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Avengers #5: Review

Jun 1998
Kurt Busiek, George Perez

Story Name:

Accusation Most Foul

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #5 Review by (October 8, 2019)
Dave Lanphear joins Richard Starkings on the colouring again.

Busiek & Perez add another of my favourites to the mix, Squadron Supreme.

There is no Firestar and Justice in this issue and the next.

The missing Asgardians had been given human identities by Odin in the Lost Gods arc in Journey Into Mystery, but they had regained their memories by #514. We don't know what happened to them since then and it will take Thor several more of his own issues (as of his #4) to find out.

The Casket Of Ancient Winters was used by Malekith to cover the Earth with deep winter in Thor #346-351 (and other comics), which then led to Surtur using the Twilight Sword that featured in our #1-3.

Jarvis sends a letter to Costa Verde which will bear fruit in #8. Thor mentions he's been there (in his #246-247). The fictitious South American country had also previously been visited by the Avengers in their #35.

The ChampionAir airline that the mystery villain seems to own could make long-time Avengers readers correctly suspect that he will be revealed to us next issue as billionaire Imus Champion from #109.

Project: PEGASUS is a government energy research centre. But 1 of its tasks studying captured super-criminals led to it also functioning as a super-prison. It originally featured in many Marvel Two-In-One issues, and more recently found a home in Quasar's title. It's last appearance was in some Malibu Ultraverse comics, lastly Ultraforce/Spider-Man #1.

The Squadron Supreme hail from an alternate Earth. They were 1st seen in Av#85-86 when the Avengers visited their world. After many more apps they got their own 12-issue series followed by a graphic novel which left them stranded on Earth-616. They came to live at Project: PEGASUS in the Quasar series, and last seen they were involved in the Ultraverse issues mentioned above.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Thor returns to Avengers Mansion after more lack of success locating the missing Asgardians. But he has found some missing artefacts, and brings the Casket Of Ancient Winters to the Mansion for safe storage. In the Danger Room, sorry the Playroom, Captain America (still using his replacement triangular shield) and Warbird are having a workout. Carol Danvers rankles a bit when Steve Rogers gives her some advice. And she changes the subject when he asks her why she didn't use her Binary powers. (Obviously she and Beast didn't tell anybody she's lost them after Hank McCoy's examination last issue.) Still, her original Ms Marvel powers are nothing to sneeze at.

Elsewhere Iron Man is checking on Vision's synthezoid body being rebuilt by nanobots. Apparently he has an equivalent of DNA in all his cells which enables the missing half of his body to be regenerated. Vision's hologram claims to be over his marriage to Scarlet Witch. He may have regained emotions, but they are from the brain patterns of a different man than he was then. Meanwhile Wanda Maximoff is trying retail therapy with Hawkeye to carry her packages. She's concerned about Vision's injury, but also about having summoned the dead Wonder Man up (#2) only to cause his death again (#3).

They all get summoned to a teleconference with government liaison Duane Freeman who alerts them to a situation. A crashed spaceship has been found in the Atlantic off the coast of Maine, thought to be part of Thanos' invasion fleet from way back in #125. Project: PEGASUS have sent a team to investigate who travelled undercover on a ChampionAir flight which has now crashed while flying over the site. He wants the Avengers to help the rescue efforts and watch out for whatever caused the crash. Hawkeye objects to being part of a coverup but Cap accepts the mission, leaving the Vision hologram to mind the store.

On site the rescue workers are trying to get all the passengers out before the aircraft sinks but there are some trapped. When the Avengers arrive Cap sends Iron Man down to investigate the sunken spaceship while Warbird and Thor free the trapped passengers. Scarlet Witch will use her hex power to keep the plane afloat for improbably long. Hawkeye gets delegated to help get passengers ashore. He objects, saying he can reach the trapped passengers with less damage than Thor and Warbird will do, but Cap tells him to obey orders.

However before any of them can do anything they are accosted by the Squadron Supreme (Dr Spectrum, Haywire, Hyperion, Moonglow, Power Princess, Shape, Skylark and Whizzer) who accuse them of not being the real Avengers. The watching reporters wonder if the Avengers might be Skrulls (as just seen in CA#5-7) or masquerading supervillains like the Thunderbolts, while Hawkeye suggests the Squadron might be mind-controlled like they were by the Serpent Crown (#147-154) and the Over-Mind (Defenders #112-114 and later Quasar #13-16). Hyperion claims that the real Avengers died at the end of the Onslaught affair, and Moonglow's mystic scans reveal these to be imposters.

Cap tries to convince them to let them get on with the rescue but the Squad attack them. Hyperion and Thor start a slugfest. Iron Man's repulsors can't get through Princess Zarda's shield. Moonglow and Scarlet Witch trade spells, and Wanda thinks her foe's magic feels alive, as did Morgan Le Fay's in #1-3. Haywire is supported in the air by a platform created by Dr Spectrum, so Warbird ignores the 1st guy to try to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by attacking DrS. Hawkeye's shooting at Whizzer who's too fast to hit, and doesn't see Shape coming up behind him. So Cap takes time off from using *his* shield to fend off Skylark's sonic cry to kick Shape away. But Clint Barton's response is sarcastic.

Hawk then fires a bola-arrow but Whizzer *allows* it to catch his arm and his speed drags the archer off his feet and slams him into a Coast Guard ship. Power Princess punches Iron Man deep into the water where he sees divers looting the spaceship. But he has to return to the surface to save Clint who's limp in the water. Zarda has joined her love Hyperion attacking Thor. Warbird blasts Haywire off his platform into the ocean. Cap tells her to use her Binary power to help Thor, but she remains human and is swatted away by Hype. Cap throws Shape to knock Moonglow over so Scarlet Witch can help Thor instead. Wanda concentrates and manifests Wonder Man again. And *he* smashes Hype and Zarda away from Thor. This increases Skylark's conviction that the enemy are fakes - ScW never *used* to be able to do something like that. Then Wanda's hex bolts cause her wings to malfunction. But Skylark's fall dunks them *both* in the water.

Hawk fires another arrow at Whizzer who insolently stands there and vibrates to let the missile pass through him. But it's a boomerang arrow which clonks him on the way back. Iron Man blasts Zarda into the drink. Cap fishes Wanda *out* of the sea (and ScW lets us know nobody's drowning by saying she saw Haywire save Skylark). Hyperion is till duking it out with Wonder Man in midair when Thor flies up (courtesy of whirling Mjolnir) demanding single combat.

But Hyperion calls the fight off, claiming that they've kept the faux-Avengers busy while Spectrum raised the sinking plane from the water, saving the trapped passengers. The rest of his team climb out of the water onto malleable Shape in the form of a liferaft. Thor and Hype are shouting at each other, but Cap tells everyone to calm down. The disaster is over so they should all go home, overriding Hawkeye's desire to continue the fight. And Wonder Man has dematerialised again.

Later news reports say that the appearance of known-to-be-dead Wonder Man is fuelling the idea that the Avengers are fakes. People are sceptical after the Skrulls and the Thunderbolts, even though it was the Avengers who exposed the 'Bolts (TBolts#11-12) and Cap who unmasked the Skrulls. Duane Freeman says they must clear themselves within 48 hours or his bosses will take their clearance will away.

Meanwhile a shadowed figure receives a report that the weapons retrieved from the spacecraft are safe. He considers this worth the sacrifice of an aeroplane, but exposing his pawns the Squadron Supreme means he'll have to move fast.

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)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Dr Spectrum (Squadron Supreme), Duane Freeman, Haywire, Hyperion (Squadron Supreme), Imus Champion, Moonglow (Arcanna Jones), Power Princess (of SSOA), Shape, Skylark, Squadron Supreme, Warbird (Carol Danvers), Whizzer (Squadron Supreme).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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