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Avengers #10: Review

Feb 2011
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Avengers #10 Review by (September 18, 2012)
The adjectiveless Avengers lineup is still all present (apart from Captain America (Bucky)), even more so with Maria Hill. Jessica Jones makes the New Avengers also complete (unless you count Victoria Hand and nanny Squirrel Girl). The addition of Ant-Man and Sharon Carter also rounds out the Secret Avengers basic roster. The purple gem is the Space Gem allowing the user total control of space. (But as I noted in #7, why can't the Reality Gem do that anyway?) Last issue Hood had 1 gem in each glove, rather than all in one as now. The Reality Gem presumably transported him directly here without going through the security checks. Why does Valkyrie's sword Dragonfang get left behind when Hood wishes the Avengers away? Maybe because it's magical? She doesn't have it for the rest of the story arc. There is no Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in this issue. Instead there is part of Heroes For Hire #1.

This is part 4 of 6. The orange gem is the Time Gem. This was the 2nd Infinity Gem to be seen in Marvel history (owned by the Elder of the Universe called the Gardener, alongside the Stranger's Reality Gem in Marvel Team-Up #55, and after Warlock's Soul Gem in his own series). As you'd expect it confers total control of time, and combined with the Space Gem it gives omniscience. The X-Men's school was ruined (the last time) during Messiah Complex. My analysis in #8 of when Reed Richards distributed the Infinity Gems in Illuminati #2 means that Prof X put the Gem here before the destruction. But isn't it strange that the protecting program still works? The Danger Room itself was destroyed when its AI became Danger in Astonishing X-Men (2004) #10. It was replaced by the Danger Cave in New X-Men (2004) #21, so this should be what the Avengers are facing. But my positioning of Illuminati #2 is before either of these stories. The Danger Room villains include the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Blob, Sentinels and Brood. Eric O'Grady stole the Ant-Man suit from SHIELD, and has ever since wavered between minor villain and minor hero. He's had his own Irredeemable mini-series, and been in the Initiative and Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts. He mentions that he's now part of the covert ops Avengers team (Secret Avengers). Iron Fist tells him to keep quiet about that, but it's unclear whether he knew such a team exists.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Sub-Mariner leads Red Hulk and Thor to the depths of the ocean. (Those last 2 can presumably hold their breath a long time.) They are seeking his Infinity Gem. (In preceding issues we learned that the secret group he belongs to (possiblty called the Illuminati) had each hidden 1 of the 6 Infinity Gems. But now someone has found 2 of them and is probably after the others.)

Namor takes them through a fissure into a cavern full of crumbling skeletons of warriors, to be confronted by a giant sea serpent with glowing eyes. Rulk allows himself to be eaten, then kills the beast by bursting out of its stomach.

Now Sub-Mariner reaches a sealed door in the rock wall, and directs Thor to blast a hole in it with his hammer Mjolnir.

Reaching in Subby pulls out an orange Gem. Red Hulk signals for Namor to give it to him. But instead he surrenders it to Thor.

The scene now shifts to the ruins of Prof X's Westchester school for mutants, where Lockjaw the Inhumans' dog has just teleported in another group. As well as Prof X and the Inhuman Medusa there are assorted Avengers (Beast, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Ms Marvel, Spider-Woman, War Machine and Wolverine plus Ant-Man and Maria Hill who weren't noticeably with them in the Himalayas last issue).

They are in the remains of the Danger Room where the X-Men trained. leaving Ant-Man and Iron Fist on guard, Charles Xavier triggers a 'training' program with no off switch, and the Avengers have to fight a panoply of old X-Men villains, protecting Prof X until he can get to a doorway. Xavier tells them that now comes the difficult bit, but we have to leave them here until next issue.

Meanwhile Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) is being his usual annoying self, and Iron Fist is stoically putting up with it.

Meanwhile meanwhile an even larger bunch of Avengers is flying to New Mexico. I see Black Widow, Dr Strange, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Mockingbird, Protector, Spider-Man, Steve Rogers, Thing and Valkyrie plus Jessica Jones and pilot Sharon Carter (who also both didn't appear to be in last issue, but maybe they stayed behind in the plane), accompanied by Illuminati/FFer Mr Fantastic.

Along the way Protector comments that, as an alien, he doesn't get Spider-Man's jokes. And there's much discussion of the rift between Iron Man and Steve Rogers, which came to a head last issue when Steve discovered the secret Illuminati group/conspiracy.

Their destination is Roswell and Area 51, which Iron Man says he bought off the Government. A computer system recognises Tony Stark, and opens a secret door in the ground for them. This group leaves Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Thing on guard duty. The system checks the identities of all the others as they enter.

But despite all the precautions they find someone there ahead of them, whom Iron Man recognises as the Hood. Before they can react he waves a gloved hand which now has 3 Gems embedded in it, including a purple one. The Avengers vanish, leaving behind only Valkyrie's sword.

Hood uses the Gems to take him to where another one is. Where he comes face-to-face with Rulk and Thor who've just come ashore.


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> Avengers: Book info and issue index


Story #2

Are You For Hire?

Writer: Dan Abnett. Inker: Andrew Hennessy. Colorist: Jay David Ramos.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


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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.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Valkyrie
Valkyrie

(Brunnhilda)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady), Hildegarde (Hildegarde), Lockjaw, Protector (Noh-Varr), War Machine (James Rhodes).