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Avengers Assemble #8: Review

Oct 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Assemble #8 Review by (October 22, 2013)
Iron Man does indeed venture into space in the same month as this issue, at the end of the last issue of Matt Fraction's IM series #527. However Kieron Gillen has him still on Earth for the 1st 5 issues of IM's next series, only leaving for space at the end of #5. Guardians of the Galaxy #1 then has IM joining them just as he's leaving Earth. This probably represents some editorial mix-up, possibly involving delays to GoG. But in IM#5 I proposed that the drawn-out #527 be spread over the early issues of the next series. The mix-up may also explain why Star-Lord learns about the quarantine of Earth by a galactic council (and informs Iron Man) twice, in #5 of this series and in #1 of GoG. Also in GoG the Asgardian All-Mother is part of this council, so shouldn't Thor have known about it here? The Badoon's decision to invade Earth is nothing new. They've tried several times before, starting with their 1st appearance in Silver Surfer v1 #2. They will attack again in GoG #1-2, but there is some confusion as to whether that will be the Sisterhood of female Badoon rather than the Brotherhood of male Badoon seen here. (And the 2 groups aren't allies.) Over these last 3 issues Star-Lord has appeared to have his original costume, Element Gun and Ship. But these were supposedly all lost before the Thanos (2003) series. Be that as it may, he won't have any of them in the new GoG series.

The assemblage of extra heroes fighting Thanos this issue is basically the same as those gathered in #6. But Human Torch has joined his Fantastic Four teammates. My comment in #6 that this series is set while HT was presumed dead in the Negative Zone is thus wrong. And anyway the issue FF#600 where he came back alive was published about a year earlier. Red Hulk has also been added. Beast, Daredevil, Dr Strange, Jessica Jones, Mockingbird, Storm, Valkyrie, Victoria Hand and Wolverine seem to have ducked out. As mentioned earlier, before this series Thanos and Star-Lord were trapped in the Cancerverse, and to this day we don't know how they got out. The Elders seem unfazed by being there, so presumably they know they can escape, and presumably they bring the heroes with them. How come Collector has access to his collection in the Cancerverse? Maybe he doesn't. Maybe the Elders stop off at Collector's base after they escape. I presume Thor's big gun is 1 of Collector's trophies, modified by Tony Stark. Back in #2 I mentioned the possibility of there being more than 1 Ultimate Nullifier. But probably this is the 1 found by the Avengers then. And Black Widow probably gave it to Reed Richards for safe-keeping in #4.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Assemble #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers team and the Guardians of the Galaxy are facing a cosmic-sized Thanos who's merged with a Cosmic Cube.

Thor leaves the Guardians' ship to attack Thanos, while Iron Man transmits an update to Mr Fantastic and the rest of the Avengers back on Earth. Tony Stark reminds the others that it isn't a real Cosmic Cube. It's an approximation built on Earth, and he has the blueprints. Therein lies their hope.

But Thanos's Cube seems to disintegrate Thor, and then the Guardian's ship.

For the purposes of suspense we shift to a scene of Reed Richards (and Thing) telling the President what's going on. The transmission from Stark terminated abruptly, and the Earth had better prepare for an extinction-level event.

We turn the page and find that the Avengers aren't dead yet. Their ship is in what Star-Lord recognises as the Cancerverse. But he can't or won't tell them how he previously escaped from here.

Tony says that this 'Cosmic Cube' is actually a dark matter portal siphoning massive amounts energy from the Cancerverse. Thanos thought it was a real Cube, but it's not working as he expected. Stark figures he can tell from the plans how to block the flow.

It turns out that the Elders of the Universe Thanos 'killed' last issue have also really been banished to the Cancerverse. The fake Cube couldn't actually kill them. Stark explains to them about the fakeness of the Cube, and asks for their help with his plan. Collector offers the use of anything in his collection.

The giant Thanos has reached Earth, and the Fantastic Four and lots of Avengers are preparing to do battle. Mr Fantastic is even threatening to use the Ultimate Nullifier. But just then the Guardians' ship pops back into this universe. Iron Man and Thor are flying ahead, and Thor's got a very big gun. 1 zap and Thanos is separated from the Cube and back to normal size.

Hulk climbs out of the ship and throws Groot at Thanos. Groot grows into an enormous tree-thing and smashes Thanos to the ground. Where loads of heroes pound on him. The villain is battered but unbowed. But then the Elders appear and take him away.

In an epilogue Captain America wants to know why the army was building a 'Cosmic Cube' without telling the Avengers (or more specifically him, in his post-Dark Reign role overseeing all defence). Maria Hill says it was a back-up in case the Avengers failed, or went rogue.

The Guardians head back into space. Tony Stark wishes he could go with them, and Peter Quill extends an invitation.

In another epilogue the Badoon swear to rule or destroy the Earth in revenge for the loss of the warship and all hands in #6.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Drax the Destroyer)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(Ben Grimm)


Plus: Badoon, Bug, Captain Britain, Champion, Contemplator (Tath Ki), Giant-Man (Scott Lang), In-Betweener, War Machine (James Rhodes).