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Avengers #5: Review

Mar 2017
Mark Waid, Michael Del Mundo

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #5 Review by (March 11, 2017)
Future Vision is the being at the end of time who was the 1st entry in #1's look-ahead to the coming year of this comic.

The current Avengers include 4 characters (Cap, Spidey, Thor and Wasp) who currently share their super-ids with other characters. Now Vizh has (temporarily at least) joined that club with future-Vision. Hercules is the only stand-alone hero left!
And then we get duplicates from the past!

When exactly does the original team come from? Hulk is a member so it must be between Av#1 and #2 because he quits at the end of #2. #1½ has been later inserted between them during which Henry Pym shows them his transformation from Ant-Man to Giant-Man, so the the team must be plucked from between #1½ and #2. But none of this is possible because in all 3 of those issues Iron Man is in his bulky yellow armour. He doesn't make an Avengers appearance in the slim red & gold until #3 after Hulk has gone.
Sam-Cap says "Avengers Assemble" and Vision tells him he's just he's just given the original team their catch phrase. Possibly true because they aren't recorded using it until #10.
Hulk went through lots of changes in eg colour and intelligence in his very early period. At this stage he was reasonably intelligent, which continues through his strip in Tales To Astonish. The childlike "Hulk smash" version doesn't surface until sometime in his own restarted series.

There's also a problem finding an Avengers with *exactly* the lineup of the 2nd team from the past. It is obviously meant to be from somewhen in 1985-88. Black Knight and Captain Marvel were there basically the whole time. Captain America left after #285 and Annual #16 to become the Captain. Sub-Mariner did 2 stints #262-272 and #282-293. She-Hulk just did #278-297. So the overlap is #282-285 + WCA An#2/Av An#16. But to use the position we have to ignore the fact that Dr Druid and Thor were also on the team at this time.
I'm going to say the Avengers *were* taken from this period, and Druid and Thor just happened not to be there. #282-285 is 1 long story with Namor rejoining during #282. So I place this time-jaunt between that tale and the Annuals crossover.

Note that the Avengers here aren't *exactly* the same set as last issue in 2 ways. 1st they forgot to include Jan-Wasp in the original Avengers. 2nd they *did* include another Thor from the 80's. This would have made things even more interesting.
Also that Thor is wearing the Simonson armour. And coincidentally (or not?) he was still wearing that in Av#282-285 but had abandoned it by the time of the Annuals.

Young science-whiz Wasp (Nadia Pym) asks why simultaneity matters, and is satisfied by an irrelevant answer from future-Vision. I would have expected something along the lines of ensuring that Kang didn't get any early warning to enable him to react. It doesn't make an scientific sense (to our 21st century science) but it would make comics-sense and corresponds to what happened last issue.
But that would be simultaneity from Kang's point-of-view which, given the team have a time machine, surely doesn't have to mean simultaneity from *their* POV. The same team could have attacked all the places in whatever way would be simultaneous for the tether, instead of needing to recruit extras.
But then nearly everything about superhero comics is scientific nonsense anyway so I should just stop quibbling. And the multiple versions of the team from different times makes the story more interesting.

Last issue Kang mentioned the future tech he was storing in pyramids in Ancient Egypt. (2948 BC ties in with the reign of Rama Tut I.) He didn't mention 73rd Century time-mining. And the 41st Century is where he wound up after Egypt and 1st became Kang the Conqueror. And from there menaced the Avengers - his pose on the last page is a copy of 1 in the 1st app of 'Kang' in #8 of the original series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Issue #3 ended with Captain America (Sam Wilson) telling the Avengers he had a plan to deal with Kang the Conqueror for good. Last issue we saw the result of that plan as Kang's time-spanning empire disintegrated and a medley of Avengers from various times came knocking at his door. Now this issue and next will show us what the plan involved.

We return to the end of #3 and Vision produces something he calls a time tether which connects the present with the heat-death of the universe, saying it will help with the plan. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) thinks this is beyond current science and queries if he built it himself. Another Vision-voice answers "Yes, but not for several centuries." as a figure phases through a wall into the room.

This is Vision of the far-future, an android who has survived by a long series of upgrades and replacement parts. He remembered Cap's suggested plan at this meeting and has come back to improve it.

He shows them Kang's fortress at the end of time, where the other end of the time tether is located. The tether is a quantum string stretching from now to then, and to it all these times are the same. Future-Vision gives the team time bombs to use in their attacks. He says if the attacks occur simultaneously relative to the tether then the energies would magnify and destroy Kang's citadel.

Thor (Jane Foster) says they're going to have to divide the team. And Cap suggests they need a bigger team - and they'll use time travel to get them.

The Avengers meeting room is in the Parker Industries Building (but the team don't know Spidey is PP). Current-Vision takes them down to the sub-basement where he found a time machine (see ANAD Av #13) which SM(PP) knew nothing about! It's a holdover from when this was the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building HQ. Future-V says he can travel in time at will but the Avengers will need the time machine.

While f-V is setting things up Cap whispers to current-V to ask if they should trust him. C-V says he met f-V in ANADA#13 when he used the time machine in another attempt to 'deal with' Kang. (So that's who the mystery 'living shadow' was in that issue.) Earlier today he revealed his identity to c-V and they 'melded minds' so c-V knows f-V speaks true.

Cap sends Spidey and fem-Thor to recruit the original Avengers (Giant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, male-Thor and Wasp (Jan van Dyne)). Then he and fem-Thor (again) pick up a later version (Black Knight, Cap (Steve Rogers), Captain Marvel, She-Hulk and Sub-Mariner). Then Sam-Cap assigns teams. The Visions will be together - they appear to remain behind to monitor the situation. Sam-Cap will take Black Knight, Hercules, Hulk, and Spidey, Jane-Thor has CM, GM, original Thor and original Wasp. Nadia Pym/Wasp has Steve-Cap, IM, Namor and Shulk.

Sam-Cap's team go to Egypt in 2948 BC where Kang has an army of slaves building weapons and stuff. They face ancient warriors with futuristic guns. During the fight Hulk asks why Spidey talks to him as if he's an idiot. After defeating their foes the Avengers find the power source - a fusion reactor - and plant the time bomb on it. But more Egyptians fire a heat ray at them ....

Jane-Thor's team are on planet Sacniaa in 7215 AD. Original Thor is mystified that the female Asgardian has his Mjolnir. Jane's reply is "Spoilers". The scenery is a desolate waste of ash but CM and the Thors give Jan-Wasp and GM a lift to a still-green place where some aliens are at work. Wasp pretends they have come from Kang for a progress report. They are mining time - chronal energy - ageing stuff to death, hence the ash. But they also steal future time from things like a nearby colony of apes - who will now not evolve into an intelligent race. The Avengers start wrecking the project, including freeing the apes' future. But an alien starts to steal the future of GM&W, which Jan says will negate the future of the Avengers. On cue CM and Jane-Thor start to disappear, but for some reason so also does original Thor ....

In North America in 4022 AD Nadia-Wasp's team have been captured. Steve-Cap is being tortured for information but won't tell them anything. Guards take him back to the Avengers' cell and take Wasp away. The team have another problem - they can't risk changing history by doing anything to the Kang who is in this time. Nadia is taken to face him ....

Needless to say, to be continued.

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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