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Avengers #3: Review

Jul 2010
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers #3 Review by (June 27, 2012)
2nd story:- The history continues from New Avengers #2. In the original #6 Stark made modifications to the original shield. Tales of Suspense #62 said that Cap took the modifications out because they spoiled his aim. Later retcons established the one-piece unbreakable nature of the original shield, so Tony couldn't have opened it up to make changes as shown in #6. (Except of course since then the shield *has* been broken a few times.) This issue says Tony produced a totally new shield in #6. Presumably Cap abandoned the new shield by ToS#62. I only remember Cap causing Zemo's hood to get glued on, as 1st described in #6. I don't know where the idea that Zemo did it to himself comes from, nor why it should be considered preferable. Hank Pym says he began thinking then about how to imprison villains like Enchantress or the Space Phantom from #2. I imagine this led to the Big House seen in a couple of issues of She-Hulk, where criminals are held in shrunk form. Or possibly the Negative Zone prison he helped set up in Civil War. The history continues in New Avengers #3.

This is part 3 of 6 of the Next Avengers story. At this time Apocalypse is believed dead as of X-Men #184. Why should tracking this Apocalypse's origin lead to the source of the time problems? When Iron Man says they're going to the apocalyptic future, is he specifically referring to the one Apocalypse came from? There have been many different Horsemen over the years. But I don't remember any being bonded to their steeds like these. Famine is obviously Scarlet Witch. Pestilence being Spider-Man was a reasonable guess. The other 2 are never identified, but it's fairly clear that Death is Wolverine. Comic Book DB claims War is Iron Man. But Wikipedia's identification of War as Red Hulk seems more believable. The Horseman names Death/Famine/Pestilence/War aren't actually quoted in the comic itself. It was established in his 1st Marvel Boy limited series that Noh-Varr is a Kree from an alternate universe enhanced with insect DNA. Spidey comments that there are too many insect heroes on this team, and he should have joined the new New Avengers. But he's already on that team as well as this one. Protector quickly rebuilds his device that Wonder Man destroyed last issue. But that was just a time viewer, and this copy's a time machine.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A girl is watching the signs of battle in Avengers Tower from her apartment, when suddenly Thor's body crashes into the room. He apologises and flies back to join his fellow Avengers (Captain America (Bucky), Hawkeye, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine and their guest Protector) in the fight against Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen (who seem to be bonded to their steeds like centaurs with both human and equine heads and torsos).

As Thor tackles Apocalypse head on, Avengers leader Maria Hill has figured out that this Apocalypse and friends must be from another part of spacetime-alternity, because Apocalypse is currently dead This must be another result of the breakdown of time. As such the priority is for Iron Man and Protector to leave the fight and go build a time machine.

But Tony Stark has recognised that one of the Horsemen (Famine) is Scarlet Witch. So he hesitates, torn by his fixation with fixing broken Avengers. Wanda solves his dilemma by hexing his Iron Man armour back into his body. The fight had moved out into the open, and Tony falls down the side of Avengers Tower. Spider-Man has to dive after him to save him with his webs.

Wolverine takes time off (enforced by being beaten) from fighting the bright red War to tell Maria she's right. Apocalypse shouldn't be here, and these aren't any Horsemen he's familiar with. Then he faces his own counterpart, Death.

Spider-Man returns with Tony, who now regenerates his armour and tries to reason with Apocalypse. The villain is confused by the way the buckling timestream has apparently been throwing him and his acolytes across realities. But his megalomania won't let him team up with the Avengers to solve the problem.

Thor blasts the Horsemen with his hammer. But then the vagaries of the time disturbance take them and Apocalypse away. But before they went Iron Man scanned Apocalypse, and can now deduce where and when he came from.

While the big guys discuss plans, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman bond while sticking to the outside wall of the Tower. Jessica points out that the 6-armed Horseman was a version of Spidey, which he hadn't realised. Protector joins them, standing horizontally on the wall. (He explains that he too has insect powers.)

Hawkeye suggests they contact Steve Rogers to get all the other Avengers involved. Maria Hill vetoes that. When Iron Man and Protector have figured out where to go, and built a device to get them there, only a few Avengers will go. The rest will stay to deal with the time disturbances that are cropping up all over the eastern US.

She sends Cap and Wolverine with Iron Man and Protector to a secret base belonging to Nick Fury. There Noh-Varr builds a time machine and they head for the future.

Maria Hill flies Hawkeye, the Spiders and Thor to deal with a time disturbance elsewhere in New York. And Devil Dinosaur and Killraven suddenly appear.

Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes Chapter 4

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Rick Jones, Janet van Dyne and Thor reminisce about some of the events in early issues of the original series, sometimes rewriting history a bit.

In #6 Stark gave Captain America an 'improved' shield. Tony says he didn't know then that Cap's original shield was made from a special unduplicatable unbreakable vibranium-steel alloy. Cap says he used the inferior new shield for a bit so as not to disappoint him.

The conversation moves on to Baron Heinrich Zemo, who 'killed' Bucky in WWII and caused Steve to go into suspended animation until the Marvel Age. He survived to menace the early Avengers.

Wasp presents 2 versions of how the original Zemo's hood got stuck to his face in WWII. One is that Cap accidentally caused it. Jan suggests that this was a lie put about by Zemo, and he did it to himself to hide his identity even from his Nazi colleagues.

They also talk about Zemo's Masters of Evil in #6, and then his alliance with the Asgardian Enchantress and Executioner in #7.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Neurotic Cartoonist, Inc.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Four Horsemen, Protector (Noh-Varr).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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