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Avengers #46: Review

Nov 2001
Kurt Busiek, Manuel Garcia

Story Name:

Absolute Mastery

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #46 Review by (October 10, 2020)
The cover is painted by Ariel Olivetti.

Albert Deschesne continues to assist letterer Richard Starkings.

This issue contains the only apps of Le Peregrine and Micromax in this event.
Peregrine was an invention of the 1st Contest Of Champions. He's made a few apps since then, the most prominent being in the Wolverine tale in Marvel Comics Presents #124-130, but after that he was in the crowd scene in Thunderbolts #57-58. His next app won't be until Fear Itself: Black Widow #1.
All but 1 (Alpha Flight #108 which he coincidentally shared with Peregrine) of Micromax's previous apps have been in Excalibur. His next gig will be in Union Jack (2007) #4.

The Master Of The World 1st appeared in Alpha Flight #2-4 and #15-16, and his origin was explained during those issues. He then annoyed the team in many other issues until the end of their series. His only other apps since then have been in most of Heroes For Hire (1997) #1-12 as mentioned in the synopsis.

The Plodex sent out spaceships containing eggs to seed other worlds with Plodex who would take over the world. The ship that crashed on Earth did distribute its eggs but they were killed by the last Ice Age, all except 1 which in modern times gave birth to Marrina who joined Alpha Flight and later married Sub-Mariner.

Black Knight, Hercules, She-Hulk and Stingray join the battle from Captain America's 'funeral' in CA#50. Silverclaw and Wonder Man were last in the mob in TB#57. Photon goes back to our 2001 Annual.

Only Quicksilver, Silverclaw, Warbird and Yellowjacket will carry over to next issue with Marcus. Most of the rest of the cast will return in #48. Exceptions are Wonder Man next in #49, Black Knight & Stingray #52, Hercules & She-Hulk #54. (The writer seems to forget about Stingray being in the Master's base.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #46 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A small portion of Kang's army from the future lands near La Roche-Sur-Yon in hastily-fortified France and some super-heroes are there to greet them. Alongside France's flying Le Peregrine and Britain's size-changing Micromax stand Avengers Firebird, Hercules, She-Hulk and Thor. And manning the fortifications are troops from all over Europe.

But back in the US other Avengers face a different problem. Kang won't attack here until he's subdued Europe, but last issue the Master Of The World declared that he will defend North America from the invader and he caused strange fortifications to surround most large cities. The US Government consider him as much of a threat as Kang.

Black Knight and Warbird are in Boston where BK is trying to find a way to force entry to that city's defence ring. Meanwhile overhead military jets detect a probe from Kang investigating the site. Its forcefield prevents them from shooting it down but a weapon extruding from 1 of the ring's towers easily destroys it.

Warbird reports this to Wasp in Avengers Mansion, who also gets an update from Wonder Man. Every time he damages Los Angeles' ring-wall it just heals itself. Butler Jarvis brings refreshments and a suggestion that they just accept the Master's alien technology protection, because it seems to work. But Janet Van Dyne tells him that the Governors or Mayors of the cities were abducted by alien creatures associated with the Master. Stingray followed the 1 in Boston as it entered the water, but it moved too fast for him to catch it. But he's following the trail.

A quinjet comes to pick Warbird up from Boston. Inside she finds Quicksilver, Silverclaw and Yellowjacket. Wasp contacts them and puts Carol Danvers in charge of an espionage mission (because of her Air Force Intelligence experience). BK has tracked control signals for the ring-wall to the Arctic, which is also where Stingray is heading. WB's team is to infiltrate the Master's base when Walter Newell finds it. They must either persuade the MOTW to give the Government control of his weapons, or take it from him.

Wasp then checks in with Captain America at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington DC. He, Jack Of Hearts and Scarlet Witch are going to assault Kang's orbiting Damocles Base, as soon as Tony Stark finishes supervising the building of a ship that can get them through its forcefield. But for that he needs data on the field that Photon is currently acquiring out in space. Cap and Jan know they have to succeed soon or the Government will launch Sentinels against the invader, and the Avengers don't trust those robots at all.

Now for something completely different. Triathlon and Vision are officially on leave as Delroy Garrett takes Vizh to the Triune Understanding HQ in Calleyville, Texas. They want to find out more about the secret spaceship the Church is building to combat a different threat from space, and Triune-member-with-doubts Delroy has agreed to present the synthezoid as considering joining. And as they are being given the tour an aide rushes up to leader Jonathan Tremont to tell him that the predicted Triple-Evil has been detected entering the Solar System and will reach Earth in a few days.

Meanwhile Stingray reports to Wasp that he's found the base north of Tehek Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. Jan sees what he sees through a camera as he sneaks in to a chamber where the Master addresses his captive audience of city bosses. He tells them that they can continue running their cities but from now on they will answer to him, not the Federal Government. At their protests of disbelief he relates his history.

40,000 years ago he was Eshu, an ignorant primitive outcast from his tribe who was mentally lured north by a crashed Plodex starship. The bio-ship studied him by destructive dissection and preserved only his brain which it connected to the ship's computer system. But eventually Eshu gained control of the ship and created a genetically-perfect new body for himself. His helmet allows him to continue controlling the vast complex that the bio-ship has become, an underground worldwide web.

He says that in his rise to world domination he frequently clashed with superhumans (Canada's Alpha Flight team). Lately he's worked behind the scenes to destabilise civilisation with the aim of drastically reducing world population. (He tried a short-cut scheme in the 1997 Heroes For Hire series.) Kang's attacks will aid this goal but the Conqueror mustn't actually win. So MOTW has decided to defend North America as his base while Kang ravages the rest of the world. And after that he'll go out and defeat the foe. But in the meantime he'll fit these politicos with control discs (did he get them from the Controller?), and give them a supply of discs to 'recruit' others.

Up in Damocles Base Kang's son Scarlet Centurion is watching the progress of the battle for France which is going well. So he allows himself to instead watch recordings of Warbird, who he was smitten with in #41. But then Kang interrupts him by entering from another chamber. Marcus comments that his father spends a lot of time in there and asks him what's inside. Kang brushes the query off but suggests that his son stop mooning over the superheroine. After they've conquered the globe he can have any woman he wants.

The 4-person Avengers espionage team arrives at their destination. They detect a huge complex beneath the ground, and locate a door seemingly cracked open by ice. They head in and towards where a scanner says Stingray is. But half a mile in they are surprised by multiple images of the Master who says he suckered them in here. And now they are attacked by some of the 'Plodex wolves' that abducted the politicians. Warbird calls tactics and her team respond. She blasts away. Silverclaw in polar bear form slaps a monster around until Quicksilver rescues her from an attack from behind. Yellowjacket lets a wolf electrocute itself on his flying platform then shrinks to avoid the jaws of another. WB tells the other 3 to go complete the mission while she holds off the wolves. They leave and separate. Warbird buries her foes by bringing down the ceiling. But MOTW counters by sacrificing that part of his base in an explosion.

Photon returns to Washington to say that Kang's forcefield was too complicated to analyse, but she brought back a sample for Tony Stark to study. Steve Rogers says they're running out of time so he, Photon, Jack Of Hearts and Scarlet Witch board Stark's new ship and take off to invade Kang's base. Tony can send them any info he gleans about the forcefield. But an automatic recording of Kang warns them that Photon's tampering with the forcefield has been detected and any attack will result in severe repercussions. But the team go anyway.

But next issue will focus only on Warbird (and her team) and Marcus so we won't find out what happens to Cap's team until #48.

Manuel Garcia
Bob Layton
Tom Smith
Ariel Olivetti (Cover Penciler)
Ariel Olivetti (Cover Inker)
Ariel Olivetti (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Kang the Conqueror)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Black Knight, Firebird, Jonathan Tremont, Le Peregrine, Master of the World, Micromax, Photon (Monica Rambeau), Scarlet Centurion (Marcus Kang), Silverclaw (Maria de Guadalupe Santiago), Stingray (Wakter Newell), Triathlon, Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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