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Avengers #12: Review

May 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

Evolve

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #12 Review by (May 26, 2013)
In Thor #582 Odin enhanced the previous story of the dwarvish creation of Mjolnir by saying it was forged in the heart of the Sun (coincidentally killing off the dinosaurs and giving mankind a kickstart). The single-issue Trial Of Thor showed that Thor can go without food or sleep for months, but there has never been a suggestion that he doesn't *need* these things. Similarly he has also been shown operating in space and underwater, but I think this just means he can hold his breath for a long time. On the other hand maybe he only eats and drinks (a lot) because he likes doing it? The fact that the Otto Octavius Spider-Man got thrown out of the Avengers in Superior Spider-Man #7 and that SM hasn't been in the last 3 issues suggests that maybe the later part of this issue is also set in the recent past. 600 years ago a sailor drank a potion in the Savage Land which made him immortal but gradually turned him to living stone as an embodiment of the sun god Garokk. We 1st met him in the Ka-Zar story in Astonishing Tales (1970) #2. Since then he's died and been revived several times. His most relevant exploit for here was in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12 where he was inside the armour of Terminus (who'll turn up next issue) when it destroyed the Savage Land. The High Evolutionary used Garokk's life force to recreate the Land, resulting in one of his deaths. High Evolutionary has been around for even longer, dating back to Thor #134 in 1966. Originally he was concerned with evolving animals into sentience. But since then his concerns have been wider-ranging, including evolving himself into a non-corporeal being for a while. Thor's worrying presumably presages the upcoming Infinity event, which is also presumably the war predicted in #1 to follow the White Event of #7, and possibly also the following fall predicted there too.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #12 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page shows Ex Nihilo explaining that each of his origin bombs was designed around a specific trait of life. The one in the Savage Land embodied self-sustenance. It generated zebra-striped humanoid children who fixated on Hyperion as their father-figure in #4.

We start off with a scene which the time-reference indicates is at least before #10.

The Avengers have set up a base to study the children. Thor is musing how recent events (Ex Nihilo's universe-wide mission to create or destroy life, another Builder system generating Starbrand, and I would add the presence of Captain Universe) have shown the Earth mortals how insignificant they are. He is interrupted by a suit of Iron Man armour. Tony Stark is operating it by hyperspatial telepresence while he's off in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Stark tells Thor some of the things he's documented about the children. They've only been alive for 2 weeks and they're already the equivalent of 7 year-olds. They don't sleep, neither do they eat or breathe or take in energy in any other way. He suggests that they may be similar to Thor.

Hyperion joins them and they agree that the children need teaching values. If they are truly self-sufficient then they will have no natural reason to learn the virtues of society. Hyperion is driven by having witnessed the destruction of his own Earth (as seen in #4) to do whatever he can to make things better in this Earth.

Now Hyperion is showing Iron Man the training program. He has given individual groups of the children to specific Avengers to teach them different things. He hopes that the children will then share this knowledge with other groups, and that the desire for this knowledge will help them learn about wants and needs, and the value of society.

Spider-Man is supposed to be teaching his group about trust. But being secretly the Otto Octavius version he is actually teaching not to trust.

Thor wants to teach his bunch to do great deeds for glory rather than for gain, and for the sake of others. He marks a rock and hurls it to the top of a mountain. He splits his group into 3 teams of 3 and sends them to retrieve the rock. He promises to look with favour on the worthy.

Meanwhile Hawkeye and Spider-Woman have been tasked with teaching their group accountability. Clint figured that having he and Jessica put sunscreen on each other's backs was a good-enough demonstration. Now the duo are sun-bathing while the kids play.

Garokk the Petrified Man stands next to Thor's rock. It has landed on the mountain that contains the tomb he guards. He's happy to let the children swarm over his mountain. But he's distinctly unhappy about the large craft which has just landed and is disgorging monsters.

Thor is chatting with Hyperion and doesn't seem to be keeping an eye on his wards. They are both long-lived with powers beyond most of their fellow heroes. Hyperion has seen his world destroyed and Thor has been through Ragnarok and 'death'. But Thor fears what he senses is approaching.

Meanwhile 1 team of 3 got ahead by riding a stegosaurus and now they are nearing the rock. Conveniently for us they each have a different colour loin cloth. Blue is in the lead, but behind him green accidentally(?) dislodges a stone which causes red to fall a short way and hang precariously by his fingers. Blue goes back and helps red, letting green win.

All the children bring the rock back, with green loin cloth the triumphant winner. But Thor declares blue the worthy winner. Green can't understand why.

No-one actually tells green why blue 'beat' him. But Captain Universe points out to them that they are unlike the other creatures on Earth in that they have no external needs. So how will they fit in the 'ecosystem'? Hyperion proposes that their purpose, having no needs, is to give to those that do need. Spider-Man pooh-pooh's that - raise them to be messiahs and they'll end up martyrs. They may not need to prey on others, but predators can still prey on them.

As if to underscore his message they are attacked by one of the creatures from the ship - a saber-tooth cat with the horns and bony frill of a triceratops. Hawkeye kills it with a single arrow (saying accountability means being there when it counts). As the Avengers study the strange body, Spider-Man alerts them to the fact that winged monsters are flying off with some of the children.

They kids are taken to the ship and greeted by the High Evolutionary.


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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: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Captain Universe (Tamara Devoux), Garokk, Hyperion (Marcus), Spider-Man (Otto Octavius).