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Avengers #84: Review

Sep 2004
Chuck Austen, Scott Kolins

Story Name:

Once an Invader (part 3)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #84 Review by (June 4, 2021)
Albert Deschesne co-letters with Richard Starkings again.

The issue numbers for this series have been accompanied by what will be called Legacy numbers the number this issue would have had if the Avengers had never switched to vol 2 and vol 3. This began with #41/456 and has now reached #83/499, cunningly arranged so that next issue could begin Avengers Disassembled by reverting fully to #500. But this means the new numbering will only get as far as #503 before being replaced by New Avengers #1.

The previously page for this issue gets confused and calls the previous 2 issues Part 2 and 3 of 4. It's only half-confused however because there *are* 4 issues to this story arc, the 4th is in New Invaders #0.

This is Chuck Austen's last issue as scripter but he will co-write NI#0. Brian Michael Bendis will take over scripting the AvD issues and then of course The NAv series.

Left-behind Goliath (Hank Pym) will miss out NI#0, but all the other chars will be there, even relevantly the corpse of the ex-dictator.

After that the team will have many scattered apps before the Avengers Disassembled story arc.
Hawkeye has the last issues #7-8 of his his 2003 series with guest stars Captain America (and sometime-Avenger Black Widow, Edwin Jarvis and Henry Peter Gyrich in his last app as Avengers liaison to the UN).
She-Hulk does some lawyering in #5-6 of her 2004 series with Yellowjacket (Hank Pym) popping in.
There'll be a big Avengers party in the last issue #5 of Wonder-Man's 20076 mini-series. The Avengers from this issue will be there, apart from Captain Britain and Hawkeye) plus Falcon (and also Warbird, Black Panther and even Thor and many more).
Cap A and She-Hulk attend Franklin Richards' birthday party in 4 #1.
Cap A is in some of the present-day bits of the WWII All-Winners Squad: Band Of Heroes mini-series (as much of it as was published).
Cap A and Iron Man appear in Thor #80-81. Thor calls on their help to prevent Ragnarok but they are too late to save Asgard, so he sends them back to Earth. These are the 1st 2 of 6 parts of the Ragnarok story, and are also billed as Prologue To Avengers Disassembled.
IM cameos in Gravity #1, and as Tony Stark in 4 #4 offering Reed Richards financial help during the FF's bankruptcy.
(I'll just mention that Scarlet Witch is in Witches #1 at this point.)
And then Wasp is with Hawkeye in a significant flashback in #503 where she triggers SW's buried memories of her 'dead' twins. (SW then interrogates her witchy mentor Agatha Harkness.)
Cap A, Iron Man and Hawkeye (along with SW and Falcon) attempt to arrest Madame Hydra in Daredevil (1998) #61.
CA, IM and Wasp (plus SW, Ant-Man and Jarvis) won't help Spider-Man in Marvel Knights SM#2 unless he tells them who he is.
Hawkeye appears in Marvel TV: Galactus - The Real Story with a cameo by She-Hulk.
She-Hulk's lawyering goes cosmic in her #7-9.
(Meanwhile in Thor #82-85, declared to be part of Avengers Disassembled, Ragnarok ends the Asgardians and Thor's last act is to prevent the repeating cycle of Asgardian lives starting again. Until of course it does 3 years later.)
Hawkeye appears in a cameo flashback with CA in his post-Disassembled (2005) #1.
CA (with cameos by Scarlet Witch and Vision) in Runaways #18 arranges for the teen team members to be taken into care.
CA&Falcon #1-8 include the Avengers Disassembled issues in #5-7. These issues begin a conflict with an Anti-Cap that runs through all 14 issues of the series. Scarlet Witch is in all of #1-7.
In the opening story arc #1-4 The 2 Americas she plays a major role in #2. She shares her cameo in #3 with Iron Man and Yellowjacket.
In the Avengers Disassembled #5-7 Cap starts having hallucinations, which include him starting a romance with Wanda Maximoff. Meanwhile YJ pops up in #6 and he and IM are in #7 (and Tony Stark is preparing for a speech to the UN which is probably the 1 he does in the main Av Disassembled story).
#8 doesn't have any guest-stars and it's part 1 of #8-12's Brothers & Keepers. This (pre-Av Disassembled) issue suggests that it's bad guys may have been messing with Cap's mind in the previous issues. But in the next (post-AvD) issue Steve Rogers will say he's discovered it was the insane SW doing it.
CA(2002)#29 starts its own Av Disassembled arc featuring Red Skull. The issue ends with Cap answering the Avengers Alert that starts #500.
Iron Man already had a very early so-called Prologue to AvD in his #84-85 (between our #76 and #77). Now we see Tony in a flashback in #87 (an actual Disassembled issue) to an interrupted meal with Rumiko Fujikawa where he was possibly going to propose to her.
SW then appears in 2 Young Avengers flashbacks. In the YA Special Wanda meets Billy Kaplan, who she doesn't know is a 'reincarnation' of 1 of her dead sons, and encourages him to stand up to a bully. And in Av: Children's Crusade #7 she asks Dr Doom for help bringing her children back to life. The attempt gives her reality-altering power but shatters her sanity.
Then A#500 starts the main Disassembled story for all the Avengers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #84 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
U.S. Agent has recruited the current Union Jack, the original but rejuvenated Spitfire, the seemingly-immortal Blazing Skull and a new female (probably android) Human Torch named Tara to form a new version of the old Invaders which he intends will replace the Avengers who have 'defected' to the UN. He's also recruited Sub-Mariner, also an ex-Invader, to the cause (but only because it suits Namor's purpose) and they're planning regime change for the Arab nation of Mazikhandar.

The Avengers have learned of this plan but also that the idea for the new Invaders was put in motion by Dell Rusk before he was exposed as Red Skull and deposed as Secretary Of Defence. But Hank Pym (Goliath) has just learned the hard way that his ex-wife and he thought current lover Janet van Dyne (Wasp) is having an affair with Clint Barton (Hawkeye).

He's just walked in on them in Jan's bed. And now he's run out puking. But the call to arms has sounded so the pair hurriedly get dressed and join Captain America, the new Captain Britain, Iron Man and She-Hulk in a quinjet. Jan's worried about Hank who's AWOL. Steve Rogers takes Clint aside. Barton apologises for being late but Cap just wants to tell him he's got an item of women's underwear hanging over his belt. He's passing no judgement on what the pair do in private unless and until it affects the team.

The Blazing Skull, Tara, US Agent and the Atlantean army are fighting their way across Mazikhandar towards its capital. Spitfire and Union Jack are already in the Capitol building. UJ disposes of a load of guards with an electro-shock(?) bomb. Spitfire zooms up and kisses him, and then she high-speed rams the throne room doors to gain entrance where they find the despotic ruler. Joey Chapman keeps an eye on him while Jacqueline Crichton zooms off again and returns with the main guy's brother. They want to know if they captured the real deal. The brother circuitously says he's missing 1 of his testicles. Neither of the heroes want to check so they agree to wait for US Agent to do it.

The Atlanteans and the other Invaders are now advancing through the capital towards the Capitol. They pay scant regard towards civilian casualties but as a wall falls towards a woman and her child a golden beam from (I think) Cap B's quarterstaff pushes the debris away. The Avengers have arrived. While Cap A and USA trade blows and words, new lovers Hawkeye and Wasp have already reached the stage of battlefield banter. Tara/Torch is everywhere, knocking Iron Man out of the air and burying She-Hulk in rubble until giant-size Wasp grabs her and forces her to help rescue Jennifer Walters.

Steve Rogers has defeated John Walker and the fight is over. Blazing Skull greets Cap A who he fought beside at least once in the Invaders. Rogers informs Walker that the Secretary Of Defence Dell Rusk who authorised him to form the Invaders has since been exposed as Red Skull. US Agent still believes the idea is sound. And Clint and Jan have moved from friendly banter to a lovers' tiff.

But under the distraction of the superhero battle, which was apparently part of USA's plan, Sub-Mariner has entered the Capitol building with the Invaders' choice for a new ruler for Mazikhandar. Now they exit the building with Spitfire, Union Jack and the ex-ruler to announce the handover to the Avengers. But then it goes wrong as the new guy pulls a gun and shoots his predecessor in the head.

To be concluded in NEW INVADERS #0.

Scott Kolins
Scott Kolins
Chris Sotomayor
Scott Kolins (Cover Penciler)
Scott Kolins (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Jacqueline Falsworth)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Blazing Skull (Mark Todd), Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh), Goliath (Hank Pym), Human Torch (Tara), Union Jack (Joey Chapman).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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