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Avengers #4: Review

Aug 2010
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Avengers #4 Review by (July 6, 2012)
2nd story:- This continues from New Avengers #3. Hawkeye mentions his past with Swordsman, Trickshot and Black Widow. Swordsman and Trickshot trained him in archery, as described in Avengers #19 and Solo Avengers #3 respectively. Black Widow led him astray in various issues of Tales of Suspense starting with #57, before reforming. A footnote says Black Widow refused to be interviewed for the book. This is the first mention of these chapters being part of a book on the Avengers. Spider-Man will actually be offered Avengers membership in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3, but will turn it down due to a misunderstanding. It will be a ,long time after that before he serves a brief stint in Av#329-333, and then another long gap before he joins up properly in New Avengers (2005) #1. To be continued in New Avengers #4, where Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will sign up.

This is part 4 of 6 of the Avengers' Heroic Age story The Next Avengers, in which the Avengers have to stop the whole of space/time/alternity collapsing. (No pressure then.) Killraven first appeared in Amazing Adventures #18 in 1973, where he fought Martians who have taken over the Earth in 2001. Needless to say, since then this has been declared an alternative timeline. Killraven met Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #45, while Spidey was adrift in time after a temporal adventure with Dr Doom. There have already been alternate versions of Killraven in some comics. This one seems to have been ripped from within the main character's sequence, and so must be another alternate. Devil Dinosaur is another invention of the 70's. He had his own title by Jack Kirby set in his own prehistoric era. Which is another alternate reality because it has dinosaurs coexisting with pre-humans. He has been brought into the modern Marvel reality several times, and has recently been living in the Savage Land. And he'll still be there in the Skaar: King of the Savage Land limited series published after this. The dinosaur in this issue is never actually called Devil Dinosaur, but the red colour is distinctive. Hopefully he's another alternate version, without his pal Moon-Boy, because he comes to an ignominious end here. This story also never gives names to the Next Avengers, nor who their Avenging parents are. I'll reveal the information contained in their DVD when I get to #6. The aged Iron Man was also in the Next Avengers film. As was an old Hulk. But I don't believe he was called Maestro, and didn't have Maestro's look. And his young white-haired female companion remains a mystery.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Protector has transported Captain America (Bucky), Iron Man and Wolverine to the future in the Central Park cave. Tony Stark has calculated that this time and place is the origin of the disruptions messing up spacetime. Looking out they see an enormous battle. Ultron is fighting more than one Kang, and loads of heroes are blasting loads of (probably) smaller Ultrons.

Back in our time Hawkeye, Maria Hill, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Thor have met Killraven and Devil Dinosaur. Closely followed by Martian Tripods from Killraven's alternate future. Devil Dinosaur is killed by a Tripod. Thor attacks the alien machines, while Maria Hill and the rest clear the area of civilians.

Killraven and Spider-Man remember meeting while Spidey was time-travelling. To Peter this was years ago. But Killraven says that only a few weeks later he was dragged through time. He met Devil Dinosaur in a prehistoric era, then they landed in the Civil War (the American CW not the Superhero CW, which Killraven probably doesn't know anything about). And now they're here.

The Avengers look out of a window and see armies of strangely-clad citizens fighting each other. Killraven has been unnerved by his experiences, and is now convinced that it's all an illusion caused by the Martians.

Thor takes a breather from destroying Tripods, and looks around. He sees New York in chaos, including zeppelins, biplanes, various monsters, and Sentry's Watchtower returned to the top of Avengers Tower. And most significantly Galactus setting up his world-destroying machine.

In the future Wolverine stops Cap from shooting Kang. Bucky thinks killing Kang will solve the time problems, but the others aren't sure. Iron Man reminds them that they're here to find their descendants, the Next Avengers.

But it's the Next Avengers who find them. Wolverine is taken out by a flying shield and a kick to the head. What looks like a nerve pinch downs Cap, and a sword settles for Protector. Something small flies into Iron Man's faceplate, and shocks him from within. The kids apologise to the prone forms, but say that Maestro told them it was necessary.

When they regain consciousness, Maestro, the future Hulk, greets them and also apologises. He says he sent Kang in #1 to tell them to come here. But it was at the suggestion of the future Iron Man, an aged Tony Stark in a very low-tech armour.

Suddenly Maestro grabs Iron Man, and the future Iron Man imprisons the other Avengers in a repulsor field. Maestro removes younger Tony's faceplate, and older Tony approaches him with a surgical implement ....


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> Avengers: Book info and issue index


Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes Chapter 6

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, Steve Rogers, Thor, Rick Jones, Hawkeye, Spider-Man and Namor reminisce about how the old order changethed in #16.

Wasp got shot in #13, which led to her and Giant-Man wanting to quit. Thor was off in Asgard for a long time, starting in Thor #114. Captain America and Rick were chasing Zemo in South America in #15-16. So Tony, Hank and Jan decided to disband.

But then Hawkeye applied for membership. And Iron Man got the idea of seeking replacement Avengers. They tried Namor, but he turned them down. Spider-Man says he thought about joining.



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::: click cover to ENLARGE it :::


John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Next Avengers, Protector (Noh-Varr).