Avengers 177 was cover dated November 1978 and was on sale August 1978, sharing the spinner racks with Adventure Comics #460, Captain Marvel #59, Green Lantern #110, Machine Man #8, Superman Family #192 and X-Men #115.
The Hope and the Slaughter was written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Dave Wenzel and opens with the Avengers standing in front of Michael Korvac. Above the opening page is a brief summing up of the saga so far. Korvac re-iterates how the Avengers by finding him have put at risk both his plans for the universe and the universe itself.
There then follows a fierce and vicious fight between Korvac and the Avengers, during which Moondragon telepathically summons the Guardians of the Galaxy who join the fray.
It doesn’t go well, before anyone can react, Michael, with a wave of his hand destroys Drydock, killing Vance Astro. An incensed Nikki attacks and is killed instantly, Quicksilver also falls.
The battle goes on and whilst the Avengers battle valiantly, they have no chance against Michael. Carina walks into the room and the Avengers try to use her as Michael’s weak point. Carina doesn’t defend herself and in her defence Michael becomes enraged and battles on, the Avengers and Guardians alike, falling to his power.
At one point only Captain America is standing and he doesn’t give up, pointing out that he is only a man and yet he will not allow Michael to get away with all he’s done. Cap is the only one in the issue that actually hurts Michael, but was thrown through a door for his trouble. Wonderman then revives and charges Michael, no longer held back by his fears and manages to stagger Michael as well. Starhawk, Vision, Iron Man and Thor are also back on their feet and all fire on Michael at once.
Michael finally falls, but through his own choice and not anything the Avengers do. Iron Man runs over and finds that Michael Korvac is dead. Carina starts glowing and then attacks the Avengers in Korvac’s name.
Carina too falls and the two of them lie on the floor of their home and this would normally be the point where the Avengers would consider it a victory. But watching all this was Moondragon who realises the paradise that Korvac would have made and knows that in his last instant, he restored Drydock and all the lives lost. Thor becomes Donald Blake and works to save the injured Avengers, whilst Moondragon, realising the Avengers were the villains and not the heroes, alters everyone’s memories and walks away in sorrow.
There are no notes her, such a great 70’s comic story with a bittersweet ending, what’s not to love.