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Avengers #25: Review

Apr 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Walt Simonson

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #25 Review by (April 25, 2012)
The Supreme Intelligence says here that he put Noh-Varr on Earth to protect it. This isn't quite true. Noh-Varr originally arrived in the Marvel Boy limited series as a Kree from an alternate universe. But in Dark Avengers Annual #1 the Supreme Intelligence enhanced his powers and tasked him to be Earth's protector. Soon after that the Avengers recruited him. There's a continuity problem behind this in that the 2009 Dark Avengers Annual was published between the Supremor's death in 2007's Annihilation Conquest and his resurrection in FF #11 in 2011. But the convolutions required to get modern long-running continued stories to fit between each other could possibly resolve this by having FF #11 happen before the Annual. It's unclear exactly what the Intelligence means by containing the Phoenix Force. If it means imprisoning it then I can't see why any conflict with the Avengers should be anticipated. So probably he means capture it for the Kree empire to use as a weapon.

The training robots look like original Dreadnoughts from the SHIELD stories in Strange Tales. The scene with Tony, Clint and Jessica echoes one at then end of #24.1 with Steve instead of Tony. Hawkeye responds more positively there that he and Spider-Woman are a couple. So maybe the bulk of this issue happens before that part of #24.1. Jessica with her hair up looks to me like Scarlet Witch, who Hawkeye long had a thing for. I wonder whose idea that was? Walt Simonson drawing Thor again! Yay! But I'm not so sure about his version of the rest of the Avengers, especially Clint and Jessica. Thor says he's not been an Avenger recently because he's been away. This is an understatement, as he's been dead (again) since Fear Itself, and only returned to life in Thor #11-12. Thor rejoining the Avengers here puts this issue before AvsX#0.

The cover banner and the publisher's blurb bill this issue as part of Avengers vs X-Men. But apart from the first and last pages this has nothing to do with AvsX. It's really an epilogue to the Norman Osborn storyline. The cover shows Cap defending himself from Cyclops' eyebeam, which is a direct reference to a scene in AvsX#2, suggesting that this issue might be an expansion of their fight, in the same mold as AvsX: Versus #1 and maybe Uncanny X-Men #11. The opening shot is of that battle, but with individual fights going on strongly contradict the events in AvsX#2 and its spinoffs. The splash page this issue doesn't give a list of team members. The headshots have lost Quake and Jarvis who aren't in this issue (or in AvsX so far). They could just represent the roster in this battle, except Vision has gone as well.

Next issue won't have Iron Man or Red Hulk, so it won't be in their libraries. It will be in the Captain America and Thor libraries. I suspect that #27 will only be in the Thor library.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #25 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The issue opens with a double-page spread of the battle between Avengers and X-Men on Utopia island in Avengers vs X-Men #2. But it immediately shifts back in time to a period between the fight against Norman Osborn's HAMMER coalition and Avengers vs X-Men.

Iron Man, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman watch Captain America taking out his frustrations on some training robot assailants. The frustrations of being head of SHIELD and all the Avengers teams, as Stark had been before him (with Norman Osborn's Dark Reign in between).

Tony catches Clint and Jessica kissing, and asks if they are an item.

Steve muses on the roof over the recent anti-Avengers and anti-Cap claims made by the media, Norman Osborn and Madame Hydra, and by Wonder Man in Annual #1 and earlier. He's filled with doubts and insecurity.

Thor drops in, and apologises that he's not been able to be an Avenger lately. Cap welcomes him back. Thor suggests that Steve is always best working outside the system, helping to keep it honest. Perhaps now is the time to relinquish control, while things are peaceful.

But just then Protector rushes in saying he's detected AIM tech operating in Canada. Iron Man joins them and says they should go after AIM, who still have the stolen super-hero genetic secrets from the war against HAMMER. All 5 of the Avengers fly off to attack AIM, along with Red Hulk, Storm and Vision and the SHIELD helicarrier.

Monica Rappaccini is inspiring her AIM underlings with a vision of the world run by scientists (meaning themselves of course), when the Avengers arrive. They make short work of a load of AIM troopers, some in armour. Rappaccini destroys secret documents and tries to escape. But she is felled by Cap's shield.

Cap's spirit is buoyed by the decisive victory. Except that Rappaccini points out that the super-hero secrets are still out there. (In particular Madame Hydra still has them.)

The issue ends with a foretaste of Avengers vs X-Men as the Kree Supreme Intelligence contacts Protector to warn him of the approach of the Phoenix Force. But he also charges Noh-Varr to intercept and contain that force, even if it means betraying and killing the Avengers.


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Walt Simonson
Scott Hanna
Jason Keith
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)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: A.I.M., Monica Rappaccini, Protector (Noh-Varr).