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Avengers #32: Review

Mar 2020
Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness

Story Name:

Earth's mightiest villains

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #32 Review by (March 20, 2020)
Namor was of course 1 of the 5 mutants who shared the Phoenix Force in the Avengers Vs X-Men event. His invoking the Phoenix here suggests we are going to see 1 of time-travelling Tony Stark's visions in last issue come true in this series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #32 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue surveys what's going on in this series.

It opens with a flashback to the rejoicing when Sub-Mariner was crowned King of Atlantis. The oceans were blooming in those days. But now the oceans are dying from pollution, oil specifically mentioned here. And we see Namor fighting cybernetically-enhanced drug-maddened dolphins sent by the Roxxon Energy Corporation. There is also mention of incursions by undersea barbarians and Lemurians.

Later Namor is drowning his worries in Davy Jones Saloon in the Marianas Trench. He complains to the barman that his Defenders Of The Deep (we see Echidna and Tiger Shark) want war with the surface world, and perhaps he shouldn't restrain them. The barkeep agrees but suggests he should attack the surface world's defenders the Avengers, especially now they are led by Atlantis' enemy Black Panther. The King doesn't want to unleash the savagery of his Defenders, but fears without them his forces are too weak. So the barman suggests an alliance with the Kingdom of Vampires ...

... and that is where our focus shifts to Dracula's recently-acquired realm in Chernobyl. Rat Bomber and Snowsnake of the Legion Of The Unliving are driving away vampires who wish to join the kingdom. But some remain kneeling at the entrance. Rat Bomber warns them that the Sun will soon rise and burn them.

Dracula watches from up above with Baroness Blood. He only wants the strong in his army. Those who fled for safety in the surrounding woods will be hunted down by Rat Bomber's grenade-wearing suicide rats. He waits until the supplicants start to smoulder and then the Bomber lets them in. The superstrong Carpathian brings them a bus full of humans to feast on.

Baroness Blood is still worried that with Blade the Dhampir vampire-slayer among the Avengers that team will still defeat them. She suggests they ally themselves with some other enemies of the super-team. We don't know who she means but it might be ...

... the Russian Winter Guard who return to their Mansion in Moscow from a mission:- Red Widow leading Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Ursa Major and Vanguard. Their butler welcomes them and also suggests they ally themselves against the Avengers with Namor or Dracula. Red Widow stabs him through the chest for his effrontery. She also suspects him of being an agent for someone else, and calls on the android Vostok to take him to the Red Room to have information mined from his brain. Then she retires to her room which has blades buried in all the walls.

In Avengers Mountain HQ (otherwise known as the body of a dead Celestial at the North Pole) Black Widow is trying to persuade Blade (with Boy-Thing on his shoulder) not to quit the team. She says she knows the monster-killer feels he doesn't belong with the shiny heroes. She felt the same way when she stopped being a Russian spy and allied herself with them. Blade points out that *she*'s about to leave too, but she replies that she never leaves for long. Eric Brooks counters that he's needed in the dark places below, but she says that from the Celestial you can watch *everywhere*. Blade senses that Boy-Thing agrees with her and grudgingly stays as Natasha Romanoff drives off.

Thor and Tony Stark are standing over the baby Starbrand in her cradle. Tony has only recently (last issue) returned from 1M BC and is still catching up on what's happened while he was away. Thor has to assure Tony that the baby isn't *his*. The Asgardian All-Father is still recovering from being infected by a Brood while they were in space looking for Starbrand. He feels guilty about not saving the mother, and so will guard the child with his life. Tony doesn't want to tell him what happened in the deep past.

In Washington Director Phil Coulson is on the phone to his boss expressing his lack of belief that Namor, Dracula and the Winter Guard would ever work together, and his Squadron Supreme Of America wouldn't consider joining them. But his boss reminds him who *really* is in charge of the Squadron, and Coulson agrees that he wouldn't like to return to being dead. And he goes out to meet the public with the Squad.

We then see the other end of that conversation and it's Mephisto in his 'prison cell' in Las Vegas. After he's put the (landline) phone down he gloats that Namor, Dracula and the Winter Guard are *already* working together. And we see that the barman, Baroness Blood and the butler are all working for *him*.

But possibly things aren't going *completely* to Mephisto's plan, because we see that Namor has rejected the idea of allying with vampires or Russians. Instead he's called out to an old associate, the Phoenix Force.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Eric Brooks)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Phil Coulson
Phil Coulson



Plus: Baroness Blood (Lily Cromwell), Boy-Thing, Red Widow, Squadron Supreme of America, Winter Guard.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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