SUBTERRANEAN WARS: Avengers, Hulk, Namor, Iron Man, Avengers West Coast Annuals (1991)

Mole Man, Tyrannus, Kala, Grotesk and the Lava Men all go to war, against the Deviants, and when their conflicts start showing up on the Earth’s surface, superheroes squash all the beef. The Deviants are the real baddies here. The rest of them are just defending themselves.

The Deviants kidnap The Avengers. Iron Man the West Coasters free them. Tyrranus kidnaps Betty Ross and Rick Jones (to force Hulk to join his team). Namor and Stingray join the fight because…I have no idea. But they do.

Namor is, of course, a complete dick to Stingray…

Not much here. It’s a solid idea, but there’s just not enough story–and too many very familiar plot points–to be better than a “C.” The quality of the individual chapters of this story varies greatly depending on the writer/artist of the annual in question.

Tyrranus gets an origin story…

Unfortunately, it involved Black Knight.

I really, really wanted to like this event. But it’s just meh when you get to the end.

Rick Jones fights Mole Man.

So we’ve got appearances from both Rick Jones and Black Knight. Like I said, not a great event.

Some of the annuals have backups of varying quality, most of which do not merit mention for mattering. I will say, though, that several of the backup features are much better than the main story. Like the Hulk vs Thing one.

I will also note that Iron Man’s Annual revives Quasimodo, who hasn’t been round for a long time.

Not sure who was clamoring for that.

And the Avengers West Coast annual shows Wasp trying to sell the movie rights to her autobiography. It’s a cute slap against editorial, as all the studios keep trying to rewrite history to make a better story.

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