Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Avengers# 89. The Kree/Skrull War.

Avengers #89, the Kree-Skrull War
Just as it was inevitable that the Smog Monster had to take on Godzilla, so it was pre-destined that at some point I'd have to tangle with the greatest comic book epic of my childhood.

That's right. In a daring series running for night after night after night, I'll be reviewing Amazing Spider-Man's Death of the Kangaroo. Who can forget the trauma and horror we all felt as the antipodean bouncer opened that door to the reactor and...

Then again.

Maybe I'll stick to a lesser epic that thrilled me as a kid. Was there ever a cover that more demanded you buy it than that of Avengers #89? Who wouldn't be drawn in by the sight of poor old Captain Marvel being fried in an electric chair as the Avengers watched on?

Mere days ago the world thrilled to my recollections of the time when, as a child, I created the world's greatest comic strip, the tale of the sllurks and the eerk and the starship Pihs-Rats.

But I must confess it wasn't a totally original story. Being never backwards about going backwards, I disguised it brilliantly but, amazingly, its three completed panels may have been influenced by a set of comics that'd already been published.

Those comics were what came to be known as the Kree/Skrull War and right here's where it started. I could lie and say that every night I'm going to review an issue till the job's done but, as I found out with my Thor "Week", even doing four consecutive days on one subject's a strain for my pitiful excuse for self-discipline. So instead I suspect I'll be doing one issue a week, with Wednesdays being Kree/Skrull Night.

The war itself starts without warning, as Captain Marvel's again on the look-out for a way to escape Rick Jones. Ever since he was plunged into the Negative Zone Mar-Vell can only leave it for three hours at a time by swapping places with Jones. The rest of the day his consciousness sort of floats around in Rick's head. As Rick Jones spends half his time being rejected by super-types and the other half doing concerts that're clearly not exactly up there with Muse, it's hardly surprising that Mar-Vell's getting a bit desperate to get away from him. Fortunately, there's a way-out way out. He can use the doorway to the Negative Zone that exists in the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building.

Now, at this juncture, you or I'd pick up the phone and ask Reed Richards if we can use his machine but Captain Marvel's not like you and I. He's stupid. So, instead, he heads for the Baxter Building and breaks in. In doing so he manages to attract the attention of the both Avengers and Annihilus who, ever the optimist, sees the opening of the door as his chance to invade the Earth. The grandiose grasshopper though is quickly seen off by being sucked back into the Negative Zone, and Captain Marvel takes that as his cue to steal the Avengers' quinjet for no good reason.

What he doesn't know is that, thanks to his time in the Negative Zone, he's a bit on the radioactive side and if he's not drained of the radiation, he'll blow up and kill us all. That's what that cover's about. They're not trying to kill him at all. They're trying to save him.

Someone who definitely doesn't want to save him is Ronan the Accuser. He's back on the Kree home world and doing his usual thing of trying to overthrow the Intelligence Supreme who, despite being an intelligence supreme, hasn't noticed that all his guards have been killed. With a sinister blast, Ronan activates the sleeping Sentry and sends it off to kill the still-recuperating Mar-vell. Then again, compared with such a turn-up, maybe a lifetime of Rick Jones concerts isn't that bad after all.


cerebus660 said...

One of my absolute favourite comics! And one of the first I ever owned. Although, like many of my early comics, it was lost/traded/nicked or something so I only had a hazy memory of it until the British Marvel reprint. And, of course, I later bought a nice second-hand copy.

The Neal Adams issues of the Kree/Skrull War storyline are justly famous, but I think the Sal Buscema issues are great too. This one has so many images that have stayed with me ever since: the Avengers stalking Captain Marvel through Miami at night, Marvel ripping steel doors open with his bare hands, Annihilus escaping from the Negative Zone, the Sentry smashing through that wall on the last page.....

Classic stuff!

Anonymous said...

Has it ever been established exactly what kind of music Rick Jones played?

B Smith

Steve said...

I suspect, from what we saw of it, that it may have been in the country-folk envelope. This is based on no evidence at all other than blind assumption and prejudice on my part.

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