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Avengers #500: Review

Sep 2004
Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch

Story Name:

Avengers Disassembled: Chaos (part 1 of 4)

Review & Comments

Rating:
0 stars

Avengers #500 Review by (June 11, 2021)
Brian Michael Bendis takes over writing the next 4 issues, breaking up the current team in preparation for his New Avengers series. This is numbered as #500 of the original series, but also as #85 of vol 3.

Albert Deschesne is Richard Starkings wingman on the inking as usual.

Kelsey Leigh is at the meal in her civilian id. Which means that Captain Britain must have revealed her id (and that she's not dead) to the Avengers. Either that or it's a mistake. But later apps of the character will make it plain that she's still not revealed herself to her family (because she's under a geas not to).

A scene in #503 will suggest that the voices in the epilogue belong to Scarlet Witch's 2 'dead' children Billy and Tommy.

Ant-Man will remain dead through the whole of New Avengers vol 1 and half of vol 2 (all the way through House Of M the Fear Itself). During that time his daughter Cassie Lang will join the Young Avengers as the size-changing Stature and graduate to the the Mighty Avengers. Then she'll rejoin the YAv for Avengers: Children's Crusade at the end of which she'll use time-travel to rescue her dad from within the explosion here. (But then she herself will die in that mini-series, killed by Dr Doom. Later the Axis event will temporarily turn Doom good and he'll use Scarlet Witch's power to resurrect her - to even later become Stinger.)
This does raise the problem of Ant-Man's skeleton seen near the beginning of this issue. A partial solution has been to consign that little bit of the issue to an alternate reality.

There's also a question of whether this is the real Jack Of Hearts or a simulation. The Marvel Chronology Project treats him as real, the Marvel Fandom Wiki votes for a fake. The MCP treats the Ultrons here as real too, but then it doesn't distinguish between the various versions of the robot, some of which have appeared simultaneously.
Be that as it may the next app of the real JOH will be seen dead in Incredible Hercules #129 and resurrected in the Marvel Zombies Supreme mini-series. And the Ultrons are here between Iron Man (1998) #48 where he took over IM's armour and the Runaways (2005) series introducing his new 'son' Victor Mancha.

Vision too 'dies' here for about the same period as Ant-Man. In the interim a 2nd Vision (Jonas) is created as part of the Young Avengers, and it too dies in Av: Children's Crusade. The original Vision will appear 'dead' in the Chaos War: Dead Avengers mini-series, and will be re-created by Tony Stark in Av(2010)#19.

There are Avengers Disassembled tie-in runs in 6 series of 3 or 4 issues each which were published in parallel with this main 4, and 3 of them with 2 other issues labelled Prologue to Av Disassembled but only because they were published before the main run. All the tie-ins actually have little or nothing to do with this Avengers run itself. The Marvel Chronology Project only places the prologue and the main tie-in issues on opposite sides of Av#500-503 for Iron Man. Thor has all 6 issues before Av#500 and Spectacular Spider-Man's 6 issues all happen after #503. Captain America has his #29-32 split by the main event.

I'll summarise the after tie-ins in #503, and do the befores now in the order the MCP have them.
Iron Man #84-85 (Prologue). Tony Stark's role as US Secretary Of Defence and his membership of the UN Avengers clash when the US Government want Iron Man to extract a secret US doomsday robot from beneath Avengers Mansion without telling the team.
Thor #80-81 (Prologue). Loki leads the forces of evil against Asgard for the last battle. Thor goes to Earth to recruit Cap and IM but when they return Asgard is already fallen and many Asgardians dead. He sends the Avengers back and prepares for Ragnarok.
Thor #82-85. Thor learns of the repeating Asgardian cycle which ends each time in the apocalypse of Ragnarok but then begins a new cycle. However he finds a way to stop the cycle restarting, and then he himself sleeps the sleep of the Gods.
CA & Falcon #5-7. Cap suffers hallucinations, including thinking he's starting an affair with Scarlet Witch.
(CA&F#8, not in Disassembled. Cap thinks his hallucinations were caused by his enemies in this series.)
CA#29. Cap is tricked into setting up a Red Skull stooge in a Presidential bid. Then he gets the Avengers alert which begins this issue.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #500 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue begins with Edwin Jarvis serving a meal in Avengers Embassy. Clint Barton tells Scott Lang his secret fantasy bad-girl is Viper/Madame Hydra. Jennifer Walters and Janet van Dyne react in disgust. Kelsey Leigh keeps her own counsel.

But then a level red security alarm sounds and Kelsey magically switches to Captain Britain as a holoscreen shows Jack Of Hearts has just blasted through the back gate. But Scott saw the Avenger die (of self-explosion in #76) saving his daughter Cassie Lang. However the security system confirms that it's him. Ant-Man shrinks and rides a flying ant out to investigate. Enlarging again he takes off his helmet to talk the 'invader'. But Jack just says "I'm sorry" and blows up.

The blast makes a mess of the dining room. As the Avengers recover they exit through a new hole in the outside wall. And find a huge crater with Scott Lang's skeleton.

We now scene-switch to the United Nations assembly room where Tony Stark gives a speech as US Secretary Of Defence and the Avenger Iron Man, flanked by Scarlet Witch and Yellowjacket. But suddenly he falters and starts sweating, and then goes into a rambling insult to the Latverian delegate. Henry Pym tries to reign him in, and then T'Challa of Wakanda speaks from the floor to advise his friend to stop. Iron Man is about to shoot the Latverian with a repulsor ray but then comes to his senses and beats a hasty retreat.

While Yellowjacket offers apologies to the audience, Scarlet Witch follows Tony out. Wanda Maximoff asks him what's wrong and recovering alcoholic Tony says he feels drunk. But he *swears* he hasn't had a drink. However a code white alert calls all 3 of them to Avengers Mansion ...

... where SHIELD are on-site dealing with the situation. Jarvis is protesting about being stretchered out, insisting that he's unharmed but being ignored. Then Captain America and Falcon turn up. Cap insists the medics treat Jarvis with the respect due to the 'Avenger' he is. He asks Edwin what happened and the butler only gets as far as saying that Scott Lang is dead and someone should inform his daughter when there's another interruption ...

... A quinjet approaches seemingly on a crash course. As it gets nearer we can see Vision at the controls before it slams into and through the building. The synthezoid emerges unharmed but claims not to be in control of his actions. But he also declaims that the team is over because it failed and will now be punished. And he emits 5 metal balls which expand into copies of Ultron.

SHIELD call in reinforcements. The Avengers attack but as usual don't fare well against the adamantium robots until Cap chops the head off 1 with his shield and Falcon flies it away. She-Hulk repeatedly smashes 1 head into the ground. Captain Britain decapitates another with her magic sword. Falcon picks another 1 up by the head and (I think) drops it from a great height. I've lost count but suddenly it's all over.

Hawkeye doubts if they were 'real' Ultron's because they didn't make the usual speeches about destroying humanity. But he wonders if this was another booby trap Ultron programmed into his creation Vision. Angry She-Hulk picks up the synthezoid's inert body and demands an explanation. Steve Rogers and Clint try to talk her down but she goes berserk and rips Vision apart. Wasp joins in the entreaties but Shulk viciously backhands the insect-sized heroine away. Then she turns on Cap, and SHIELD call for the Hulkbuster squad. Cap B tries in vain to stop Big Green as she picks up a truck and throws it at the downed Cap A.

In an epilogue of darkness 2 voices argue over whether to kill the Avengers now or keep torturing them.



David Finch
Danny Miki
Frank D'Armata
David Finch (Cover Penciler)
Danny Miki (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man

(Scott Lang)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Jarvis
Jarvis

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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