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Avengers #24: Review

Mar 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Daniel Acuna

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #24 Review by (March 18, 2012)
The Hand is a mystical ninja group of bad guys who go back a lot further than Daredevil #174 where Frank Miller created them. The main Hand faction has recently been back in Daredevil territory again, where DD temporarily led them. The Hand ninjas in this issue work for Gorgon, for a long time allied with Hydra. The covers for the last 2 issues falsely promised battles between Cap and Gorgon and ninjas. However Gorgon has been spending his time in New Avengers as one of Dark Avengers. We haven't seen Protector since he was captured in #21. Maria Hill is the only character not accounted for. She too hasn't been seen since capture in #21. Cap was last seen captive of Madame Hydra last issue, not in the AIM HQ with the rest of the team. I expect that in between, he and the New Avengers will finish off the Dark Avengers in the not-yet-out NAv#23. The New Avengers here include Daredevil (joined in NAv#19) and Hulk's son Skaar (transferring from Dark Avengers in NAv#23). Not all the team are here. Dr Strange was injured in NAv#20. Luke Cage and family aren't present, and neither is Ms Marvel.

The Dark Avengers were Osborn's version of the Avengers when he was running things. The current incarnation is a completely new team. It is mentioned here that they may be used in the Thunderbolts program. And I understand that Thunderbolts will be renamed Dark Avengers with #175. Norman Osborn of course started life as Green Goblin way back in Amazing Spider-Man #14. He was killed off in #122, to be replaced by successors like his son Harry and Hobgoblin. But like all good villains he wasn't really dead, but he didn't resurface until Spider-Man (1990) #75. Eventually he was unmasked in public and started his first jail spell. There had always been a streak of insanity in Osborn, and it was turned into a schizophrenic relationship with his Goblin persona. He claimed to be cured by medication, and during Civil War he started a rise to power as Osborn, which ended after Siege. Now he's back, but as we see this issue his inner Green Goblin is still there. The Super-Adaptoid was an android created by AIM in the Cap story in Tales of Suspense #82. This guy didn't need to touch people to absorb their powers, just be near them. There have been other Adaptoids, but the original is still going. He was last seen having left Earth for space in the Annihilation Conquest: Quasar limited series.

This is the final part of the Shattered Heroes arc, although it lost that banner several issues ago. It has another misleading cover. Norman Osborn is shown in an armoured(?) costume with Wolverine-claws on one hand and the other hand red-hot. He is surrounded by some of his Dark Avengers and HAMMER and AIM troops. About the only element on the cover that is valid is Madame Hydra. The publisher's blurb is more realistic. But I can't figure out "Which Avengers Will Take Their Relationship To The Next Level?". I assume (bolstered by the designation "2 weeks before") that Osborn gained his Super-Adaptoid power before Washington brought the ability to create Hulks, etc that we saw in the previous issues. But if so then there is a continuity error because Madame Hydra is shown without her octopoid headgear. The Super-Adaptoid power explains some things. Osborn used Vision's strength and flight in the last 2 issues. And Luke Cage's own power against him in New Avengers #20. Osborn used his Iron Patriot armour, like Iron Man in Captain America's colours, when leading the Dark Avengers in Dark Reign and Siege.

The rest of the comments are on #24,

Wanda and Vision were married in Giant-Size Avengers #4, and by magical means had 2 baby boys in Vision & Scarlet Witch v2 #12. But the babies turned out not to be real in Avengers West Coast #52. And it was this which did indirectly cause Avengers Disassembled, because it was her quest to get the boys back which led to her possession (Children's Crusade again). Wanda's destruction of the mutant race was in the House of M mini-series and the Decimation event which followed. Since then she has been living amnesiac on Wundagore Mountain, and only appearing a couple of times. (Appearances during Dark Reign were actually Loki in disguise.) But Children's Crusade (again again) gave her back her memories, and now she back in the heroine business. She-Hulk excuses Wanda because she was brought up by her father Magneto. But Magneto didn't actually bring Wanda up. He only found her in her teens. This issue sort-of leads into Avengers vs X-Men #0, where Vision and Scarlet Witch eventually meet up. (And the other half of AvsX#0 concerns Hope, who is also in this issue.)

It's not completely obvious where the events of this issue fit in other recent Avengers issues. The scene with Vision waking must be before Stark presents him to the rest of the Avengers in #19. #19-24 then follow without letup. The final scene with Cap must be after this, and the scene with Magneto is described as happening immediately before that. The scene with She-Hulk probably immediately precedes that, but could theoretically happen before #19. Vision's workings are beyond Stark because they are from the future. Kang established Timely Industries in 1910 and filtered future technology into that era to suit his own purposes. Phineas Horton used some of this to create the 1st (android) Human Torch at the start of WWII. (And Kang's tech explains some of the other advanced stuff in the Marvel version of WWII too.) Immortus later used the Forever Crystal in Avengers Forever to diverge that Human Torch into 2 bodies, one of which was used to create Vision. Quite why Kang's tech didn't

I've lost the back end of the last sentence in the next section:- Quite why Kang's tech didn't go on to become the base on which Stark's (and other current) tech was built, I can't answer.

Some relevant details of Disassembled aren't mentioned here. In that issue the the dead Jack of Hearts had turned up, and blown up (which was his power), killing Ant-Man (Scott Lang). Then Vision dove a quinjet into the Mansion. He emerged, claiming not to be in control of his own body, and spewed out 5 Ultrons. The Avengers defeated the Ultrons, but Wasp was injured. That accounts for all the Avengers present at the time. In earlier issues She-Hulk had gradually lost control of her rage. Which is why she tore into Vision so drastically at this point. The other current Avengers (Iron Man, Scarlet Witch and Yellowjacket) were at the UN while this was happening. Later it was revealed that all of this was orchestrated by Scarlet Witch. Originally it was claimed that she had been driven mad by the loss of her 2 sons (but that was a long time ago). However the recent Avengers: The Children's Crusade limited series has shown that she had been possessed by a cosmic entity.

Brandon Peterson is here as artist just for this issue, in between Daniel Acuna and Walt Simonson who will do the Avengers vs X-Men issues. The initial 3-page flashback is reprinted from #500 (with art by David Finch/Danny Miki/Frank D'Armata), the beginning of Avengers Disassembled. As well as Vision and She-Hulk, the flashback Avengers are Captain America, Hawkeye, Falcon and Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh).

The 1st half of these comments are on #24.1.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #24 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
I've been assuming that Norman Osborn's display of powers in recent issues of this series and New Avengers were due to renegade SHIELD agent Carolina Washington's collection of super-being samples. But now we discover differently.

We see a flashback to 2 weeks ago where Osborn, Superia and Madame Hydra ask Monica Rappaccini, Scientist Supreme of AIM, to give Norman a super-power. He doesn't want to use the Iron Patriot suit, or become Green Goblin again. (But his inner Goblin voice is urging him on.)

Rappaccini gives him the power that AIM once put in the Super-Adaptoid. He can absorb powers just by touch. But she warns him to be careful not to absorb too much power, or conflicting powers.

In the present Quake has just freed Hawkeye, Iron Man, Red Hulk, Spider-Woman and Storm from captivity by AIM, causing a lot of destruction in the process. And Osborn has just arrived with an unconscious Vision and a load of ninjas.

Iron Man detects something strange about Osborn, but Red Hulk ignores his warning and attacks. Resulting in Osborn Hulking out.

(Osborn's inner voice reveals that the whole plot of this story was never really about defeating the Avengers by winning the hearts and minds of the people. All along he really intended to get the power to defeat them hand-to-hand.)

While Hawkeye and Spider-Woman hold off the ninjas, Iron Man wants the battle taken outside of AIM's HQ. Red Hulk can't budge Osborn, but Storm obliges by blowing him away with a tornado.

Iron Man takes out all the ninjas with what looks like 'smart' repulsor blasts, and they turn vampire-like to dust as Hand guys usually do. Hawkeye wakes Vision. Storm and Quake carry the fight to Osborn. Storm attacks him with lightning bolts while Quake causes an 'earthquake' in his heart.

The assembled Avengers attack him. But their long-range weapons all pass through him because Osborn has previously absorbed Vision's powers. Red Hulk fails to best him again.

Then Protector appears and closes with him. Osborn absorbs his powers too. But Noh-Varr warns him that his Kree powers won't mix well with Earth ones.

Then the Avengers try the old 'overload' trick. They all touch Osborn and he absorbs all the powers he hasn't yet got. But he's still standing.

Then Captain America turns up with the New Avengers. And they plan to add their powers to the mix. Osborn's insane Goblin-self is gloating over how much power he's accumulating. But before the new arrivals can reach him he starts to burn up/melt/disintegrate/(turn into the Thing?). Whatever it is and whatever actually caused it, it's not good for him.

The rest is mopping up.

Cap arrests Washington, SHIELD captures loads of HAMMER and AIM troops, the New Avengers have already defeated the Dark Avengers in their own book, and Osborn's shattered mind and body are in jail again. And the President orders Captain America and the more presentable Avengers to go on a PR campaign to win back public trust.

But Madame Hydra and her Hydra troops escaped. And she has taken Washington's super-being secrets with her.


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> Avengers: Book info and issue index


Story #2

#24.1 (no title given)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis. Penciler: Brandon Peterson. Inker: Brandon Peterson. Colorist: Sonia Oback. Editor: Tom Brevoort. Cover Penciler: Brandon Peterson. Cover Inker: Brandon Peterson. Letterer: Cory Petit.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

In an opening flashback reprint an enraged She-Hulk rips the android Vision apart down the middle, because he just tried to kill the Avengers.

In the present Tony Stark has got Vision back in almost full working order again. Although it's mostly down to the android's own healing process, which Tony admits he doesn't understand.

For his part Vision doesn't understand why She-Hulk attacked him. Tony reluctantly explains it was all the fault of Vision's wife Wanda, the Scarlet Witch. She caused the Avengers to disband.  He believes she took away the powers of most mutants, but he doesn't know how. Since then she's been lying low.

Vision asks Tony to explain in more detail. Which he presumably does. But we skip ahead to the next scene.

Vision finds She-Hulk. Jennifer Walters apologises deeply for what she did. Even though she was under Wanda's control at the time, she still blames herself, and she quit the Avengers because of it. Vision forgives her, and She-Hulk gives him a hug, even though he hates shows of emotion. She asks him not to blame Wanda too much, because after all her father was Magneto.

So Vision's next stop is the X-Men's Utopia island, where Magneto, Cyclops and Emma Frost are watching Hope Summers sparring with Colossus.

Vision and Magneto exchange insults. Vision wants to know where Scarlet Witch is. Magneto says he doesn't know. Magneto threatens to tear the partially-metallic android apart (again) with his magnetic power. Vision does his trick of reaching inside a body and grasps Magneto's heart.

Magneto dares him to follow through, and Vision's human allies will never forgive him. Vision removes his hand. In return Magneto forbears from turning the android into a puppet, because Wanda might not like it. Instead he magnetically hurls Vision to San Francisco.

The last scene is at Avengers Mansion, surrounded by protesting crowds. Captain America is waiting for Vision to return. Hawkeye and Spider-Woman are kissing, and tell Cap they are now a couple.

Cap tells Vision off, but then commiserates with him, and suggests he put his past behind him.



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Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna (Cover Penciler)
Daniel Acuna (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Daredevil
Daredevil

(Matt Murdock)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: A.I.M., Carolina Washington, Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Emma Frost, Hand (The Hand), Hope Summers, Monica Rappaccini, Norman Osborn, Protector (Noh-Varr), Quake (Daisy Johnson), Superia.