Synopsis: Avengers Annual 9 was written by Bill Mantlo and pencilled by Don Newton and opens with Arsenal (last seen in Iron Man 114 https://marvelmunky76.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/june-1978-iron-man-114-in-which-we-learn-that-the-beast-wants-to-know-where-to-send-the-bill/ ) completing his repair and recharge and vowing to voice he calls Mistress that he is ready to kill the Avengers.
Speaking of the Avengers, the team are having a meeting discussing Arsenal, which has Tony (Iron Man) Stark, Thor, Clint (Hawkeye) Barton, Wanda (Scarlet Witch) Maximoff, Simon (Wonder Man) Williams, Henry (Yellowjacket) Pym, Steve (Captain America) Rogers and Henry (Beast) McCoy in attendance. Iron Man is clearly distraught by this whole thing and storms off when he feels not listened to, as does Hawkeye. Beast follows to try and talk some reason into Hawkeye, almost getting himself shot by an arrow for his trouble. The two of them find a hole in the mansion’s lower levels and investigate.
The investigation into Arsenal’s origin continues with their government liason introducing them to Dr Singer from the Dept of Defence, who tells them about Arsenal being a failed project to avenge the US if they lost the second world war. The project was shelved after VJ Day and then put into storage rather than be used in the cold war. The decision is made by the creator of Arsenal, Howard Stark, father or Tony (Iron Man) Stark.
Hawkeye and Beast, following by a snooping Yellowjacket are discovered by Arsenal who captures Hawkeye and Beast and injures Yellowjacket who flees to summon the rest of the team.
The rest of the team go into the sub-basement to find Arsenal and at times on by one attack Arsenal. The best that they do is keep him at stalemate while Iron Man meets with the computer that Arsenal calls Mistress who possesses the memories and personality of the person Howard Stark loved most, his wife Maria. Seeing her son fully grown and hearing that the allies won the second world war, decides to end her own existence as the Avengers destroy Arsenal. Tony wanders away, lost and pained after losing his mother for the second time.
Notes: I enjoy the action packed nature of the issue and the story of Arsenal and Mistress is interesting and only suffers by this story being linked to the 1940’s, which prevents this from being a story that can be redone, or referenced. This is a great version of the old Avengers team and Don Newton’s pencils are glorious. The scenes between the Avengers are interesting in that everyone one in this comic with the exception of Vision and Captain America come off as a complete d*ck. This highlights one of the great sides of Marvel in the silver and bronze age, that you don’t have to like these heroes to root for them. I liked this comic and was glad to finish the Arsenal story in such style. This works as a one off story as much as part 2 of a story and is worth checking out.
Next Time: History is made and drink driving is taken to a new level.