Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Butler Did It

Beast had become something of a ladies' man during his time with the Avengers, shedding much of the social awkwardness of his youth. When a chance encounter reunited him with Vera Cantor, his steady girlfriend during his days in the original X-Men, the now-blue hero invited her to Avengers Mansion to catch up (Avengers #209).

As the couple got reacquainted over tea with some of Beast's new teammates, Vera suddenly fell unconscious. A Skrull impersonating Jarvis the butler had poisoned her (while the real Jarvis was on vacation).

The Skrull demanded that the Avengers partake in a dangerous journey through time to retrieve the legendary Resurrection Stone. The Skrull promised that once the crystal was in his hands, he would repay the Avengers by using its magic to save Vera.

Utilizing time-travel technology from Fantastic Four headquarters, Wonder Man, Vision, and the Scarlet Witch accompanied Beast on a journey to the year 1364 to battle an evil sorcerer who held one-half of the Resurrection Stone—then landed in 1945 Nazi Germany to retrieve the second half before returning to the present.

Having come face to face with the horrors of the Black Plague and the Holocaust, Beast decided that power over life and death was too much for anyone to possess. Rather than hand over the crystal to the Skrull, and rescue Vera, Beast destroyed the Resurrection Stone.

Skrull: You crushed it! But that is … impossible! My plan was perfection! The vagaries of human love should have assured me victory!

Mr. Fantastic placed Vera Cantor in a suspended animation tube to keep her alive until an antidote might be found. Searching for a cure might be what Beast had in mind when he decided to leave the Avengers to pursue scientific research (#211). And that quest ultimately led to his joining the Defenders.

To be continued…
Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 209. July 1981. "The Resurrection Stone." J.M. DeMatteis (scripter), Alan Kupperberg (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Janice Chiang (letterer), Ben Sean (colorist), Jim Salicrup (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief).

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