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Avengers Assemble #1: Review

Mar 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Assemble #1 Review by (October 2, 2013)
The cast list includes characters from all the Avengers teams. Cap, Hawkeye, IM, Red Hulk, Spider-Woman along with Thor and Vision from Avengers. Mockingbird, Ms Marvel, Spider-Man and Wolverine from New Avengers. Black Widow represents the Secret Avengers (and is really here so that the film team can be assembled). Black Panther must just be visiting. There is one anomaly in that in this issue Hawkeye and Mockingbird are shown as close, even though they split up before Fear Itself. Indeed Clint became romantically involved with Spider-Woman during that event, and here she stays well away from him. This issue and for most of the rest of this story Hulk seems to be the Banner-less version that we had before and immediately after FI. But #6 will suggest to me that Hulk and Banner are merged again. I'll discuss it further in that issue. The container in Latveria looks like the one broken open in the desert. But there is no other suggestion that they are related.

In #4 we will learn that Cancer is John King, associate of the Hood. None of the other Zodiac members are named in this storyline. There have been many Zodiac gangs (not counting replacements of individual members). The 2 main (and connected) ones, one human and the other android, spanned the 60's to the 80's. Since then the name has been used for short-lived groups that were mainly just punching-bags for various groups of heroes, starting with one in the First Sign crossover whose only connection with the zodiac seemed to be that it was led by someone calling himself Libra. The Avengers membership is shown as Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Ms Marvel, Red Hulk, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Thor, Vision, Wolverine The opening of the new Avengers Tower (the old one was destroyed in Fear Itself) puts this series near the start of Avengers vs X-Men, which is when this issue was published. Prior to that the Avengers were staying in Avengers Mansion with the New Avengers. Also, in the immediate run-up to AvX, Avengers #25 reintroduced Thor after his post-FI 'dead' period. (The Vision returned in Avengers #19.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Assemble #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A new Cancer assembles a new version of the criminal group Zodiac, claiming to have a source of power for them. Meanwhile the Avengers gather to announce the opening of the new Avengers Tower.

Hulk sees an army convoy in the desert attacked by a water being. He leaps in to help the army but of course they think he's in league with the bad guy. During the ensuing 3-way battle the villain briefly loses his water power, revealing the new Aquarius within. Eventually Aquarius makes off with something the convoy was transporting that he has ripped out of its container. Hulk leaves with an insignia that fell from the villain's suit, and Gen'l Whedon calls in the Avengers.

Black Widow and Hawkeye are investigating a supposed nuclear arms deal in Latveria which turns out to be for a single large container. They steal the truck carrying the device, pursued by a large minotaur who is the new Taurus. But they too have called in more Avengers, and Iron Man and Thor turn up. However the empowered minotaur is easily their match, and stops Clint and Natasha's escape by throwing Thor at their truck.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Mark Bagley
Danny Miki
Paul Mounts
Mark Bagley (Cover Penciler)
Danny Miki (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)


(James Howlett)

Plus: John King, Zodiac.

> Avengers Assemble: Book info and issue index

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