Avengers (1st series) #149

Issue Date: 
July 1976
Story Title: 
The Gods and the Gang

Steve Englehart (writer), George Pérez (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Hugh Paley (colorist), Marv Wolfman (editor)

Brief Description: 

Thor and Moondragon return from Arizona only to hear from Jarvis that the rest of the team is still missing. They immediatly investigate their last known location, the Roxxon compound, and discover that their teammates, who just returned from an alterante earth have been beaten by Orca the Killer Whale. A fight starts and soon Moondragon is knocked out, hoever after Thor unleashed his full powers the Killer Whale is defeated. Moondragon congratulates Thor and reveals that she was only faking unconsciousness to proove that Thor alone was more powerful than the other Avengers combined. At the same time Hellcat deals with her exhusband Buzz Baxter, The Avengers return back to the mansion to pick their new roster.

Full Summary: 

Thor and Moondragon return to Avengers Mansion after leaving Hawkeye and Two-Gun Kid in Arizona roping cattle. For quite a while they have been arguing about their godhood. She accuses Thor of "slumming" with the Avengers since he is so much more powerful than the rest of the group. Thor hates hearing this, and is grateful when Jarvis comes running in telling him that the rest of the Avengers are missing. Thor flies off toward the Roxxon Corporation and grudgingly brings Moondragon along.
The other Avengers (Beast, Iron Man, Hellcat, Captain America, Vision and Scarlet Witch) have just come back from Alternate-Earth, where they finished mopping up on the Squadron Supreme.They even laid the seeds of doubt in the group about their blind allegiance to Nelson Rockefeller and their "sold out" status. Emerging in the Roxxon factory, they find themselves under attack by the Roxxon Army. Hugh Jones and Buzz Baxter watch the fight and decide that they better bring out the "secret weapon. Jones uses the power of the Serpent Crown to contact Nelson Rockefeller on that "other" earth to find out what went wrong when the Avengers were sent there. Rockefeller explains that the streets are in chaos and that the Squadron Supreme went public with their accusations of government corruption. Jones then goes running to get the "final weapon which the serpent crown provided". The battle goes on and during the fight, the Avenbgers really do well, Wanda uses her increased sorcerous abilities and Hellcat is surprised by her own combat moves. Suddenly, this big blue arm comes down and knocks out Vision, Cap, Wanda, Iron Man, Beast and Hellcat with one punch! The unconscious Avengers are then loaded onto a "Tracto-Mek" and taken into the bowels of the complex.
Suddenly the wall bursts open, and there stands Thor and Moondragon! The battle is joined! Thor tosses his hammer, but Orka barely feels the blow. Moondragon then tries her mind thing and actually staggers Orka for a while, but then Orka realizes that the pain will not get worse, so he shrugs off the brain blast and knocks Moondragon flat. Thor gets enraged and knocks Orka through the wall into the depths of the compound. Meanwhile, the rest of the group is being held captive by Hugh Jones and Buzz Baxter. They are plugged into a "Electroincinerogram" which is supposed to flash-fry them and not leave any traces. They decide to wait before frying the group so they can see how the battle turns out.
The Killer Whale and Thor are still at it, Orka is knocked through the roof and is still laughing at Thor, taunting him with: "Will you never learn, Avenger? Orka bested the noble Sub-Mariner in days gone by! Humans of YOUR size, despite your pretensions of Divinity--must ALWAYS fall to me!" Thor realizes that Orka has never heard of him! So... he creates the lightning and then channels it through his hammer to really lay him flat! Orka is reeling from the blow, but still manages to taunt Thor. "I have seen your friends, yes, the one in golden armor, and the hairy one with the animal's form-- and THEY ARE NOT GODS! You CANNOT trick ORKA!“ Thor gives him another taste of his hammer and stands there shouting "The other Avengers ARE mortal as thou sayest, but I am FAR, FAR MORE!"
Cut scene to where the rest of the group is being held captive. Patsy (Hellcat) breaks free and has it out with Buzz Baxter (her ex husband). Hellcat wins the battle and threatens to scratch his eyes out if he doesn't free the rest of the group. Outside Orka is down for the count. Thor is feeling smug now that Orka was unable to withstand the full, unfettered force of a god. Moondragon then pops up and says "I thought you might see it my way Asgardian-- if I gave you the chance." She only feigned unconsciousness in order to prove to Thor that he was as powerful as the whole group combined. The Avengers make it to where Hugh Jones is holed up, and tell him that the game is over. In the epilogue, Thor is still railing about how he's accustomed himself to holding back since joining the group. The rest of the group is stunned by this admission and Iron Man ends the issue by stating that they are going back to the mansion to make their final choice as to who gets to stay in the group (as they originally started to look for a new roster in #137).

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Captain America, Hellcat, Iron Man, Moondragon, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)

Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler
Buzz Baxter, Hugh Jones (employees of the Roxxon Corporation)
Orka, the Killer Whale

Story Notes: 


Written By: