The Avengers #89
Marvel Comics (June, 1971–as posted in the comiXology digital version of the Kree/Skrull War trade collection)
“The Only Good Alien”
WRITER: Roy Thomas
PENCILER: Sal Buscema
INKER: Sam Grainger
no colorist credited
LETTERER: Sam Rosen
EDITOR: Stan Lee
Captain Mar-Vell has a plan to allow himself and Rick Jones to co-exist in the regular universe without switching places between here and the Negative Zone, thanks to a recent incursion by Reed Richards. This means going to the Baxter Building and using Reed’s portal to free Rick but with the Fantastic Four gone he has to do it himself. This break-in reaches the Avengers with Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver on call. They arrive just before Rick does, but Annihilus manages to follow, and Mar-Vell and the Avengers have to push him back through the portal. However, Mar-Vell has been in a hurry this whole time and he steals the Quintjet for Florida, the others noticing that according to Reed’s instruments he’s radioactive from all the time he spent in the Negative Zone. They’re force to knock him out so they can get him to a hospital to cure him (Vision risking his own mechanical life to help drain the radiation) while on the Kree homeworld Rowan The Accuser has invaded. Taking over the planet from the Supreme Intelligence, he remotely activates a Sentry robot held in Florida and sends it to kill Mar-Vell!
What they got right: There’s plenty of action and the art’s okay.
What they got wrong: I spent most of this story wondering what the hell was going on. The “already in progress” events before finally flashing back didn’t help any. Did Mar-Vell know the Sentry robot was about to be activated or that Rowan was going to take over? All he stated was that after Reed left he felt alone again, Rick having not switched with him for weeks as he pursued a music career. After finishing the story I’m still not sure what just happened or how it connects to the Kree/Skrull war that this trade collection is…well, collecting.
What I think overall: This is a terrible choice for a first issue, but as to how it features into the storyline we’ll have to wait and see as this is what I’ll be looking at during the Tuesday Marvel reviews for a while.