AVENGERS #78-79 (1970): 1st Lethal Legion; Vision quits

Lots of Black Panther in these issues. 

It turns out that the Man-Ape wasn’t really dead after his last appearance (surprise!), and he’s returned as part of the Lethal Legion.

And of course if there’s Black Panther then there has to be some kind of racial/civil rights angle.  Because a black man can’t just be a king and a superhero.  Anyway, there’s this weird exchange with his girlfriend Monica Lynne, which seems to come dangerously close to alluding to the Black Panther movement-all whites/society wants to make black people slaves again.  Panther defends his teammates.

Lots of Panther melodrama, but to be fair he didn’t have a solo book where this could be developed.

And Man-Ape is apparently strong enough to take on The Avengers. (Granted, this is a very weak Avengers lineup.)

Despite that he has trouble taking him, Clint describes Man-Ape as “small potatoes.”

Anyway, Man-Ape and friends kick the asses of Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Panther (all in one-on-one fights), but only one dude ends up in chains.  Guess who? 

The black man!

After he takes Black Panther, Cap swears to avenge.

And Vision helps maintain Panther’s secret identity (as a teacher) by using a combo of a mask and a trenchcoat.

But apparently he cannot modulate his computer voice.

Grim Reaper is a cool super-villains-team leader. Look how he talks to his colleagues:

And also, he doesn’t use tubes–he imprisons people in one giant bubble!

Also: Weird power set alert!

Apparently, Vision can “phase in” to a person’s body, controlling how they act.  I don’t think this was ever used again.

Note: This is the story where we learn that Simon Williams was the source of Vision’s brain pattern.  That makes Reaper feel like he’s Vision’s brother. And it makes Vision feel…

…Like quitting.

Note 2: Sal does the art on #78, then his big bro returns for #79.

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