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Avengers Assemble #9: Review

Nov 2012
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Assemble #9 Review by (April 14, 2014)
This arc continues the focus on the Avengers movie franchise if not the cast of the movie itself in that the big 4 are here but Black Widow and Hawkeye are dropped in favour of Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman. (The next arc will redress the balance somewhat by featuring BW&H instead. But DeConnick will show her bias by completing the threesome with Spider-Woman.) Lake Vostok is real. Its existence was confirmed in 1993, and Russian scientists drilled for samples in 2012. But as Tony Stark mentions, the Fantastic Four dived into it in their #576 dated Apr 2010 (and found an old offshoot of Atlantis). Stark issued the team challenge to pit Bruce Banner's pure science skills against his own engineering ability. But of course they'll spend most of their time hitting things. Which means it's a wise move on Banner's part to go as the Hulk. But it probably wasn't so wise to let Hulk do the selection of the team.

Kelly Sue DeConnick takes over as writer of the series. And Stefano Caselli is artist for this 3-issue arc. The issues in this arc don't have titles, but the publisher's blurb for this issue supplies the phrase 'Science Bros' which is what the collection will go with. The cover is somewhat misleading in that 1 of the 4 featured characters is Captain America, who doesn't actually do much this issue. Next issue he will be replaced on the cover by the more thematically correct Thor - but Cap will actually himself be in the thick of the action. Last issue Carol Danvers was MS Marvel and now she's Captain Marvel. The previous arc was set before Avengers vs X-Men, wherein Carl resolved to take on the mantle of Mar-Vell, as seen in the recently begun series of that name by DeConnick. Spider-Woman will be a favoured character of Kelly-Sue's, both in that series and this 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Assemble #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens with 2 very different speeches. Tony Stark addresses a scientific conference and tells the audience that they are the future and the future will be great. Bruce Banner lectures to bored university students about the problems that threaten civilisation.

Banner wins an award for his lecture. When they meet in Avengers Tower Stark congratulates him but complains that Bruce is so negative. Banner responds that at least his speech had meat, while Tony's was all surface flash.

Captains America and Marvel are also there. Carol Danvers spots a news item about 20 million year-old Lake Vostok buried under the Antarctic. Russian scientists are investigating it but 1 of them, Sergei Sorokin, has gone missing with the samples they have taken, and now their base has fallen silent.

Bruce and Tony both know the guy. Banner wants to go investigate. Captain Marvel suggests a team should go. Tony suggests 2 teams, and bets Bruce 100 grand that his team finds Sergei before Banner's. Bruce says he can't afford a bet like that, so Tony amends it to the winner just gets bragging rights and the loser has to walk naked from the Baxter Building to Avengers Tower and back.

Banner accepts and they both ask Carol to be on their team. She refuses but elects herself referee and judge. Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Black Widow and Wolverine also turn them down. But Spider-Woman agrees to work with Hulk, because her pheromone power can keep him in check. And Tony recruits Thor.

Iron Man and Thor fly to the Antarctic Vostok base while Hulk and Spider-Woman walk (all the way?!). SW is freezing until Hulk rubs his hands together and puts then in her forehead and shoulder, transmitting warmth. Then Hulk picks her up and leaps after the other 2.

CM is maintaining communication with the teams back at the Tower, while Spider-Man keeps score. Wolverine just watches and scoffs popcorn. IM's team are ahead by getting to Camp Vostok 1st. Except that Thor finds some large footprints that might be Hulk's.

But they aren't, and team Iron Man is attacked by some monstrous beings. IM and Thor aren't doing very well at knocking them down, when team Hulk arrives and joins in. Hulk makes short work of the beasts, and Jessica Drew claims lots of points for her side for rescuing the other team.

But then they find a load of dead scientists inside the building.

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Rain Beredo
Steve McNiven (Cover Penciler)
Steve McNiven (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)


(James Howlett)

> Avengers Assemble: Book info and issue index

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