AVENGERS #164-166 (1977): 1st Henry Peter Gyrich

Let’s start with a full page that typifies 1970s Beast’s self-outlook. 

bestiality with furry beast

It really wasn’t until Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men, I think, that Beast became a super-nerd again.  In these stories, he’s basically like a pubescent boy. Which makes sense. He was a nerd with huge feet, then a furry monster, but now he’s figured out how to trim his body hair, he’s in great shape, and he’s an Avenger. And he’s figured out how to find girls with fur fetishes. The world is at his feet. His very large, furry, blue feet.

The role was so helpful to the dynamic of the group that later, when Beast left the group, Tigra would take over the same role.

Right now, she’s mostly just cheesecake.

Anyway, back to talking about Beast’s role…

Beast still does some sciencey-stuff. Like he helps assess his bromance, Wonder Man. He’s just cool when he does it, instead of bookish.

For the main story across these issues, the Lethal Legion returns.

Stealing chemicals for evil science stuff.

This time, they include Living Laser, the original Power Man, and are led by Count Nefaria. 

Nefaria has figured out how to drain the power of his teammates, and as a result is almost as strong as Thor.

Lots of terrific fight scenes.

The villains win the first fight, and before the second they figure out that Zemo created Eric Josten using the same tech that created Wonder Man.

The villains invade the mansion.

Power Man has been augmented.

Now he can beat up Wonder Man. And remember what I said about Nefaria being as strong as Thor?

Does this count as lifting Mjolnir?

As a nice touch, Shooter has Wonder Man use Captain America’s shield to save the day.

Nefaria’s motives in stealing science tech were that he thought his powers were aging him, but in the end we learn he’s in fact immortal. Plus, Cap and Iron Man bicker.

A very well done arc from two legendary comic book men.

Also, interesting bit of trivia: Wonder Man’s costume gets ripped up in the conflict, and he will never wear it again.  Henceforth, he has red shades and a red safari jacket.

There is a brief interlude in this issue showing a man with a box holding two small dolls.

He will turn out to be Django Maximoff, adoptive father of Wanda and Pietro. Her biological dad is NOT Whizzer.

Though that is what we had all been led to believe. It’s Magneto. But you knew that, right?

And, first appearance of Henry Peter Gyrich.

1 thought on “AVENGERS #164-166 (1977): 1st Henry Peter Gyrich”

  1. You’re right. The late Seventies Jim Shooter/John Byrne era of this title was the high-water mark of the entire series. Thomas/John Buscema, Englehart/Sal Buscema, and Lee/Kirby are two, three, and four. Was Wanda ever more fetching? To answer your question in re can Count Nefaria hoist Mjolnir- of course not! Although Count Nefaria certainly meets the “strength-of-arm” requirement, ( Mjolnir weighs 800 pounds, according to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe ) his total absence of character disqualifies him from being able to actually heft it. ( Odin’s magic spell preventing anyone who is unworthy from lifting it, remember? ) What we see Nefaria doing in this issue is simply catching the head of the hammer in his hand, not lifting it. Thor is still supporting the hammer in his hand. Nefaria’s catching the hammer in his hand is still a pretty impressive, Superman-level feat of strength, though. The Beast’s storyarc across these issues is pretty interesting, with his mutated pheromones turning him into a chick-magnet, etc., but I have wondered since 1986 when he was de-mutated back into his pre-simian beastial-state in ‘X_Factor’ #’s 3 and 4, if he lost his “chick-magnet” powers! Logic would dictate so, but the issue was never discussed. ( at least, to my awareness- I was seriously disappointed and disenchanted with the ‘X-Factor’ series when the Simonsons took it over ) On the matter of the simian Beast, I find myself in a rare state of agreement with Chris Claremont when he stated that the ‘Beast’ character who appeared in ‘Amazing Adventures’ and ‘The Avengers’ and “The New Defenders’ was simply NOT the same Beast character who was featured in the initial sixty-six issues of ‘Uncanny X-Men’. He is right about that. It’s the only thing he and I have ever agreed on, aside from my having been informed by a colleague of his who would prefer to remain anonymous, that his favorite object of mutant lust is Storm! Okay, that’s two things we agree on. I agree with you, Mr. Ekko, that these Shooter/Byrne issues of ‘The Avengers’ rate a very honorable “A”! X-Celsior!!


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