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Avengers: The Initiative #32: Review

Mar 2010
Christos N. Gage, Mahmud Asrar

Story Name:

Seize the day

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers: The Initiative #32 Review by (October 9, 2018)
There are lots of other chars seen in this issue but they don't say anything or do anything noteworthy.

This issue runs parallel to Siege #1, and of all the tie-ins to that issue this is the most connected. Siege#1 starts with the Chicago disaster organised by Norman Osborn and Loki. Then Osborn rallies his troops including Taskmaster, and including a scene on the helicarrier. They attack Asgard and defeat Thor (who has been in Broxton tending to Tony Stark as Dr Don Blake in Iron Man (2008) #19-24 (sometimes behind the scenes)).

The next most relevant tie-in is Thor #607 which has Loki making sure the Asgardians don't realise they're going to be attacked until it's too late. Meanwhile the Broxton police help Volstagg get his version of the story on the Internet. The last part of the issue fits more with Siege #3 as the Thor clone Ragnarok comes after Volstagg.

Dark Wolverine #82 has scenes in the helicarrier followed by the invasion. Daken winds up his fellow Dark Avengers and treats the fighting like a game. The Norns are watching Daken and call him the 'bringer of Ragnarok'. During the battle Daken 'kills' Osborn. But in the beginning of DW#83 that turns out to be an illusion caused by the Norns who confront him with cryptic statements.

Siege: Embedded #1-3 follows Ben Urich reporting on the action. He interviews Volstagg in Chicago and then they both head to Broxton. It also follows TV pundit Todd Keller who is hired by Osborn to present his side of things. In #3 the 2 reporters are with others on a plane which for some reason Venom causes to crash near the battle.

While the Dark Avengers and the Initiative go to Asgard, Hood and his gang are sent to attack the New Avengers in their #61-62. Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors help the NAv. After the fight they see news of Thor's defeat and the newly-returned Steve Rogers  tells the Avengers to assemble - a scene which is echoed (imperfectly) at the end of Siege #1.

Thunderbolts and Mighty Avengers tell an intertwined side-plot, and the 1st halves of TBolts#141 and MAv#35 overlap Siege #1:- Osborn sends the TBolts to sneak into Asgard and steal the Spear of Odin. Ghost returns from trying to kill Tony Stark in IM(2008)#20-24, finds out where his team has gone and sends a warning message which is picked up by Amadeus Cho who tries to contact the rest of the disbanded MAv. Meanwhile the MAv's ex-leader Henry Pym decides to ignore Steve Rogers' call to arms because Ultron has invaded the Infinite Mansion.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Initiative #32 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens with a scene mirroring the cover image - Taskmaster facing Thor in the battle of Asgard. But his thoughts find time to review his life (which is presumably flashing before his eyes, as they say).

Tony Masters discovered he had photographic reflexes when he was still a kid. He used that ability to excel in sports at school by just watching *others* train, but didn't fancy it as a career. He thought about becoming a supervillain (there wasn't any money in being a superhero). But instead he hit upon a scheme to make the money without the risks. He'd use his skills to train low-level criminals and then hire them out as the ever-necessary henchmen to the real supervillains. Some of his alumni became well-known villains in their own right. He envied them their success but consoled himself with the money.

After Civil War I he joined the Initiative as a trainer (#8). Norman Osborn took over after Secret Invasion and he made TM boss of the training camp (#24) and started filling the ranks with other supervillains. Then Norman promoted him to be a member of his Cabal. But now that's brought him to this moment.

Now we have an actual flashback to the HAMMER helicarrier en route to Asgard (in Broxton Ohio). We see a mixture of Initiative and Dark Avengers members. Masters reunites with his friends Constrictor and Diamondback. Frank Schlichting is pissed that Tony's letters (that he wrote from his hospital bed after Dr Doom blasted him at a Cabal meeting in Siege: Cabal) didn't warn him more explicitly about the invasion of Asgard. He and Diamondback (his lover) could have made a run for it. TM says Osborn would have sent his Dark Avengers to hunt them down.

Constrictor thinks attacking gods is suicide. Quicksand overhears and says Thor was easy when *she* fought him (Thor #392-393 & #402-403). Her fellow Women Warriors Asp and Black Mamba heard differently, but they also think the rest of the Asgardians are nowhere as tough as Thor. Diamondback points out that they have the Sentry on their side who can handle Thor.

Frank takes Rachel Leighton aside to say he's worried about her. She has no superpowers - she's just "a gymnast who throws fake diamonds at people". DB points out she was trained by Captain America. Schlichting also knows his girlfriend is really a spy for the Avengers Resistance, so he wonders *why* she wants to fight the Asgardians. She replies that she hasn't been able to contact them but the Resistance will need someone on the inside when they make a move.

Tony and Frank then have *their* personal chat. Masters says he's had a revelation after being part of the Cabal.  The guys at the top of the ladder aren't *like* Frank and him, they're larger than life, they do crazy things. He tries to persuade Schlichting that the invasion of Asgard is *their* chance to *be* somebody. Frank doesn't really buy it. (And it doesn't jibe with Tony's letters to Frank at the end of last issue.)

The next scene is mid-invasion. We see Terraformer of the Force Of Nature cut in half by Heimdall (as a plant being he could possibly survive that but he's never seen again), and Warbow of Heavy Mettle cut down by a hail of arrows. Taskmaster begins to feel like he's made the wrong decision. But he pulls himself together, tackles 2 Asgardians, causes 1 to kill the other and finishes off the other 1.

But it's time for a visit to the Avengers Resistance. Justice, Tigra and Ultragirl catch up with the news on TV and hear about the disaster at Soldier Field in Chicago where a clash between the Asgardian Volstagg and the U-Foes killed thousands. The U-Foes claimed they were on Initiative business and the deaths were Volstagg's fault. This is being likened to the Stamford disaster involving the New Warriors which triggered off the Superhuman Registration Act and Civil War I, and eventually led via Secret Invasion to Norman Osborn achieving his current position of power.

Night Thrasher joins them having discovered (in an epilogue last issue) that Osborn had paid the U-Foes a lot of money. Incensed Justice (a New Warrior who wasn't involved in Stamford) puts 2 and 2 together and deduces that Osborn staged the Chicago disaster for his own reasons. And then breaking news on the TV shows them the invasion of Asgard by Osborn's forces, and they have the punch line.

Justice sends Ultragirl to get the rest of the Resistance, and Tigra to try and contact the New Avengers or Hank Pym's Mighty Avengers. Night Thrasher sends the info they've gathered to news outlets. But while most of the Initiative are in Asgard the Resistance will raid their base at Camp HAMMER.

Back in Asgard Constrictor is trying to keep Diamondback out of trouble, which annoys her. She can't get through to the Resistance. They and Taskmaster see the arrival of Thor, who is immediately attacked by Sentry. Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) orders all heavy hitters (not the Initiative team of that name) to pile on Thor. Tony Masters decides to include himself in that list. Frank goes to find Rachel but finds that she's gone the same way, to do what she can to ensure that Thor survives.

Various chars including the U-Foes and Taskmaster attack Thor. Diamondback doesn't know what to do. Iron Patriot gets in the last blow. And Thor is down.


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> Avengers: The Initiative: Book info and issue index

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Mahmud Asrar
Rebecca Buchman
Jay David Ramos
David Yardin (Cover Penciler)
David Yardin (Cover Inker)
David Yardin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Bill Rosemann. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Asp, Black Mamba, Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Night Thrasher (Donyell Taylor), Quicksand, Taskmaster, Terraformer, U-Foes, Ultragirl, Warbow.