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Avengers Fridays

Avengers Fridays: The Old Order Changeth #7

The Sub-Mariner and the Avengers feel the oppressive weight of Heavy Metal in a classic adventure!

By Jim Beard

"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"

As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!

So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!


In celebration of the savage Sub-Mariner’s new title, NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT, we take a look at one of the King of the Seas’ adventures alongside another band of heroes, the mighty Avengers. Yes, once upon a time, Namor stood as a full-fledged member of the team, rather than squaring off against them – and the “Heavy Metal” saga of AVENGERS #286-290 stands as a high-water mark of that era.

THE AVENGERS (1963) #286
Tensions among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes ran high as AVENGERS #286 revealed the beautiful Captain Marvel’s struggles with the role of team leader. Her roll call included Captain America, the She-Hulk, the Black Knight and the enigmatic Doctor Druid. In fact, Druid operated in a sly manner in those days, secretly seeking Avengers chairmanship himself while being seemingly accomodating, obsequious and deferring. This, mixed with Namor’s looming legal problems, his strange marriage to the unearthly Marrina and the team’s move to the floating Hydrobase made for divisive days and bubbling troubles.

Along came the Fixer, the crafty mechanical genius who'd just escaped from prison and unearthed the Mad Thinker’s awesome android in Ohio. He reactivating the behemoth. One furious fight with the Avengers later and the android went down hard, but Namor’s wife Marrina found herself at the mercy of the Fixer.

THE AVENGERS (1963) #287
In AVENGERS #287, the Thinker’s android reawakened from its defeat and Marrina turned up from her abduction, seemingly hale and hearty. The Fixer returned to his secret hideout only to discover his old partner in crime, Mentallo, wanting in on his old chum’s scheme. Tortured by the Fixer for his hubris, Mentallo’s psychic cries rang out to the Avengers, sending them scrambling to bag the badguys. The subsequent battle at the Fixer’s base turned up the mauled mind-reader and the awesome android but when the team retreated to their own headquarters they discovered yet another mystery.

In a containment chamber that reportedly housed the Super-Adaptoid, another android arch-enemy of the Avengers, they found…the Fixer? Suddenly, the mystery became clear: the Fixer they sought existed only as another incredible guise of the Adaptoid and their headaches now doubled.

THE AVENGERS (1963) #288
Meanwhile, in AVENGERS #288, the Adaptoid sought out Machine Man, another amazing automaton, and together they began the hunt for the alien Sentry robot in Texas. Another piece of the puzzle fell into place when upon recovering the Sentry the Adaptoid repaired it and the three androids flew off. As the Avengers finalized their new headquarters on Hydrobase they investigated raucous robots and zeroed in on likely candidates for the Adaptoid’s campaign.

The Black Knight and Doctor Druid went after the android Tess-One in an Avenger’s quinjet but when waylaid by their enemies, they lost their quarry to the growing robotic roster. The metallic marauders, led by the Super-Adaptoid and utilizing the forms and abilities of the Fixer and Mentallo, dubbed themselves “Heavy Metal” and attacked Hydrobase.

THE AVENGERS (1963) #289
AVENGERS #289 witnessed chaos supreme as Heavy Metal mercilessly pounded the Avengers’ defenses with cold fury. She-Hulk, Namor and Marrina – now joined by Machine Man - valiantly fought back but when the once-again revived android of the Thinker joined the fray the tide turned and the heroes fell. Finally, the Adaptoid’s desire became all-too transparent: the powerful Cosmic Cube. With information gleaned from the Avengers’ computers, the villain summoned the Cube through transgalactic means, but received quite a surprise in return.

Rather than the ultimate wish-fullfillment device he cherished, the Adaptoid received the company of Kubik, the sentient, evolved form of the Cosmic Cube. And Kubik demanded to know why he was summoned. The Adaptoid’s simple answer astounded all: progeny. The Avengers’ foe desired others of his ilk with which to conquer the planet.

THE AVENGERS (1963) #290
“The Master of All Reality!” That’s what the Adaptoid claimed he’d risen to once he altered himself into a duplicate of Kubik and dispatched the cosmic being into a black hole, as AVENGERS #290 opened. With Earth’s Mightiest Heroes imprisoned in unbreakable cubes, the end seemed inevitable. The Supreme-Adaptoid created duplicates of himself for every single man, woman and child on Earth and stood on the verge of complete victory – until Kubik escaped the black hole and sought out the one man who it recognized as a true friend and possible savior: Captain America.

Now called simply The Captain, the former star-spangled Avenger leapt into the fray and challenged the Adaptoid’s rule. As Doctor Druid attempted to suggest their foe lacked the ability of imagination, Cap defeated an incredible duplicate of himself. Then, addressing the Adaptoid directly and as his teammates watched in awe, the super-soldier convinced the android it knew nothing of life and death - and challenged it to die.

So, the Super-Adaptoid died by its own decision and the Avengers once again stood victorious. They’d won the day but sadly their internal struggles would not soon fade away. Still more arduous tasks lay before them…


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i've got all those comics,good to see them covers again mine are all packed in bags & boxes.


Where are the 9/1/10 comic previews?