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Avengers #1: Review

Nov 2016
Mark Waid, Michael Del Mundo

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #1 Review by (November 17, 2016)
Hoarfen is the son of the Fenris Wolf and a Frost Giantess who appeared previously in Hulk #422-423. There he proved impervious to Mjolnir.

Hercules has previously been known as irresponsible and spoiling for a fight. During Civil War II he was sidelined, but went off in the CWII: Gods Of War mini-series to continue the plotline from his own 2016 series. Now it seems he wants to be accepted as a serious hero.

Parker Industries was created back in the Superior Spider-Man days when Dr Octopus occupied Peter Parker's body. Peter continued as CEO when he got his body back. In the post-Secret Wars III era the company has gone global, overtaking a failing Stark International. And Parker has taken a leaf out of Tony Stark's old book by declaring Spidey to be his bodyguard.

Kang became Scarlet Centurion in Avengers Annual #2 after leaving ancient Egypt where he was Pharaoh Rama-Tut (for the 1st time) and meeting Dr Doom in Fantastic Four Annual #2. He span off an alternate timeline by corrupting the Avengers. It is considered that he came back to the main 616 timeline at the end of AvAn#2 to continue as Kang, but an alternate version remained as Scarlet Centurion but went to the Squadron Supreme's universe. The SC here is obviously the 1 from the main Kang's timeline.
Next issue promises to introduce even more of Kang's identities.

The issue ends with a preview of events to come in the next year of this title:-
A being welcomes the team to the end of time.
Someone (probably the Dr Doom Iron Man) says the team now work for *him*.
A being bursts out of a grave inscribed 'Here lies Avenger X, bravest of us all'.
The Avengers fight the Champions.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Asgardian giant frost-wolf Hoarfen has come to Earth (NY's Central Park) and the Avengers are having trouble dealing with it. Vision's not here to phase inside it. It isn't harmed by Thor (Jane Foster)'s hammer Mjolnir. The new Wasp (Nadia Pym) hasn't got enough Pym-particles to shrink something that big. Hercules is here too but his big gun doesn't faze it.

Wasp offers to go in small, but Captain America (Sam Wilson) has a plan. He throws his shield to Herc and tells him to brace himself. Then Thor throws Mjolnir to rebound off it. It doesn't hit Hoarfen so I presume it's the sound that knocks him out.

The team is at a low ebb. Iron Man is 'in rough shape' (his own titles suggest he's died in the so-far unpublished end of Civil War II, but maybe he's in a coma or something). Ms Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) have left to form the Champions. It seems Nadia has officially joined the Avengers. But now Cap invites Herc to join. The Greek demi-god accepts because it will help his current image problem.

Thor takes Hoarfen back to Asgard and then meets the others at ...

... Parker Industries in the Baxter Building where they have a meeting with CEO Peter Parker himself. With Tony Stark's money off the table PP offers to fund the Avengers himself. He also shows them a new quinjet, which he makes appear from stealth-invisibility. They can use the top 5 floors of the building for their HQ, and he introduces them to Ms Beachum their new Administrative Assistant.

Wasp hotly protests that no-one can replace Jarvis, and Parker quickly agrees. We see the butler tidying up the old airplane hanger that the Avengers have been using as a base since Stark lost a lot of his money (even before whatever happens to him in CWII). Even that is being closed down now.

But Nadia continues her rant because of Peter's association with Spider-Man (not Miles Morales) as his bodyguard (the team don't know that Peter is that SM). PP puts it down to the natural antipathy between spiders and wasps. (Nadia never had chance to interact with Miles - at least not as far as we saw.)

Parker says this was all Spidey's idea. He feels bad about his (minimal really, at least so far) part in CWII. This is his way of helping heal the wounds.

Sam isn't impressed with the little bird cage provided for Redwing. So Pete shows them the 360° view of the city through adamantium-laced glass. They can spot trouble wherever it occurs. Which Hercules immediately does. When the team rush off to investigate an explosion, Peter invents some work for Ms Beachum and changes to Spider-Man to follow them.

The cause of the disturbance is the timelord Kang attacking Vision and demanding to know where 'the child' is. Vision refuses to tell him. Kang threatens to take the synthezoid back in time to before the birth of the stars where he would have no source of solar power. But before he can do it he splits into 2 beings, and it hurts.

The other Avengers arrive and Cap recognises the newer guy as the Scarlet Centurion, 1 of Kang's earlier incarnations. They attack while their foes are disoriented. But each claim that the other is the Avengers' true enemy.

Spider-Man gets here and punches Centurion. Kang uses his time-jumping trick to pop out of existence and reappear behind the heroes to blast them in the back. Then he causes a diversion by aging a nearby building to dust, and the Avengers have to save the inhabitants.

Centurion grabs Vision and he too wants to know where the child is. Vizh refuses again and SC smashes his head on the floor. The 2 Kangs now join forces. Centurion extracts all the data out of V's brain, which surely must include the location they seek. But future Kang suddenly remembers what happens next as Vision stutteringly declares that he offloaded that information to a secure store and deleted it from his memory.

The Kangs go back into the timestream to cook up a new plan.

The Avengers take Vision back to the Baxter Building where scientist Nadia works on fixing him, including internal work at mini-size. So now they can ask him what's going on.

The android Avenger reminds those who were there at the time how they fought another split-off Kang (Mr Gryphon in ANAD Av #1-6) who told them that there was a barrier in the timestream preventing the Kangs from travelling very far into the future. But apparently it also enables them to do the splits, and to tamper with time more delicately than before (without creating alternate timelines?).

Vision also admits that he himself started the latest war with Kang. After the timelord used him as a weapon (ANADA#9) Vizh did something do stop the villain once and for all (although it obviously hasn't worked). In ANADA#13 he used a time machine himself to kidnap baby Kang and hide him somewhere/when. A mysterious being told him the best place to hide the baby (but we don't know where that is). And as he told Kang, he has hidden that information somewhere else.

But Kang and Scarlet Centurion follow Vision back down his timeline and see him downloading data into a crystal. Which they steal at a later time. They look in it and discover where the baby is. But before retrieving the child they will punish the Avengers for this.

Meanwhile Cap invites Spider-Man into the team (after demonstrating some of the powers of his falcon Redwing). Hercules leaves to get help from some friends. And Sam Wilson has a premonition.

But the Kangs travel across the past killing Peter Parker, Jane Foster, Nadia Pym and Sam Wilson at birth, and stopping Ultron from creating the Vision.

Michael Del Mundo
Michael Del Mundo
Michael Del Mundo
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Peter Parker)

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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