Avengers annual #21
Issue(s): Avengers annual #21
The Anachronauts were actually designed by Dan Panosian, but his only participation in this issue is inking one of the back-ups. They are characters plucked from time and with ties to Marvel universe concepts, so we have the first Red Wolf (who luckily didn't pass his tiny ankles on to his descendants), a Serpent Man from the Hyborian Age, the Black Knight that followed Sir Percy, an Eternal that is Sersi's son from the future, and stuff like that.
As part of a longer strategy, the heroes eventually surrender to Kang, who explains that he's given up trying to take over the 20th century, and instead he's working to ensure that his technology will be embedded in all of Earth's equipment in order to facilitate a takeover of the 21st century (so check your cellphones, guys).
Nebula/Temptress remained uncaptured as part of the plan, and she makes her move, stabbing Kang while he's giving the exposition dump. But it turns out to just be one of the lieutenants of the Kang council, and the real Kang shows up. However, Temptress has a reveal of her own: she's really Ravonna.
And that's basically the payoff for this crossover, basically a clean-up exercise explaining why Nebula had been involved in all the time travel stuff and why those appearances never seemed to mesh with her concurrent appearances in other books. The story is that she was cryogenically preserved after she was shot back in Avengers #24, and she's been mad at Kang ever since he was given the option of reviving her in Avengers #71 but chose to try to kill the Avengers instead. After that, the Grandmaster replaced her with a pseudo-organic doppelganger (so any appearances of Ravonna in her tube after Avengers #71 don't count, like Hulk #135 or Avengers #267-269) and then woke her up. She then infiltrated the Council of Kangs.
Kang says that he likes how ruthless Ravonna has become, and he offers to fight her. If she wins, she can kill him. If she loses, she joins him. I love that Mr. Fantastic is so wrapped up in all of this that he doesn't want to try escaping.
Ravonna changes her name again (Nebula -> Temptress -> Ravonna -> Terminatrix), and they begin their fight.
The Avengers and FF do manage to escape, and they fight the Anachronauts again. Thor gets an opportunity to throw his hammer at Kang's forcefield, and he takes it. But the hammer would have hit Ravonna. Kang pushes Ravonna out of the way and gets hit by the hammer and knocked into a coma. Ravonna takes him away.
The heroes go home, and Ravonna vows to rule Chronopolis, where all of this was taking place, herself.
There's a back-up with some unintentionally hilarious art showing the uses of the Avengers ID card.
And another showing Hercules and the Black Knight out on the town. The Black Knight is trying to tell Hercules that he, basically, has post-traumatic stress disorder, but Herc doesn't get it.
Black Knight then stops some local toughs from hitting on a barmaid, but she winds up going out with Herc instead.
And the final part of the Peter Sanderson Kang saga focuses on recent events. One thing of note is that the Council of Kangs was made up in part of aliens that defeated divergent Kangs and took his armor.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is the fourth and final part of Citizen Kang.
Crossover: Citizen Kang
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showApocryphus, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America, Crystal, Deathunt 9000, Dr. Druid, Hercules, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Kang, Mr. Fantastic, Raa, Ravonna, Sersi, Sir Raston, Sssith, Thing, Thunderstrike, Tyndar, Vision, Wildrun
Actually, I think the Anachronauts (or some of them are) in Terminatrix Objective which is a pseudo-sequel to this storyline. And there were a lot of pin-ups of them that continually show up at the back of various Avengers issues and annuals after this one. Including one where they are demanding people write in to get them a limited series (ha).
Posted by: AF | April 19, 2016 1:04 PM
The MCP didn't list them in Terminatrix Objective, but i did find on Marvel's wiki that some of them appear during The Crossing, so i've deleted the line saying that they don't appear again outside of Avengers Forver.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 19, 2016 1:20 PM
Terrible comic is terrible. What a mess.
Posted by: Robert | April 19, 2016 1:31 PM
Captain America seems to be peering down Sersi's enormous cleavage in that one panel.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 19, 2016 3:15 PM
The Anachronauts next appear in the back-up story in Avengers Annual #22 when the Incinerators, in order to build a time-destroying weapon, try to steal the Starstone from which the Black Knight's Ebony Blade is destined to be forged by Merlin. When Sir Raston's blade begins to behave oddly, Terminatrix leads the team back in time to Camelot where they meet Professor Gamble and prevent the theft. In my opinion, that is the best story in which they appear.
Their appearances in The Crossing, Terminatrix Objective and Avengers Forever take place later in their lives.
Posted by: Don Campbell | April 19, 2016 3:36 PM
It always bothered me when Hercules asks Dane if he thinks the "god of war" would be impressed by his words. In the Marvel Universe, Hercules is either the "god of strength" or "god of heroes". Ares, his nemesis, is the "god of war". It's not as bad as if Batman referred to himself as the Clown Prince of Crime but still...
Posted by: Michael | April 19, 2016 8:36 PM
Michael, I'm glad I'm not the only one who's bothered by that mistake regarding Hercules' provenance.
Posted by: Oliver_C | April 20, 2016 5:57 AM
I really liked the artwork on the half of this annual that was inked by Charles Barnett III. He was a fan of Silver Age Marvel, and it showed in his work. Barnett worked on a number of books for both Marvel and DC in the 1990s. I thought his embellishment softened some of the more exaggerated aspects of Herb Trimpe's penciling here. They made a good art team, and I wish they had worked together more often.
Posted by: Ben Herman | April 26, 2016 10:41 PM
wow well you've got to give Herb Trimpe credit. it isn't any worse than anything else Image was doing at the time specifically the Extreme studios. and Dan Panosian inked.. whoa
Posted by: The Goblin | May 15, 2016 6:51 PM
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