An agent working for the government by the name of Henry Gyrich continues to hound the Avengers on a legal level. He recently took away their government privileges, and now he's prepared to make more changes that will effect the entire team. None of the members are the least bit happy, but they have to control their tempers with him to prevent making things much worse. The Avengers soon realize that Gyrich may be the least of their worries. -summary
Around this time writing duties for the Avengers were already pretty much picked up by David Michelinie, which really shouldn't have been a worry, because at this time he was taking the Iron Man title to new heights with his storyline Demon in a Bottle; a story arc that is considered by many to be the best Iron Man story ever told. This brings us to Avengers: Nights of Wundagore, originally written between 1978 - 1979 and this TPB collects the story which took place in Avengers issues 181 - 187. On a lighter level, the stories contain the elements that made Marvel stories golden around this time; good action, character depth, and lightly tackling moral and political issues.
This story takes place almost immediately after The Korvac Saga, which saw the Avengers facing execution by a being on a cosmic level. The threat was so severe that the entire team had been called in. The story left the Avengers over twenty strong, to include the Guardians of the Galaxy were among their ranks. Gyrich and the people behind the scenes think there are just too many of them, with the possibility of maybe being a little afraid due to the lack of control. Therefore, the team is reduced to only seven members: Iron Man (leader), Captain America, Vision, Wasp, Beast, Scarlet Witch, and the African American superhero Falcon. In which Gyrich mentions that Falcon must be a member to enforce equal opportunity for minorities, despite Falcon not wanting to be a member of the group at all. This was just Marvel here taking risk in some way.
The middle portion of the story features a battle against the Absorbing Man, who returns after a narrow defeat to the Hulk. There's also a dual storyline taking place that provides insight on the origins of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, this story leads into a short saga called The Yesterday Quest. This story follows a sorcerer attempting to bring an exiled demon into the world, who was earlier defeated by the High Evolutionary.
Michelinie does a pretty good job overall writing this batch of stories. For one thing, this was definitely the smartest way to break up the group, as opposed to killing off a bunch of characters you know are coming back. I feel it's quite realistic and the government has a reason to worry. He also made the Absorbing Man look very good; this was among the best portrayals of the character outside of Thor's books. The final arc only seems to carry more impact in light of the Avengers: Disassembled story, which would take place much later on, as you get one of the earliest looks at how powerful the Scarlet Witch can be. Unfortunately, I didn't think the story ended all that strong, and all it really did was plant the seeds in later on learning that Magneto is the father of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, something that was pieced together in the X-Men books. In addition to a few weaker moments, the only flaw I can see here is the cross reference with Iron Man's books. The reader will still know what's going on and learn why he isn't present, so this really isn't something major to worry about, but if you want more on it then pick up Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle.
John Byrne is the man behind the pencils with Klaus Janson, Dan Greene, Roger Slifer and many others behind the inks and colors. I think the Absorbing Man story has the best artwork. It's by far the most entertaining with some really cool action, as he absorbs many different properties from rubber tires to a ship's turbine engine. There's some pretty good detail in the backgrounds, dialog and narrative boxes are easy to read, plus the character designs look nice with some very good detail during group gatherings.
Avengers: Nights of Wundagore is a decent enough story at best. It doesn't hold a candle to the Korvac Saga before it. It's not something I would recommend to casual fans, since it doesn't contain any of that eye popping action or truly deep storytelling. This is more for diehard fans I'll say. If you're already a huge fan of the Avengers then pick this up, but there's far better stories out there.
Pros: -Interesting and readable stories.
Cons: -Has an average feel
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