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Avengers #2: Review

Dec 2016
Mark Waid, Michael Del Mundo

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #2 Review by (December 13, 2016)
The figures on the cover are some of the previously-known versions of Kang, from the front:- Kang himself, Immortus, Scarlet Centurion, Iron Lad and a Rama-Tut. We have previously seen Immortus and 1 of the 2 Rama-Tuts as benevolent future versions of Kang, as is the Future-Kang here. But time-travel and previous stories have muddied the connections between these characters.

Sibyl was a term for various oracles in the ancient world. I don't think any of them were actually named Sibyl, not even the most famous to us at Delphi in Greece. But this is the 1 that the writer probably has Hercules referring to. The oracles were well known for giving obscurely-phrased prophecies that the recipient would take 1 way but that would turn out to be the opposite. But both readings could be supported by the prophecy itself.

The Greek and Roman pantheons are considered the same in the Marvel mythos. And Hercules is the Roman version of the Greek Heracles, so it isn't surprising that he uses the Roman name Minerva for the goddess more usually called Athena in Marvel.

The Priests of Pama in Vietnam 1st turned up in the Kang/Mantis/Celestial Madonna saga in Avengers, which is why Kang comments that their temple is a suitably obscure place for Vision to have chosen to hide baby Kang. They also figured in the Crossing crossover. But they are part of a pacifist Kree group scattered over many planets in the galaxy (or universe). As such some of them have made cosmic appearances such as in Avengers: Celestial Quest and Annihilation: Conquest.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers (Captain America (Sam Wilson), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor (Jane Foster), Vision and Wasp (Nadia Pym)) don't know where they are. Except Vision recognises the blank space as Limbo. Thor's hammer can open a portal between Limbo and Earth. But before she can try she is zapped by someone who claims to be a future Kang.

He warns them that if they leave they will die. Cap rallies his team to attack, but with a snap of his fingers Kang sends ectoplasmic beasts to subdue them as he explains what's going on. Last issue Kang-Prime and his earlier self Scarlet Centurion went back in time and killed them all as babies (and stop Vision being created). This caused a timewave which would have wiped the Avengers out of existence when it reached the present. But Future-Kang snatched them all into Limbo just before it hit. If they leave Limbo the timewave will get them.

He reminds them that all the versions of Kang are prevented from reaching the future by a timeblock. Kang-Prime has been deliberately creating paradoxes and splitting himself (though which causes which is unclear), hoping to thereby break the barrier. Future-Kang is 1 of these split-offs, but he is from a time when Kang has repented his evil ways and become good. And he wants to keep his fellows trapped.

The timeblock is caused by an anchor which holds the Kangs here. And that anchor is the baby Kang which Vision stole in ANAD Av #13. Which he hid somewhere, a place which he revealed last issue he had removed all memory of from his brain. He had stored that memory itself somewhere secret.

Future-Kang's memories are corrupted by the paradoxes. He remembers that Kang found out where the baby was hidden, but can't recall where it was. But he does remember something about an important artefact.

The other Avenger Hercules has not been affected by all this, and he left before his team vanished into Limbo. He went to get help from his friends.

1 such friend is Sybil Aquila, head of the Federal Reserve! After bulling his way into her office he greets her as Sibyl the ancient Greek Oracle. He claims to have deduced where she'd be - this is the perfect place for a revered authority who makes cryptic predictions which can be interpreted to suit your own ideology. But Sybil doesn't believe Herc is that clever, so he admits that he asked Minerva where she was.

Sybil tries to foresee when Kang will attack the Avengers. She sees him and Centurion but is hit by tempero-psychic (I made that up) feedback. But she can tell the demi-god that his teammates have been murdered as babies and no longer exist. Herc want to know why he hasn't been killed. Sybil offers him 2 possible explanations. Maybe Kang  thought he wasn't worth worrying about. Or maybe nobody knows when Hercules was actually born.

But she gives him her big necklace as protection from Kang. She says it will keep him and those near him from being removed from existence. And she give him a key card to her private jet, which he'll need to get somewhere fast.

'Somewhere' is Vietnam and the temple of the Priests of Pama. Kang-Prime and Scarlet Centurion are attacking, looking for the stolen child who will be Kang. Last issue the Kangs used time travel to see the object where Vision hid his memory. They stole it and its contents led them here.

The pacifist Priests are putting up a valiant fight when Hercules drops in. Prime tries to defeat Herc by removing centuries from his life, but the demi-god is effectively immortal. Centurion takes over beating Herc up while Prime finishes off the Priests. He deprives Hercules of his big guns, but only succeeds in smashing him into the chamber where the baby is lying.

Baby Kang is fascinated by the big pendant on Herc's big necklace. But as soon as he touches it Future-Kang remembers about it. And its protective property. So he and the Avengers return safely from Limbo as Hercules shields the child with his body. The team attack the 2 enemy Kangs. But Kang-Prime blasts Future-Kang causing him to split into more Kangs to attack the Avengers.

Vision realises they can't beat the Kangs this way. He takes the baby from Herc and gives it to Wasp. He has retrieved the cybernetic collar that Future-Kang wore and programmed it to go to the point from which he abducted the child. Nadia must return the child and thus undo what he has caused. As Centurion kills Spider-Man, Vision sends Wasp and baby into the timestream.

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


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