Avengers (1st series) #200

Issue Date: 
October 1980
Story Title: 
The Child is Father to ... ?

Jim Shooter, George Pérez, Layton and David Micheline (plot), David Michelinie (writer), George Pérez (penciler), Dan Green (inker), John Costanza (letterer), Ben Sean (colorist), Jim Salicrup (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

After only three days of pregnancy, Ms Marvel is about to give birth. All Avengers are exited and the baby is delivered without problems. While her teammates cheer for the new life, Ms.Marvel herself feels used as she has no idea how she conceived or who might be the father. Jocasta envies the other Avengers for their emotions, especially the love between Vision and Wanda. While the Avengers spend some personal time, the child grows and in mere hours reaches adulthood, calling himself Marcus. He is eager to build a strange machine, and suddenly all over New York, there are time displaced incidents like dinosaurs or medieval knights. The mansion too is attacked and while most Avengers fight off the imminent threats, Hawkeye believes Marcus‘ machine responsible and destroys it. Marcus is in tears, he now explains who he is and how he came to be. Marcus is the son of Immortus, Limbo’s Lord. When the Avengers last battled Kang they prevented him becoming Immortus one day and so Marcus’s father vanished out of existance. Alone in Limbo he came up with a plan to leave the place. He whisked Ms. Marvel into that dimension and tried to gain her affection for weeks, but finally he used mind manipulation to imprint her with his essence and return her to a second after she left with no memory of the incident. He had accelerated his growth to become a full adult soon, but something went wrong and so the timerelated incidents occur. The machine was meant to repair time, but with it destoyed Marcus has to leave for Limbo, where he again would live in isolation. Ms. Marvel, unsure of her feelings, opts to join him and Thor transports them to the otherworldly dimension - immediatly the attackers return to their own times. The remaining Avengers hope that letting Carol go was the right decision.

Full Summary: 

Ms. Marvel is about to give birth! What? Ms Marvel pregnant? Evidently, three days ago, Ms. Marvel discovered that she was pregnant, and now she is ready to give birth. This unusual situation is being attended to by Jocasta and Dr. Blake as Cap, Iron Man, Wonder Man, Beast, and Hawkeye look on from outside the laboratory. Vision and Scarlet Witch arrive and are told that they are in time for the delivery. Wasp and Yellowjacket join the meeting just the delivery begins. "That's it Carol...Just keep pushing like that" "But...I'm NOT pushing Doctor." The baby is born and Dr. Blake makes the announcement "It's a boy!"
The Avengers all crowd around the incubator the baby was placed into and start to fuss over the child. Jocasta speaks to Vision concerning what it must feel like to be born, be small, and then grow. Vision replies that all life is special, regardless of the form it takes. Wonder Man escorts Ms. Marvel to her room to rest. Wasp catches up with them along the way and starts to gush about the baby. Ms Marvel is unimpressed and tells the Wasp that she was used. She doesn't even know who the father of the baby is and that she wants to be left alone. The Wasp stands in stunned silence.
Vision and Wanda are strolling through the garden discussing the birth. Wanda is at peace because she has come to terms with her and Vision not having children. She states that their love is the most important thing in the world to her, and the Vision agrees. Jocasta has been spying from a nearby window and is discovered by the Wasp. Jocasta laments that there is so much about human emotion that she doesn't understand. Jan says not to sweat it because there's alot about human emotions that HUMANS don't yet understand.
Hawkeye and Beast are relaxing by playing pool. Hawkeye wins easily and suggests another game "double or nothing". Beast whips out a TI-59 calculator and starts calculating angles. Hawkeye is skeptical, but when the Beast knock in ALL the balls with his opening shot, Hawkeye has to admit that he's been sharked. Beast suggests another game, but Hawkeye declines and so Beast decides that he'll check on the baby. When he activates the Vidcom channel, Cap and Iron Man inform him that in the past hour, the child has matured to a physical age of two years ! Dr. Blake and Yellowjacket are monitoring the baby when the child struggles to speak. He manages to only get out one word "Ch...Change".
Interlude I: Raoul Kramer steps off the double-C local subway and bitches that nothing interesting ever happens to him. He reaches street level on Wall Street, but there are horse-drawn carts, and the skyscrapers are missing. What's going on?
Wonder Man decides to check in on the resting Ms Marvel. He is surprised to see her up and in costume. She states that Dr. Blake gave her a clean bill of health, so why shouldn't she be up and about? Simon suggests that they go visit the kid, but Carol will have nothing to do with it! Simon tells her that she's just scared and that the best thing to do would be to just face up to the situation.
Beast arrives in the lab laden with sports equipment for the new arrival. The kid explains "The assortment does seem rather complete, but I'd really prefer a laser torch and whatever electronic components you could spare" Beast is a bit flustered that the kid is now talking and appears to be about five years old. He also says that his name is "Marcus". Captain America decides to try and get some answers from Marcus. Marcus says that he came from his mother, and the he is his own father. Cap is frustrated, but Iron Man decides to let Marcus have the equipment while they try to figure out some more answers.
Interlude II: Marjorie Hansley goes to her mailbox in Queens. She entered a sweepstakes for a round-the-world trip and has been anxiously awaiting the response. She grabs her mail, and turns to see that her house has become a prehistoric swamp, complete with dinosaurs! Marjorie faints...
Back at the lab, Marcus now has the stature of a 12-year old. Dr. Don Blake also remarks at the intellectual growth of the boy. He muses that he has now surpassed even Einstein. Marcus is busy building some sort of machine. Cap, Beast and Hawkeye retire to a lounge where Iron Man comes in to tell them that they've received another crank call. According to Jarvis, a man called to say that his delicatessen was robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!
Jocasta finds the Vision in another lab going over some readouts from a "microradianalysis". Vision starts to explain his theory that there is an energy aura surrounding Marcus and that it appears to be coming from within Marcus himself. Scarlet Witch walks in and Vision starts to discuss his theory with Wanda. Jocasta sneaks away, and she is hurt that they did not even notice her departure.
Ms Marvel comes downstairs and decides that she will now face her kid. She walks into the lab with Jan where a now full-grown Marcus faces her and says "Hello... Mother". Carol says that she recognizes Marcus, but can't figure out how. Marcus calmly states that "everything will be fine once the flux is negated". Yellowjacket, Wasp and Wonder Man are starting to get suspicious. Marcus returns to his machine saying he'll explain all when he's finished. He gets interrupted when the ceiling comes crashing in! Avengers mansion is under attack! Iron Man looks out the window to see that the attackers consist of biplanes, sleek spaceships, and a large Tyrannosaurus Rex! Cap, Hawkeye, Beast and Iron Man head outside to enter the fray. Iron Man arrives first to deliver a roundhouse left to the big dinosaur. Inside the mansion, the Vision has picked up the fight on the monitor and floats through the ceiling to join in. Wanda decides to head for the communications center to try and find out what's going on outside. She gets interrupted by a mounted knight pointing a lance at her and saying that it is his honored duty to run her through! They square off, and Wanda lashes out with a hex. The knight's lance snakes itself around him thus knocking him off his mount.
Vision has now reached Iron Man outside and is disabling various flying craft with his solar eye beams. Iron Man finally succeeds in knocking out the dinosaur. Cap, Hawkeye, and Beast still haven't made it outside. Now they are confronted by a band of roving Native Americans firing blazing arrows at the trio. Beast starts knocking them left and right spouting great one liners like "Surprise pal! It's National Poke-A-Hontus Week!" Hawkeye sees that Beast and Cap are handling things well, and decides that Marcus must be to blame for what is happening. He decides to do something about it! He heads off towards the lab...
In the lab, Wonder Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket, Ms Marvel, and Dr. Blake are watching Marcus work on his machine. They hear the sounds of battle and parts of the ceiling crash down on them. Carol tries to get Marcus to safety, but he emphatically states that he MUST finish his machine. Wonder Man flies through the ceiling to find out the cause of the damage. Ms Marvel shuts Don Blake into a reinforced storeroom where he makes the transformation to the Mighty Thor! Wonder Man reaches Iron Man and Vision and starts toward one of the attacking spaceships. He is brought low by an energy beam shot from the ramparts of the mansion itself. A futuristic fortress has appeared and Vision flies over and disrupts the entire structure with his intangibility. Iron Man takes out another ship, and Wonder Man finds himself on the ground with a prehistoric snake wrapped around his waist. A pterodactyl has grabbed Iron Man in its claws, but Wonder Man finally manages to gain hold of the snake and tosses it at the pterodactyl, thus freeing Iron Man. Thor arrives on the scene and swirls his hammer to create a raging funnel that captures the remaining dinosaurs, biplanes, spaceships, etc.
Inside the mansion, Jarvis is being attacked by a musketeer-type character. Yellowjacket and Wasp arrive to give the attacker a face-full of ants. YJ tells Jarvis to stand back so he can fire a disruptor blast, but Jarvis chooses instead to knock out the guy with a right to the jaw! Good show! The knight that attacked the Scarlet Witch has finally freed himself from his lance. He then attacks Wanda with his sword, but the sword is sheared by a laser blast. The knight turns to see Jocasta facing him. He says his name is Sir Cecil of Clampett and that he won't be "bested by women". He attacks Jocasta with what's left of his sword, but this shatters on Jocasta's body. This is all too much for poor Cecil, so he yields and grovels at both Wanda and Jocasta's feet. Jocasta apologizes for intruding, but Wanda tells her that the intrusion was welcome.
Hawkeye has finally made it to the lab after taking our a few barbarians along the way. Marcus is telling Ms. Marvel that she must leave for her own good. When she resists, Marcus knocks her unconscious with some sort of energy from his hands. He starts to carry her out of the lab, but Hawkeye enters at that moment and fires an arrow at Marcus machine "I may not have been in time to save Ms. Marvel, but by all that's holy, I'll see that you and your blasted machine never hurt anyone else!" The machine disintegrates, and Marcus stands in tears. He explains that he wanted to harm no one, but now that the machine has been destroyed, Hawkeye might as well kill him or else he will kill them all! They advance towards one another but a lightning bolt separates them. Thor and Iron Man fly in demanding explanations. Marcus still threatens to kill them, but Ms. Marvel comes in and says that if there's to be any killing, he'll have to start with her! He stands indecisively and then starts to wail about how he doesn't want to go back to Limbo since his father is no longer there. The father? IMMORTUS! Carol is incredulous! She's never even met Immortus, how then...? Marcus explains.
Immortus was the solitary master of Limbo, but he got lonely and desired a mate. He came upon a drowning woman and saved her and brought her to his realm. Through a combination of gratitude plus a subtle boost from Immortus' machines, the woman fell in love. Immortus created a "pocket of change" where time flowed normally within Limbo. It was within that pocket that Marcus was conceived. He was born and then raised within the pocket so that he could grow and mature. Evidently, there is a limit to how long a human can remain in limbo, and Marcus' mother was ripped back to her own time. Years later, Immortus also disappeared (a result of the dispersal of Kang in issue #143) and Marcus was doomed to wander Limbo alone. It was then that he "conceived" the idea of being reborn on Earth. He knew that his mere presence would wreak havoc with the time-stream, but he thought that if he accelerated his growth process, he'd be able to build a machine that would negate the time flux distortion. During his numerous time scans, he came across Ms Marvel. He plucked her out of a flying quinjet and took her to Limbo. He didn't want to use Immortus' devices so he set about winning her heart the hard way. He got Shakespeare to write her a sonnet, Beethoven to write a prelude for her, and even got Marie Antoinette to dress her! After weeks of this, he finally succumbed and "with a subtle boost from Immortus' machines" she became his. He was able to implant his own essence within her and then return her to the flying quinjet a mere second after taking her.
Marcus continues explaining that he only has two option left, to go back to Limbo to live out his days in solitude, or goad the Avengers into killing him to spare him the horror. Ms Marvel takes off her mask and tells Marcus that he doesn't have to be alone. She doesn't understand what happened to her, but she has feelings for Marcus that she'd like to pursue. She decides to accompany him to Limbo. "Ms Marvel! are you sure you know what you're doing?" "No, Iron Man, but I've been denying my feelings for quite a while. Maybe it's time I started following them." Thor offers to transport them, and with a swing of his hammer, they are gone!
With the disappearance of Marcus, all the time-displaced people/ creatures/ vehicles/ etc. disappear as well. The Avengers who had been in heated battle moments ago, now stand and stare around them to be sure it's not some kind of trick. Hawkeye and Iron Man are still in the lab, and Hawkeye is knocking himself for having destroyed Marcus' machine. Iron Man tells him that things probably would have worked out the same way and they should think that everything worked out for the best. Hawkeye: "Yeah, I guess you're right. That's all we can do believe... and hope that Ms Marvel lives happily ever after"

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Jocasta, Ms. Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wasp, Wonder Man, Yellowjacket (all Avengers)
Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler
In flashbacks :
Immortus, Marcus, Ms. Marvel

Story Notes: 

Ms. Marvel’s fate and the real nature of her relationship to Marcus can be found in Avengers Annual #10

Written By: