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Avengers #48: Review

Jan 2002
Kurt Busiek, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

War Plan A

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Avengers #48 Review by (October 17, 2020)
This issue is is a 100 Page Monster issue which includes reprints of #98-100 of the original run which it calls here the Earth/Asgard/Olympus War. These issues followed on immediately from the Kree/Skrull War.

The new story is again lettered by Richard Starkings and Albert Deschesne.

Kang used the alias Victor Timely in the Citizen Kang story arc running through 4 1992 Annuals, and the tech he introduced in the early 1900's explains why Marvel Earth's science is much more advanced than ours. Our Annual #21 in particular explained how Timely's work helped Phineas Horton build the android Human Torch.

A note in the letters page says that Vision had Kang's control tech removed in our #254 and the same was done to the android HT in Heroes For Hire (1997) #13. However Vision's control crystal was supposedly put there in his origin by Ultron, and HT's device in the HFH series by Iron Man's foe the Controller (Basil Sandhurst).

The Avengers will be scattered over the next 3 issue.
Only Firebird, Thor, Wasp and Wonder Man of the Avengers will show up in next issue which is the art-only 'Nuff Said issue. It depicts the destruction of Washington DC and the surrender of the US to Kang.
And in #50 they'll be replaced by Captain America, Firestar, Jack Of Hearts, Justice, Living Lightning, Photon, Quasar, Triathlon and Vision out in space contributing to the finale of the Triune Understanding plotline.
Then Scarlet Witch and Wonder-Man (with a cameo by She-Hulk) take centre-stage for #51 set in a prison camp.
Meanwhile Tony Stark/Iron Man ducks out until #52 where he'll join nearly all the rest (except the Witch) for the start of the fightback.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #48 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue ended with Living Lightning and Quasar in the Avengers Deep Space Monitor Station in the Asteroid Belt detecting a huge pyramid heading into the Solar System towards Earth. Their sensors say it has more energy than the Sun and it may be hollow inside. They send a warning via quantum link to Avengers Mansion but get a reply saying the team are too busy to accept the link. Knowing that Earth is fighting against Kang, they leave the message to be read whenever and head out into space to investigate the object themselves.

In #46 Captain America, Jack Of Hearts, Photon and Scarlet Witch in Tony Stark's newly-designed spacecraft went to attack Kang's orbiting Damocles Base (in the shape of a very, very ... very large sword pointing down to Earth. Now JOH and Photon leave the ship to strike at its enclosing forcefield. They try counter-synchronising their energy blasts in 1 spot. Meanwhile Cap fires the ship's repulsor blasts and Wanda Maximoff sends her Chaos Magic through the repulsor rays, trying to sync with the field. But this is all marking time while they wait for Stark to finish analysing the sample of the field Photon brought him last issue and tell them exactly how to beat it.

Wasp watches it all with bated breath in Avengers Mansion, as does a General in the Pentagon. They know that if the team don't succeed by a certain time then the General will be given the order to launch Sentinels at Damocles. And no-one knows what will happen then.

But instead we'll turn our attention to the other element of last issue in the Master Of The World's base in Canada near the Arctic Circle where Warbird leads Quicksilver, Silverclaw and Yellowjacket sneaking around. YJ says they've passed through many detection fields and none of them reacted to their presence. They speculate whether last issue's explosion damaged them. But we see someone monitoring their progress and running bio-scan interference for them. And given that Kang's son Scarlet Centurion promised to help Carol Danvers last issue, it's a fair bet it's him.

After that we look in on Firebird and Thor (also from #46) helping defend France against Kang's invading army. (And it seems there may be attacks in other parts of Europe too?) Even as he fights Thor continues to be weighed down by the fact that these mortals are doomed to die anyway even if he saves them here, while he as an immortal will continue on. Bonita Juarez knows that he's been brooding over this since Cap almost died in #43-44, and that he intends to leave the team and perhaps Midgard. She has sworn to change his mind, and now tries to get him to see that to the soldiers dying here their sacrifice means something. But the Thunder God counters that Firebird may also be an immortal and may soon enough come to the same realisation as him.

Then it's scene-changing time again to the Triune Understanding HQ where its leader Jonathan Tremont (continuing from #46) has come clean to Triune member Triathlon and another Avenger Vision about the spaceship they have built to oppose a great evil coming from space (and it's not Kang). The Avengers are concerned that the craft will be powered by the mental energies of the Church's followers. It's not been tested and it could kill them. Tremont says the Triple-Evil they fear is almost here and it must be stopped for the sake of all life on Earth, and he assures them the prayer-ship is safe. He also says he knew that the Avengers had sent Firestar and Justice as acolytes to spy on them, but he now invites the duo to drop their disguises and join them.

And now it's time for the prayer-ship to fly. And as it does the faithful fall writhing in agony. Firestar and Justice (both now in costume) are on board with Tremont, Triathlon and Vision (and a pilot). Delroy Garrett protests to Jonathan that he lied about the safety, but Tremont just says it was necessary and the medics will do what they can for them. But now it is necessary to go on to fight the foe.

In space Cap, JOH, Photon and the Witch are still vainly trying to break through the Damocles Base forcefield when Tony Stark calls them with some specific counter-modulations that might work. Inside the base Marcus Kang is paying desultory attention to the automatic defences while he keeps monitoring Warbird's safety. However his father Kang walks in to see how things are progressing. And he notes that the latest variation in the Avengers' attack strategy is succeeding, and they break through the shields. His son is chastened but Kang fixes the problem immediately. He fires projectiles which damage the Avengers' craft, and stasis rays to deal with JOH and Photon outside. Down below Wasp and Gen'l McGinty see the failure of the mission, and he orders the launch of 75 Sentinels, each capable of destroying a small city.

In the Canada base alarms go off (possibly because Marcus isn't cloaking the Avengers anymore), so Warbird's team abandon stealth and break into MOTW's control chamber (where he has the politicians prisoner that his Plodex wolves abducted in #46). He sends wolves to fight them again but the team are ready for them this time. While Quicksilver, Silverclaw and Yellowjacket deal with them, Warbird goes straight for the Master who pulls a sword from somewhere. She asks him to hand over to the US Government the secrets of the defensive walls he's erected around major cities and of the weapons they contain. The Master of course refuses so they start to fight.

Up in space a giant hologram of Kang confronts the defenceless Avengers and tells them that the Sentinels are on their way, but that this is a big mistake. They know he's a far-ranging time-traveller, and he reminds them that as Victor Timely in the early 20th Century he greatly influenced growing industries including robotics. And now he doesn't look worried when the Sentinels arrive.

Another suspense-building switchaway takes us back to Canada where 3 Avengers have beaten the wolves but are knackered. Carol Danvers too is weary after trying to get past MOTW's genetically-engineered superior reflexes and stamina (and his armour). He offers to accept her surrender, but she summons more inner strength to blast apart the floor. Then she grabs 1 of the jagged pieces and stabs him through the heart, breaking the Avengers' no-killing rule. The Master falls dead and both the other Avengers and the wolves are shocked by this development.

The Plodex wolves are confused and easily beaten (again), and Alpha Flight 'coptors move in to take over the base.

Back in space Kang announces that he built secret safeguard overrides into his early robots, and they have been copied into things based on his originals (with exceptions like Vision and the android Human Torch). So a quick gesture makes the Sentinels turn round to face Earth. Kang turns again to the 4 Avengers who attacked Damocles Base and reminds them that he said any attempt to do that would incur retribution. So he's going to destroy *their* command centre. And his hologram starts to march towards Earth followed by the Sentinels. And as an afterthought he looks back and destroys the attack-ship, leaving the 4 Avengers adrift in space.



Story #2

Let Slip The Dogs of War!

Writer: Roy Thomas. Inker: Sal Buscema. Colorist: ?. Letterer: Sam Rosen.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


Story #3

--They First Make Mad!

Writer: Roy Thomas. Inker: Tom Sutton. Colorist: ?. Letterer: Art Simek.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


Story #4

Whatever Gods There Be!

Writer: Roy Thomas. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None



Kieron Dwyer
Rick Remender
Tom Smith
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Penciler)
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Inker)
John Estes (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Quasar
Quasar

(Wendell Vaughn)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Firebird, Firestar, Jonathan Tremont, Justice (Vance Astrovik), Living Lightning (Miguel Santos), Master of the World, Photon (Monica Rambeau), Scarlet Centurion (Marcus Kang), Silverclaw (Maria de Guadalupe Santiago), Triathlon, Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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