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Avengers #59: Review

Dec 2002
Geoff Johns, Kieron Dwyer

Story Name:

World trust part 3: Friends and enemies

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #59 Review by (January 2, 2021)
Sub-Mariner is added to the team list on the intro page, but only for the 3 issues remaining of this arc. Thor has to wait until next issue.

The Marvel Chronology Project lists this Scorpio as #5.
Scorpio I was originally supposedly Nick Fury's brother Jake in some issues of the 1st NF/SHIELD series by Jim Steranko. Later in Defenders he created a Zodiac of Life Model Decoys, and then became an LMD himself in West Coast Avengers. But Secret Warriors will reveal that he was always an LMD from the start.
Nick Fury pretending be Jake/Scorpio to infiltrate the human Zodiac cartel in Avengers #72 doesn't count.
Scorpio II was Jaque LaPoint, Jake's replacement in the human Zodiac from Av#120 to Iron Man #184.
Scorpio III was Nick's son Mikel Fury débuting in the Wolverine/NF Graphic Novel: The Scorpio Connection. He'll die in Secret Warriors.
Unnamed Scorpio IV organised his own Zodiac in the Alpha Flight (1997) series.
And now we have Scorpio V, also nameless.

Scorpio used the Zodiac Key in the SHIELD series with no mention of belonging to a Zodiac group. The Zodiac cartel was invented in Av#72 and took over/back the Key. Iron Man #35 & Daredevil #73 introduced the Brotherhood Of The Ankh who created the Key and sent it to the Marvel dimension to foment conflict/chaos because that's what they do. In this issue we learn that it's been here for centuries. Then the JF LMD got the Key back, and it passed from him to other Scorpios (although there are questions as to whether some Keys weren't the real thing). But now we have a new version of the Key.

The In-Betweener works for Lord Chaos and Master Order to maintain the cosmic balance between opposites. He is the synthesis of all such opposites, eg good and evil. Now he is split into 1 such pairing, chaos and order. His 2 parts Chaos and Order here are not Lord Chaos and Master Order.
The In-Betweener débuted in Jim Starlin's Warlock #10. His last foray was with other cosmic beings in issues of Quasar.

Dr Doom has recently tangled with Iron Man in IM: Legacy #1-5.

The cameo apps here of some of the extended Avengers team from Kurt Busiek's last issues really marks the end of that large group.
Firestar, Justice, Photon and Triathlon won't be seen again until Avengers Disassembled.
Wonder Man will be with the Avengers in X-treme X-Men #11, and members of the team will guest in a flashback adventure in his 2007 mini-series, and then it's Av Disassembled.

Some other members made their last active apps last issue. Living Lightning, Quasar and Stingray bowed out earlier. And Black Widow is off doing her own thing.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #59 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the last 2 issues most capital cities in the world have disappeared into dark vortices, in most cases along with their countries' government. The shrunken UN has asked the Avengers to lead the world out of chaos.

Wasp and Yellowjacket were taken with Washington DC. Last issue they discovered that the cities had all been transported somewhere and crammed together, causing friction at the borders. Then YJ was rendered unconscious and Wasp faced albino scorpions and a group of (large to her) men, their costumed leader with a Scorpio sign on his masked forehead.

Now the leader has insect-sized Henry Pym suspended on a wall where some of the scorpions are pinned by 'light daggers'. He fires daggers through Pym's hands and introduces himself as Scorpio and his ankh-shaped weapon is the Zodiac Key. We see Wasp held in a small force-bubble while behind him stands the In-Betweener in a larger such prison. Scorpio explains his plan. He claims that the Key contains the destined 1,000-year future of humanity. Many including the (Bavarian) Illuminati held the key in the past but failed to understand it, and so the last millennium didn't go as it should have. But now the Brotherhood Of The Ankh (standing behind him) have given *him* the job of replacing mankind's false leaders and taking the world correctly into the new millennium.

In Avengers Mansion Jack Of Hearts reviews Avengers activity around the globe. Thor has prevented an army coup in Argentina. Triathlon and Wonder Man deal with similar problems in India and North Korea, and Firestar and Justice in South Africa plus Photon somewhere unspecified. Iron Man joins him to make sure he gets his 10 hours in the Zero Room immersed in Zero Fluid (which stops him from exploding).

Last issue Carol Danvers and Jennifer Walters found Wanda Maximoff in her room floating in midair and speaking in not her own voice. Now she wants to know where Order is before spewing magic flames. Warbird's response is to knock her out with a blow to a nerve at the back of her neck.

Later She-Hulk, Warbird and IM are with Ant-Man, Black Panther, Falcon and Vision as angry Sub-Mariner, his hands gouging chunks out of the team's conference table, demands to know why they are here worrying about Scarlet Witch's illness when they should be stopping the vortexes sucking the oceans dry. Captain America enters with Henry Peter Gyrich who is crowing about using diplomacy to prevent a strike against Lebanon. Namor backs down before Cap who says Wanda is receiving medical care - but Vision ghosts off to watch over his ex-wife anyway.

Tony Stark reports that his scientists haven't been able to figure out where the 'black holes' come from. Panther says he's sent the data, without asking permission, to an associate who has an idea. And he opens a video-link to Dr Doom (who obviously wasn't taken with Doomstadt in #57) who ignores the team's anger and tells them that the energy signature of the vortices matches that of the Zodiac Key, created by the chaos-bringers of the 13th Dimension. He also says that the Zodiac Key decayed to dust a few weeks ago in the possession of SHIELD (which isn't actually where it wound up at the end of Elektra (2001) #1-5) so he proposes that the Brotherhood Of The Ankh have created a new 1 in their Dimension.

Stark ends the transmission with an armoured fist through the vid-screen and then rounds on T'Challa for compromising their security (which BP denies). Warbird reminds them that Panther admitted (BP(1998)#9) that he only joined them originally (#51 of our original run) to spy on them as potential threats to Wakanda (which is news to at least She-Hulk). Now he's allied with 1 of their enemies, and Carol was thrown off the team for less.

Ant-Man interrupts the recriminations with a question. If the Zodiac Key is a key, what does it unlock? Nobody else here had ever thought of that. But Scarlet Witch has an answer when she enters in costume supported by Vision. Her hex power turned out to be Chaos Magic, which links her to universal chaos. She reminds them of the In-Betweener who is the balance between Chaos and Order. She now knows that he has been split into his chaotic and ordered parts which has allowed the vortex doorways to be opened. Order is on Earth (we saw him watching the Avengers in #57) and Chaos possessed her (last 2 issues) in order to find him. She can sense where he is and they must take him through a vortex to reunite In-Betweener which will close the doors. But they only have a limited time before the barriers between the worlds break down completely.

The giant Order part is in Rocky Gap, Virginia studying a tortoise to death when the Avengers arrive. Wanda Maximoff tells him they are here to take him to his brother. But Order reacts badly to the taint of Chaos on her, and sends most of the team hurtling through a vortex that manifests overhead. Only Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch and Sub-Mariner manage to hold on to tree trunks, and Cap's shield remains behind too. But Scott Lang and Wanda are now unconscious, leaving only Namor to attack. Order weathers his punches and strangles his foe, saying that he doesn't *want* to rejoin his brother. But then on the last page Thor drops in.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Scott Lang)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Jack of Hearts
Jack of Hearts

(Jonathan Hart)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Firestar (Angel Jones), In-Betweener, Justice (Vance Astrovik), Photon (Monica Rambeau), Scorpio (of Brotherhood), Triathlon (Delroy Garrett Jr.), Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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