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Avengers #1: Review

Jun 2010
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

Next Avengers Part 1

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers #1 Review by (March 7, 2012)
This is actually a Comment from Asgardian, not from me. A very good start to a very interesting thread. It's cool to see all the Avengers assembled to re-organize the group. The appearance of Kang was a surprise, as well as his reporting to an older Hulk. The book starts the written story of the Avengers story at the end of the graphics.

2nd story:- This is the 1st in a series of excerpts from a supposed book telling Avengers history through interviews. The excerpts will continue through this title and New Avengers until #12, which will describe the Michael/Korvac saga. The series will include some modifications to history. But it starts off by resisting a retcon. Iron Man's origin is stated to have happened in Southeast Asia, as in Tales of Suspense #39, not Afghanistan as per Iron Man (2005) #1. Rick Jones says he got rebuffed by Reed Richards, who denies it. This is probably just bad memory on Rick's part, as Loki diverted his call to Thor, and accidentally to the other Avengers-to-be. Thor and Donald Blake say they were separate consciousnesses sharing a body. This appears to be a retcon without any reason. I thought Blake *was* Thor, changed by Odin. And I don't think the 2007 reboot changed that. Wasp claims she knew Iron Man was Tony Stark from the start. Yeah, maybe.

Most of Kang's background was also explained in Avengers Forever. But he *has* appeared since then. Most significantly in the Kang War in Avengers (1998) #38-54. There have been many alternate versions of the time-travelling character. A young version was Iron Lad of the Young Avengers. Stark says the device Kang has is a dark matter accelerator, that could turn the whole city inside out. Tony hasn't invented it yet, but we'll see where Kang got it from in #6. Stark says Reed Richards is unavailable to help them with time travel. Maybe he's still in the Negative Zone in Fantastic Four #578. Kang predicts an extra member will join the Avengers, who will be able to help them view the future and travel to it.The guy Wolverine knows who can help with the future is Protector. And he does join. At one point Steve says there's still somebody missing. I don't think we ever find out who it was. It could be Protector, because Steve was considering recruiting him in Dark Avengers Annual. But there is no indication next issue that Protector had been invited. The old smart bearded Hulk looks like Maestro from the Future Imperfect timeline. Later issues will indeed refer to him as Maestro, but he is the Next Avengers version of Hulk. Maestro is accompanied by a costumed female with spiky white hair. She will crop up in several issues of this story, but it won't ever explain who she is.

Wonder Man says Rogers got him out of jail. He was in jail because he opposed Norman Osborn with a group of supervillains led by his brother Grim Reaper in the Dark Reign: Lethal Legion limited series. He also helped War Machine in that guy's Dark Reign series. But also in NAv#51 he went on television to say that what the Avengers did was a waste of time, and the country *deserved* to have Osborn in charge. That's not exactly what he's saying now, but you can see the progression. Iron Man is in the new suit created in the Stark Resilient story, and War Machine's not in hospital, so this is after Iron Man (2008) #25. Clint Barton has reverted from Ronin to Hawkeye. He's been Ronin since NAv#27, not long after he was brought back to life by the House of M event. I don't really know why Spider-Woman doesn't think she belongs in the Avengers. A lot of her stint in New Avengers was actually the Skrull Queen. But the real Spider-Woman has been with them since NAv#49 at the end of Secret Invasion. Iron Man doesn't think he can get along with Steve Rogers. But the World's Most Wanted/Stark Disassembled storylines (Iron Man #8-24) removed all his memories of the Extremis armour, Civil War and later. Before that I remember them as pals. And (contradicting the whole point) haven't they made up in Avengers: Prime (which the Marvel Chronology Project puts before this in its Captain America page)? Anyway, Steve says he won't be on the Avengers team, he's got a bigger job. Thor says he doesn't know who Cap (Bucky) is. He's got a short memory! They met during Stark Disassembled and Siege, and maybe before then. Former Director of SHIELD Maria Hill has been on the run with Iron Man throughout Dark Reign. She got involved in Siege, but is now back with SHIELD, appointed by Steve as the Avengers team leader. Contemporary issues of Iron Man reveal that she's also actually Director of SHIELD, and SHIELD is being run from Avengers Tower.

The present day events are a continuation from New Avengers Finale, with Steve Rogers in his new non-costumed role as head of SHIELD and Avengers calling on prospective Avengers. As well as inviting the team we have here, he talks to Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Mockingbird of the New Avengers, and Beast, Black Widow and War Machine of his Secret Avengers. (Spider-Man and Wolverine are in the New Avengers as well as this title. And so is Hawkeye for a short while. Don't ask me how Spidey and Logan juggle being in 2 teams of Avengers, alongside their own series and Wolverine's appearances in X-Men titles and Spidey's upcoming stint with the Fantastic Four. The Marvel Continuity Project haven't sorted it out yet. And I certainly don't intend to try!) He also includes all the Young Avengers, which seems to grant them official status. Something which I don't think actually happens until the end of Children's Crusade, which I'm pretty sure hasn't chronologically happened yet. The appearances of Justice, Tigra and Wasp (Hank Pym) relate to the creation of the Avengers Academy, to replace the 50-State Initiative. Dr Strange is on the list, but he won't rejoin any Avengers team just yet. And then there's Wonder Man, who'll form the Revengers to oppose the Avengers. Wonder Man thinks Civil War, M-Day (after House of M), Secret Invasion and Dark Reign were all the Avengers' fault. Steve has to concede Civil War, but not the rest. I'd say M-Day was the Avengers' fault too (or at least Scarlet Witch's). To at least some extent Secret Invasion succeeded because Stark's technology failed to stop it. (And the seeds of the Invasion can also be traced back to the failed attack on the Skrull homeworld after the Kree/Skrull War by the Illuminati, one of whom is Iron Man.) And then Secret Invasion caused Dark Reign.

This is part 1 of 6 of Next Avengers, under the Heroic Age banner. Unlike the rest of this series (so far) it even has a title, but only "Next Avengers part 1". I agree with Asgardian's 5 rating. I'm a sucker for time-travel stories. (Or cosmic ones like the next arc.) Kang/Immortus is/are one (or 2) of my favourite characters. And John Romita Jr's chunky art is great for the powerhouses. (But maybe not so suited for guys like Hawkeye.) The 5 young figures facing Immortus are the Next Avengers. (Not to be confused with the MC2 universe's A-Next.) They had their own cartoon DVD in 2008. That film corresponds to at least part of the future described by Kang. Their world *is* overrun by Ultron, until the Next Avengers defeat him. Immortus, the time-travelling master of Limbo, hasn't been seen since the Avengers Forever limited series. So see my comments there for his convoluted past. Including the fact that he and Kang used to be the same person.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #1 Synopsis by Asgardian
The book starts with a figure saying that he is Immortus, Master of Time and that he will watch the deaths of the group of beings standing before him. There is a bolt of lightning that kills him. The next thing is Steve Rogers addressing a group of superheroes saying that he picked them to be Avengers. The group of heroes are excited about the news, except for Wonder Man.  He says all the worlds problems are because of the Avengers. He threatens to stop the Avengers from reforming. The story continues at Avengers tower in NYC. Thor, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Wolverine, Captain America, Spider Woman, and Iron Man are listening to Steve Rogers reasons for picking them. Spider Woman has doubts as to why she was chosen and some of the others are discussing the group. Maria Hill shows up as the leader of the team when suddenly Kang the Conquerer appears before them saying he has a warning for them. After Thor hits him with   bolt from Mjolnir, he holds up an item that freaks out Iron Man. Iron Man says the device is a doomsday device, but he hasn't invented it yet. Kang tells the heroes he has come to warn them of their own children. They apparently have defeated Ultron, but took his place as rulers and are ruthless. He tells the Avengers they must stop their own children before they destroy the universe and him. If they don't, Kang will return and detonate the doomsday device. He disappears and  the team realizes they need a time machine. As they discuss the concept of time, and who would know how to build a time machine, Wolverine says he know who can build one. The story switches to Kang reappearing in the future. He says that the Avengers will be coming. The last panel shows an older, bearded Hulk who says, "Those Avengers are going to learn Hulk is the smartest one there is."

Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Penciler: Art Adams. Inker: Art Adams. Colorist: Laura Martin. Colorist: Dean White.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A text chronicle of the Avengers’ early days presented in the form of an oral history by those who were there.

After a prologue full of inflated prose on this significance of the heroic team, we enter chapter one which recounts their first joint adventure. Rick Jones explains his relationship to the Hulk (and what a CB radio is), Thor fills us in on his problems with Loki, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne snipe at each other, and Tony Stark tries to keep to the matter at hand but the account never reaches the arrival of either Loki or Hulk. This history will continue in NEW AVENGERS (2010) #1.

The text article features two illustrations: a group portrair of dozens of Avengers team members, by Arthur Adams and Laura Martin, and Jack Kirby’s cover to AVENGERS (1963) #1 recolored by Dean White.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Kang the Conqueror)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Peter Parker)


(Janet Van Dyne)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Next Avengers.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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