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Avengers #30: Review

Jan 2020
Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness

Story Name:

Starbrand reborn Part 4: Nativity in the stars

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #30 Review by (February 7, 2020)
Francisco Manna helpps with both pencilling and inking. I'm guessing he inks his own pencils, and it's the last section after the birth.

So the space adventure is over and there's still 1 thing missing from the preview in Free Comic Book Day 2019: Avengers. She-Hulk never did wind up with the Starjammer Ch'od's pet Cr'reee draped around her shoulders.

The comment that Tony Stark is missing shouldn't be taken as reference to Tony running off to run the AI revolution in the Iron Man 2020 event. In *this* series Iron Man was taken back to 1 Million BC where we keep glimpsing him every now and then. And next issue promises to be all about him back then.
Who knows how these things should be arranged in Marvel chronology?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #30 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
For the last 3 issues most of the Avengers have been in the Shi'ar prison galaxy Ravenstarr trying to find the new bearer of the Starbrand and the Shi'ar Majestor Gladiator who went in before them. Last issue ended with all of them facing the very pregnant Earthwoman with the Brand and Gladiator about to kill her.

But this issue begins with Captain America (still in his Captain Corsair duds) and Captain Marvel (still with her Binary powers) telling Black Panther what happened. And they are standing before a hospital bed in Avengers Mountain HQ.

Then we go back to where we left off. The woman is using the Starbrand to keep Kallark away. Then Thor infected by a Brood alien drops in and attacks him and takes the fight away from her.

But I forgot to mention that 3 ex-Heralds of Galactus are also out to kill the Starbrand before it can get loose in the rest of the universe. 1 of them Terrax prepares to use his axe but CM/Binary/Carol Danvers stops him. The other 2 Heralds join them. Firelord is all for completing their mission but Silver Surfer draws the line at killing pregnant women. Then recovered Ghost Rider arrives in the Hell Charger car and drops off Black Widow in her borrowed War Machine armour and Blade wearing Boy-Thing as magic *wooden* armour. Captain Corsair and She-Hulk are also present courtesy of the Starjammer spacecraft, so the gang's all here. And it's War Widow's turn to shout "Avengers assemble".

They stand between the Heralds and Gladiator and the woman about to give birth. Cap says he'll stay with the mother-to-be and She-Hulk will stand guard over them. He tells the rest to go fight the foe, and they do. But the labour pains cause the Starbrand energy to flare up. Until Shulk with soothing words absorbs as much of it as she can while Steve Rogers prepares to attend to the birth.

Back in the present Panther tells the other 2 what the Agents of Wakanda have discovered about the woman, Suzanne Selby from Kansas. She was pregnant when Roxxon closed the factory that she (and her boyfriend?) worked at. Ex-SHIELD Agents (since SHIELD was disbanded (yet again) after the Secret Empire event) were ferrying people as illegal migrant workers to Shi'ar planets and the pair took the opportunity. But they got separated, and the workers were paid peanuts (or the alien equivalent thereof) so Suzanne had no way to get back to Earth. Eventually she was arrested by the Shi'ar. Relations between Earth and the Shi'ar have been broken since the last Phoenix incident (in the Avengers vs X-Men event) so there was no-one to prevent her being sentenced to 3 years in Ravenstarr. But on the way to the prison galaxy she suffered the 1st Starbrand eruption and escaped. Subsequent eruptions left burned worlds behind her.

Gladiator is a reluctant enemy. He tells Blade that he's sorry for the woman but the Starbrand must be stopped. Blade responds that *his* mother was killed (by a vampire) while he was being born, so he's not going to let that happen to someone else. Firelord is *not* so reluctant but Ghost Rider and War Widow hold him off. Natasha Romanoff suggests that maybe the 4 cosmically powerful males can't abide the thought of such power being given to a woman. Captain Binary and Terrax exchange blasts while Surfer evades Brood-Thor. But then Norrin Radd turns *his* blast on Terrax.

Then all the fighting stops as Suzanne Selby gives explosive birth. Steve cradles a baby girl in his arms. Jennifer Walters picks up the mother, and various Avengers try to restart her heart but they can't save her.

The Starbrand's radiation has diminished so Kallark is able to contact the Shi'ar fleet ready to obliterate the place, and he tells them to stand down and send medical help. He tells the Avengers to take the child out of Shi'ar space and then leaves.

The 3 Heralds agree to back down too, with varying degrees of good/bad grace. They suspect now they may have been called here to *witness* the birth rather than stop it, and they each give the child a gift. (OK, heavy symbolism alert!) Terrax gives her life, by *not* killing her. Firelord gives her time to prove herself worthy of life. Surfer gives her hope.

In the present we learn that Thor is recovering from his Broodness. Still no-one knows where Tony Stark has gone. They also can't find the baby's next of kin. So *they* are going to look after a baby who bears the mark of the Starbrand. And who knows what will be unleashed when she cries!

Ed McGuinness
Mark Morales
Jason Keith
Mico Suayan (Cover Penciler)
Mico Suayan (Cover Inker)
Rain Beredo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Eric Brooks)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Jennifer Walters)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)


Plus: Boy-Thing, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Gladiator (Kallark).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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