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Avengers #14: Review

Jun 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

The signal

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #14 Review by (June 23, 2013)
The cover is presumably supposed to represent 4 of the Avengers stomped by a giant foot (belonging to a 4-faced giant). But it doesn't actually happen inside. This is the 1st prelude to the Infinity event (apart from the Free Comic Book Day thing). Does the phrase multiversal fracture point refer to Earth as the site of incursions in New Avengers? Or possibly to the event at the end of Age of Ultron? Or are they connected? The portal from the Indian site to the Australian one looks rather like passing through the invisible wall around an incursion in New Avengers. But then it also looks like going through a Stargate (from the film/series). As everyone must know by now, Bruce Banner's been working for SHIELD since the start of the latest (Indestructible) Hulk series. AIM got hold of the 7th origin bomb in #4. I'm guessing Sunspot is supposed to have found out about that in #11. But he didn't. Superia has been seen as one of the heads of AIM in the Marvel NOW Secret Avengers series. It's likely she got there as a result of AIM's alliance with Norman Osborn in Avengers/New Avengers before Avengers vs X-Men.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #14 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page shows Ex Nihilo launching his origin bombs from Mars to Earth in #1-2 to make the Earth sentient. Each was programmed to create a different aspect of life. Starbrand and Nightmask destroyed the self-awareness site in Croatia in #9. The Avengers investigated the evolution site in #10, where Canada's Omega Flight went missing. And we saw the Avengers raising the children in the self-sustenance site in the Savage Land over the past 2 issue.

Now the strange inhabitants of the self-repair zone in India (looking like the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android, but bigger with a face on each side of his boxy head) have torn down a temple to build a stone design which looks not dissimilar to a pattern seen in the Canadian site. When it is finished they let out a shout that sends a light signal into the sky.

The insect inhabitants of the communication site in Australia have spun a colossal web structure which now shakes with a 'message in progress'. But both these sites are failing in their tasks. In both cases we are given the cryptic phrase 'world terminal', plus in this 2nd case 'multiversal fracture point'.

At the SHIELD Observation Station known as The Hub Bruce Banner is trying to investigate a signal which happens every 6 minutes, each time disrupting electrical systems worldwide. The Avengers are helping to deal with individual problems such a thing causes. But Captain America is with Banner hoping he can track the source so they can stop it. But unfortunately every time it happens his tracking systems are affected too.

Iron Man and Captain Marvel are dealing with a falling satellite. They intend to break it up and let the pieces burn up on re-entry. But 1st CM must remove the atomic core and throw it into the Sun.

At London's Heathrow Airport Smasher is holding a stricken passenger airliner aloft while Manifold teleports the passengers out. Then she dumps it in the sea because the runways are already full of planes. Spider-Woman is in air traffic control which has its system down. She is in touch with Falcon who is using birds to locate planes still in the air.

Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hyperion and Thor are in South Korea, too late to prevent a nuclear power plant from melting down. Captain Universe is with them as she transforms from her confused alter-ego Tamara Devoux. She is able to confine the fallout. She also makes one of her cryptic utterances which Hawkeye thinks indicates the signal is coming from one of the origin bomb sites.

Captain A gets this message and relays it to Banner, who concentrates his search on the 5 known sites (the self-awareness site is dead). He also puts a watch on Ex Nihilo's garden on Mars. And he looks at AIM Island because Sunspot had said there was something relevant there.

The loudest signal yet then occurs. The communication site is transmitting it, and this time it gets through to the other sites. Validator rejects the signal in the Canadian site. The Savage Land kids are unable to respond. There's no response from the Japanese reproduction site held by the Hand. But the 4-faced creatures in the Indian site accept the signal, and pass through a portal to the Australian site.

Banner has located the source of the signal in the Australian site. Manifold takes CA, Cannonball, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man, Sunspot and Wolverine there, then goes to fetch the team from South Korea (minus CU). The combined bunch battle the 4-faced giants and the large bugs.

Meanwhile Banner notices a spike in the energy readings from AIM Island. AIM noticed a small reaction from their captured 'pod' (created by the self-defence origin bomb) to the signal. They have recorded the signal and are playing it back to the alien pod on a repeating loop. Their boss Superia isn't too happy about that. And she's right because the pod starts to crack open.


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Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Frank Martin
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Inker)
Sunny Gho (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: A.I.M., Cannonball, Captain Universe (Tamara Devoux), Hand (The Hand), Hyperion, Manifold (Eden Fesi), Omega Flight, Shang-Chi, Smasher (Izzy Kane), Spider-Man (Otto Octavius), Superia, Validator.