If you think about it, the name "Mad Thinker" is an oxymoron. But, amazingly, it really fits the Thinker's actions in this issue. This supposed super-brain has convinced himself that Daredevil has precognitive powers that will allow the Thinker - in tandem with his machines - to get out from under that fickle mistress: chance. Mad indeed. I think the Thinker would have been better served by Oracle from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
On the line here is the life of one Benjamin J. Grimm. The uber-tough Thing is being faced with annihilation by one of the weapons he is vulnerable to - gas. Leave it to Murdock, the quick-witted trial lawyer, to think up something fast.
With that third panel dialogue our Mad Thinker is beginning to wise up.
That kid from prison has followed the Thing and is now running wild in the Mad Thinker's lab (don't you just love comics).
Could this be the future Spider-Man foe Rocket Racer? I wonder.
After falling for DDs bluff, the Mad Thinker introduces his latest henchman.
Thankfully, the Mad Thinker is NOT in control of the being who was then the third most powerful Avenger (the other two being Thor and Iron Man). Nope. This is a Vision compatible. A clone designed to specifications. That's right, the Mad Thinker has created a fake Vision, as in 'not as powerful as the original'.
Here's the Mad Thinker's conceptualization of his Vision robot.
Of course, intangibility + heat ray does spell assassin. The Thinker is more ambitious than that, he wants an army of Visions but in order to do that he needs more 'design specs'. He needs to capture the real Vision. No way that can happen. The Vision is formidable, to say the least. He's also surrounded by his fellow Avengers.
First gas, now hypno-lenses.
It is not a good day for Ben Grimm.
So Grimm is under hypnosis and Daredevil is being compelled to obey the Thinker or the young skateboarder gets it. So it is the Thing and Daredevil under the thrall of the Mad Thinker. Their mission: capture the Vision. For those of you who have been thinking that the Thing and Daredevil would be totally outclassed by the Avengers, you're right. But it turns out the Avengers aren't home. What we have are better odds: the Vision and Yellowjacket. If you ask me, the Vision alone is more than enough to take out Thing and Daredevil.
Were you looking for a panel crammed with dialogue? You got it.
Note 'the psychic who followed him'. The Thinker thought it was Daredevil but I think it was the kid! Of course you also have to take into account that I thought the kid was Rocket Racer.
What a fool I am, look at this.
YJ gets slammed unconscious by Ben. I was weighing an Avengers/Thing+Daredevil fight on the merits of power levels. But the Thing and DD have the advantage in that the Avengers don't consider them a threat. Seconds before he hit the wall, Hank Pym was offering Ben and Daredevil some coffee. You owe Dr. Pym big time now Mr. Grimm.
The Thing cuts loose on the Vision.
But Viz has already altered his density allowing him to take the punch without budging. The Thing counters with a move suggested by the Thinker (although I'm sure Ben could have come up with it on his own). By the way this Thing as the villain routine isn't going down well with me.
Even worst than Ben under hypnosis is Daredevil being forced to capture the Vision.
Okay, so the Vision is in permanent intangible form but he can be moved because he is surrounded by an ionic field created by the Thinker. Next up is to get a container to transport the Android to the Thinker. Daredevil is sent to another room to get it alone. DD takes all of ten minutes. Very important. Ten minutes to get a big box.
Back in the Thinkers HQ the fickle-minded villain orders his thrall the Thing to kill Daredevil.
Looking at this panel I quickly remember that for all his talents Daredevil is all too human. There is no way he can survive a bear hug from the Thing. But surprise, surprise!
Ten minutes remember? Good enough for the old switcheroo.
As for Daredevil here he is.
Hiding in the container underneath the Vision. He's naked because Hank Pym is wearing his costume. He isn't wearing the Yellowjacket's costume because they had to leave it in Avenger's mansion as a decoy.
Once again the Thinker orders his rocky henchman to destroy Daredevil.
Remember what I said about Thing's bear hug? Well that actually works if Ben could get ahold of his opponent - a very hard thing to do when you're facing a master acrobat.
Here Yellowjacket makes a grab for the hypno-lenses in order to reverse Grimm's mind control.
Waitaminute, why is Pym wearing his costume when it was shown to have been left at Avenger's mansion? I don't know. No-prize anyone?
And in three panels the Thing and the Vision are back on the team.
Good thing too, because of the four heroes here these are the two powerhouses. Time to run like hell Mad Thinker.
I spoke too soon. The Thinker has already created his Vision army.
Keep in mind that, many as they are, these Vision androids do not have the power level of the original Vision.
The fight is on and, unsurprisingly, DD and Yellowjacket are finding out that on a straight on fight with these robots they're fighting a bit above there weight class. The reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger is also a surprise - I didn't know he was already a name during the 70s.
The Thing is more than capable of holding his own (makes me wonder why the Thinker didn't use his original robots from last issue, those were stronger), but it is the Vision who really sweeps away the opposition.
Well the kid turned out to be the 'psychic' the Mad Thinker was looking for. A simple test involving the result of a hockey game conducted by the Vision seems to bear it out. It's not so much being psychic but having a keen understanding of people.
And to top it off, I love it when a comic ends on a light-hearted humorous note.
Sort of like all of the actors taking a bow at the end of play, and everybody clapping because they had a fun night.