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Avengers #4: Review

Jan 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Adam Kubert

Story Name:

The death and resurrection of major titans

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #4 Review by (February 3, 2013)
This Hyperion is not the same as any previous Hyperions. But, despite Hickman saying "He's not going to be our poor analogue for Superman", he still basically has Superman's powers, and he still got sent to Earth as a baby from a dying planet (like Hyperion from the Squadron Supreme [according to Squadron Supreme #1] and the Marvel MAX version, although the Squadron Supreme's Hyperion's origin was retconned in Quasar #16 to make him the last Eternal of their Earth [and Mark Gruenwald wrote both versions]). This being a different Hyperion from any others means his Squadron Supreme was different too. The name Marcus is similar to Mark Milton (Squadron Supreme), but Father is very different from anyone in any Hyperion timeline. The destruction of Hyperion's timeline is an obvious link to the current story in New Avengers. Hyperion trying to hold 2 Earths apart is of course reminiscent of Spectre keeping DC's Earth 1 and Earth 2 separate in Justice League of America #46-47. I don't recall Superman ever doing something similar. although he has been known to move the Earth (and I don't just mean when making love to Lois Lane). AIM here includes Dr Jema, previously seen in FF (2011) #1-9. Dr Deeds and Dr Tanaka are also mentioned, but are probably no-one we know. AIM's island state is Boca Caliente, which they took over way back in Iron Man #207-208.

This is the 1st of 3 issues focusing on the origins of the brand-new members of the Avengers, but continuing the story from the initial arc. This issue is built around the new Hyperion. I've sneaked this issue into the Iron Man Library because he's shown in 1 (new flashback) panel helping rescue Hyperion from AIM. Spider-Man isn't in this issue, maybe to avoid the question as to whether it's Peter Parker or Otto Octavius in the body. But his symbol's still on the board, so presumably we haven't reached the point where they'll kick him off the team yet. The members of the Savage Land team are highlighted on the Avengers diagram, as usual on page 2. This suggests my assignment of icons to players isn't completely wrong. In particular it proves that the 'target' icon belongs to Hawkeye (not Hulk), and confirm him as having a 'team' attached. Though we've not yet seen any of the core members actually leading their 'teams'.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue begins with the now usual 1-page mash-up of images from the preceding issues and words usually taken from other panels. The gist of the recap is that the aliens on Mars sent 'origin bombs' to various places on Earth. Each place was genetically evolved in different ways.

SHIELD has sealed 5 of the areas off, in Australia, Canada, Croatia, India and Japan. But they think there may have been a 6th bomb. All the zones appear to be almost lifeless. We hear that the criminal Hand have infiltrated the zone around Kobe in Japan, Canada has sent Omega Flight to investigate their area, and Australia won't let SHIELD into the Perth area because it is miffed about a previously-secret SHIELD facility there called Project: Perseus.

Captain America and Maria Hill are on a SHIELD helicarrier, with Falcon and Wolverine, communicating with Ms Marvel and Black Widow in Avengers Tower. Hawkeye, Hyperion, Spider-Woman and Thor are with the 2 women, and the group is trying to establish where the 6th bomb landed. Hyperion uses his superior intellect to massage a computer into tracking it to the Savage Land.

Scattered through the rest of the tale are sections of Hyperion's origin, which I will collect together here.

Hyperion comes from an alternate timeline. In it he was sent as a baby from his dying world, and his spacecraft wound up on the parallel Earth. He was given the name Marcus, and brought up by a man just called Father to be believe in Truth and Justice (and the Way of whatever country he was in).

Marcus had super-powers and became Hyperion. He joined other 'children' of Father in a super-team who turned their Earth into a marvellous place (and who looked like the Squadron Supreme).

The public Hyperion was an honoured and loved hero who followed Father's ideals. But he could see so much more than others. He could see electrons orbiting nuclei. He could see the individuals within society. This produced a cynical(?) inner Hyperion he kept hidden.

Came the day when the skies turned red and a 2nd Earth from another timeline appeared, threatening to collide with Hyperion's home. The other heroes died, and Hyperion was left trying to hold the worlds apart. But then the 2 timelines mutually destructed, and Hyperion was left alone in a void.

Until AIM extracted him to the main Marvel Earth. They held him prisoner for study. Until he was rescued by the Avengers, specifically Cap, Iron Man and Thor.

Now back to the plot.

The 6 Avengers in the Tower take a quinjet to the affected zone in the Savage Land. They detect no movement, but plenty of heartbeats.

Thor tries to bond with Hyperion by offering him some Asgardian booze. But Hyperion only consumes sunlight. And anyway he thinks alcohol is bad.

Hyperion's super-vision detects AIM at work 6 miles away. They inject one of their interns with a virus extracted from a zone cocoon, but he drops dead.

The Avengers turn up to investigate, in time to see tentacles burst from the intern's body and attack the AIM members. A lightning strike from Thor's hammer and a heat-blast from Hyperion's eyes destroy the attacker.

Hyperion sees a cocoon opening, giving birth to zebra-striped humanoid children. They speak the Builder machine code we saw last issue. But a bond forms between them and Hyperion.

The Avengers arrest the AIM troops, even though they have diplomatic immunity from AIM's island state. But one of them, Dr Jema, is obscurely pleased that the Avengers think this is the last 'origin bomb' site they have to worry about.

That's because AIM have found a 7th site in Norway, with a figure encased in ice.


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Adam Kubert
Adam Kubert
Frank D'Armata
Dustin Weaver (Cover Penciler)
Dustin Weaver (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (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)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: A.I.M., Hyperion (Marcus), Omega Flight.