Avengers 167 was cover dated January 1978 and was on sale in October 1977, sharing the spinner racks with All-Star Comics #70, Amazing Spider-Man #1976, Black Lightning 6, Captain Marvel #54, Green Lantern #100 and Marvel Team-Up 65.
The Tomorrow Dies Today was written by Jim Shooter and drawn by the legendary George Perez. The roll call of the team at this point was Captain America serving as team leader, Iron Man, Thor, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Wonderman and the Beast.
An alarm blazes through the walls of Avengers mansion, summoning Scarlet Witch, Captain America and Beast, who at this point was still in the shower, they race to the main room with some additional bickering and find Vision, already at the monitor, putting through a video call from Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury tells them that there is a large, unknown space ship orbiting Earth, posing a risk to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s space station. Captain America agrees to help and the team race to be ready. On the S.H.I.E.L.D. station Tony Stark (secretly Iron Man) asks to be evacuated so he can join the team before they leave. Cap also summons Thor and Wonderman who are in a nearby diner going over their recent experiences and further the subplot of Wonderman’s feelings of inadequacy.
The Avengers’ Quinjet docks with S.H.I.E.L.D’s station and the team with the exception of Thor, Iron Man and the Vision are outfitted with Spacesuits. Wonderman is unlikely to need one, but takes one to be safe. The team are pointed to an opening and jump from station to ship. The opening, an airlock, opens fully to let them in and then shuts behind them. The air is breathable and perfectly suited for human life so the team divests itself of the spacesuits. The Avengers are awestruck by the size of the ship and Captain America orders the team to split into recon teams. Vision and the Scarlet Witch go one way, Cap and Wonderman another, Thor and Iron Man another and Beast scouts ahead on his own, to which there is his usual complaining banter. As he scouts, he is grabbed by a hand, eleven times more dense than one he’d be used to. He is pulled up and we are re-introduced to Charlie-27 and Nikki of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Although the Guardians have been to this time before, they haven’t encountered any 20th century beings whilst aboard the Drydock. Charlie-27 believes Beast to be some kind of space monkey and there is a brief scuffle, which is ended by the arrival of Starhawk, Vance Astro, Yondu and Martinex, the remainder of the Guardians. There is a little meet and greet between the two teams, with Thor revealing that he had recently met the Guardians in their future defeating Korvac. The Guardians reveal that Korvac has returned to the past to kill one of the Guardians, Vance Astro, when he was a boy in the 20th Century.
The scene then shifts to a fashion show. Organised by Janet Van Dyne also known as the Wasp with her husband Hank Pym also known as Yellowjacket in attendance. In the crowd we find Kyle ‘Nightwing’ Richmond in the audience as well as a tuxedo clad stranger who simply stares at the models. He doesn’t respond until one of the models Carina Walters walks on and then he seems entranced by her.
Before anyone can move or do anything, the show is attacked by the Porcupine. Now to call the Porcupine a B-list villain is to insult Marvel’s stable of B-list villains. He and a handful of masked gunmen demanding money and jewellery.
As the Porcupine finds out that robbing a fashion show with two Avengers and a Defender in attendance is not the best idea, the tuxedo wearing man walks over to Carina, there are no words, there doesn’t seem to be a need. They depart, no one sees them leave and the issue ends with a glib compliment from Nighthawk to Wasp on how exciting the show was.
Notes: This is one of the all time great line ups, drawn by one of the all time great pencillers and written by Jim Shooter who went on to run Marvel for many of their highest selling years, it had my favourite guest star teams and was the start of a fantastic story arc. Did I like it? Yes, yes I did.
The Korvac saga has begun and the awesome is about to begin.
Next: Avengers 168