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Avengers #11: Review

Mar 2011
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Avengers #11 Review by (September 25, 2012)
2nd story:- Hawkeye discusses the Avengers/Defenders War all the while omitting to mention that he had quit the Avengers in #109, and was actually one of the Defenders they were fighting. This History makes no more mention of Mantis. Which means that Bendis also misses out the whole Celestial Madonna saga in #129-135 and Giant-Size #2-4 (including linking Vision to the WWII android Human Torch, and culminating in the marriage of Vision & Scarlet Witch).

The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak go back almost to the dawn of Marvel. Dr Strange used the phrase in spells from Strange Tales #124, but the Bands themselves were used as a form of imprisonment mainly by his enemies early on. Baron Mordo used a Crimson Circle of Cyttorak in ST#125, then Dormammu used the actual Bands in #126 and he started a trend. Cyttorak himself became better known as the being behind the Juggernaut power. Eternity is almost as old in Marvel terms, being mentioned in ST#134 and then appearing in #138. It represents the universe, or the life-force therein, and often manifests itself in the humanoid form shown here. I don't know whether this is supposed to indicate that Eternity has taken an interest in the proceedings. Compared to these Thanos is a relative newcomer debuting in Iron Man (1968) #55. He involved himself with Captain Marvel and Warlock, before beginning his love affair with the Infinity Gems in Avengers Annual #7. But next issue we'll discover that this isn't really Thanos anyway.

This is part 5 of 6 of the Infinity Gems story. It is nearly all full-page panels of impressive conflict, beautifully rendered by John Romita Jr. Hood did know how to use the Reality Gem to basically grant himself wishes. And he worked out that the Power Gem gave him physical power. He also used the Gems' affinity for each other to help him find more of them. Red Hulk shouldn't have been able to take the Power Gem from Hood so easily, especially given how Robbins beat him in #7 with only 2 Gems. Maybe the Gem sensed an affinity with Rulk (and not just because of their colour). It isn't explained how the Hood/Rulk/Thor fight got from the seashore to Area 51, which I don't think is anywhere near an ocean. Hood could have wished them there, but I don't know why he would. Nor is it explained why no Avengers team was sent last issue to get the Soul Gem.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers are fighting the Hood for control of the Infinity Gems, and Uatu the Watcher has turned up to watch. He muses on how often he has broken his vow of non-interference to help humans. But he's been told off by his race of Watchers. And he knows if he interferes again he'll be in biiig trouble. So he just watches.

What he's watching at the moment is Red Hulk and Thor threatening the Hood while Sub-Mariner swims ashore to help them. Parker Robbins has the yellow Reality, red Power and purple Space Gems, while Thor has the orange Time Gem. Hood's 3 Gems easily enable him to send the 3 heroes into the sea.

But Uatu notes how Robbins doesn't use the Gems' individual abilities. All he knows is fighting, and all he wants is the power to fight with. So he is basically using the Power Gem, which the other Gems augment by their very presence.

Watcher also knows that as Hood gains more Gems he will come to the notice of more powerful cosmic beings who want the Gems for themselves.

Hood notices the Watcher. But just then Rulk storms back and grabs the hand that holds the Gems. In his panic Parker forgets that with the Reality Gem he could wish Red Hulk elsewhere, or even into non-being. Hood just tries to fight him.

But Red Hulk is burning with a desire to prove himself a hero, to redeem the sins of his past including letting himself be turned into Rulk. And he wrests the red Power Gem from Hood. Now Red Hulk and Thor (with Namor) face Hood, 2 Gems against 2.

Last issue Hood banished a group of Avengers from a secret basement in Area 51 where Iron Man had hidden the Space Gem. It turns out he only sent them, unconscious, to the surface near where Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Thing were on guard. Iron Man is the first to awake, and sees Hood fighting Red Hulk, Sub-Mariner and Thor with Watcher watching.

Thing wants to wade in, but Hawkeye suggests the battle might be out of their power range. Thor tries to negotiate Hood's surrender, without success. Steve Rogers, Iron Man and the rest of the revived Avengers wade in. And at last Hood uses a Gem to whisk himself away.

Spider-Man comments on the presence of the Watcher. If they thought they were in trouble before, now they know they are.

Meanwhile the rest of the Avengers have accompanied Prof X to the ruins of the X-Mansion where he hid his Gem guarded by a special hologram in the Danger Room. The Avengers fought past a horde of holographic old X-foes last issue, until Xavier confronted the holographic guardian of the Gem. Charles said last time that this was the most difficult part of the program.

But we don't get a chance to find out what he meant, because Hood 'ports in, destroys the hologram and grabs the Gem, which Uatu identifies as the blue Mind Gem.

There then follows a mental duel between Hood and Prof X. Xavier tries to compel Robbins to abandon the Gems. But Hood wins and leaves all the hero(in)es unconscious.

Hood now seeks the remaining green Soul Gem, which Dr Strange has hidden on the Astral Plane, wrapped in the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. We see him falling through the body of Eternity. Only to be confronted by Thanos, who is shattering the Bands and reaching for the Gem.


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> Avengers: Book info and issue index


Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes Chapter 15

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Continued from New Avengers #10.

Because of the splitting of Ch 13, this appears in the TP as Ch 17.

Bendis continues to skip through Avengers issues, this time to #114 (Mantis & Swordsman arrive) and #115-118 (Avengers vs Defenders).

The Avengers/Defenders War is actually covered first, after a brief mention of fighting Magneto in #110-111, and Scarlet Witch & Vision's romance being out in the open since #108.

The War was another plot by Loki, this time allied with Dr Strange's foe Dormammu, and was of course a crossover with the contemporary Defenders issues.

The Mantis & Swordsman subplot was a soap opera based around Swordsman loves Mantis, who loves Vision, who loves Scarlet Witch, who loves him back. It actually makes more sense to place it after the Avengers/Defenders because it mostly unfolded in the following issues. Including finding Mantis' father (who was Libra of the Zodiac gang) in #123.

Continued in New Avengers #11.



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John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Morry Hollowell (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 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)
Watcher
Watcher

(Uatu)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Protector (Noh-Varr), War Machine (James Rhodes).