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Avengers #7: Review

Nov 2010
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #7 Review by (September 11, 2012)
2nd story:- This is Chapter 11 of the Oral History. The preceding entry in New Avengers #6 was misnamed Ch12, and the following NAv#7 will erroneously say Ch14. But the contents are in the right order. Captain America says he thinks he first met T'Challa on a recon mission in Africa, but he's not sure. This probably reflects the existence of 3 different stories of first meetings with a Black Panther. Tales of Suspense #97 told how T'Challa the Black Panther called Cap to Wakanda to help with a problem with (apparently) Baron Zemo. Black Panther (1998) #30 claimed that Cap met T'Challa's father T'Chaka, also a Black Panther, while on an African recon mission in WWII (but it didn't show Cap meeting young T'Challa). This tale was expanded in the 4-issue Flags of our Fathers where Cap *did* meet the Black Panther's son. But this time Black Panther was T'Challa's grandfather (to fit with the widening gap between WWII and the present), and the young prince was T'Chaka. Cap is right to be confused. It was always something of a mystery why T'Challa would abandon leading his people to become an Avenger (even taking on a secret identity as a schoolteacher). Panther here says it was to represent is kingdom to the outside world. But in #8 of BP(1998) he admitted that he had considered the Avengers a potential threat to Wakanda, and joined to spy on them! Hank Pym says he had suppressed his memory of creating Ultron until the presence of Vision helped him come to terms with it. But in #58 it was established that Ultron hypnotised him into forgetting.

In true Marvel tradition the characters Wonder Man mourns aren't all as dead as he thinks. Jack of Hearts died in Avengers v3 #76, but Scarlet Witch temporarily recreated him during Avengers Disassembled, and he will genuinely be brought back to life in Marvel Zombies Supreme. Ant-Man died in Avengers Disassembled, but will be saved in Avengers: The Children's Crusade. Scarlet Witch herself has been missing presumed dead since House of M, but Children's Crusade will bring her back too, (Recent sightings in Mighty Avengers were Loki in disguise, and the Crusade will cast into doubt times when Hawkeye and Beast separately (more than) found her.) Wasp died at the end of Secret Invasion, and is the only one still dead (do far). Reed's secret room might be a trophy room, a la the Batcave. But the only thing I recognise is a broken Galactus helmet, and maybe the head of a Doombot Hood likens learning to use the Infinity Gems to learning to use the Asgardian Norn Stones, which Loki gave him during Dark Reign. Noh Varr met Annie in Dark Avengers Annual #1, and they were together in Ms Marvel #50. Captain America (Bucky) presumably isn't here because he's undergoing the Trial of Captain America in his own book.

The 1st Infinity Gem we ever saw was the green Soul Gem given by High Evolutionary to Adam Warlock in Marvel Premiere #1. The existence of 5 other 'soul gems' was revealed in Marvel Team-Up #55, where Stranger had one (later identified as the yellow Reality Gem) and Gardener had another (orange Time Gem). Soon Thanos initiated his long involvement with all 6 gems in Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2. The Elders of the Universe (including Gardener) gained possession of the gems within Silver Surfer vol 3, except Warlock's Soul Gem which went to the In-Betweener. However Thanos got hold of them again in the 2-issue Thanos Quest. He renamed them the Infinity Gems. It was here that we learnt their individual names and powers. After more adventures, in New Avengers: Illuminati #2 Mr Fantastic persuaded the Illuminati to help him collect all the gems. He then split the set between the group's members, telling them to hide them without telling each other where. The disposition shown then doesn't match the ownership in this current story. But I'll return to that subject next issue. The Infinity Gems made 1 more appearance between Illuminati #2 and now, in the Lockjaw & the Pet Avengers mini-series. There Mr Fantastic was searching for the gems and the animals found them for him. I don't know how canonical this story is supposed to be, but it sounds like an alternate version of Illuminati #2. The Reality Gem basically grants wishes, so I'm not sure why you'd need the other 5. The Power Gem gives you physical strength and invincibility, and I understand can emulate any physical superpower. It also boosts the other gems.

This is the 2nd Avengers arc between Dark Reign/Siege and Fear Itself. The 1st arc has been given the title Next Avengers taken from its 1st episode (the only issue of this series to *have* a title). This arc doesn't have a handy name. But as the 1st arc concerned Kang and time travel (and Ultron and the Avengers' future children and ...), this one is equally cosmic and features the Infinity Gems. The Hood started out in his own limited series, and has used various mystical objects in his career. he worked his way up from a low-level criminal to being the leader of a large gang of crooks and super-villains. During Dark Reign they worked for Norman Osborn, but he was imprisoned at the end without any power-objects. In Avengers Academy #8 we will learn that Parker Robbins got free, after arranging for a substitute to take his place in jail. Hood swore vengeance on the Avengers, and was determined to get some replacement powers. He bought an advanced weapon from Hydra, which he uses here to kill his guides and break open the red sphere housing the Reality Gem. In #9 we will learn how he knew about the Gems, or at least the Attilan one. Hood seems surprised to find no city. In #9 he will be told that the Inhumans have left Earth, but maybe not that they took the city with them. But next issue I will reveal a major chronological problem surrounding Black Bolt hiding his Gem under Attilan.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Hood has hired guides to take him to the site where the Inhumans' city of Attilan once stood in the Himalayas. All that is left is underground rooms. Now that they've reached their destination, he kills them, despite not knowing how to get home.

Hood produces a device containing a holographic map of the city, and heads for the house of the ruling family. A tracking device allows him to home in on an unknown power source. He breaks through a wall and finds a red sphere stored behind it.

After several attempts Hood manages to crack the sphere open. And inside is a yellow gem. Hood declares that it is an Infinity Gem. And yellow means it is the Reality Gem. He clutches it tight and vanishes away ...

Wonder Man is having trouble maintaining his ionic form. Iron Man and Thor drop in to discuss why he has turned against the Avengers. Simon Williams repeats that he thinks they are doing more harm than good. He told Steve Rogers in #1 that he wanted the Avengers to disband. And in #2 he tried to force them to cease (until his ionic body betrayed him).

Tony Stark tries to point out that in #2 Wonder Man destroyed a time machine with which they were going to save the world. Simon retorts that "it's always something" and anyway the world's still here. Now we find the real underlying reason for his revolt. He's mourning for Scarlet Witch, Wasp, Ant-Man and Jack of Hearts, and he wants the Avengers to stop before they kill any more of their own.

Wonder Man vanishes. Thor muses that there are always casualties of war. But he and Iron Man both miss Janet van Dyne.

The scene now switches to the Baxter Building. Hood is there using the Reality Gem to keep the alarms from going off, and to keep Mr Fantastic asleep in his chair. But then Thing turns up unexpectedly. Hood turns the floor beneath him to water, and all the floors below that, sending Ben Grimm to the basement.

Hood uses the respite to break in to a secret room of Reed Richards'. Inside he finds, amongst other things, a pocket universe holding an Infinity Gem. He uses the Reality Gem to bring the new gem to him. It is red, the Gem of Power.

Hood now uses the gems to take him away from the Baxter Building, but wonders why they take him to a desert. Then Red Hulk turns up. Hood attacks him (in a double page spread) figuring the Power Gem has set up a test scenario.

Meanwhile in Avengers Tower the main team are assembled for a buffet meal. Jarvis is there serving up the food, but Captain America (Bucky Barnes) is conspicuous by his absence. (Maria Hill isn't around either.) Protector arrives to introduce his girlfriend Annie. But the festivities are interrupted when a beaten Red Hulk crashes through a window, mouthing the word "Infinity".

Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes Chapter 11

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

This chapter covers T'Challa the Black Panther joining the team in #52, the creation of the robot Ultron (first seen in #54-55, origin in #58) and the introduction of the android Vision in #57-58.

Among the comments on Panther is Luke Cage pointing out that T'Challa was the first black Marvel superhero, an inspiration to others like himself.

Ultron was created by Henry Pym (Goliath, etc) and was probably the 1st artificial intelligence created by a human in the modern Marvel age. Unfortunately Ultron turned on his creator, and by extension the Avengers, and then the whole human race. Hank has to live with guilt over everything Ultron does.

One thing Ultron did that Pym needn't feel guilty about was create Vision. Vision was created as an enemy of the Avengers, but immediately switched sides.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(Ben Grimm)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Protector (Noh-Varr).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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