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Avengers #10: Review

Apr 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

Validator

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #10 Review by (April 28, 2013)
Department H is an arm of the Canadian government that recruits super-powered agents. Alpha Flight has been their primary group, but they've also formed others such as this Omega Flight. Wolverine also used to work for them. Maestro is a future version of the Hulk 1st seen in the Hulk: Future Imperfect 2-issue series. Kymellians are an alien race mostly involved with Power Pack, but they have played their part on larger stages too. The system in Canada may be online, but Starbrand destroyed the self-awareness component in Croatia last issue.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the 'previously' page we see Ex Nihilo's 1st 2 origin bombs hitting Earth in #1, and Omega Flight going to investigate the one in Regina in Saskatchewan a month ago.

This Omega Flight was a set of new characters working for Canada's Department H. The female Validator fired hand blasts. Kingdom had eye-blasts, controlled some floating hi-tech balls, and seemed to generate multiple bodies (or more specifically possibly generated a new body whenever the old one got killed). Boxx seemed to be a robot, not necessarily related to the original Box. And there was a Wendigo, who may have been the same one from Alpha Strike in Alpha Flight v4.

The origin bomb was building a dome, which the team entered to find the population of Regina gone, or maybe transmuted into strange new inhabitants. After 2 hours the dome was complete, and Boxx and the Wendigo had been taken out. After 4 hours Kingdom ran out of bodies, and Validator used one of his tech-balls to send a message to the outside world:- don't come in, just destroy the place.

Since then Department H has tried everything to break into the dome, including teleporters, all to no avail. Now they have called in SHIELD, and Maria Hill has called in the Avengers. Captain America answers the call, bringing Falcon, Hulk (as Bruce Banner), Manifold, Smasher and Wolverine. Manifold says he can get them inside the dome. Dept H Agent Michaud insists on accompanying them.

Manifold is as good as his word. Inside the dome the Avengers find the city completely overrun with vegetation. They are greeted by little yellow beings who lead them to a glowing pool. And Validator rises out of it.

She speaks a builder code phrase (which if translated would give away the ending). Then there is blackness. Then she is whispering to Michaud. Then blackness again. Then the Avengers and Michaud are outside the dome.

Michaud and Cap seem to be agreeing that no-one should tell what they experienced inside the dome. But Michaud says he's got a video-only recording implant which Dept H is sure to access. So as SHIELD and Dept H come to pick them up, Michaud blows his own brains out. And we pull back to see that a pattern surrounds them in the dirt.

The Avengers only tell about the overgrown city and then leave. Maria Hill admits to her Dept H liaison Agent Porter that the Avengers and SHIELD don't currently have a good relationship. Dept H did manage to retrieve Michaud's implant, but it only showed the same thing (presumably nothing about the yellow men and definitely nothing about Validator).

But then Agent Porter reveals that technicians have found extra data in the implant that doesn't correspond to the short time the team were in the dome. Some of it has been inserted in old recordings, and some is date-stamped in the future. He plays Hill the extracted video.

It shows Validator rising out of the pool, which we now see has the same glowing pattern as we saw in the dirt afterwards. Significantly Ex Nihilo dubbed this the 'evolution' site last issue. And we see each Avenger undergoing some sort of evolution. Hulk becomes Maestro. Falcon's arm turns into a real wing. Cap just seems to change costume a couple of times. Smasher is bracketed by an earlier bearer of the title, and a possibly future Kymellian one. Wolverine and Manifold share a panel. At first sight they only appear to change their costumes. But then I noticed that future Manifold's hair and sideburns look more like Logan's. And both future versions have a similar stance.

Meanwhile Agent Michaud just appears to die and crumble to a skeleton. Then we see Validator whispering to him.

On board the Avengers quinjet Manifold and Smasher want to know why they're keeping it all secret from SHIELD. No-one actually explains. But Wolverine says that Michaud died to keep it secret because Validator was his daughter. (The Builder code phrase she greeted them with was "Hello Father".)

We are then party to what Validator whispered:- "Father, something amazing has happened here. It's happened to me. We've made something, and I'm supposed to protect it. It's bigger than any of us ever imagined, Father. The system is now online."


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Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Frank Martin
Dustin Weaver (Cover Penciler)
Dustin Weaver (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Manifold (Eden Fesi), Omega Flight, Smasher (Izzy Kane), Validator.