"Acts of Vengeance"

Promotional image for the Acts of Vengeance series (Avengers #311 (Dec. 1989) - The Amazing Spider-Man #329 (Feb. 1990)
Publisher Marvel Comics
Publication date December 1989 – February 1990


Collected editions
Acts Of Vengeance Omnibus HC ISBN 978-0-7851-4464-9

"Acts of Vengeance" is a comic book crossover storyline that ran through several titles published by Marvel Comics from December 1989 to February 1990.

Publication history

This company-wide fall crossover was centered on the Avengers and Fantastic Four after three consecutive fall crossovers were built around the X-Men and related mutant teams. Promotional materials teased the idea of a wide array of super-villains facing heroes they had never met (or at least were villains that weren't part of the heroes' regular gallery).

The core titles of the crossover include Avengers;[1] Avengers Spotlight;[2] Avengers West Coast;[3] Captain America;[4] Iron Man;[5] Quasar;[6] Thor;[7] and Fantastic Four.[8] Major tie-ins included The Amazing Spider-Man[9] among other Spider-Man titles, Uncanny X-Men [10] and the second Damage Control [11] limited series. An epilogue features in Cloak and Dagger;[12] Web Of Spider-Man[13] and in an Avengers Annual.[14] A humorous parody with the character the Impossible Man features in the title Silver Surfer.[15]

Plot summary

A stranger (the Asgardian god Loki in disguise) coerces a group of master supervillains to join forces in a conspiracy to destroy the superhero team the Avengers. Loki does this to strike back at his adopted brother Thor, and is also bitter that he inadvertently caused the formation of the Avengers.[16] The supervillain team consists of Doctor Doom, Kingpin, Magneto, Mandarin, Red Skull, and Wizard. Loki also attempts to recruit characters Apocalypse, Cobra, and Mad Thinker, but they all decline. Loki also approaches Namor the Sub-Mariner, but he rejects the offer stating he is not a villain anymore.

To assist the master villains, Loki engineers a jailbreak at the Vault. The lesser villains are then directed against heroes (mainly the Avengers and Spider-Man) who have never fought them before, the theory being that the unfamiliarity will act in the villains' favor.

While they did manage to give many of the heroes unusual fits, the plan eventually fails as the master villains fail to cooperate and bicker with each other. An example of this is where Magneto (who is a mutant and a Jewish Holocaust survivor) attacks Red Skull (whose Nazi beliefs in Marvel continuity include a prejudice against mutants) and imprisoning him in a buried crypt. The supervillain pawns are defeated by the heroes. A frustrated Loki reveals himself and imprisons the Kingpin, Mandarin and Wizard, while Doctor Doom is revealed to have been using a Doombot (Magneto is not present). The Avengers track the group and defeat the villains, with Thor forcing Loki to flee back to their native home of Asgard.[17]

Loki commits one last act of villainy and creates the robot Tri-Sentinel to destroy New York City. The Tri-Sentinel is stopped by the hero Spider-Man (who at the time possessed the powers of Captain Universe).[18]


  1. John Byrne (w), Tom Palmer (i). The Avengers 311-313 (December 1989 - January 1990), Marvel Comics
  2. Dwayne McDuffie, Howard Mackie, James Brock (w), Chris IvyDon Heck, Roy Richardson (i). Avengers Spotlight 26-29 (December 1989 - February 1990), Marvel Comics
  3. John Byrne (w), Keith WilliamsPaul Ryan (i). Avengers West Coast 53-55 (December 1989 - February 1990), Marvel Comics
  4. Mark Gruenwald (w), Danny Bulanadi (i). Captain America 365-367 (Mid-December 1989 - February 1990), Marvel Comics
  5. Iron Man #250 - 252 (Dec. 1989 - Jan. 1990)
  6. Quasar #5 - 6 (Dec. 1989 - Feb. 1990)
  7. Thor #411 - 412 (Dec. 1989 - Jan. 1990)
  8. Fantastic Four #334 - 336 (Dec. 1989 - Jan. 1990)
  9. The Amazing Spider-Man #326 - 329 (Dec. 1989 - Feb. 1990)
  10. Uncanny X-Men #256 - 258 (Dec. 1989 - Feb. 1990)
  11. Damage Control vol. 2, #1 - 4 (Dec. 1989 - Feb. 1990)
  12. Cloak and Dagger vol. 3, #9 (Dec. 1989)
  13. Web of Spider-Man #64 - 65 (May - June 1990)
  14. Avengers Annual #19 (1990)
  15. Silver Surfer vol. 3, #33 (Jan. 1990)
  16. Avengers #1 (Sep. 1963)
  17. Avengers West Coast #55 (Feb. 1990)
  18. The Amazing Spider-Man #329 (Feb. 1990)

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