Comic Book Review – Avengers #280 (June 1987)

Avengers #280

Writer Bob Harras

Art Bob Hall

“Faithful Servant”

Edwin Jarvis has been hospitalized after The Masters of Evil attacked Avengers Mansion. Jarvis was repeatedly pummeled by Mister Hyde as Captain America watched helplessly, unable to help his friend. The doctor has some grim news for Jarvis: his optic nerve in his left eye has been damaged so severely, he will have ninety percent vision loss in that eye. His leg injuries are healing, but he will need a walker then a cane to help keep mobile. Finally, Jarvis may have possible brain damage, but the extent is unknown at this time.

As the doctor leaves, Tony Stark visits his old faithful friend and apologizes for what happened to him. Jarvis was aware of the dangers as the Avengers’ butler, but Tony feels responsible for everything. Tony offers Jarvis an opportunity to retire from duty with full pay and benefits from the Maria Stark foundation.

The issue is primarily a series of flashbacks of Jarvis recounting and reminiscing on his time with the Avengers. In the first flashback, Tony tells Jarvis that Iron Man will be visiting the Stark mansion with some guests: Thor, the Hulk, the Wasp, and Ant-Man. When the staff gets wind of this, they quit en masse except for Jarvis. Thor arrives first but when the Hulk arrives, Jarvis faints from terror. The Wasp and Ant-Man revive Jarvis with smelling salts. As Jarvis finishes preparing the meal (with Hulk asking for seconds) Iron Man and the group discuss establishing the Avengers as a group. Jarvis gives the Wasp a tour of the mansion and when they return, its unanimous: The Avengers are officially established, and a charter will be decided on at a later meeting.

As Jarvis mulls over his decision on whether to retire or not, the reader gets a glimpse of the ever-evolving roster of Avengers through the years and how Jarvis made close friendships with Captain America and the Vision.

I won’t spoil what Jarvis’ decision is, but his answer is revealed at the end of the issue.

I wanted to review an Avengers comic and I stumbled across this issue for a dollar. When I read this issue, I thought to myself, this comic was definitely worth the money, but it should have cost wayyyy more than a buck. This issue is a hidden treasure that you should read at some point.

Name one person who has stood shoulder to shoulder with gods and monsters and lived to tell the tale. The history lesson of the Avengers and how Jarvis is an integral part of the super hero group is an important reminder that an ordinary man with a caring and kind heart might be the greatest superhero on the planet. There is more than meets the eye with this humble servant, you just need to take the time to see why Jarvis is an important part of the Marvel Universe.