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Avengers #9: Review

Jan 2011
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #9 Review by (September 18, 2012)
Story 2:- Here this is the 3rd of 4 parts of Chapter 13, all covering the Kree/Skrull War, continuing from New Avengers #8. In the TP reprint this is the 1st of 2 parts of Chapter 15. H Warren Craddock and the Commission and his "list of 153 model citizens who are actually alien spies" is obviously a riff on Senator McCarthy. Carol Danvers was an Air Force security officer from Captain Marvel's own series (and #90). But now of course she is better known as Ms Marvel (now Captain Marvel herself). There are some interesting takes here on the testimonies to the Commission. Mr Fantastic admits he was economical with the truth about the Kree. I like his turn of phrase. "They weren't really looking for the truth. So I decided not to give them what they were not looking for." Thing apologises for describing Goliath and the others as "not really Avengers" (not like the Big 3). He now finds himself in the same situation. In #96 it was revealed that Rick Jones' vision was sent by the Kree Supreme Intelligence. #92 is heavily populated with disguised Skrulls. The 3 original Avengers are actually Skrulls, as is Craddock himself, which will be explained in the next section of the History. But also Carol Danvers here is really the Super-Skrull. Which is strange because she is quoted in the History as if it was she herself. Chapter 13 will be concluded in NAv#9.

The Hood flashbacks take place between his detainment in Avengers: The Initiative #35 and when he is discovered to have escaped in Avengers Academy #8. The first Hood flashback has him moved from the Raft Maximum Maximum Security prison to the Ryker's Island (just-)Maximum Security prison (as seen in AvAc#8). This isn't to explain any discrepancy between the above 2 issues, because AvIn#5 doesn't specify where he's going to be held. It is presumably to emphasis that without his mystic artefacts he's not really dangerous. The last Hood flashback has him bribing a guard to help him escape. This will lead to the situation in AvAc#8 where a substitute is serving time for him. Hood has lots of money stashed away from his previous criminal empire. Hood's hooded cloak is presumably not his old mystical one, which he lost in New Avengers #54. I guess he wears one now because it's his trademark. Madame Masque has been working with Hood since Civil War. They were revealed to be lovers during Dark Reign: The Hood. Of course Masque has had a long love/hate relationship with Tony Stark. And it was after becoming Hood's lover that she became involved with Stark again during Iron Man's World's Most Wanted arc. But she was back with Hood until they were both captured at the end of Siege. (That's why he comments that the free woman must have had a good lawyer. Probably provided by her father Count Nefaria.) She doesn't appear again in this story, nor has she been seen with Hood since then. But that's not unexpected because Hood is back in jail at the end of this arc. I think Masque continues to wear her mask, presumably as another trademark.

This is part 3 of 6 of the unnamed Infinity Gems arc. Last issue had Steve Rogers turn up with a large number of current Avengers. All those shown then are still here, but it appears there were even more of them. We still have a complete set of the Avengers team (except Captain America (Bucky) who's not in this story). Ms Marvel is now here, completing the New Avengers (apart from Jessica Jones who's taking a back seat these days). And 2 more of the not-so-Secret Avengers are around:- Beast and Moon Knight. The group still don't refer to themselves as Illuminati, and neither do anyone else. The name only seems to appear on covers like last issue, and in the title of their own 1-shot and mini-series. But noticeably some Avengers do still refer to Steve Rogers as Captain America. I don't remember Congress blaming Tony Stark for Dark Reign. Their logic seems suspect. They did put a lot of blame on Stark for Secret Invasion. And Norman Osborn's actions during the Invasion led to him being given power afterwards. But presumably Congress was involved in granting him that power. Is it Stark's fault they believed Osborn?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Iron Man left Avengers Tower suspiciously after learning that someone had attacked Red Hulk with an Infinity Gem or two. Steve Rogers and the assembled Avengers (and Red Hulk) have tracked him to the old site of the Inhumans' home Attilan in the Himalayas, and have found him with the rest of the Illuminati (a group they don't know about).

Steve is in charge of all US security forces, and he wants to know why the 6 (Dr Strange, Mr Fantastic, Iron Man, Medusa, Prof X and Sub-Mariner) are meeting behind his back. Iron Man takes him aside, and Steve accuses the group of banding together since he was put in charge. But Tony Stark blurts out that they have been meeting since the Kree/Skrull War.

Prof X mentally 'overhears', and the Illuminati decide to tell the rest of the Avengers their history. Including the fact that Black Bolt was a member, not Medusa, but now he's dead. And including the fact that they agreed to tell no-one about the group, because there was no-one that all of the group would agree to trust.

This obviously doesn't go down well in some areas. Thing is unhappy that Mr Fantastic didn't confide in him, but not half as upset as he thinks Reed's wife Invisible Woman will be. Luke Cage accuses Dr Strange of betraying the trust of the New Avengers.

Steve and Iron Man are continuing their argument. Steve reminds Tony that he kept Congress from holding Stark responsible for the actions of Norman Osborn. And in return Tony promised to be a good Avenger.

Iron Man has also told Steve how the Illuminati have been hiding the Infinity Gems, but now 2 of them have been stolen.

Thor breaks up their 'discussion', and declares that the important thing is to deal with the current problem. Steve agrees, but says Iron Man will be out of the Avengers afterwards. And if the Gems cause any harm, Stark will be held to account for it this time.

Dr Strange tells Steve their opponent already has the Power and Reality Gems, and there are 4 more:- Soul, Time, Space and Mind. Prof X adds that the more gems he has, the easier it will be for him to find the others, because they call to each other.

Wolverine accuses someone of letting the secret slip out. But that is purely to detect if anyone reacts. He declares them all clean. But Prof X points out that someone may have extracted the information from one of their minds.

Steve Rogers says that the priority is to find and protect the other Gems. Red Hulk says they should find them and use them against their foe. They have no other chance short of nuking him, and even that may not work. Lots of Avengers are won over by the idea, until Spider-Man makes his "with great power comes great responsibility" speech. He says they can't afford to use the Gems, they're too dangerous and seductive. Steve takes a practical middle course, get the Gems but don't use them unless absolutely necessary.

Now it only remains for the Illuminati to tell them where the other Gems are hidden.

The someone who attacked Rulk in #1 was the Hood. Scattered through the preceding scene are flashbacks where we see him in jail. He befriended a fellow inmate named Ertzia, imprisoned for an unspecified murder, who turned out to be an Inhuman. Ertzia showed him a red globe whose shape he controlled, and confided that he was a keeper of Black Bolt's secrets.

We recognise that globe as like the one that held the Reality Gem when Hood found it in #1 in the remains of Attilan. Presumably Ertzia told him all about it.

Now we see Hood meeting his lover Madame Masque. He uses the Reality Gem to take away Whitney Frost's scars, so she no longer has to wear a mask. The 2 Gems are now embedded in the palms of his hands (or maybe just his gloves).

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> Avengers: Book info and issue index

Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes Chapter 13 continued

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

This section of the History concentrates exclusively on #92.

The captured humans from #90-91 have reported how the Avengers saved them from the Kree, but also that Captain Marvel is a Kree. Senator H Warren Craddock heads an Alien Activities Commission to uncover alien spies. And popular opinion turns against the Avengers for harbouring Marvel.

While the Avengers testify to the Commission, Marvel's friend Carol Danvers takes him to a hideout. But during the hearing Rick Jones has a vision of Marvel and Carol in trouble, and dashes off to help them.

Back at the Mansion, the current Avengers (Goliath (Clint Barton), Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision) are disbanded by the returning Big 3 (Captain America, Iron Man and Thor).

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::: click cover to ENLARGE it :::

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Clint Barton)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(Ben Grimm)



(James Howlett)

Plus: Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Lockjaw, Protector (Noh-Varr), War Machine (James Rhodes), Whitney Frost.