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Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2: Review

Jan 2005
Joe Casey, Scott Kolins

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2 Review by (August 22, 2011)
Review: Full review found at issue #1.

Comments: Story takes place behind the scenes of AVENGERS (Vol. 1) #4-5, with the climax of #5 also shown.


Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2 Review by (October 9, 2011)
The Avengers have solo adventures before the rest of Av#5. The only thing of significance for Avengers continuity is that Iron Man meets Black Widow, a Soviet spy at the time. She will later introduce Hawkeye into the Marvel universe, and both of them will eventually become Avengers. As seen in this issue the bulk of Av#5 concerns a fight against the Lava Men. Hulk was involved that tussle too. Last issue we saw that Avengers getting priority status from the government depended on them dealing with Hulk. Despite that there is no indication here that FF#25-26 and Av#5 were part of that plan. In fact the FF issues aren't mentioned, and neither is Hulk's appearance in Av#5. And after this the Avengers will generally forget about him. The new story in Av:Classic#5 has a WWII veteran seeing Cap on the news after Av#5, and remembering Cap and Bucky defending his troop in Belgium in 1944 from the Asgardian Fenris wolf, until Thor came to take it back home. (This will be after Thor's appearance in Invaders #32-33.) In the original Av#5 the Avengers use their priority clearance to take over the Lava Men situation. In the current issue Iron Man discovers that Cap was given security clearance in WWII, which applied also to any allies (like the Invaders). Here it is claimed that Iron Man invokes Cap's old clearance in the Lave Men affair. The Avengers' government liaison Agent Murch isn't happy about this, and says it won't work again. But he admits that having Cap in their ranks might make getting priority status easier.

Now at last we return to the original continuity in FF#25-26, where Avengers seek Hulk in the desert, but have to return to New York to join the FF in stopping Hulk's rampage there. The opening scene of Av#5 shows Avengers surveying the damage to their mansion from that battle, and Cap offers to train Rick Jones. We see some of that training in flashbacks within the new story in Av:Classic#8. The events in MOOT#3 take place after FF#26 because Cap comments on Hulk's strong grip during an examination by Iron Man and Giant-Man, after which they (again) declare him fit and the genuine article. This looks like a different version of the similar scene in this issue, but attendant details place them at different times. I can only surmise that GM had conducted more extensive health checks since the first one, and IM had got hold of more detailed info from the government to compare Cap with. As Tony Stark in MOOT#3 IM shows Steve a somewhat biased view of Earth's history while he's been asleep (with his revival date now set somewhere near the end of the last century). Still in MOOT#3, Steve has heard about time travel and wants to go back to save Bucky. But the President tells him it would be too dangerous to the timeline, and persuades him to stay in the present as Captain America. He obeys his commander-in-chief (at least until Av#56). In MOOT#4 Thor tells Cap to accept Bucky's heroic death.

In this issue we see Giant-Man declare Cap to be fit and the genuine article (based on comparison with army records). Cap receives notification that he is due back pay for his time in the ice, during what is obviously his first day in Avengers Mansion. (The Avengers obviously wanted to check Cap out as soon as possible, but it's amazingly fast reaction for the government!) This all happens in the middle of Av#4, before Avengers fight Namor and help the alien escape. During that first day Cap and Rick meet apparently for the first time, despite them already sharing an adventure in Av#4 and MOOT#1-2. The new story in Avengers: Classic #4 has Gabe Jones taking Cap to have his identity verified by the government, and is given his accumulated back pay and promised a continuing wage from the army. Despite his clean bill of health the Avengers fear that Cap won't be up to fighting modern villains. But Iron Man is impressed by Cap when they face giant robots in CA: Sentinel of Liberty #5-6 (robots controlled by the aliens who sicced Gargantus on us in IM's 2nd adventure in Tales of Suspense #40). Around this point Sentry #1 says Sentry saves Avengers from his arch-enemy the Void. (If Sentry's past actually happened. And in this flashback Cap is present but IM still has his bulky old armour. Maybe the new armour was at the cleaners.)

I will continue my efforts to untangle many of the Avengers-related flashbacks and retroactively-inserted tales based in this period. I have relied heavily on the Official Indexes and the online Marvel Chronology Project. This issue covers Avengers #4 and #5, with a side trip to Fantastic Four #25-26 in between. We finished last issue with the Avengers finding Captain America's frozen body early in Av#4. Mighty Avengers #20 has a flashback with Giant-Man and Wasp watching over Cap's body. And CA: Man Out Of Time #1 and #2 retell much of Av#4, with Cap meeting Rick Jones and saving Avengers from an alien. Noticeably neither MOOT nor this issue mention the subsequent battle with Sub-Mariner, to help the alien escape from Earth. In Av#4 Cap and Namor don't remember much about each other. As it says in this issue, Cap's memories are fragmentary. And Subby had long-term amnesia up to Fantastic Four #4, so his memory is a bit shot too.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Giant-Man runs tests on the newly-revived Captain America, Steve Rogers, who is having trouble adjusting to his experiences. Jarvis shows him to his room, where he flips on the TV and surfs the channels, witnessing reality TV, war, sex scandals, and heavy metal music. He sits there, more depressed and confused than ever….

Giant-Man reports on his findings to the other Avengers: he judges that physically Cap is in perfect condition but doubts that he will recover from the psychological shock. Iron Man suggests they give him more time to recover. A late-night study of old military documents reveals to Iron Man that Captain America has full security clearance for himself and his allies which would grant them the priority status they desire, though Thor finds the manipulation dishonorable. The self-proclaimed Thunder God (the others doubt his assertions) wonders whether Iron Man is more concerned with the NSC’s red tape than the team’s original goal of fighting evil.

Steve is awoken in the middle of the night by a bad dream about the war. He heads down to the kitchen and runs into Rick Jones, who still drops by frequently even though he has no reason to be there since the Hulk left. Jarvis intervenes when Rick asks about Cap’s wartime adventures, reminding him that is wasn’t a pleasant time. Cap is still having trouble with his memory and can’t answer. After Rick leaves, Cap asks Jarvis about the Avengers and their goals, and Jarvis has him read the groups’ charter….

One week later, Captain America joins with the Avengers in combating the menace of the Lava Men. His well-publicized return starts to give the team more credibility in the eyes of the public. Tony Stark meets with the Avengers liaison in the National Security Council, Agent Murch, who takes a dim view of their exploitation of Cap’s security clearance for their own ends. Murch is skeptical of Cap’s mental state however, and announces he will be watching the team very carefully….


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> Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Book info and issue index

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Scott Kolins
Scott Kolins
Morry Hollowell
Scott Kolins (Cover Penciler)
Scott Kolins (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Lava Men.