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Avengers #10: Review

Nov 1998
Kurt Busiek, George Perez

Story Name:

Pomp and Pageantry

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Avengers #10 Review by (November 12, 2019)
Dave Lanphear helps with the inking.

Is this 'really' an Avengers Anniversary? This issue is cover-dated November and so would have been on sale in September. The chronology in the back of #1 of the 1st Official Avengers Index series says that the Avengers got together in September.
However Av#1 was cover-dated September, and in those days it meant it was on sale in newsagents in June and had been printed in May.

There is a Marvel tradition of recurring use of specific reporters. Kurt Busiek invented Megan McLaren for Thunderbolts from #1, and carried her over into this series of Avengers, again from #1.
Chili Storm has been modelling alongside Millie Collins since Millie The Model #4 in 1947, but I guess Marvel's Sliding Timescale means she isn't as old as that implies. Banter between the hosts establishes she gave up modelling for a career in a TV daytime soap opera. In Chili's most recent appearances in Dazzler #34 and the Misty mini-series Millie is running a modelling agency and Misty is her niece.
Stunt cyclist Stuntmaster was a reluctant villain in Daredevil #58 but later became a Hollywood stuntman and then got his own TV stunt show where he briefly hired Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze). The above banter lets us know that he's now touring his stunt show.

2 future issues will prove that the omniscient Agatha Harkness's 'true story' of Scarlet Witch's birth isn't correct.
Uncanny Avengers v2 #4 will tell us that the Maximoffs were actually Wanda and Pietro's true parents, and Magneto had nothing to do with it. And that they aren't mutants but their powers are due to the High Evolutionary's experiments.
In Scarlet Witch v2 #4 she will learn that the Maximoff's weren't her parents either. Instead they are the children of Marya Maximoff's sister Natalya (father unspecified) who was the previous in the family line of Scarlet Witches.
Also in our #503 Dr Strange will claim that Chaos Magic doesn't exist, although later in Mighty Avengers #23 Chthon will claim that knowledge of it was suppressed.

Next issue will remind us how Grim Reaper and his gang each died. But since his last death GR has been seen as a pawn of Mephisto in Wonder Man #22-25.
Various databases refer to the gang as the Legion Of The Unliving but I can't find any use of that title in these 2 issues.
GR has form here though. He led the last group with the name in Av#353-354 and was a member of the previous group in Av West Coast #61. He had nothing to do with the 1st group to use the name in Av#131-132 and Giant-Size Av #3, nor the 2nd group in Av Annual #16.

Captain Marvel was the 1st to die and he's been busy post-death:- He haunted Quasar #22, was temporarily resurrected by Thanos with the Reality Gem in the Epilogue to Cosmic Powers Unlimited #1, and his corpse was reanimated in the very recent Warlock (1998) #1-2.

For the rest of the team this is their 1st app dead.
However it is worth pointing out that this is not the real Mockingbird but a Skrull imposter. At the end of Secret Invasion we will be told that Mocky was abducted by the aliens in AWC#91 and the Skrull died in her place in AWC#100. This makes Bobbi Morse/Barton the earliest replacement of the Invasion.
These replacements used a new advanced technique mixing science with sorcery so that they 'became' their target and were impossible to detect by technology, magic or psi-powers. Bobbi's case was probably a field trial. The impersonation was obviously *so* good that the Skrull went to the human afterlife rather than where Skrulls go. Since Secret Invasion was a religious jihad the Skrulls were probably unhappy with that, and so probably modified the technique later to avoid this blasphemous outcome.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
It's the anniversary of the founding of the Avengers and New York is holding an Avengers Day Parade. Megan McLaren is reporting from amongst the crowd while Chili Storm and Stuntmaster are hosting the event in the reviewing stand. The team have their own float bearing current members Captain America, Firestar, Iron Man and Justice, on-call Thor and founding ex-members Giant-Man and Wasp.

Spider-Man watches from a rooftop. He *could* join the celebrations because he *did* do a stint as an Avenger but he doesn't want the fabled Peter Parker 'luck' to mess the parade up. Cap is uncomfortable with the adulation of the crowd after the false Capmania drummed up by the Skrull Sensational Hydra in his own recent #5-7. He's also concerned about Iron Man's injuries that he sustained in *his* recent #8-10 against Mandarin. Vision is also on the float, his holographic form generated by a portable projector. He notes that Henry Pym has changed his uniform from Ant-Man-like to Goliath-like. Pym adds that he never dresses like his Yellowjacket version because that's when he was mentally ill. (But he'll soon confront his Yellowjacket persona in Avengers Forever.) Wasp, in a costume dating back to her very early days, asks Firestar and Justice how they're liking being Avengers. Vance Astrovik as usual is enthusiastic while Angelica Jones is more guarded. Hank tells Angel that absent Wanda Maximoff told him about her worries about her microwave power's affect on her health - he says he'll run some tests on her.

Chili and Stuntmaster run over the Avengers early days:- Formed after a battle against Loki in #1. Joined by Cap out of suspended animation since WWII in #4. Leaving Cap to head a new rookie team in #16. And briefly sketching in the variety of team members since then (we see a full-page montage). They also mention that GM&Wasp have now returned as reserve members.

The X-Men are watching on TV. When they see people celebrating Beast as an Avenger they complain that he's really 1 of *them*. Bruce Banner sees the event on a TV in a showroom window, but he's busy tracking down who killed his wife Betty in his title (so sometime before his #472-474 where he finds the culprit). Just-resigned Hawkeye is also busy having a meeting with the Commission On Superhuman Activities about his next job (which will be leading the Thunderbolts).

Scarlet Witch is also busy elsewhere. Wanda approaches Agatha Harkness' Whisper Hill mansion. She ruminates that the place was destroyed twice (Fantastic Four #184 and Silver Surfer #137?) but now it seems as good as old (200 years old). However she saw her witch mentor herself die (V & SW v2 #3) and be a ghost in the next 2 issues, but turn up alive again (in Av West Coast #50). Agatha and her cat familiar Ebony are inside and expecting her. Miss Harkness says she can tell Wanda's powers have evolved, but she wasn't expecting *that* to happen until some years in the future.

Her pupil tells her about #1-3 where Morgan Le Fay infected her with Celtic sorcery which changed her powers somehow. She was able to sense (#6) that the Squadron Supreme were controlled by the Corruptor, and to use the power of the Earth (last issue) to stop Moses Magnum. And she keeps conjuring up dead Wonder Man, last issue even when she was unconscious. Agatha says that Morgan accidentally caused Wanda's own power to mature ahead of time, which could be disastrous if SW can't control it. And the boundaries between realms are growing thin.

Back at the parade the hosts have moved on to talk about the Avengers' villains. And we see another full-page montage. And then we catch up with 3 in particular. Imus Champion (#5-6 and the Av/Squadron Supreme 1998 Annual) is in jail but his lawyer is confidant of getting him out. Ultron is plotting the end of humanity again. And someone is watching the parade from Hell.

Daredevil is also watching from a rooftop. He recalls that he turned down an offer of Avengers membership (Av#111) because his heightened senses would be hampered by a group. And the hosts talk about villains who have reformed to become Avengers. They mention Wonder Man, Black Widow, the original Swordsman and Living Lightning, but omit the original 3:- Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

Agatha Harkness tells Wanda Maximoff a secret about her birth. SW already knows that she and her twin Pietro were born mutants on Wundagore Mountain, and she later learned that the light on the Mountain that night was the chaos-demon Chthon imbuing her with the potential for magic. They were adopted by the gypsy family Maximoff but later fell in with Magneto, none of the 3 knowing he was their father. Agatha now tells Wanda that without Chthon's intervention she would have had an energy power. But instead she has access to Chaos-Magic which is the source of her probability-altering hexes. Up to now she's been controlling the results sub-consciously. But now she must learn conscious control.

The Fantastic Four are also watching the parade on TV. In Central Park a statue honouring the Avengers who were thought dead in the Onslaught event (that led to Heroes Reborn) has been taken down. In its place they are now unveiling a plaque to honour other deceased Avengers such as Swordsman, Mockingbird and Gilgamesh. But then there's a flash of light .,.

... and Grim Reaper appears through a dimensional rift accusing them of murdering their fallen team-mates. He hurls 7 energy bolts through the hole which raise up the corpses of the original Captain Marvel, Doctor Druid, Hellcat, Mockingbird, Swordsman and Thunderstrike and the ionic form of Wonder Man. CM attacks IM, Hellcat takes on Firestar, WM punches out GM, Mocky hits Justice with a battle-stave, Druid makes a grab for Wasp, Thunderstrike and Thor exchange hammer blows while Swordsman closes on Cap. None of the Avengers want to fight their 'foes'. Vision tries to talk Eric Williams down by reminding him that he reconciled with his brother Simon/Wonder Man and Vision who had Simon's brain patterns just before he died (for the 1st time in Vision & Scarlet Witch v2 #2). But GR just destroys Vision's hologram projector. All the other Avengers fall. Then a dome of energy cuts them off from the spectators and expands to push the people away.

Meanwhile Wanda tells Agatha that she *really* came to Whisper Hill to ask why she can bring Simon Williams back to life temporarily, and how can she make it permanent. Agatha laughs and says that's obvious. Simon has kept himself on the boundary between life and death because he loves Wanda. All she has to do is love him back. (It seemed to me that's exactly what she did in #8.)


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George Perez
Al Vey
Tom Smith
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
George Perez (Cover Inker)
Tom Smith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Bob Harras.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Daredevil
Daredevil

(Matt Murdock)
Giant-Man
Giant-Man

(Hank Pym)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hellcat
Hellcat

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Agatha Harkness, Chili Storm, Firestar, Grim Reaper (Eric Williams), Imus Champion, Justice (Vance Astrovik), Stuntmaster, Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne), Thunderstrike.