1977 · The 70s

August 1977: Avenger Annual 7 – In which we learn the Scarlet Witch wears the pants

 

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Synopsis: Avengers annual 7 was written and drawn by Jim Starlin with Joe Rubinstein on finishes and opens with Adam Warlock finding the dying body of Gamorra, step-daughter of Thanos. She admits that Thanos has gone quite mad and seeks to end all life. Adam Warlock gets all angry and pronouncing and then heads towards Earth after taking the soul of Gamorra into his soul gem.

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On Earth, the Avengers are, just milling about really, Beast is regaling Captain America and Thor of his recent romantic exploits, Vision and the Scarlet Witch walk around together and Iron Man stares out the window for 3 hours. Scarlet Witch gets a reluctant Vision to talk to Iron Man to find out why he is doing that, when Moondragon and Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) arrive and tell them all that bad stuff is going down and they need to be ready. Before anyone can ask anything Adam Warlock arrives and tells them that the threat they face is Thanos, the mad Titan.

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After a quick what he’s been up to lately recap, Adam points out that he now intends to blow stars out of the sky and using his armada, lay waste the the few who can stop him, who at this moment are all on Earth. Now instead of phoning the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and anyone else who could add some muscle to this group, the Avengers just take off into space in Moondragon’s ship to face this threat alone.

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There are some introspective moments, showing you the team members’ points of view and then there several thousand ships facing them. Rather than you or I or any sane people thinking sod this, I am out of here, Thor and Iron Man run interference, while the rest of the team head for Thanos’ ship. Yeah that’s right, thousands of advanced alien ships against a space viking and the the world’s most armoured drunk. Start calculating those odds people.

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The fight goes better than it should and the rest of the Avengers attack Thanos’ ship and wade through a large variety of aliens. Meanwhile Adam Warlock and Mar-Vell find a lobotomised Pip the Troll, who Adam kills and absorbs his soul, same as he did with Gamorra. Mar-Vell finds the aritifical Infinity Stone that Thanos is using and destroys the weapon it powers, promptly knocking himself out. Thanos believes he has won, until Adam Warlock flies in and faces Thanos. Thanos quickly kills him and even points out how easily he defeated this champion of life. Thor and Iron Man arrive and while Thor kicks Thanos around, Iron Man destroys the artificial Infinity Stone. His plans stalled Thanos leaves and vows revenge against the Avengers.

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Finally we see Adam Warlock, his life now seen by himself as a failure absorbed into his own Soul Gem and reunited with Gamorra and Pip, for the first time at peace.

Notes: I think epic covers it. This is the one of the first big Thanos vs everyone stories and only Starlin could really do it justice. This was high action and pulse quickening tension as the Avengers stand between Thanos and the slow death of all the stars in the galaxy. As well as having some of my favourite Avengers in this story, it also had the Captain Marvel I have the most fondness for as well as Adam Warlock, who thanks to Al Sedano’s Resurrections podcast, (  http://resurrectionsadamwarlock.tumblr.com/  ) I have developed a new appreciation for. The fact that at the end of the story, it’s Adam Warlock who is dead and not Thanos is a surprising twist and it tells you that this story isn’t over and there’s more exciting stuff to come. This is a treat of the time and some of the best mainstream Starlin work.

Revelance: Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, Annihilation and Infinity are all crossover events that took this Thanos v everyone story and ran with it, this is where all that really started off and it’s why Thanos got a cameo in the Avengers movie and all his guest spots since then on the big screen.

 

Next Time: Well was I likely not to carry this one on? We get Spider-Man and the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing getting involved too.

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