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Avengers #55: Review

Apr 2022
Jason Aaron, Javier Garron

Story Name:

Night of the Panther, dawn of the Hawk

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #55 Review by (April 22, 2022)
The issue begins with a tribute page to George Perez who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. It's a wordless reprint of his page from Avengers Finale with various Avengers (and Jarvis) raising a glass (or non-alcoholic bottle) in toast.

The Serpent Society dates back to Captain America #310, and most of their apps have been in his comics. Serpent Solutions was a post-Secret Wars invention in Captain America: Sam Wilson #4, but it was seemingly closed down in #6 and more recent apps haven't mentioned it. But here it is again.

The wide variety of Mephisto's includes 2 who look like DC's Mr Mxyzptlk and Klarion The Witch Boy.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #55 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The opening scene is Congressman Kyle Richmond driving west in his Nighthawk sports car through the Nevada desert at night, trying for as long as possible to avoid dawn. Actually 2 LMDs are in the front seats but he's worried that he can no longer afford to keep them in good repair. He has resigned in disillusion from Mephisto's Squadron Supreme since the Heroes Reborn event, and he's located and destroyed the secret Pentagon basement lab where the Squadron were grown in vats. He doesn't know how long his 'body' will last but he's using all the nights he has left as a vigilante punishing wrongdoers.

But his introspection is interrupted by the arrival of Black Panther in an Avengers plane. The 2 masked men face each other in the desert. T'Challa wants to know why Richmond resigned as US Ambassador to Wakanda, and asks him to reconsider. They will never share the same politics but he knows that Nighthawk isn't an unhinged fanatic like the rest of his team. And he thinks they have a common enemy in Mephisto. Panther explains that the altered Heroes Reborn world was a trial run and now the demon has set his sights on remaking the multiverse. He reveals that he has to quit the Avengers to deal with problems back home (in his own current series) so he's downloaded all his intel on the devil's recent activities to the Nightcave's computer. They both unmask and shake hands.

Our next scene is the skyscraper which houses amongst others the offices of Serpent Solutions, the semi-legit front for the Serpent Society. But then 2 men are attacked by the blood-drenched Cottonmouth in the name of the Great Red Serpent, and dragged into the Serpents' lair where Anaconda and Puff Adder have other victims. Soon we see that the whole Society have gathered a pile of bodies which they now offer up to their Lord.

Nighthawk's voiceover tells us that the villains have suddenly turned feral and he's come to investigate. He drops in on them and battle commences. Outside the core Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Thor) have also arrived and burst in. But NH isn't happy to see them and tells them to butt out. However he seems to have all the bad guys beaten or trussed up anyway. Iron Man checks that all the victims are beyond help.

Then a magic portal opens and a very large black dog paces through. Cottonmouth hails him as the Father Serpent but the good guys recognise him as Mephisto. He obligingly switches to his red 'human' guise, and through the portal the Avengers see the Iron Inquisitor and a multiverse of different Mephisto's. Mephisto-616 steps back through the portal and closes it. But as he does he threatens to raze all the Earths from here to Infinity's End and promises to see them again when the last Earth falls and the Great Red Flood begins.

The last scene is at Avengers HQ at the North Pole, the body of the dead Celestial which was heavily damaged in the last story arc. With no chairman now T'Challa has gone they're holding a democratic vote to accept Nighthawk as a new member. Ghost Rider is still missing (we know he's travelling the multiverse in the Avengers Forever series). (Nobody mentions that She-Hulk recently quit.) They've already added others:- the now-teen Starbrand (Brandy Selby), the new Phoenix (Maya Lopez), Sub-Mariner and Valkyrie. Blade (with the little (Man/)Boy-Thing on his shoulder) is visiting from his duties as Sheriff of Vampire Town. But they need all the hands they can get, so each for their own reasons everyone votes yes.

Nighthawk says he has some ideas on where to confront Mephisto, but they'll need a time machine. But we won't find out why now because the Avengers Alert goes off to inform them that the Serpent Society have escape police custody. The team exit to deal with it (which we may or may not see next issue).



Javier Garron
Javier Garron
David Curiel
Javier Garron (Cover Penciler)
Javier Garron (Cover Inker)
David Curiel (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Blade
Blade

(Eric Brooks)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Valkyrie
Valkyrie

(Jane Foster)

Plus: Boy-Thing, Iron Inquisitor, Nighthawk (of SSOA), Phoenix (Maya Lopez), Serpent Society, Starbrand (Brandy Selby).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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