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Avengers #55: Review

Aug 2002
Kurt Busiek, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

The Last Farewell

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #55 Review by (November 6, 2020)
Patrick Zircher and Scott Koblish are the substitute penciller/inker for this issue. Albert Deschesne is back helping Richard Starkings on letters.

It's not mentioned here but the Avengers have met Derek Freeman before. He is an FBI Agent who worked with them in #263,270-271,286 and Captain America #394-395 and Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau)'s 2nd 1-shot. He has made no more apps since this 1.

Having a copy of Avenger #58 (original series) appear in this issue may not be metafictional. It was long ago established that the Marvel Universe's Stan Lee and Jack Kirby published authorised comics versions of the Fantastic Four's adventures. So maybe the Avengers have had their own in-Universe comic too.

The only Avenger involved in the Kang Dynasty War who's missing from this issue is Quasar.

The Chandler family will appear in some issues of Avengers: Initative where they will support Triathlon in a new id as 3-D Man during the Skrull Secret Invasion. They will also be in the Atlas mini-series where Delroy Garrett will join the Agents Of Atlas as 3-D Man but Chuck will die and Hal be left in a coma.

As far as we know Vision will never contact Darby Charvat again.

The next (stand-alone) issue will be Kurt Busiek's last as writer in which a group of Avengers are interviewed by accountants of the Maria Stark Foundation about an adventure they were involved in. Which of course involves flashbacks to that adventure itself.
In between this issue and that flashback tale the Marvel Chronology Project puts only 1 thing, the JLA/Avengers DC/Marvel crossover mini-series. Most of the Avengers here are involved in that except Black Knight, Black Widow, Firebird, Firestar, Justice, Living Lightning and Silverclaw. (Quasar will also show up.)

Those Avengers will also have more apps between the flashback and #56 itself, but I'll cover those then.

Silverclaw will be in the #56fb before joining Black Knight, Firebird, Living Lightning and most of the other Avengers in the Order mini-series.
Firestar and Justice will have to wait until #59 before they get a cameo app.
Black Widow wanders away from Avengering again and will next appear in Alias #15.

Only Hercules and Quasar won't be in #56 or Order. Herc will spend some time in Thor issues before popping in to our #58. Quasar will disappear completely until the end of this run in the renumbered #501-503.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #55 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This is an epilogue to the Kang Dynasty War that ran through #41-54.

It's 3 weeks after the end of the War but there is a continuing vigil at a memorial to all those who died in the destruction of Washington DC (#49).

Meanwhile in Avengers Mansion there is a court-martial hearing that Warbird insisted be held over her killing of the Master Of The World (#48). The court consists of Captain America, Iron Man, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Silverclaw, Wasp and Yellowjacket. They have already heard testimony from the other Avengers present at the event (Q, SC and YJ). Now they ask Carol Danvers to give *her* account. She reminds them how the Master had tech to defend North America from Kang but wasn't going to help the rest of the world. Her team of 4 were sent to gain control of that technology. But they were unable to subdue him, so Warbird decided to ignore the Avengers no-kill rule and she killed him. Subsequently when Kang attacked Washington the Master wasn't alive to control that city's defences. If they'd captured him and persuaded him to help, the people of Washington might still be alive.

They send Warbird out for a moment and then call her back to hear their unanimous verdict. Cap tells her that the world was at war and the Avengers team were acting as soldiers on an official mission to secure their objective at any cost. As such the court finds her action was justified. Carol still feels guilty about Washington but Iron Man insists that the blame lies squarely with Kang. Her action enabled the Avengers to master the MOTW's tech and use it to defeat Kang (#53). Her friend Wanda Maximoff assures her that she still deserves to be an Avenger, as she always did.

Then they all go out into the main sitting room of the Mansion where many other Avengers are waiting to congratulate her. We see Edwin Jarvis, Firestar & Justice, Wonder Man, Jack Of Hearts, Black Widow, Photon, Living Lightning, Firebird, Stingray, She-Hulk and Hercules. Justice is giving advice to newbie JOH as an 'old hand', to the embarrassment of girlfriend Firestar because they 2 haven't been Avengers that much longer. Firebird asks Wasp if she knows where Thor is, because she's still worried about him. Jarvis asks Photon to tell everyone to stay here for a while, and then tells IM that Mr Freeman will be here soon to see him. Cap comments to YJ that IM and their Government liaison Duane Freeman didn't get along after Duane revealed that he was a member of the Triune Understanding who were causing the Avengers trouble (in more issues than I can count).

But we leave things there and turn to Los Alamos, New Mexico where Peggy Chandler greets the triple being Triathlon/3-D Man/Hal Chandler. Triathlon had promised (#36) to find her husband Hal and bring him home. Now he uses the remains of the power he got from the Triple-Evil's pyramid (#50) to split the 3 men apart. Now Peggy embraces Hal and his brother Chuck (who hasn't aged since 1958 (Marvel Premier #35 to us) when he was absorbed into Hal as the 3-D Man). The brothers have now lost the 3-D Man powers. Delroy Garrett is back to his own triple-level powers. He says that the Triune Understanding movement is going to try to continue doing the good that they did despite their corrupt ex-leader Jonathan Tremont. But he won't be joining them, at least not for now. He'll head back to the Avengers for a while to help them put the world back together.

Someone else who's not at the Mansion is the Vision who's watching the rebuilding of the UN building in his Victor Sage guise. (Kang destroyed it in #41.) Suddenly he runs into Darby Charvat who it turns out works for a company helping with the job. Darby was 1 of the people he hung out with in Chicago when he was undercover (#31). 'Victor' unveils himself as Vision and apologises for the deception. Darby says she guessed, and gives hjm her card in case he'd like to go for a drink or to a ball game again.

Back at the Mansion Stingray asks Jarvis if he could have a sandwich but the butler claims that the kitchen is temporarily out of service, then goes to answer the front door. Iron Man gets a video call from another absentee Black Knight who's remained in Canada to study the Master's tech. Apparently when they failed to provide an override code to the computer system (last issue) all the MOTW's tech crumbled to dust worldwide. And Dane Whitman is sorry to have to report that there's no way they can retrieve anything.

Jarvis interrupts Shellhead to tell him that Mr Freeman is here. When IM goes to meet him we learn that it isn't Duane but his brother Derek Freeman. It turns out that Duane died in the Washington disaster, and his brother's here to pick up some of his things. Derek tells IM that Duane was always a fan of the Avengers, including collecting memorabilia and news cuttings. We see that he has a copy of #58 of the original run signed by some those involved including Iron Man himself.

The Golden Avenger says that Duane was a joy to work with, but has to confess that he and Duane fell out over the Triune Understanding. Since then they found out that it was only the movement's leadership that were corrupt, but by then it was too late to apologise to Duane. Derek tells him that he has learned from his brother's notebook that Duane suspected that Jonathan Tremont had gained access to Avengers secrets from his mind during personal mental cleansing rituals. Because of that he had written a resignation letter. IM is shocked because they would never have asked for that.

Derek also says that Duane never lost respect for Iron Man. When the Triune's got their member Triathlon appointed to the team IM opposed it and Duane accused him of inferring guilt by association. But Duane was impressed that the superhero listened and backed off. And he figures that Duane understood how the Avengers really appreciated him. And on the way out he leaves the comic book behind.

In the main room the guests are trying to get Jarvis to spill the beans about what they're waiting for. To 1 side Firebird is confessing to Cap, Wasp and YJ that she thinks she drove Thor away. The immortal Thunder God told her in #45 that he was thinking of leaving the team and Midgard after the War was over and returning to Asgard because associating with the fleeting lives of mortals was too painful. Over succeeding issues she tried to persuade him that the pain was worth it but then in #52 she lost her temper with him, and last issue he flew off when the fighting was done.

But now Jarvis announces his surprise as Thor leads in a bevy of Asgardian chefs bearing an Asgardian victory feast. The team are seated round a huge dining table and Thor makes a speech before the meal begins. He tells them of his desire to leave Midgard but then embarrasses Bonita Juarez by saying that the 'wise young woman' stood up to him and taught him the error of his ways. It is *knowing* that your friends will 1 day die which makes their friendship all the more precious.

As Thor toasts those lost Iron Man leaves. Wasp follows him and guesses where he's going, and says she's coming with him and someone else will want to join them. The duo and Captain America go to the Washington memorial stone. Steve Rogers remembers how Duane Freeman even made Thor back down once. They add a picture of Duane to others there and tape to it the copy of Av#58.

Patrick Zircher
Scott Koblish
Tom Smith
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Penciler)
Kieron Dwyer (Cover Inker)
Tom Smith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

3-D Man
3-D Man

(Chuck Chandler / Hal Chandler)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Black Knight, Derek Freeman, Firebird, Firestar (Angel Jones), Hal Chandler, Justice (Vance Astrovik), Living Lightning (Miguel Santos), Peggy Chandler, Photon (Monica Rambeau), Silverclaw (Maria de Guadalupe Santiago), Stingray (Walter Newell), Triathlon, Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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