Avengers Assemble Annual #1: Review

Jan 2013
Christos N. Gage, Tomm Coker

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Story Name:

Company man

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Assemble Annual #1 Review by (May 28, 2014)
Henry Pym, serial superhero, reverted to his Giant-Man id as standard after Dark Reign, mainly in Avengers Academy and Secret Avengers but lending a hand in other things like Avengers vs X-Men. Again there is no clue here as to whether Age of Ultron has already 'happened' even though Pym is 1 who will sort-of remember it. But this is obviously before he forms Avengers AI, as above. Quicksilver hasn't been an active Avenger for a while, but like Giant-Man he taught at Avengers Academy and was on the Avengers side in AvX. After this he'll be in the new X-Factor. Of the characters present by video link:- Cannonball is obviously the ex-X-Man and current Avenger. Living Lightning was a member of Avengers West Coast. He made scattered other apps, eventually becoming part of the Initiative team Rangers, including their recent appearance in Scarlet Spider. Monica Rambeau is another superhero with serial identities. As a Captain Marvel she was at 1 time leader of the Avengers. Lately she seems to have alternated between Photon and Pulsar. She will take the name Spectrum in Mighty Avengers during the Infinity event.

Roxxon was introduced in Captain America #180-181, but it has been established that it existed during WWII. It has been a regular evil corporation in the Marvel Universe since then. In CA(2005)#9 we learned that it was taken over by Kronas Corporation owned by Aleksander Lukin/Red Skull. As far as we know this is still true. We've seen many Presidents and CEOs of Roxxon, but this is the 1st appearance of Todd Hamilton. Sunturion is appeared in Iron Man #143-144, already in microwave form and working for Roxxon. He appeared to die a hero there. Roxxon reintegrated his scattered energy in IM Annual #9 in order to fight the female Sunturion Stratosfire who had turned against Roxxon when she discovered how bad they were. Dearborn killed her for his masters. He later played a major role in an adventure spanning all the 1991 Spider-Man annuals.

A long time before all of the above Vision was married to Wanda. They couldn't have children naturally so the Witch arranged it magically, and they had twins Billy and Tommy. But later these were revealed to be fragments of Mephisto. (Vision is being a bit harsh here calling them a deliberate lie by Wanda.) The loss of the children caused the breakup of the marriage and Wanda's mental instability which eventually led to Avengers Disassembled. After Disassembled we got the Young Avengers, including another Vision based on the original. During Children's Crusade Scarlet Witch was found and many characters became convinced that 2 of the Young Avengers (Billy Kaplan/Wiccan and Tommy Shepherd/Speed) are reincarnations of Wanda's twins. The other Vision was killed at the end of the Crusade. After leaving the Avengers, Vision will join the Avengers AI team.

The Annual has different writer (Christos Gage) and artist (Tomm Coker) from the main title. The TP I read this in says that Valentine de Landro, Mike Deodato, Mike Mayhew and Luke Ross also had a hand in the art (the comic itself didn't say this I believe), but doesn't specify any details. This Vision was destroyed in Avengers Disassembled. Although it was physically She-Hulk who ripped him apart, the whole event was orchestrated by the insane or possessed Scarlet Witch. Tony Stark managed to rebuild and restart the android in Avengers (2010) #19, and he stayed with that team until the end of that series. Av#24.1 showed more of the restart, and admitted that most of it was down to Vision's own healing. (It is also suggested that Ultron had a hand in reactivating him for use in Age of Ultron.) In that issue Vision forgave She-Hulk but not the absent Wanda. During this time Vision was involved in lots of Avengers-based stuff, including the 1st arc of this series and Avengers vs X-Men. (It's difficult to say whether Age of Ultron 'happened' before this because it got wiped from the timeline.) Significantly in AvX#0 he met with Scarlet Witch and spurned her apologies. He hasn't reconciled with her yet.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Assemble Annual #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Vision is wandering the streets of New York in human guise. He returns to Avengers Tower, drops his disguise and floats up through the floors. On the way he passes Carol Danvers helping Jessica Jones-Cage move more boxes of her stuff out, and complaining that she never sees her since she had a baby and got married, and she and Luke left the Avengers. Vision soothes baby Danielle with the colours of the solar jewel on his forehead. He says he learned the trick bringing up his own children. Which surprises Jessica because she never knew he had any. Vision says he doesn't, and leaves.

Carol finds him looking at images of Billy and Tommy of the Young Avengers. He tries to claim that he was just reviewing Avengers cases that happened while he was out of commission. But she suggests he ought to contact them, because supposedly they are reincarnations of his dead twins. Vision shouts that the twins were never real. They were a fiction created by his ex-wife Scarlet Witch. The 1st of many cruel things she did to him. (An image shows him being torn apart during Avengers Disassembled.)

Carol calms him down and he apologises. He also comments on the other Vision that existed while he was 'away'. And how that version of him was able to show emotions, even love. Unlike himself now. (Carol hints that his rage indicates he's not as emotionless as he claims.)

Their chat is interrupted by Iron Man alerting them to a problem at Roxxon HQ. It's under attack by 1 of their own employees, Arthur Dearborn the Sunturion. He can take Iron Man's repulsor blasts and avoids Captain Marvel's attack by letting her fly through him. Vision successfully fights him while matching his changing density. But Sunturion vanishes in a flash of light.

Dearborn had given Roxxon warning before he attacked. That and the Avengers interference meant that the building was mostly empty when Sunturion trashed lots of it. But CEO Todd Hamilton was still in there. He claims that Dearborn's living energy form is starting to break up. Roxxon tried to find a cure, but today he told Arthur that it was hopeless.

Tony Stark is suspicious, knowing the company's dubious past record. He accuses Hamilton of giving up on Dearborn because Roxxon just didn't want to spend the money to save him. Hamilton doesn't deny it, but says the Avengers must stop Sunturion anyway before he hurts innocent people.

Iron Man calls in Giant-Man and Quicksilver to help. He also has Cannonball, Living Lightning and Monica Rambeau on video-links. Tony Stark and Henry Pym will try to invent a way to stop Sunturion teleporting, while Pietro and the 3 on video will use their speed to whiz round Roxxon sites looking for him. Vision will wait to confront Dearborn when and where they find him.

Stark reminds them that Arthur is a good man. But since Roxxon turned him into the energy being Sunturion his job at the corporation has been his whole life. Now that Roxxon is abandoning him to die, he has nothing left.

Before going on the hunt Quicksilver takes time to goad Vision by likening him to Dearborn. He hated the android for marrying his sister Wanda. He didn't believe then that Vision had the humanity he professed at the time. Pietro's glad to be proven right, even though it doesn't matter anymore now that Vision and Scarlet Witch are apart.

Vision tells Stark he's going to follow a hunch. He flies to where Dearborn's ex-wife lives with her new family, and finds Arthur watching them. Dearborn tells Vision she divorced him even before he became the unhuman Sunturion, because he was in reality married to his job already. Vision sympathises, and advises Arthur to let the Avengers help him.

But Arthur reveals another reason he is attacking Roxxon. They gave his powers to a woman some time ago, but she turned against them because she discovered they had bad motives. But Sunturion killed her for the company, which he now regrets. And he now realises she was right.

Sunturion and Vision now fight, while Vision continues to try to persuade him to stop. Until Arthur sees he's frightening his wife and her family. Then he reverts to human guise and asks for help.

Vision takes Sunturion to Giant-Man and Iron Man for study. While their machines whirr away he asks them why they left it so long before reanimating him after he was destroyed in Avengers Disassembled. They say that rebuilding his body would have been easy, but they worried about how to restore his personality. It was thought safer to let his internal systems heal themselves. Then the Young Avengers' Vision appeared and they thought maybe he had Vision's personality. Meanwhile lots of stuff got in the way (from House of M to Avengers vs X-Men).

Now Sunturion pops up and asks them if they've found a way to save him. But Stark says they've only managed to confirm that he's dying. They'll need more time. But it's time Arthur doesn't have. Dearborn says that Roxxon themselves must have reams of data on him. But Stark counters that Roxxon claim their data was all destroyed in the battle against his female replacement. Sunturion doesn't believe it - Roxxon wouldn't give up trying to save him if they didn't know how to replace him.

Feeling angry and betrayed he tries to teleport away. But Stark has sealed the lab against the microwaves Arthur uses. So Sunturion just blasts a hole in the wall and teleports through it.

The Avengers track him to Roxxon's New Jersey factory. Sunturion again gives the employees a short time to evacuate before he attacks. Giant-Man, Iron Man and Vision turn up with Captain Marvel and Quicksilver. But they can't stop their opponent blasting a hole in Roxxon's wall.

But this wasn't just any wall. Arthur has exposed a lab where Hamilton is overseeing the creation of a troop of Sunturions. Dearborn asks the volunteers if Roxxon has told them that the process will eventually kill them? And from their response we can deduce they haven't.

Sunturion breaks their links to the machinery and urges them to flee. But he goes after Hamilton personally. While Quicksilver helps the subjects escape, CM tries to save the CEO. But Sunturion just teleports her to space. Giant-Man and Iron Man prepare to use a portable version of the microwave blocker that might be able to contain Sunturion's energies.

But Vision beats them to it. He has been studying Arthur's microwave radiation, and he now uses  his solar jewel to absorb Sunturion into himself.

Stark says they can't legally attack Roxxon, or stop their research. But he'll use publicity to force them to hand over the data so that he can work on a way to save Arthur. (They all assume Vision will be able to restore the energy he absorbed.)

But this isn't good enough for Vision. He unleashes the microwave energy to destroy the machinery that creates Sunturions. And at the same time recreates Dearborn.

Suddenly Hamilton announces that the data on Arthur has miraculously been found. He asks Dearborn to come back to them, and they'll find a way to cure him. Stark accuses the CEO of needing the only existing Sunturion now that he can't make others. But to Vision's surprise Arthur agrees to go back to work for Roxxon, the only family he knows.

Later Vision says he's leaving the Avengers to find himself. And the 1st thing he does is visit Billy/Wiccan in the home he shares with his boyfriend Hulkling.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Tomm Coker
Tomm Coker
Tomm Coker
Tomm Coker (Cover Penciler)
Tomm Coker (Cover Inker)
Tomm Coker (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Billy Kaplan)

Plus: Cannonball, Danielle Cage, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Sunturion.

> Avengers Assemble Annual: Book info and issue index

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