Avengers West Coast annual #4
Issue(s): Avengers West Coast annual #4
I mentioned in the first part of this story that the name Atlantis Attacks was a misnomer, and at this point Atlantis is out of the picture altogether. Now it's all about the Deviant Ghaur, who has gathered the Brides that he intends to marry to the seven heads of Set.
This plan immediately starts to go awry when it turns out that one of his chosen brides is blind.
And one of his henchmen implies that the bombing of the Atlanteans last issue doesn't count as a proper sacrifice.
Meanwhile, the Avengers are aware that at least five women have been taken (including the Scarlet Witch, 8 hours ago), and thanks to the Beast, they know that Ghaur is responsible. A group of Avengers including Captain America, Beast, Sersi, Vision, Iron Man, Wonder Man, the Golden Age Human Torch, and the Wasp go looking for them, while all the other heroes are said to be handling mop up after the Atlantis invasion. The Thing, Quasar, and Thor are around too but they don't leave with the main group; they'll instead join Dr. Strange in the next part of this story.
Meanwhile, Ghaur is using the Brides, under a form of mind control that keeps them aware of what they are doing while being unable to stop, to complete the final steps for the ritual. That includes sending Jean Grey and Sue Richards out to steal a Lens of Power from a museum...
...and sending She-Hulk and Andromeda to the Altar of Neptune's Wrath, which we learned about in the Serpent Crown back-up in Spectacular Spider-Man annual #9. The Altar is guarded by a sea monster, and the Avengers spot She-Hulk while she's fighting it.
Naturally they go to help, unaware that she's under Ghaur's control.
The Vision is able to take out the creature by phasing into its heart.
Meanwhile, Andromeda gets away with the fragment of Set's lifeforce that was guarded by the Altar. You can see Ghaur cutting his losses again, resigning himself to just six Brides since She-Hulk didn't get away.
But She-Hulk still feels compelled to return, and the Avengers are having trouble stopping her.
So they decide to let her go, and have Sersi trace her telepathically.
Note the fishermen's pronunciation of Ghaur. I've always thought it was like "gwar" (which is probably why i spell it wrong half the time) or "gawr", but it looks like Byrne is telling us it's "gore".
Sersi turns all the Avengers into water breathers so that they can follow She-Hulk.
Love that Deviant on the right:
After fighting through some deviants, the Avengers are attacked by someone that looks a lot like Storm and has her powers, but couldn't possibly be her!
After all, the people thought dead that have resurfaced during this storyline only include Ghaur, Dr. Strange, Andromeda, and the Human Torch. We couldn't possibly add Storm to that list.
Captain America and the Wasp are able to defeat Storm pretty easily, as if she wasn't fully fighting them.
Elsewhere, the Beast snags himself an iron gauntlet, figuring iron usually disrupts magic, and Wonder Man smashes the Lens of Power.
With his plan falling apart, Ghaur grabs Scarlet Witch and goes for a Hail Mary, hoping that her probability manipulation powers will make everything right despite all the setbacks.
And it works. Even the Beast's gauntlet is useless. And the creepiest thing is how happy the Brides look about it.
Here's the handsome groom.
It's very much a middle part of a story, but it's nicely done.
As for back-ups, the first (by Mark Gruenwald and Amanda Conner) has the Wasp and She-Hulk rating all the male Avengers based on their hunkiness. At least everyone is an adult here unlike in New Mutants annual #5. But it is weird that it's written by a guy, even if it's drawn by a woman. Anyway, Mark Gruenwald thinks it breaks down like this ("please don't tell the boys what we said about them"):
Thor: Wasp = 10, She-Hulk = 10
The second back-up has USAgent and Henry Pym checking out an island that turns out to have a hold-out from the Evolutionary War, along the lines of Japanese soldiers found on Pacific islands after World War II had ended.
It includes some crazy stream of consciousness narration from USAgent, who rambles about everything from Gilligan's Island to Crazy Horse.
And the third back-up (Fabian Nicieza/ Gavin Curtis), has some very sad Atlanteans somehow lost in the desert and encountering Firebird.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part twelve of Atlantis Attacks; part thirteen takes place in Thor annual #14. For convenience, we'll assume that Pym and USAgent are checking out the island in the second back-up thinking it might have something to do with Atlantis Attacks so that we can include it in this entry.
Crossover: Atlantis Attacks
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): show
The Firebird story is hilarious. I love it.
Posted by: Thanos6 | October 20, 2014 8:24 PM
This was my favorite annual of the event. It's hard not to enjoy the artwork of Byrne and Austin. This and the X-Factor annual were probably the sharpest issues of the overall story.
Posted by: Bill | October 20, 2014 9:31 PM
The "Rate The Hunks" feature was a fun idea, and Gruenwald did a nice job with it for the most part...but completely bungled the Starfox entry. Both Jan and Jen should have rated him far higher than they did--after all, both of them were highly attracted to him (and Jen even slept with him).
Jan very briefly was creeped out by Eros' powers...but that was resolved back in Stern's run when she talked to him about it. So that sequence came across like Gruenwald himself having issues about Eros and his powers, and projecting it onto the characters.
Posted by: Dermie | October 20, 2014 10:17 PM
It was also nice to see Beast and Wonder Man interacting as friends again.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | October 20, 2014 10:23 PM
According to Marvel Age 76, Gillis intended it to be pronounced "gore".
Posted by: Michael | October 20, 2014 11:14 PM
Also, note that this storyline basically turns some of the stronger female characters into damsels in distress. And it's yet another horrible thing to happen to Wanda to drive her crazy.
Posted by: Michael | October 20, 2014 11:32 PM
If you were Set, who would you want your seven brides to be?
Posted by: Steven | October 21, 2014 2:33 AM
Michael, thanks for the correction on the heir apparent line. I shouldn't have asked Ann Raymond which issue he was talking about.
Steven, if i were Set, i assume i'd want my brides to be Echidna, Stheno, Euryale, Medusa, Lamia, Madame White Snake, and maybe Princess Python.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 21, 2014 7:49 AM
Did anyone notice that's John Byrne himself getting ko'd by the Invisible Woman? In all seriousness why is this a recurring thing with JB? He's constantly adding himself into stories- I only take issue with it because it kind of dilutes the escapism and the sense of disbelief needed to enjoy these stories.
Posted by: George Gordon | October 21, 2014 10:17 AM
Was that supposed to be Byrne? Did he have a hipster ponytail back then? I guess that kind of stuff never bothered me since I never really knew what the creators looked like until the mid-90's or so.
And if I were Set, I'd definitely want Marvel Girl and the Scarlet Witch front and center in my harem ;)
Posted by: Bill | October 21, 2014 10:30 AM
It's Byrne because he drew himself in She-Hulk and the ponytail was evident :(
Posted by: George Gordon | October 21, 2014 11:48 AM
I hope, in the interests of equality, they had some of the male Avengers objectify and rate their female co-workers in the next issue:-)
Posted by: kveto from prague | October 21, 2014 4:27 PM
kveto, that would start a riot! :)
Posted by: Bill | October 21, 2014 5:32 PM
"Interesting that by the end of that annual, Mr. Jip already knew that Storm would be one of the Brides."
Not so surprising if you look at the Wiki entry on him -
"He can create illusions, observe other places by scrying and conjure into being mindless minions to perform simple tasks".
"Scrying has been used in many cultures in the belief that it can divine the past, present, or future."
Therefore it can be inferred that he used this function to know who would be chosen as the Brides of Set.
Posted by: clyde | July 16, 2015 2:32 PM
Because I couldn't be bothered to care about this crossover I only had the issues I was already collecting - X-Men, Avengers and this one. This one was so far and away better than the other two. The story was strong and the art was great and it had some nice moments. I like Beast reminding us that this is the Sersi of myth and reminding us of her history. I also remember him making a comment about Matt Biondi, which I suppose we should now consider as Michael Phelps.
I never did find out what happened after this one though, so it was a bit annoying it had such a cliff-hanger.
The backups were strong as well. The Firebird story was hilarious and it was a nice bit of fun for Jan and Jenn to rate all the guys, also bringing in their own personal feelings about them as well. A nice bit of reverse objectification.
Posted by: Erik Beck | September 8, 2015 7:41 PM
It would've been fun -- utterly unnecessary, but fun -- for Byrne to have Sersi temporarily turn the Avengers into the same sort of green-skinned fish-men that he once drew in 'Doomsday+1', back at the start of his career.
"If you were Set, who would you want your seven brides to be?"
Um, well, Frankie Raye (as Nova), the Black Queen / Selene, Big Bertha, and... I should probably stop before I embarrass myself.
Posted by: Oliver_C | April 20, 2016 8:12 AM
Storm is a tall black woman with white hair, no pupils and the ability to control the weather. Not too many people on Earth will match those specifications. Cap has even met Storm many times before - they were even on opposite teams in the jungle during "Contest of Champions" - and he's already seen her more-or-less come back from the dead once after fighting Kulan Gath. Not to mention Marvel Girl is standing right next to her, and Cap has also seen her effectively come back from the dead. Maybe Hank knows something about this, y'think?
I don't blame Byrne for making Cap so willfully stupid about these things. I do blame Byrne for being so unmemorable that Sue doesn't even recognize the guy who drew her comic book for so long. She'll still knock him out, but could at least feel regret that Set made her hurt someone she actually knows.
Posted by: ChrisW | April 20, 2016 2:18 PM
Maybe Sue knocked Byrne out for that hideous mullet he gave her in the second half of his FF run.
Posted by: Bob | February 5, 2017 8:03 PM
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