This issue once again sees the Avengers facing a foe traditionally associated with the Fantastic Four, in this case the Wizard (after dealing with Annihilus in issue #233). The underlying theme of this issue, though, is Wasp’s leadership of the team, which Captain America has always supported. As we see here, though, this does not mean he always agrees with her choices.
The issue opens, appropriately enough, with the team cleaning up after an incident shown in Fantastic Four #257, where someone broke into Avengers Mansion to abduct Reed Richards, who was helping the Vision after his injury in Avengers #233. The Wasp is supervising while Cap helps out (without putting his shield down), with the other workmen marveling at his strength.
Below we see Cap’s opinion of how Janet’s managing the rebuilding, which he begins to express before catching himself, realizing that her way works even if it isn’t how he would do things…
…but his dismount was still a little brusque. He recovers a point when he touches base with the Scarlet Witch, lifting her spirits as she worries about her husband, Vision.
As he leaves the couple, Cap reflects on the unfairness of who bears the brunt of their battles…
…before his thoughts shift to all the changes the team has gone through since he joined as the first non-original member in issue #4, especially the loss of charter members Hank Pym, Iron Man, and Thor (albeit temporarily), as well as the arrival of their latest member, Starfox.
Speaking of whom…
It should go without saying that punctuality is a virtue… but Cap feels he has to say it anyway (bonus points for “in my day”).
Starfox’s honest explanation raises thoughts of frequent conflict in any superhero’s character, but especially Cap’s. He also thinks about Tony, whose issues, he suspects, are what really has him on edge. (Not that we noticed.)
Halfway through the issue the “adventure” begins, as the team gets a call from the government asking for help finding the Wizard, recently escaped from prison. Note how careful Cap is not to step on Janet’s toes as leader, after almost losing his temper with her earlier.
And when Janet makes an unpopular call about mission assignments, Cap backs her up…
…although he doesn’t seem entirely happy with events himself, judging from his look above and his first statement below.
Yeah, he’s still upset… by what, exactly, is anyone’s guess at this point!
The three split up and each faces a different part of the Wizard’s security system (as shown on the cover, a spiritual descendant of Fantastic Four #17). Cap faces his own personal death-trap…
…and after grasping the timing of the lasers, he cleverly uses one of them to fight back.
The other two Avengers do just as well, and together they subdue the Wizard, whose last stand is deflated by Cap’s surprise revelation.
After our heroes return, Cap very honorably acknowledges the Wasp’s good call and sound leadership, which serves as a welcome dose of validation, given her recent self-doubt (expressed in issue #232).
Cap’s sentiments are echoed by two of their teammates as well (even if Janet doesn’t hear it).
Avengers (vol. 1) #235, September 1983: Roger Stern (writer), Bob Budiansky (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Diana Albers (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)
Collected in: Avengers: Absolute Vision Book One.
PREVIOUS ISSUES: Avengers #233-234 and Fantastic Four #256 (July-August 1983)
ALSO THIS MONTH: Captain America #285 and Fantastic Four #258 (September 1983)
NEXT ISSUES: Avengers #236-237, Avengers Annual #12, and Hawkeye #3 (October-November 1983)
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