As I predicted, some small amount of difficulty asserts itself in my quest. As I get closer to the 1970 mark and the Silver Age of Marvel draws to a close, my source material begins to dry up in some places. As of Daredevil #51, the digital versions disappear, so I have been forced to seek out actual issues, or omnibuses. That has slowed me down some, waiting for them to arrive. Marvel Super-Heroes had been a concern as well (they could have been fairly expensive, considering some of the original stories in them are not reprinted elsewhere) but as of Issue #21, the series turns to reprints. I’ve also had to purchase the last 4 or 5 issues of Doctor Strange Vol 1.
Some difficulty, yes, but I hulk-smash on to the end.
Here’s what happened in Earth-616 in April 1969:
Quicksilver, having been laid low for a good amount of time, returns to New York to seek out the Avengers. During his visit, he catches wind that Spider-Man may have been involved in criminal activities – specifically in stealing the Lifeline Tablet with Kingpin. In an attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of the Avengers, and the populace, Quicksilver tracks down Spider-Man and tries to apprehend him. They battle to a truce, and depart company as allies.
Tony Stark reflects on the exploits of Captain America after receiving the news that Captain America has been killed.
An entity known as Zo grants Mar-Vell the power to teleport and create illusions, among other powers, so that the Kree warrior may exact his revenge on Yon-Rogg. Zo gives him the stipulation that after accomplishing his revenge, Mar-Vell must fight for him at a time of his choosing. Mar-Vell returns to Earth and finds himself facing the Man-Slayer, an android sent to attack the Cape. Meanwhile, the Black Widow is able to disable the android by shutting it off at its communication source.
Mandarin recruits Sandman and together they run afoul of the Hulk. Mandarin barely manages to escape with his life after betraying the Sandman, who is turned to glass.
Namor follows Karthon to Lemuria where Naga awaits to receive the Serpent Crown. Using its power, Naga assaults Namor with illusions, attempting to break the Atlanteans resolve. In the struggle, Namor brings a portion of Naga’s temple down and is shown by Naga that he has killed Dorma in the act.
Dr. Doom continues to toy with the Fantastic Four, treating them as guests, while he secretly sends his indestructible robot army to the village they are staying in. As the robots descend upon the villagers, the Fantastic Four still have no way to use their powers.
The Hate-Monger, from his orbiting base, uses his Hate-Ray to incite ageism among the country’s youth. Fury is attacked by young people while out at a trendy club and must escape to save his life. Once back at SHIELD, Fury jumps in a rocket and takes off to Hate-Monger’s base, where he quickly stuns the Hate-Monger. In a dazed state, the Hate-Monger steps into an airlock and dies in the void of space.
Iron Man and Janice Cord are captured by a man calling himself the Controller. The Controller, a former employee of Drexel Cord, was injured and disfigured in a lab accident. Using human as living batteries to power a cybersuit, the Controller quickly gains super-powered strengths and seeks to convert more humans into batteries, starting with Iron Man and Janice Cord.
The Silver Surfer appropriates one of Reed Richards’s weapons in an attempt to break free of Galactus’s Earth-encompassing cosmic barrier. The Silver Surfer is injured in the process and a physicist finds him and shelters him. Agreeing to help the Surfer, the physicist creates a weapon that he believes will allow the imprisoned herald to escape Earth. While testing the weapon, Silver Surfer attracts the attention of the Stranger, who is approaching the Earth with the intent of destroying its inhabitants. A battle ensues between the two cosmic entities, while the physicist is tasked with locating and disabling the doomsday device Stranger has placed on the planet. Silver Surfer wins out against the Stranger while the physicist disables the device, an action which costs him his life. The Stranger leaves Earth as it is, but the Silver Surfer still cannot leave it.
Egghead, Puppet Master, and Mad Thinker, united in a complicated plot to take over the world, kidnap the Black Widow. Hawkeye, during a near-crash landing in the Avengers’ Quinjet, misses an easy shot with his bow. Dejected, he questions his abilities. The Avengers receive a phony call requesting them to rescue the Black Widow, and leave Hawkeye behind, feeling he would be too emotionally involved. Meanwhile, the real Black Widow contacts Hawkeye and tells him her true location. Taking some of the Growth Serum that Hank Pym has abandoned in favor of becoming Yellowjacket full time, Hawkeye becomes Goliath and goes off to rescue Natasha. As Goliath he battles one of Thinker’s android and is able to rescue Natasha by himself.
Daredevil manages to stop the robot sent to kill Biggie Benson, but the collapsing robot kills Benson anyway. Saxon escapes and makes his way to Matt Murdock’s, hoping to find information on Daredevil. Instead, Saxon discovers that Matt Murdock IS Daredevil. During a treatment for an injury suffered while fighting Saxon’s robot, a doctor discovers Daredevil’s blood and the radioactivity within have reacted badly to the treatment. Sure enough, Daredevil begins to hallucinate and his powers all but fail him.
Taking direction from Odin, Thor departs to Earth to try and locate the missing Sif. He finds that Pluto has created a vortex in time, accelerating time such that he is able to raise a full army of mutates that he plans to release into present day Earth. Pluto also has “stolen” a research building that contains a mysterious powerful entity that slumbers somewhere within it.
Cyclops, along with his brother, Alex Summers, are taken to Egypt by the Living Pharoah. The X-Men follow to rescue them. In a moment of stress, Alex uses his powers to free himself, revealing he has mutant powers similar to his brother’s.
Best Moment from April 1969:
Hawkeye becomes the new Goliath (top pic).
Below: Hints of Havok