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Avengers Assemble #2: Review

Apr 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Assemble #2 Review by (October 2, 2013)
We never find out what was inside the purple egg (nor why it was in an egg in the 1st place). One left-field possibility is that it's the egg Jean Grey wound up in in (New) X-Men #150. Gen'l Whedon called Avengers from convoy which the army denies exists. #5 will try to address this continuity glitch. The Ultimate Nullifier was introduced in the original Fantastic Four #50. It belonged to Galactus and he usually kept it. It has long been considered unique. But Cap refers to the one here as *an* Ultimate Nullifier, suggesting there are more than 1. In Age of Ultron Nick Fury will have 1 in his trophy cabinet. And in New Avengers (2013) #4 Mr Fantastic will talk casually about *a* Nullifier as well. The opening arc of this series has been deliberately designed to feature the cast of the Avengers film (including Maria Hill). Bendis did a good job of assembling the right people, but Cap's reason for keeping the other Avengers out is crap.

Next issue the cosmic benefactor will turn out to be Thanos, so his motives and promises are highly suspect. Alien interference in Earth's past was mainly by the Celestials, who created the Eternals, Deviants and the possibility of super-powered mutants, plus the Kree who created the Inhumans. Earth's current protectors include the Guardians of the Galaxy who will appear in #4. Also Noh-Varr, in the Avengers as Protector. His absence from the crowd scenes in this story arc is probably due to his ejection from the team during Avengers vs X-Men which was published alongside this story. This story probably happens before AvX, but maybe not, and Bendis probably didn't want to confuse things.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Assemble #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The sequence of opening shots starts with the galaxy and gradually narrows to the island of Curaçao. Over the top we hear a conversation between Cancer and the benefactor who gave Zodiac their powers. The being says that humanity's evolution has been skewed by alien interference, and even now some meddle by protecting Earth. He claims to want to restore the balance. Plus there are cosmic weapons on Earth that are too dangerous for us to have. He has empowered Zodiac to gather the weapons so that they can be taken away. Then Zodiac will be left to do what they want with their power.

On Curaçao Cancer and Aries interrupt an arms deal to retrieve a large purple egg-shaped object. They open the egg to take what's inside.

Meanwhile in Latveria Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Thor found Taurus buying another super-weapon last issue. The giant minotaur has just used Thor's body to destroy the jeep in which Clint and Natasha were escaping with the maguffin. A combo of iron fists and exploding arrow temporarily shuts down the bull-form revealing the man within. Then Iron Man chases the repowered Taurus off, until the villain turns round and knocks him out. Back at the jeep the other 3 open the container Taurus was after, and are shocked by what they see inside.

Widow had contacted Captain America, and we next see Tony Stark returning to consciousness in the SHIELD helicarrier. His 3 companions are there along with Cap, and also Hulk who had gone to Avengers Tower after his run-in with the water-being last issue. The minotaur had the zodiacal sign for Taurus on his chest, and Hulk brought a symbol from the water-being's costume which they recognise as the sign of Aquarius. This clues them in that they're facing (a version of) the criminal gang Zodiac.

Hulk hadn't been able to stop Aquarius from stealing something from an army convoy - a convoy which the army now denies existed. And the thing Taurus was after is an Ultimate Nullifier, which will wipe its target (and its user) from reality.

The helicarrier has been reduced to essential personnel only (none in the room with the Avengers). Cap decides to restrict knowledge of what's going on to the 6 here, so he won't call in the other Avengers.

Cap expects Zodiac to come after the Nullifier, so he tells Widow to find somewhere to hide it. But before she can leave the carrier is invaded by Aquarius, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Pisces and Virgo.

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 Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)


Plus: John King, Zodiac.

> Avengers Assemble: Book info and issue index

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