Greetings my fellow NERDs. How has this week treated you? I hope all is well. Today we witness the return of Flashback Fridays. For those of you who may be new to the site or have never seen a Flashback Friday post, this is the time I use to reflect on comic issues of old. Sometimes I may only go a few years back, but sometimes I go way back in time. So far back, that I discuss a different generation of heroes. Today’s post is one of my travels way back, to the year 1978 to be exact.
Today I am discussing the Avengers King-Size Annual #8 which was published by Marvel Comics back in 1978. The Avengers line-up at the time was Captain America, Ms. Marvel, the Beast, the Black Panther, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, Yellow Jacket, the Wasp, Thor, Iron Man, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, and the Vision. Other cameos in this issue include Thundra, Doctor Strange, and the Squadron Sinister. The main villain in this issue is Doctor Spectrum.
The story starts with Hank Pym putting the spectrum crystal back together to make a nice piece of jewelry for his wife, Janet. He feels that after the battle with the Squadron Sinister that the crystal has lost all power. Well, as you find out in this issue, he couldn’t be more wrong. Janet accidentally awakens the Spectrum and in doing so becomes the latest vessel to inhabit the spectrum and become Doctor Spectrum. She quickly disposes off Wonder Man, Quicksilver, and Iron Man. Before she can take care of Hank, he managed to call in back up (see image above). A battle is fought and Spectrum appears to be defeated, but Janet is now in a coma and the gem is lodged to her hand.
Since they need mystical help to heal Janet, they seek help from the one and only Doctor Strange. He gives them they necessary clues they need to find the Squadron Sinister and how to get the original Doctor Spectrum to help. Only he wasn’t interested in helping, he wanted his power back. Once he reclaims the energy of the spectrum, previous spells are broken but a new battle is on their hands. Thor comes to the rescue only to be possessed by Spectrum himself which leads to a battle between Thor and Iron Man (see header image). The battle is ended and all is well.
The thing I love most about the comics from the ’70’s, especially the annuals are that they are pretty much one-shot stories. Sure they mention other issues, and even give you foot notes to what issues you need to read to catch up, but the issue stands on its own. In today’s comics, you have to buy issue after issue to get the full story and in some cases you have to buy issues you normally wouldn’t read. Another thing I love about this issue in particular is the fact that it was drawn by the great George Perez, the great one himself.
I give this issue a strong rating of 9 out of 10. I recommend this comic to any Avengers fan. If you do not have a comic retailer near you I recommend eBay. You definitely need to check this issue out. Hell, go to Marvel and get the digital version. You will be glad you did. Until next time, get your READ on!