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Avengers #24: Review

Jan 2000
Kurt Busiek, George Perez

Story Name:

Harsh Judgments

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #24 Review by (March 31, 2020)
Albert Deschesne helps Richard Starkings with the inking again. And this time Dick Giordano joins Al Vey wielding the pencils.

Captain America says the Avengers have never let ethnicity or mutanthood affect their membership. It may be true that the *team* haven't been biased, but the Government did foist Falcon on them (against *his* will) as a token African-American from #184-194.
He also claims that they've never been so unpopular as now. Has he forgotten how the whole world (or at least the US) was turned against them in their original #13?
And their have been *specific* protests against them before, eg against the Wanda/Vision relationship in #113.

Genosha's society was based on mutant slavery. The X-Men were involved in the fall of its Government but the result was civil war which only ended when the UN gave the country to Magneto as a mutant haven.

Quicksilver was last seen on Genosha in Uncanny X-Men Annual '99.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #24 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
On the edge of Manhattan a homeless man is woken from his sleep among some bags of rubbish. A heavy man thunders past saying that someones are after him and only the Avengers can stop them. (Those who read the end of last issue may guess who it is and who's chasing him.)

The Avengers have their own problem. Avengers Mansion is besieged by an evergrowing crowd of protesters who fall into 2 camps. Some complain that there are no Avengers of colour. Others that there *are* Avengers who are mutant enemies of mankind. The big 3 Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are watching the situation with the Government liaison Duane Freeman, himself an African-American. Thor is righteously angry but Cap is worried. They've always been against discrimination both negative and positive, but this *has* caused problems before. But the anti-Avengers feeling has never been as great as this. IM and Thor think there must be someone behind it. And Thor points out that it all started after their brush with the Triune Understanding.

Duane is about to protest at this but Edwin Jarvis come in with a big load of post. The crank letters seem to outweigh the messages of support. He also mentions they've been asked to appear on Talk Shows to discuss it. Scarlet Witch enters at that moment and points out that the team are now facing what the X-Men have endured for years, but the Avengers get to be celebrities as well. But then Wanda Maximoff heads off to the Comms-Room to find Wonder Man. Duane wants to know what they're going to do. Cap suggests ignoring it but the Golden Avenger says that just feeds the conspiracy theories. Steve Rogers changes the subject by saying he's going to the Combat Simulation Room, and Jarvis is worried about him.

In another part of the Mansion Dr Jane Foster removes the plaster cast off Justice's leg as his girlfriend Firestar arrives with a new costume for him designed by Janet Van Dyne. And then Vance Astrovik asks Angelica Jones something (but we'll have to wait until #27 to find out that they get engaged).

Wanda finds Simon Williams having a video chat with Jim Hammond, the WWII android Human Torch. Unfortunately Jim hasn't been contacted by Vision, who flew off to 'find himself' last issue. During the talk Wonder Man informed Torch that Vizh was based on his body (which had been recently confirmed after some years of doubt in the Avengers Forever mini-series). Simon tells Wanda that no-one knows where Vision is, not his and Simon's mother nor Vizh's friend Laura Lipton. WM blames himself for his 'brother' leaving.

Meanwhile outside the gates the 2 groups of protesters are starting to shout at each other when they are interrupted by a sudden wind. It's speedster Quicksilver in New York on Genoshan business dropping by to see his sister. Pausing only to insult them he runs round to the side entrance where he surprises reporters going through the bins. And as he grabs their lapels he finds something significant, and dashes back to race through the crowd to the front door where Iron Man lets him in.

A meeting is called (with Justice in his new duds) to hear what Pietro Maximoff has to say. But 1st there's a tense meeting between Pietro and Wanda because he has taken a post in the Government of Genosha island now a mutant nation. The problem being that the head of that Government is their father Magneto who stirs unpleasant emotions in the Witch.

But to business. Quicksilver reveals that he found Triune Understanding lapel badges on most of the media and protesters outside. Duane Freeman protests the implication that the Triunes are conspiring against the Avengers. He reveals that he himself is a member of that 'church'. But the discussion has to be tabled because an alarm calls the team to duty.

And all this time a pair of heavy boots have been getting closer.

The Avengers head towards the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where a giant stone craft is flying overhead knocking the tops off buildings. 5 of them can fly and Quicksilver can run there, but Scarlet Witch hitches a lift on the back of Captain America's motorbike. Iron Man and Thor recognise the vehicle as belonging to the villains that they fought in the 8th Day crossover event. Cap, Justice and Quicksilver rescue endangered civilians while Firestar and the Witch blast falling debris. Meanwhile IM, Thor and Wonder Man are held at bay by the craft's defences.

Inside the flying stone edifice Carnivore spars with Conquest while Stonecutter steers the craft he built towards their target. Tempest generates a blooming garden, but Decay causes some of it to rot until she raises a wind to blow him away. Bedlam and Inferno interrupt their squabbling, reminding them that the group can't kill each other until they've completed their mission. But Bedlam has to telekinetically subdue them, and then turns his force on Inferno just to show she's not her boss.

Outside the Juggernaut has found the Avengers he was seeking, and his presence confirms that the foe are the Exemplars. He tells Quicksilver how the 7 each found icons similar to the Crimson Gem Of Cyttorak that gave him his own powers. These icons were each the gift of a different mystic entity and they empowered the 8 to build a God Machine to take over the world. But after that they would fight each other for the glory of their 'sponsors' until only 1 was left victorious. But Juggy rebelled and helped IM, Professor X, Thor and Spider-Man defeat them, and an explosion scattered the 8 across the globe. (At the end of last issue we saw 4 of them find each other and swear revenge on the traitor before they got on with the conquering and fighting to the death.)

But then the Avengers are scattered by Tempest's wind and Juggernaut is struck by a heat blast from Inferno and a kinetic blast from Stonecutter's machinery which dislodges the helmet which protects his mind. And that allows Bedlam's mental power to finish the job. When the Avengers recover they see Cain Marko an unconscious prisoner who is taken away to be executed.

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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Cain Marko)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Bedlam, Carnivore, Conquest, Decay, Duane Freeman, Firestar (Angel Jones), Inferno (Samantha McGee), Justice (Vance Astrovik), Stonecutter, Tempest.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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