Friday, February 7, 2014

Avengers 188-193 (including Avengers Annual 9)

Writer potpourri.
Gyrich gets no joy in court.
Uru not lucky.

Government approved team:
Beast; Henry "Hank" McCoy
Captain America; Steve Rogers
Falcon; Sam Wilson
Iron Man; Tony Stark
Ms. Marvel; Carol Danvers
Wasp; Janet Van Dyne

Featured Allies:
Crystal; Crystalia Amaquelin
Daredevil; Matt Murdock
Hawkeye; Clint Barton
Quicksilver; Pietro Maximoff
Scarlet Witch; Wanda Maximoff
Thor; Donald Blake
Wonder Man;  Simon Williams
Yellowjacket; Henry "Hank" Pym

     This sequence of issues featured a host of different writers collaborating on the Avengers' adventures during these few months. Bill Mantlo checked in for the first two issues, and Steven Grant and Mark Gruenwald joined David Michelinie and editor Roger Stern for the next few. Short adventures were the rule for these months, with some subplots wrapped up and continued tension caused by Gyrich's micromanagement of the team.
     We found the Avengers back in court trying to prove that they should have more autonomy from Gyrich, who only put up a token defense before a menace from space interrupted the proceedings. Things were simpler then, without the different complications that government relationships have in today's Marvel Universe after Mutant Registration Acts and later the mandatory registration of all heroes during Marvel's Civil War event. Gyrich was a starched loudmouth versus the vivacious and upright heroes of the series, so the outcome was never in doubt. No gray areas here. Even the "threat from space," one lone antagonist, seems quaint versus today's all-out invasions.
Avengers Vol 1 188
 Avengers 188
Elementary, Dear Avengers
October, 1979
Written by Bill Mantlo and Jim Shooter
Art by John Byrne, Dan Green, and Frank Springer
Lettered by Gaspar Saladino
Colored by Bob Sharen

Captain America, Beast, Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Wonder Man, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver fly from Transia to Attilan to drop off Quicksilver. Quicksilver discovers he is going to be a father, and the heroes celebrate with the Inhumans. While planning their course home from the Himalayas, they encounter Soviet fighter planes. One of the planes is destroyed in midair, and the Russian radio chatter alerts the Avengers to a disturbance. Beast insists that the Avengers help, even though other team members are reluctant to do so. They land the Quinjet at a nuclear-powered military installation that is the source of the problem. A Russian Colonel allows the Avengers to help just before the Soviet troops are all incapacitated by a blast from inside the complex. The Avengers defeat the metallic Vanadium quickly, but they are forced to retreat when they encounter more of the elemental creatures inside. Falcon notices the Wasp is missing, and he goes back into the complex to find her, only to be captured himself. Outside, the Russian Colonel is missing, and the troops now seek to impede the Avengers, but they fail. Wasp makes her way outside and tells the team how the elemental beings are created by transforming humans into elemental creatures. Falcon is about to be similarly transformed when Ms. Marvel arrives on the scene with a Soviet laser cannon. In the battle, the nuclear core is damaged, and the Elements are left to be destroyed while the Avengers make their escape from both the Elements and the Russian soldiers.

Beast: "There's no 'American' before Avengers in our name, Simon! When we save the world, do we stop to think that we might be saving it for the Soviets, too?"

Captain America: "They'd have preferred destruction to disruption of their national security!" Hmm! I can think of someone else that would apply to!"
Ms. Marvel: "So can I--But I won't mention Gyrich's name in case he's got the Quinjet bugged!"
  • Jim Shooter not only helped with plotting the issue, but he is also credited as the guest editor. Although the stand-alone issue does have some of the flavor of an inventory story, it directly ties into the previous issue and specifically fits here in the continuity.
  • The Avengers open the story with a working Quinjet flying away from Transia. I guess the crash last issue was not too bad after all.
  • Though they have their faces on the cover, Iron Man does not appear in the issue, and Vision only appears in one panel over the radio.
  • The Inhumans city of Attilan has been repaired since its last appearance in issue 161, where it looked to be completely destroyed. No one mentions it, but it was rebuilt under the direction of the Inhuman Thraxon, as told in Fantastic Four (1963) Annual 12. Thraxon was a rival of the Inhuman Royal Family who rebuilt the city against their wishes and imprisoned them briefly, but at least he rebuilt the city.
  • It's mentioned that Medusa is currently missing. She is currently a prisoner of evil scientists called the Enclave, who will first appear in this series in Avengers Annual 12.
  • Wasp says that Attilan reminds her of the last World's Fair. The last Expo had been in Spokane, Washington, in 1974. Its motto was "Progress without Pollution." The residents of Attilan, the Inhumans, are very sensitive to human pollution and are in fact later driven off the planet by it.
  • Quicksilver's discovery that he is expecting a child in this issue stirs the Scarlet Witch to consider her own future as a parent.
  • Beast peruses the Darkhold on the Quinjet. Scarlet Witch vehemently tells him it's a bad idea. The hole he lanced in the book last issue is conspicuously missing. Magic!
  • Beast says Chthon is "no Mario Puzo" from what he reads in the Darkhold. Puzo is best known for his Godfather novel and films, but before them, he worked on men's magazines published by Martin Goodman, who also was the publisher of Timely and Atlas Comics, the forerunners of Marvel Comics.
  • Wasp says the Soviets are touchy since Gary Powers was shot down. Francis Gary Powers was shot down and captured by Russia in 1960 while piloting a U-2 spy plane. He came back to the United States in a prisoner exchange in 1962.
  • Beast speaks and understands Russian, and Ms. Marvel claims she does not.
  • The Russian Colonel allows the Avengers to aid them because Captain America had fought alongside the Russians in World War II.
  • Many of the Elements of Doom do not have mouths. They seem to communicate telepathically, so Beast does not have to translate from Russian for them.
  • The Elements that appear in this issue are Vanadium, Phosphorus, Carbon, Radium, Chlorine, and Cobalt. Future appearances have many more members of the team.
  • The closing narration says that the Soviets did not admit publicly any of the events of the issue except for the closing of the nuclear power plant. Falcon does talk about this adventure in an interview with Jet Magazine, however.
  • In 1993, an Avenger's Collector's Edition was published with a story that contains the Elements of Doom as villains. It was a promotional comic book only available after redeeming selected candy wrappers.
  • Thunderbolts (1997) 7 reveals that the Elements' experiment was created by Dr. Vasily Khandruvitch to embue humans with elemental abilities. He does not appear in this Avengers story, but he mentions that after his failed experiment, he was reassigned to menial work. He later tries again in the United States, but this time the Elements are created from scratch from inert materials.
  • Also this month, in Iron Man (1968) 127, Jarvis resigns from his position as the Avengers' butler after a run-in with a drunk Tony Stark. He is reinstated soon thereafter in issue 128 once Stark begins his sobriety. 
Avengers Annual Vol 1 9
Avengers Annual 9
..Today the Avengers Die!
October, 1979
Written by Bill Mantlo
Art by Don Newton, Jack Abel, and Joe Rubenstein
Lettered by John Costanza
Colored by Carl Gafford

Iron Man convenes a special meeting to specifically investigate the previous appearance of the Arsenal robot in the basement of Avengers Mansion. He invites several temporary members to fill out the roster. Hawkeye is still in a bad mood and stalks off to the gym. Beast attempts to ambush Hawkeye to prove how easy it is to be on edge when your enemy is unknown. Yellowjacket also stays unseen nearby, and the three heroes come across a large hole blasted through the wall. It leads into a large cavern that no one suspected was there, so they investigate and are attacked by Arsenal. Yellowjacket flies away to alert the rest of the team, but a computer presence called Mistress, which is controlling Arsenal, detects Yellowjacket and blasts him with an electro-burst. The rest of the team are being briefed by a Dr. Singer, who outlines the program called Project Tomorrow created in 1944. It was a back-up plan if the Axis powers were to win the war. Howard Stark advised against its use in peacetime, so the project was shut down after the war, but not until the computer intelligence that ran the robot was invested with a female personality. Yellowjacket manages to get to the rest of the team and tell them what happened, so they go down into the caverns after their comrades. Hawkeye and Beast are restrained and prepared to have their brains drained of information so that Mistress, unsure of the situation outside the lab, can figure out how to combat the Axis powers she thinks are in control worldwide. Vision is the first to get the lab, but a photoelectric force fence causes him extreme pain, and he flies off into the sky. Scarlet Witch hears his scream and rushes forward ahead of the team, but she is gassed by Arsenal after her hex causes a large chasm in the floor. Wonder Man is knocked unconscious and falls into the chasm, so Thor follows him. Wonder Man falls into an underground river and is rushed away by the current. Iron Man recognizes the voice of Mistress while he rescues Beast and Hawkeye. It's that of his late mother, Maria Stark. While the Avengers regroup and defeat Arsenal, Iron Man removes his helmet and tells Mistress that it was never meant to be reawakened and that it has no purpose in a world where the Allies won the war. It finally believes his words and begins to erase itself when it does not wish to exist any longer.

Iron Man:  "I'm still surprised that you let us juggle our regular roster for this job, Gyrich!"
Henry Gyrich: "How could the Security Council refuse the lone request, to be submitted, with all the proper paperwork? I'm not against change, per se, Iron Man...just lack of procedure!"
  • The hero roster is again helpfully provided on the cover, but Yellowjacket is left off.
  • This is Don Newton's first Avengers work. He will only work on one other issue. He more commonly worked for Charlton and DC Comics. Newton was enticed to work on the book when it was promised that Joe Rubenstein would be his inker. On Newton's two issues, Rubenstein only worked on one of them. Both issues were combined to form this Annual.
  • It took almost a year for the mystery of Arsenal to return. It was last featured in Iron Man 114 in September of 1978.
  • Iron Man must have cleared his name of murder to return to the team, but no mention is made of it. It happened in Iron Man 127.
  • Wasp is claimed to be out of town, as is Ms. Marvel. Lucky that the other non-Avengers were around to pick up the slack as "temporary Avengers" when Iron Man decides to investigate Arsenal.
  • Speaking of absent Avengers, it's mentioned that Falcon is investigating a murder at an embassy. In Marvel Premiere 49, Falcon is making an appearance at the Bodavian embassy as an alternate for Captain America when a villain called the Silencer shoots a writer, Sigjid Roskoff. Falcon eventually does capture the Silencer, though it takes him two days. Captain America manages to appear in that story as well out on a jog. This Arsenal adventure takes place during those two days.
  • A parallel is made between Arsenal and the Nazi Sleeper robots. Such robots, programmed to arise in the future if the Nazis should be defeated, have appeared before in Captain America stories.
  • Hawkeye says that the hidden lab is bigger than Battlestar Galactica. Marvel had the license for that television show and had started printing a comic book series by that name in March of 1979. It lasted 23 issues, up to 1981.
  • Arsenal calls its tranquilizing gas "Morpheus-gas." In Avengers 38, SHIELD uses a similar gas called Morpheus Mist. Howard Stark likely developed both substances.
  • Iron Man claims he doesn't want to see his mother die a second time. Maria Stark died in a car accident Tony was not present for, so he's not saying he literally saw her die.
  • The code name Arsenal will later be used by two Moon Knight villains, but they are unrelated to this robot. DC Comics also uses the name for several of their characters.
  • This Arsenal unit is reactivated again in Incredible Hulk (1962) 282 in 1983. We later find out it is the beta Arsenal unit. The original alpha unit is still hiding under the mansion and is dealt with in Iron Man (1998) 85.
Avengers Vol 1 189
Avengers 189
Wings and Arrows!
November, 1979
Written by Steven Grant, Mark Gruenwald, and Roger Stern
Art by John Byrne and Dan Green
Lettered by Jim Novak
Colored by Ben Sean

The temporary Avengers needed to battle Arsenal take their leave from the Mansion, and Falcon returns from his solo mission. Henry Gyrich is pleased things are back to normal, but his mood is soured when Scarlet Witch wants to extend her leave even longer. Hawkeye manages to land a position as Security Chief at Cross Technological Enterprises by breaking into the company to audition for the job. There have been a string of robberies at the company, and Hawkeye discovers they have been the work of Deathbird, an alien who needs advanced equipment to rebuild her spaceship. Deathbird has a physical advantage in their battle, but Hawkeye uses skill and cunning to capture her. He even taunts her with a kiss as his security team takes her away. A perturbed Gyrich goes to Avengers Mansion to try and force the Scarlet Witch to remain on the roster and then threatens to disband the team.

Iron Man: "Is Hawkeye still angry that the government chose to replace him on our roster? He knows we didn't have a say in that?"
Yellowjacket: "Oh, Hawkeye's never happy unless he can complain about something."

Henry Gyrich: "As far as I'm concerned, this is the end of the Avengers!"
Beast: "Again? But that trick never works!"
  • This is colorist Ben Sean's first issue of Avengers.
  • Although Ms. Marvel and Wasp are featured in the corner logo, they do not appear in this issue.
  • Thor's brief time with the team is ended when he leaves to go deal with the Celestials, huge god-like beings from outer space, in his own series.
  • Yellowjacket borrows a Quinjet to go pick up Wasp in Las Vegas. Wasp had already taken a Quinjet in Defenders (1972) 76 to help the Defenders out when they found themselves without their own transportation. Her Quinjet's designation is partially covered by a word balloon, but it looks to be A3701, the one that was last used in Transia and Russia.
  • Wonder Man shares that he got a role in an off-Broadway play.
  • Among the items in Hawkeye's apartment is a picture of Falcon set up as a dartboard and a photo of the Scarlet Witch pinned up over Hawkeye's bed.
  • Hawkeye is brought into Cross Technological Enterprises by interviewing with Mr. Keeshan.
  • Deathbird was previously a villain the Ms. Marvel (1977) series. She was last seen in issue 22 of that series looking for machinery at a Stark facility to rebuild her spaceship, the same goal she has here.
  • The reprint series Marvel Super-Action (1977) began reprinting old Avengers issues starting this month in issue 15. The first story reprinted was Avengers 55.
Avengers Vol 1 190

Avengers 190
Heart of Stone
December, 1979
Written by Steven Grant and Roger Stern
Art by John Byrne and Dan Green
Lettered by John Costanza
Colored by Ben Sean

An object from space lands near Brooklyn, gets up, and walks toward Manhattan. Later that morning, the Avengers are attending a hearing at the Federal Courthouse in order to combat Henry Gyrich's continued intrusion into their affairs. The Avengers' legal team, which includes  Matthew Murdock, delivers a statement about the past achievements of the heroes and how they've helped the U.S. government amply in return for their special privileges. Gyrich brings out a witness to prove the Avengers are menaces and begins his case, but an emergency call is routed to Iron Man regarding the rampaging figure that fell to Earth. Gyrich asserts it's a trick to curry favor with the panel, but he grudgingly lets the Avengers leave to deal with the menace. Matt Murdock leaves the hearing and changes into his Daredevil identity to pitch in with the Avengers. They engage the creature on the street, and though it proves durable, it is seemingly shattered by a combined blow from Vision and Iron Man. As Daredevil and Iron Man look through the wreckage, they are turned into stone, and the supervillain Grey Gargoyle rises from the rubble and advances on the rest of the team.
Daredevil, thinking: "He seems to seriously think that the Avengers are dangerous--just because they don't play by his rules! That sort of thinking could be applied to super-heroes in general--and that's something I wouldn't like to see."
  • The opening page has a side column that features the Avengers roster in the issue. They are the same heads as in the cover's corner box, but Scarlet Witch is also included inside.
  • Reporter Charles P. Irwin is covering the trial. He has appeared before in an issue of Incredible Hulk (1962) Annual and will also appear in a Captain America issue, but doesn't see much use after 1980.
  • Irwin mentions this is the same courthouse the Avengers appeared at in issue 93.
  • The Avengers field an all-star team of legal defenders. Jeryn Hogarth is also the lawyer for the Heroes for Hire in Power Man and Iron Fist (1978). Emerson Bale was attorney to the Los Angeles heroes the Champions in their series. Matt Murdock is of course Daredevil, who will one day join the Avengers.
  • The Senators who are presiding at the hearing are named Fleckner, Reischel, and Roosevelt.
  • Gyrich's witness, Lt. Dwight Stanford, is the same SHIELD agent who chewed out Captain America in Captain America (1968) 231 and led to Cap's temporary split with SHIELD.
  • Beast figures that Gyrich kicked Hawkeye off the team because Hawkeye tied Gyrich up thinking he was an intruder in Avengers 172. This isn't confirmed, though.
  • Daredevil musings about Gyrich's hard-line rules being applied to all superheroes presages some of the issues during the Marvel Civil War event in 2006.
  • Before joining the battle, Daredevil thinks to himself that the crowd of heroes is difficult for his radar sense to deal with. This is restating one reason he turned down Avengers membership back in Avengers 111.
  • When using his legs to throw Grey Gargoyle, Beast says, "Feets don't fail me now." Although used by several actors over the years, it was sometimes used by Stepin Fetchit, who Falcon angrily imitated a few months earlier. Falcon doesn't react to Beast's use of it.
  • Grey Gargoyle was last seen in space in Thor (1966) 259, but without his coating of debris. Next issue, he explains that he coated himself in debris and cosmic particles in order to protect himself on the space journey home.
Avengers Vol 1 191

Avengers 191
Heart of Stone
January, 1980
Written by David Michelinie
Art by John Byrne and Dan Green
Lettered by John Costanza
Colored by Bob Sharen

Grey Gargoyle dominates the battle with the rest of the Avengers, taking all of them out of the fight one by one. Instead of finishing them off, he leaves them there dazed and vaults away into the city. The Avengers recover and discover that only Iron Man's armor is stone. He is trapped inside it unable to move it in that state, so he orders the Avengers to trail Grey Gargoyle and leave him there. A head count reveals that Falcon is missing, and we see that he is already trailing Grey Gargoyle at a distance. The destination Grey Gargoyle's old apartment, which is being rented by a new tenant, Margot Neil. He tells her he is seeking chemicals he hid in a secret compartment in the apartment, but he finds they had been thrown by Margot, who didn't know what they were. He moves to attack her, forcing Falcon to intervene. Falcon fights on though he feels overmatched. Redwing tries to assist him, but Redwing is turned to stone. The rest of the Avengers are drawn by police dispatch reports to the apartment and arrive just in time. Ready for the fight and using teamwork, they quickly defeat Grey Gargoyle. Back at the hearing, the committee finds that the Avengers' primary concern is truly public safety, and they order all their privileges returned.
Beast: "First the Absorbing Man trashes Ms. Marvel, and now you deck the Scarlet Witch! Don't you bad guys have any sense of chivalry at all?"
Grey Gargoyle: "Not really."
Margot Neil: "When muggers start dressing up like pet rocks and crashing in through twelfth floor windows, I'm moving to Montana!"
  • Grey Gargoyle's power to turn objects to stone only resides in his right hand, and it works through his glove. His stony exterior and the durability it gives him is only a side-effect of him touching himself with that hand.
  • Grey Gargoyle, aka Paul Duval, is a French citizen. He does not sound like he has a French accent, but he does say, "Mon dieu!" right before getting knocked out.
  • Redwing was left behind at Avengers Mansion indoors while the Avengers went to court. He is only able to leave because Jarvis sees Redwing is distressed and opens a window for him.
  • Margot quips, to show doubt, "and Rosie (sic) Greer sings soprano." Roosevelt "Rosey" Greer is better known for playing football and acting in tough-guy roles, but he did release albums as a singer. I'd classify him closer to a baritone, maybe a tenor, though.
  • Beast likens his punch to Rocky Balboa, the hero of the Rocky films. Rocky II had just come out in May of 1979, a few months before this issue. Plus the word "rocky" is also related to stones, like those created by the Grey Gargoyle.
  • Coincidentally, in an issue where the villain's power is to turn things to stone, a letter writer's last name is Stone.
Avengers Vol 1 192
Avengers 192
Heart of Stone
February, 1980
Written by David Michelinie
Art by Arvell Jones and Ricardo Villamonte
Lettered by Diana Albers
Colored by Ben Sean
Tony Stark and Wonder Man are touring a steel foundry in Pittsburgh. Stark is interested in purchasing the operation, which Wonder Man used to own before his old legal troubles. Steelworker Joe Conroy, who happens to have a piece of Asgardian uru metal on his key chain as a good-luck charm, approaches to get Wonder Man's autograph. On the way, Conroy is ambushed and pushed off a catwalk into molten metal, which begins to overflow. Wonder Man grabs Stark's briefcase to hurl it at a control panel, not realizing that Iron Man's armor is inside. Wonder Man manages to stop overflowing molten metal, but he then gets stuck inside a hydraulic press after saving a trapped worker. Tony Stark comes to the rescue without his armor, and the crisis ends with Conroy the only casualty. Since Conroy's remains are not salvageable, a memorial is created from the steel he died in after it cools. As Stark's negotiations continue nearby, the memorial explodes, and a molten humanoid breaks out. Wonder Man and Iron Man confront the creature, but are unable to stop it. Back at the Mansion, Wonder Man's distress signal is received, but then abruptly stops.
Steelworker: "My foot! Can't get it loose! H-Help me!"
Second steelworker: "Hep yo' seff, suckuh!"
Captain America: "But what could possibly be in Pittsburgh that could threaten Wonder Man?"
  • Jim Salicrup becomes the editor with this issue. Roger Stern is still credited as editor on the letters page, though.
  • This is Arvell Jones only issue of Avengers. He did a variety of books for Marvel and had an extended run on DC's All-Star Squadron and later did art for Milestone Media in 1993 and 1994.
  • Michelinie provided reference of equipment that would appear in the steel mill, but it was lost. Several Marvel staff artists had to update some of the art later on once proper reference was found.
  • The steel mill was featured in Journey Into Mystery 120 in 1965. Thor repaired Mjolnir here after it was damaged. Conroy's chip of uru comes from that event.
  • Wonder Man thinks the molten metal reminds him of a Max Fleisher cartoon he has seen. He is likely referring to the Superman cartoons produced in 1941 and 1942, possibly the episode titled "The Mechanical Monsters."
  • One of the Avengers' neighbors, Sid Bloat, comes to the Mansion to have them investigate a noise complaint. They don't help him.
  • A few other Marvel characters use the code name Inferno. The Avengers will fight another one, Samantha McGee, but not until Avengers (1998) 34 in 2000. Despite the same code name, they are not related in any other way.
  • Back at the Mansion, attempts are made to reach out to former Avengers members and bring them back. Hawkeye can't be contacted since he moved out of his old apartment, and Henry Pym decides to stick with research for the moment.
  • The letters page is an essay about the research done to complete the Wundagore story from Avengers 185 to 187. It lists many of the past appearances of the story points in the tale and also sort of reveals Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's father. The hint is M*gn*t*. It also backs up the implication that their mother Magda died in the mountains.
  • This month features the debut of Savage She-Hulk (1980) 1. It introduces Bruce Banner's cousin, Jennifer Walters, who gets an emergency transfusion of Banner's blood and begins transforming into the She-Hulk. She will later join the Avengers.
Avengers Vol 1 193

Avengers 193
Battleground: Pittsburgh!
March, 1980
Written by David Michelinie
Art by Sal Buscema and Dan Green
Lettered by Joe Rosen
Colored by Bob Sharen

Iron Man and Wonder Man are unable to stop the Inferno creature's advance and both are sidetracked by helping civilians. Inferno, remembering how he died and was reborn, stalks his murderer, Tim Turpin, to a river. Turpin is cornered on a barge and is fatally injured when he falls between the barge and a bridge support. Inferno also goes after the steel mill's manager, Vince Paretta, who ordered the execution. Paretta manages to drive away, but Inferno's rampage has caused traffic to jam. The rest of the Avengers arrive in Pittsburgh and are alerted to Inferno's whereabouts. The whole team reunite to battle the creature and are again unable to stop him. Inferno distracts the team with more property damage and endangered civilians, and he gets to Paretta's home. Paretta is there packing for a getaway when Inferno bursts in. Seeing his own imminent death, Paretta begins to confess to his crimes. The Avengers get there in time to hear the confession and get between him and Inferno. Knowing that Paretta will now be punished, Inferno turns silently away and walks into the river, snuffing himself out.
Man: "Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird!"
Woman: "It's a plane!"
Boy: "What're you, high or somethin'? That' Avengers Quinjet!"

Wasp, thinking: "I'd better make this a quick pass. The heat is simply ruining my eye shadow!"
  • Bob Budiansky is credited as assistant editor starting with this issue.
  • The "Pittsburgh Comix Club" is credited with a plot assist for their input on Pittsburgh locations that feature in the story. Jim Shooter is also from Pittsburgh and suggested the story in the first place. Artist Frank Miller went to Pittsburgh for a weekend and drew reference for the Pittsburgh landmarks that he later incorporated into Sal Buscema's art. 
  • An onlooker jokes that Inferno is the chief contender for the Donny and Marie Sweetness Award of 1980. That's not a real award. The Donny & Marie Show had ended in January of 1979, but the legacy of Donny and Marie Osmond's clean-cut image continues to this day.
  • Another onlooker says to call the Seabees during Inferno's rampage. The Seabees are the United States Navy's Construction Battalion (C.B.= Seabee) which handles construction and engineering projects. The fictional Marvel construction company Damage Control, which is usually called on to rebuild supervillain damage, isn't around yet.
  • Although Inferno is a creature of heat, he also utilizes electrical attacks and can absorb the power from Iron Man's armor. Why? Uru is a wonderous metal. That's why.
  • Beast catches a stunned wasp and says he's giving her "A big hand for the little lady." He's referring to the 1966 Western, A Big Hand For the Little Lady, which featured high-stakes poker.
  • A motorist is worried about missing the Pittsburgh Steelers kickoff, meaning it's most likely a Sunday.
  • Beast says the burning car "is hotter than Studio 54 on a Saturday night." Studio 54 was a famous nightclub in New York that opened in 1977 and was known for its celebrity guests. The owners would sell it in 1981, but it would remain a nightclub until 1991.
  • The steel mill is revealed as a front for the Maggia, the same Mafia-like organization headed by Count Nefaria in the past. Wonder Man doesn't mention this or warn Tony Stark, so it's possible it wasn't the case when he owned it. However, later revelations of Wonder Man's history do show that he had been investing his company's money in illegal Maggia operations in order to save the company from bankruptcy. The Maggia probably moved in on his company's holdings while Wonder Man was thought dead.
  • Joe Conroy left behind a widow, Darleen, and a daughter, Annie. He doesn't visit them as Inferno. He's only interested in vengeance.
  • Inferno will make a return appearance as a member of a future Legion of the Unliving in Avengers (1963) 353 and 354.

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