro is in no mood for RN-62's slogans -- and is eager to demonstrate what happens to those who would mock -- Quicksilver! POK BAM! Even as the mutant directs course towards a second group of Alpha-Primitives -- Mantis brings him down with a single kick! Pietro is unconscious and as Mantis insists to Thor that it wasn't enough to cause such a reaction, she passes out just like Iron Man and Medusa! Enraged by Pietro's assault, the Alpha Primitives go out on the attack!

 Earth's Mightiest Heroes are aware that the Alpha Primitives are mere pawns -- and they gather their wounded and bid a hasty retreat, in order to avoid an all-out war! Reed Richards wishes he had studied medicine as well as physics! Maximus appears to be in the same state as Iron Man and Medusa! As Thor strives to drive the Alpha Primitives back, the Swordsman carries the unconscious Mantis in his arms, and the Vision is right behind Wanda, who alerts the others to the danger! Maximus rises from the stretcher and unleashes a hidden weapon upon the slaves who would rise up against their own masters! Johnny Storm flames on and the Swordsman follows the Torch in his wake!

 It is Johnny Storm who is stopped by Maximus' weapon! FOOM! The Torch is down but not dead! While Maximus is still looking up towards the sky --! ZOT! The Swordsman zaps him into unconsciousness and relishes the feeling of finally living up to the standards of the Avengers. This feeling does not last long, for the Swordsman topples over... His unconscious form is unnoticed in the growing confusion! Black Bolt and Thor are engaging the Alpha Primitives! As Susan Richards asks her husband for the whereabouts of Miss Harkness and Franklin, she sees something far worse!

 Neither she nor Earth's Mightiest Heroes have seen firsthand the imposing sight of Omega, whose tread causes the rocks to shift in the Great Refuge! In that moment, they bear witness to Omega -- who is the sum and total hatred of the Alpha Primitives! RRAK!

 As the Alpha Primitives continue their attack, in the giant shadow of Omega -- Triton and Karnak are suddenly rendered unconscious -- leaving the others to remain that much more outnumbered!

 Only the Vision senses the truth! It seems very familiar to him -- as if he has seen these selfsame tactics before under other circumstances! The synthezoid's next thought -- causes the Vision to wonder if he is somehow malfunctioning -- losing his memory. Further thoughts are impossible, for Omega is now upon them -- and so is the sudden paralysis of both Black Bolt and the Mighty Thor. Reed, Sue, and Ben are next to be frozen into sudden immobility. The Vision and the Scarlet Witch are the last to succumb to this mysterious attack -- and there is no mystery as to who is behind it! At last the power of hatred has reached the required heights, and the Omega-form surges with energy -- so that the mysterious mastermind may abandon his disguise!

 The Vision recognizes the one who twice stole his mind the same way it has stolen the minds of others -- the one who first brought the synthezoid to life! How could the Vision possibly have forgotten -- ULTRON-7!

 Edwin Jarvis asked what is so rare as a day in June and the answer is Avengers #127, cover-dated from September, 1974.

 Gorgon must be a terror on the dance floor and no one could possibly experience the karaoke stylings of Black Bolt.

 Pietro vowed never to speak to Wanda again in Avengers #110.

 I've enjoyed Steve Englehart's run on Avengers and Captain America for Marvel Comics.

 I've enjoyed the art team of Sal Buscema and Joe Staton both in the Avengers and in the pages of The Incredible Hulk.

 Tom Orzechowski has lettered Avengers, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and other titles for Marvel Comics.

 It behooves Gorgon to manage his temper tantrums.

 ZOT's interesting, both Iron Man's repulsor rays and the Swordsman's sword-blasts make the same sound effect.

 Omega last ran amok in Fantastic Four #131 - 132.

 Ultron-7 favors a hood now, but he wore a Crimson Cowl in Avengers #54-55.

 Shell-Head is sporting the nose-job given to him by Mike Friedrich.

 Agon must have had awesome genes for Crystal to suddenly exclaim that particular fact.

 The Avengers/Fantastic Four/Inhumans gathering is as awesome as the Avengers/Defender clash.

 Quicksilver holds former membership in both the Avengers and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

 Reed Richards insists he is a physicist, not a doctor.

 Ultron-7's encephalo ray has been employed in the past by the Grim Reaper.

 Ultron-5 sent the Vision to infiltrate Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers #57.

 Steve Chung
 "Bride And Review!"