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Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #5: Review

Mar 2005
Joe Casey, Scott Kolins

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Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #5 Review by (August 30, 2011)
Review: Full review found at issue #1.

Comments: Story takes place during the events of AVENGERS (Vol. 1) #13-14 with some changes to the original story, notably a different version of Rick’s capture (from issue #15).

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #5 Review by (February 11, 2012)
Most of the rest of this issue coincides with Av#14, where Wasp is cured by Dr Svenson. But it omits the whole story of rescuing Svenson from the alien Kallusians. This is forgiveable as the Kallusians (and Svenson) never appear again. Having got rid of the aliens, this issue adds a few things. Cap blames himself for Wasp's injury, for getting captured. The Avengers don't really believe Thor is an Asgardian god (despite having run-ins with Loki, Enchantress and Executioner). Iron Man tries to tell Cap that the Avengers only have A-1 priority as long as Cap is a member. The way this is written suggests that this issue occurs very soon after #4. I.e. Av#13-14 happen soon after Av#8, and Av#9-12 don't exist. The final scene has Rick learning that Wasp will be OK, and then getting kidnapped by Zemo. This last bit belongs in Av#15, thus suggesting that there is no gap between Av#14 and #15. But the Index and the Chronology Project put several things in between, including some adventures of Giant-Man and Wasp. Thus I have to split the 2 elements of the final scene apart. Some of the intervening events are worth reporting. The Avengers and Rick attend Reed & Sue's engagement party in FF#36. Iron Man has another run in with Hawkeye and Black Widow in ToS#64. In that comic Black Widow returns from Russia wearing a super-costume for the first time. Giant-Man gets a new costume in Tales to Astonish #65, which he will sport in Av#15. (This series dodges the subject by not showing Giant Man next issue.) Tony Stark inducts Nick Fury into SHIELD, as related in Strange Tales #135 (nothing to do with the Avengers, but it's an important marker). And the Avengers guest in a backup tale in CA#221 where Rick dreams of becoming a super-hero.

Av#13 concerns the fight with Count Nefaria, boss of the Maggia, in the castle he has had rebuilt in the US. This EMH issue starts where the other Avengers rescue captured Cap, and then mop up the place with Nefaria's goons. But Wasp is shot while defending Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade. Note that we don't see the earlier part of Av#13 where Nefaria convinces everyone that the Avengers are bad guys out to rule the world. This would be a major setback for EMH's ongoing storyline about the struggle to get government backing for the Avengers. Instead we get a brief reference to earlier suspicions that the Avengers were working with Nefaria. This issue adds the subplot where Hawkeye rescues Jarvis and his mother, and Jarvis offers to help him. Hawkeye's partnership with Black Widow is alluded to, without actually naming her. It is made clear here that they are sexual partners, which the original stories of course couldn't say. (At this time Black Widow is back in Russia.) We also get a brief appearance by Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who are on the run from someone who sounds like Magneto. This contradicts Uncanny X-Men #11 where they quit the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants after Magneto was abducted by the Stranger. However the retelling of Av#15-16 in Marvel Heroes & Legends previously included a scene where Magneto was definitely chasing them. (There are other inconsistencies in Heroes & Legends, so I won't refer to it again.)

In #10 Immortus teams up with Zemo and Co. When it all goes wrong Enchantress winds back time so that it never happened. Only the Masters of Evil remember the events. (But limbo-based Immortus must surely do as well.) The extra story in Av Classic #10 expands on Rick's imprisonment in the Tower of London in the past in #10, and Cap's rescue. A prisoner facing execution helps them, and also escapes. Unfortunately when Enchantress rewinds time it puts the prisoner back in his cell. After that the Avengers fight the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #9, and Zemo sends some assassins against Cap and Rick in ToS#60. Then Iron Man, still trapped in his armour, is captured by Mandarin in ToS#61, which is why he can't appear in #11 (the Avengers just assume he's out looking for his missing boss). In #11 Kang sends a robot Spider-Man from the future against the Avengers. But the real Spider-Man helps out. And then Iron Man escapes from Mandarin in ToS#62. Shortly afterwards Cap tracks down Spider-Man to sound him out in Av Classic #11, until Giant-Man calls him away to an undocumented incident where Enchantress has set Hulk against the Avengers. And Iron Man finds a way of living without his armour in ToS#63. #12 sees the Avengers fighting Mole-Man (with his Subterraneans) and Red Ghost (without his Super-Apes). Av Classic #12 has 2 humorous tales of Moloid Subterraneans. In one some Moloids find there way after the battle into the surface world. In the other a Moloid gets shrunk to ant-size. Nothing of significance happens between Av#12 and Av#13, and now Av Classic ends and AvEMH resumes. This issue covers the end of Av#13, Av#14 (sort of), with a little extension into Av#15.

#9 is split into 2 parts. In the 1st half Enchantress, Executioner & Zemo create Wonder Man, while the various Avengers go about their business. Another Avengers cameo is placed in the gap, this time in Fantastic Four #31. Then the villains set Wonder Man up as a hero. He joins the Avengers but then kidnaps Wasp for the villains. However his good qualities show through, and he eventually helps our team against the villains. But dies in the process. The extra story in Av Classic #9 details Wonder Man's kidnapping of Wasp, which happened behind the scenes in the original. A flashback in Av#58 shows Giant-Man & Iron Man recording Wonder Man's brain, which Ultron will use as the basis for the Vision. After #9 the Avengers take part in the Unlimited Access #2-4 crossover with DC. Next the chronologies place part of #13 where Iron Man and Thor disrupt a Maggia operation (Marvel's version of the Mafia). This leads the Maggia boss Count Nefaria to start plotting against the Avengers. The team, along with every other hero in the Marvel pantheon, help Spider-Man against a guy called Sundown in Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual 1997. And then in ToS#60 Iron Man is suspected of murdering the 'missing' Tony Stark. Thor, Giant-Man and Wasp guest star, while Black Widow and Hawkeye feature as villains. At then end of that story Black Widow gets taken back to Russia. The Hulk has started his 1st multi-issue storyline in Tales to Astonish. In #62 Rick Jones leaves Cap to help the captured Hulk. In TtA#64 Rick turns up to find Bruce Banner accused of sabotage. He gets Banner off the hook by telling the President about the Banner/Hulk connection (using his Avengers priority to get a meeting). Rick now returns to the Avengers in time for #10.

EMH#1-4 covered Avengers #1-8, mainly Av#4-8, which is also the ground covered by the Captain America: Man Out Of Time mini-series. Significantly EMH ignores Av#7 with Zemo, Enchantress and Executioner. EMH then skips Av#9-12, including more of the Masters of Evil in #9 and #10. The Av Classic series has been adding little extra stories to its reprints, but it stops at Av#12. EMH#5-8 will cover Av#13-16. In fact it will effectively ignore Av#14. And remove nearly all of the Masters of Evil's role in Av#15-16, concentrating only on Zemo. The 1st 4 issues explored how the Avengers became accepted by the government. The 2nd 4 issues concentrate on the changeover from the original big guns to 'Cap's kooky quartet'. As such Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will feature earlier than in the original series. Last issue centred around Av#8 and this issue skips to Av#13. So if I want to continue to use this series to document early Avengers' continuity I'll have to insert stuff here for Av#9-12. As usual I won't mention issues in members' individual series unless I deem them relevant. The only appearances of the Avengers before Av#9 (beyond those I mentioned last issue) are cameos in Amazing Spider-Man #18 and Tales of Suspense #59's Iron Man tale. It is worth mentioning that in ToS#59 Tony Stark's failing heart forces him to wear the Iron Man armour full time. This continues until #63, and the absence of Stark causes problems, like Iron Man being suspected of murdering him, that will spill over into Av#11. Also of some significance is that he fights Black Knight, one of the Masters of Evil. At the same time in ToS#59 Captain America starts his solo run, which includes the original 1st appearance of Avengers' butler Jarvis.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

One evening, Edwin Jarvis, Tony Stark’s butler, takes his mother out to dinner; on the walk home late at night they are accosted by a trio of thugs bent on mayhem. Suddenly the hoods are taken down by some special arrows, courtesy of a purple-clad archer who calls himself Hawkeye. As the hero turns to leave, Jarvis calls him back….

Elsewhere, Captain America is a prisoner in the dungeons of Count Nefaria at his castle in New Jersey (!). His fellow Avengers come to the rescue, with Iron Man, Thor, and Giant-Man crashing through the stone walls. In another room, Wasp finds Rick Jones and his Teen Brigade and warns them to leave—too late, as the Count’s henchmen enter, guns blazing….

At a neighborhood bar, Hawkeye confides in Jarvis how his plans to become a masked hero were derailed when he was mistaken for a crook by the police, a misunderstanding that led to several brushes with Iron Man and compounded by his association with the Soviet spy Black Widow. As they talk through the night, they walk the streets and sunrise finds them at the gate to Avengers Mansion….

At the castle, Nefaria is captured and evidence gathered from his computer files proves he is the head of the Maggia crime ring. The Avengers get a sudden call from Rick and discover Wasp, critically injured by bullet wounds….

In East Transia, Pietro and Wanda MaximovQuicksilver and the Scarlet Witch—take refuge from the snowstorm in an inn. They are tired of the fugitive life but don’t know where to go where they will be accepted in view of their status as mutant criminals….

Wasp is rushed into surgery at a nearby hospital where she is placed in the hands of the noted Dr. Svenson. Iron Man wonders whether the loss of an Avenger is too high a price to pay for their mission. He wants to talk to Cap about their security clearance depending on Cap’s participation on the team but Cap is preoccupied. He can’t rest until he has hunted down Baron Zemo, Bucky’s killer and suspects that this preoccupation with vengeance is what led to his capture by Nefaria which in turn led to Wasp’s injury. Cap walks out leaving Tony alone. In the hospital chapel, Hank is praying for God to spare Janet’s life when Thor enters to tell him to have faith, the matter is in the All-Father’s hands and even if she should die, she will be honored as a warrior in Valhalla. Hank, who with the rest of the Avengers, believes Thor’s claims to divinity to be an act, or at worst a delusion, takes offense but at this point, Dr. Svenson arrives to announce that the operation was a success….

At the Mansion, Jarvis and Rick are relaxing after hearing the good news when suddenly the lights go out. Jarvis is knocked unconscious and Rick is taken prisoner by Baron Zemo….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Scott Kolins
Scott Kolins
Morry Hollowell
Scott Kolins (Cover Penciler)
Scott Kolins (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Giant-Man (Scott Lang).

> Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Book info and issue index

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