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1979-12-01 00:05:10
Iron Man #129
1979/Box 15/EiC: Jim Shooter
Marvel Team-Up #89

Avengers #190-191

Issue(s): Avengers #190, Avengers #191
Published Date: Dec 79 - Jan 80
Title: "Heart of stone" / "Back to the stone age!"
Steven Grant / David Michelinie - Script
Roger Stern - Plot
John Byrne - Penciler
Dan Green - Inker

Roger Stern gets plotting credits on both issues, with Grant getting script credits on issue #190 but Michelinie gets "writer" credits on #190.

This is a pretty cool set of issues. It starts with the Avengers presenting their case to a Senate committee. Their lawyers Matt Murdock, Jeryn Hogarth (Heroes for Hire), and Emerson Bale (Champions) present the case that Gyrich's restrictions have been too strict.

Murdock thinks to himself that Hogarth and Bale are too showboaty ("Not that I mind Hogarth and Bale much, but I've always preferred practicing law -- and their idea of a good courtroom is a three-ring circus with themselves as ringmasters."). He also thinks that Gyrich's attitude towards the Avengers is dangerous, especially if applied to super-heroes in general.

As the case is presented, a strange and cool-looking creature crashes in from outer space and starts working its way through the outer borough subway stations towards Manhattan.

Gyrich is eventually forced to let the Avengers leave the hearing so they can stop the creature.

In a bizarre twist, the creature turns out to actually be a stone space-suit created by the Grey Gargoyle. Murdock changes into Daredevil to help out, but he and Iron Man quickly get turned to stone.

After a series of well-drawn battle sequences...

...the Avengers win when the Scarlet Witch is able to summon up a hex that turns the Gargoyle's stone body back to human flesh. Which is a little bit of a cop-out but that's ok.

Hinted at but not actually stated in these issues is that the Scarlet Witch is still rattled by the fact that her brother is going to have a baby.

After the fight, the Senate committee restores the Avengers' security clearance.

Overall, a good set of issues with some interesting politics, a fun fight, and great art.

Quality Rating: B+

Historical Significance Rating: 3 - Avengers get their security clearance returned and Gyrich off their backs.

Chronological Placement Considerations: Daredevil's appearance is context free.


  • The Avengers last went to the Federal Courthouse when they were subpoenaed during the Kree-Skrull War in Avengers #93.
  • Defending the Avengers, Bale brings up their defeat of Egghead in Avengers #65, Ultron in Avengers #68, and Graviton in Avengers #159.
  • Gyrich uses the testimony of the SHIELD agent who felt Captain America was interfering with their investigation of the Corporation in the story that ran from Captain America #228 to Captain America #231.
  • Daredevil and Captain America haven't worked together since their fight against the National Front in Captain America #234-236.
  • The Grey Gargoyle hits the Scarlet Witch from behind, and the Beast likens it to similar un-chivalrous behavior by the Absorbing Man from Avengers #184.
  • The Grey Gargoyle's origin was presented in Journey Into Mystery #107
  • He was stranded in space after a fight with Thor in Thor #259.

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Inbound References (3): show

Characters Appearing: Beast, Captain America, Daredevil, Dwight Stanford, Emerson Bale, Falcon, Grey Gargoyle, Henry Peter Gyrich, Iron Man, Jarvis, Jeryn Hogarth, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Redwing, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wasp

Iron Man #129
1979/Box 15/EiC: Jim Shooter
Marvel Team-Up #89


great to see an old favourite villain like gray gargoyle getting some respect. he should be tough enough to take on a whole team of heroes.

It's kind of cool seeing the Grey Gargoyle look so tough in a lot of these old appearances. When I was a kid, I only knew of him from the Acts of Vengeance Hulk appearance where the Hulk regards him as an extremely minor leaguer. Now in fairness, Gargoyle wasn't briefed on the Hulk's powers (to resist the stone touch), but it still made him seem like a chump.

It seems like Beast is getting used a little better and Falcon ends being helpful. Just read these at work and I was actually surprised by 'alien' being just a stone suit. It is really cool he takes on the team and does well.

I kind of wish we saw more of the trial and only weak spot is Gargoyle telling his origin out of the blue.

These are two great issues - solid writing and great art. Two big things that fnord doesn't mention:

1 - The Falcon really does well here, following Gargoyle and keeping him busy until the other Avengers keep up. It's by far his most effective as an Avenger.

2 - Gyrich lets them go because of a great scene where Beast completely humiliates him. Truly fantastic and rather hilarious. A great use of Beast.

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