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Avengers #63: Review

Mar 2003
Geoff Johns, Alan Davis

Story Name:

Standoff Part 3

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #63 Review by (February 5, 2021)
This is the concluding part of the Standoff trilogy in Thor #58 and Iron Man #64.

IM isn't wearing his current armour inside the Thorbuster version, but his standby classic 70's armour. Alan Davis drew all 3 issues of this crossover so it must be deliberate, not a mistake.

This is Thor's last app in Avengers before he gets Disassembled by Ragnarok.
He's not in Thor #59 which is set in an alternate future where he's gone missing.
Thor #60 is the beginning of the Spiral story arc which will deal with the affect of Thor and his religion on humanity, and will lead to #67-79 - an alternate future where he goes over the top until he is persuaded to go back and change the past (ie #67).

Our next issue will feature just Falcon, but he's then not in #65-67.

Iron Man won't be here until #66, but Ant-Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk will be in #65.

Before those issues Falcon and She-Hulk won't make any other apps.
Ant-Man (Scott Lang) will concentrate on another side of his life as Jessica Jones' boyfriend in Alias #16-18 where Jessica gets involved with Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin).
Scarlet Witch will attend the wedding of Havok and Polaris in Uncanny X-Men #425-426, but it all goes haywire when Havok calls it off.
Iron Man will have his #65-69, the Manhunt story arc with the return of Mandarin's son Temugin. The he'll appear in Hulk #71-74 where Bruce Banner helps him build a gamma-proof armour, and #75-76 where he helps Hulk against the Leader.
Captain America meanwhile saves some US soldiers in Kuwait in the 1st part of CA Theatre Of War: To Soldier On, joins with Wolverine to retrieve some Shi'ar tech from rogue SHIELD Agents in the Wo/CA mini-series, and offers Matt Murdock the Avengers' help with his secret id in Daredevil #65.
Warbird's not in this issue but she will be in the Wo/CA mini-series and Alias #18.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #63 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Continued from IRON MAN (1998) #64.

A cult has emerged to worship Thor now that he is Lord Of Asgard, and it is particularly popular in Slokovia, a country bordering Latveria. The ruling Junta has tried to wipe them out, with arms provided by Dr Doom. Thor and Asgardian warriors have descended to defend them, sparking an international incident threatening to involve Russia. The US army is on the way to keep the peace, but the Pentagon have also sent Iron Man to intercede wearing Thorbuster armour powered by an Asgardian jewel Thor had given him to study as a potential clean energy source. As the 2 Avengers clash causing widespread destruction, Captain America tries to break them up ...

... but he's not doing too well. As he lies stunned on the ground he remembers the day he fell into suspended animation near the end of WWII and was awakened decades later by the newly-formed Avengers, in particular Iron Man and Thor. Now he sees them initiating WWIII. As they pound at each other they of course take the time to expound their points of view. Tony Stark accuses Thor of using his fists to solve everything, while Thor decries his foe's dependency on technology and Asgardian power. And he's winning as he shreds the Thorbuster armour and takes back the power gem (not *the* Power Gem).

But IM emerges from the wreckage in his ordinary armour ready to continue the fight with Cap as an ally. Except Cap knocks him down and tries calm him down. Thor assumes that Steve Rogers' 1st-hand experience of attempted genocide in WWII means that he's on his side. But Cap wants them both to stop. He points to Thor's followers cowering in the ruins of their ghetto surrounded by menacing Slokovian troops.

Dr Doom has been watching proceedings from afar, and de-escalation doesn't suit him. So he remotely triggers 1 of the cannons he provided the Slokovians to fire a shell at the Thunder God. Thor responds by ordering his warriors (Sif, Balder and the Warriors Three all on flying horses) to attack the Slokovian forces. Cap saw that the Slokovians were surprised when their weapon fired, and he and IM suspect Doom's involvement. But Stark reports that Russian bombers are on the way, so Cap sends him to intercept and stall them while he tries to convince Thor that the Slokovians didn't shoot at him. But the berserk God backhands him away to plough into advancing US troops.

Cap tries to persuade the US C/O to hold back because they're all being played (by Doom). If his troops attack then the Russians will bomb the place. The C/O says he's been ordered in by the President himself, but Cap turns to the troops and orders them directly to stand their ground. They salute him and obey.

Then Cap leaps back into the fray to stop Thor from chasing fleeing Slokovian soldiers. He harries the Asgardian and dodges his blows, all the while trying to convince him that he can't personally protect these people forever, nor kill all who threaten them. And then a blow from Mjolnir dents Cap's defensive shield and sends him flying into the arms of a returned Iron Man. Thor is horrified at having struck his friend so savagely. Steve Rogers uses the pause to ask Thor if dropping an A-Bomb on Berlin in WWII would have stopped the hatred of Jews. Such an overreaction isn't the Avengers way. But Thor replies that he's no longer an Avenger. However he's calmed down and hostilities cease. Thor uses his hammer to beat the dent out of Cap's undentable shield. Then he and his warriors fly back to Asgard.

Dr Doom is listening to reports of troop withdrawals and bombers recalled when all his monitor screens are filled with the helmeted face of Iron Man. Tony Stark tells him he's just downloaded a copy of his AI Friday into Doom's system, programmed to wipe his system clean. And all the screens dissolve into static.

Later in Avengers Mansion the Avengers (Ant-Man, Falcon, Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk along with Cap and IM) see news that the Slokovian dictator has been assassinated, and Latveria has annexed the country. Doom promises the people aid and religious freedom, and he thanks the Avengers for their service to the people of Slokovia and delivering them to him. Steve and Tony know that Doom is the only winner in this war, and they have lost Thor.

In Asgard Thor dismisses his warriors along with his advisers Enchantress and Thialfi. He mourns the loss of his friends and allies.

Alan Davis
Mark Farmer
Dave Kemp
Alan Davis (Cover Penciler)
Mark Farmer (Cover Inker)
Richard Isanove (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank Pym)

(Balder the Brave)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Jennifer Walters)

Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Thialfi.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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