TITLE: The Avengers vol. 1, Issue #177
YEAR: November 1978
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer/Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Dave Wenzel
Inkers: P. Marcos & R. Villamonte
Letterer: Denise Wohl
Colorist: Nel Yomtov
Editor: Roger Stern
While the name Korvac probably doesn’t mean anything to today’s comic book readers, nor do I blame them as the name is not at all catchy for an antagonist, back in the ’70s, Michael Korvac was no doubt one dude who can kick a lot of arse!
First appearing in “Giant-Size Defenders” issue #3 in 1975 and created by Steve Gerber and Jim Starlin, the character would become a major antagonist for the Guardians of the Galaxy and brought back in “The Avengers” starting with issues #159, #167-168 and then the “Korvac Saga” officially beginning in issues #170-177.
For those not familiar with Korvac, he was a computer technician in the alternate universe of Earth, Earth-691 and when the Sol System and its colonies were conquered by the Brotherhood of Badoon, Korvac became a collaborator and traitor to the human race. He was turned into a cyborg by the Badoon as punishment and would be used by the Grandmaster as a pawn to fight the Doctor Strange and the Defenders.
As he flees across time and space to the Earth-616 universe, he discovers a space station belonging to Galactus and hacks into it and downloads the knowledge of Galactus to his own system and he games the Power Cosmic. Poses as a human named Michael and travels to Earth to reshape the planet into his own version of Utopia.
Issue #177 is the final story in the saga and The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy go to fight Korvac.
But with Korvac becoming too powerful with the Power Cosmic and knowing that Odin and the Watcher (and also part-time Avenger, Moondragon) know of his existence, he brings the fight to Earth’s heroes and anyone who fights him is ultimately slain and we see members of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers being killed with ease.
But there is one weakness of Korvac and it’s his love for a woman named Carina.He just wants her love and approval but will she give it to him?
Needless to say, this ending is what many readers didn’t expect. Seeing many characters being killed but of course, this comic was written during the time where comics were deemed to be family safe, especially with the Comic Code of Approval on the front cover, no major character in the Marvel Universe really dies forever.
So, it’s hard to think of major characters getting killed off.and this comic book shows us many heroes getting killed. But permanently, let’s just say it’s ending brings a dose of sunshine for those who may have feared their favorite heroes were gone forever.
And last, one will want to read “Stan’s Soap Box” as Stan Lee has things to say about the “Spider-Man” and the “Incredible Hulk” TV series. that aired back in the ’70s. It’s something that he has talked about and his comments remained consistent throughout the years of how TV execs chose to not listen to him and do their own thing. Suffice to say, those series didn’t last, but I will say that I did watch those shows as a tyke. But I will say that the Japanese incarnation of “Spider-Man” was not just different (as Spider-man in Japan had a huge mecha, but hey it was a tokusatsu adaptation of the character), but I found it to be more appealing.
A solid story overall and the “Korvic Saga” is considered one of the best storylines featured in a Avengers comic book.