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Avengers #28: Review

Jul 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Walt Simonson

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #28 Review by (July 28, 2012)
The scene where the Avengers are gathered for a meal contains so many characters that appear only in the 1 panel that I'm not going to include them in the cast list (and neither does the splash page). But for library purposes it's worth mentioning that She-Hulk, Thor and War Machine are present. As well as RH the splash page only lists Black Panther, Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Man as featured Avengers. These are the 4 in the final scene when RH returns to Wakanda. The undialogued strategy discussion at the meal includes extra panels with Ms Marvel and Wolverine as well as RH, Cap and Iron Man. Gen'l Ross considers some of the Avengers to be war criminals or war profiteers. Profiteer obviously applies to Iron Man. RH might describe several of the others as war criminals. For instance War Machine was tried for war crimes in WM (2008) #11-12. And Black Panther has waged war on the US as head of Wakanda, which Ross might consider a war crime in itself. Despite planning to avoid the other Phoenix-enhanced X-Men especially Emma Frost, Ross goes to Utopia when she is there. When the X-Men send RH back to the Avengers they shouldn't know to deliver him to Wakanda. It isn't until Transonic is taken there in AvX#7 that Emma Frost can tell that's where they're based.

Red Hulk's flashbacks are RH vs Colossus in Avengers vs X-Men #2 and Uncanny X-Men #11, and RH vs Iceman in AvX#4 and Wolverine & X-Men #11. The gathering of Avengers at the beginning must be before AvX#7 (Hawkeye, Luke Cage and Spider-Woman haven't been captured by the X-Men, and also Transonic hasn't been captured by the Avengers) and is probably very soon after the end of AvX#5. The bulk of the issue must also be before AvX#7-8 (Hawkeye again, Avengers still in Wakanda, and no mention of the Phoenix 5 being reduced to 4). This is despite the fact the cover shows RH with a broken arm as suffered in AvX#8. The wording of the issue suggests to me it is before Cyclops orders the Avengers hunted down at the end of AvX#6. That broken arm plus the preview blurb which called this Red Hulk's last stand (and the absence of specific mentions of RH in descriptions of later comics in the crossover) led me to expect that this story would include or follow the battle in AvX#8, and end with RH retiring from the rest of the storyline. (Which the broken arm may still cause him to do.)



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #28 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers gather for a meal, and probably a strategy session (this part of the comic has no dialogue). Red Hulk looks back over some events in the Avengers vs X-Men story, and considers what his role in the conflict should be. Only Captain America knows that he is Gen'l Ross, and consults him for strategic advice. RH deduces (without asking) that Cap wants him to assassinate Cyclops, something that neither Steve nor Wolverine could bring themselves to do.

RHulk monitors the activities of the Phoenix 5 (Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik and Sub-Mariner) waiting to find Cyclops alone. He would have no chance against their combined might, and Emma Frost in particular would be able to detect his approach.

Choosing his moment he infiltrates Utopia Island as Ross in stealth gear. He slips past Magneto (all his weapons are non-metal) and Transonic, and locates Cyclops. He is about to shoot him, but his trigger finger freezes. Emma Frost has found him!

With her mental control she makes him unmask as Ross. Reading his mind she learns that this mission was all his own idea. She tries to make him commit suicide, believing that she can stop him Hulking out. But the transformation happens without either of them willing it.

The subsequent brief fight alerts Magik and Magneto (Colossus and Namor appear to be away). And of course Cyclops who smashes RH with his eyebeam. Magneto helps by encasing RHulk in metal. For a short while. And Magik uses her soulsword.

Cyclops decides they should send Red Hulk back to the Avengers. But before he goes Scott burns an X in his chest as a message.

RH crashlands in Wakanda where he is greeted by Black Panther, Captain America, Hawkeye and Iron Man. He shrugs off his injury. His final thoughts are that if you fight a war you must be prepared to kill. Cyclops has just shown that he's going to lose the war.


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Walt Simonson
Scott Hanna
Jason Keith
Walt Simonson (Cover Penciler)
Walt Simonson (Cover Inker)
Paul Mounts (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Black Panther (Sr.), Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Emma Frost, Magik, War Machine (James Rhodes).