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Hulk Smash Avengers #2: Review

May 2012
Joe Casey, Max Fiumara

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Story Name:

The filth and the fury

Review & Comments

4 stars

Hulk Smash Avengers #2 Review by (March 14, 2016)
This issue states that it happens just before Avengers #181. The Marvel Chronology Project forum says that's an obvious mistake. Scarlet Witch has already requested a leave of absence (#182) and she's leaving tomorrow (#183).

The pointers to where this fits in Hulk continuity are less up-front, and they require 1st connecting to Captain America's series.

A few months before the Avengers issues Cap had a storyline called the 'Search for the Falcon' in his #228-230. Previously Sam Wilson had been hired to train the SHIELD Super-Agents. And shortly after that he was reported missing. This matches up to what Cap says here, so Joe Casey obviously had this in mind for where Cap goes.

That story was part of the ongoing Corporation saga which was also running in the Hulk series. And the Corporation kidnapped Hulk in CA#230. And then the 'Search for the Falcon' story concluded in Hulk #232.

This anchors us in Hulk continuity. And there are a couple more clues that we are right. In Hulk #230 he was abducted by an alien he called bug-thing who tried to take samples of his unique metabolism. Hulk burst out of the spaceship at the end of that issue, which of course is the opening scene of this issue.

Then in #231 Hulk wandered into a California town (not this issue's Cedarville) and picked up a new sidekick Fred Sloan who accompanies him into the Cap crossover. But more significantly we are introduced to Senator Hawk who is part of an investigation into the performance of the Gamma Base.

So Casey's intended sequence would seem to be:-
Hulk #230
This issue
Hulk #231 alongside CA #228-229
CA #230
Hulk #232
Av #183
(In that issue Cap has found Falcon but he's reluctant to join the team.)

Wanda and Pietro's search for their origin will be the 'Yesterday Quest' story in Av#185-187.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hulk Smash Avengers #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The story opens with an alien spaceship in Earth's atmosphere and the Hulk bursting from it, declaring that he won't be a lab rat for the space bug.

But then we switch to Avengers Mansion where their government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich is as usual complaining. The National Security Council had given them back their Avengers Priority (in Av#181) with the proviso that they limit their membership to 7, and the NSC determines who that 7 should be. But already the team are breaking the rules.

The 7 were to be Beast, Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Wasp from the existing team plus newbie Falcon. But Falcon still hasn't joined, ex-member Hawkeye is still hanging around, and now Scarlet Witch is going off on family business. (Vision isn't present at the current meeting because he's spending time with his wife Scarlet Witch before she goes.)

Iron Man defends Wanda's right to take personal time off and proposes Ms Marvel as her replacement, pending security clearance. Beast complains about his pal Wonder Man having been kicked out, and Hawkeye is still bitching about being replaced by Falcon. Meanwhile Cap says he's looking for Falcon who's gone missing since he finished 'a SHIELD training stint'. So now he leaves to continue his investigation.

In the rear garden Vision and Wanda discuss her leaving (and update us on why). She and her brother Quicksilver are heading for Europe tomorrow. They're going to Transia with Django Maximoff who has recently (Av#182) turned up claiming to be their father. They want to discover the truth of their origins once and for all. (Previously the WWII hero Whizzer had also claimed to be their father, also involving Transia.)

She's worried about what they might find. But Vision urges her to go. Discovering his own origins (in Av#135) meant so much to him.

Meanwhile Hulk (literally) drops in on Cedarville, California. The residents call in an emergency, and the message gets passed to Gyrich at the Mansion by Senator Hawk. This guy is on a subcommittee who want to cut the funding of Gamma Base, the army's anti-Hulk establishment. He wants the Avengers to capture Hulk to undermine Gamma Base's credibility. Gyrich agrees because he thinks the undermanned Avengers will fail miserably - validating his position that they should stick to their agreed roster.

So 4 Avengers head to California by quinjet. Gyrich tells Hawk to pull the National Guard back, but be ready to send them in again when the Hulk has exhausted himself beating the Avengers.

Hulk is glad when the army backs off. But not so much when Vision ghosts up through the ground asking him to surrender. Hulk's fists slam the ground as they sink through Vizh's immaterial form. But the android makes himself dense again to catch Beast as he bounces of Hulk's back. Then it's Hulk vs Iron Man, until Vision distracts him again.

Back at the Mansion Jarvis is sarcastically commenting to Gyrich about the restoration of the Avengers' much-needed access to stuff like SHIELD monitoring satellites. A bit later Gyrich's phone dies and the lights around him go out. Hawkeye looms out of the darkness - he's just used an EMP arrow. Clint Barton says he's been keeping a stealthy eye and ear on Gyrich and he knows about the phone calls with Senator Hawk. If the Avengers are hurt on this mission then he'll make it his business to blow the whistle on the conspiracy.

In California Hulk smashes the ground beneath the feet of Beast and Iron Man. As Shellhead rescues Beast, Vision attacks Big Green with his solar jewel. But then Wasp grows to human size and Hulk recognises her. As so often a gentle voice soothes the savage beast as she tries to persuade Hulk that they're his friends. And Iron Man remembers that Hulk was 1 of the original team. Her ploy works to the extent that Hulk walks away from the fight and the town.

The team return home and report back to Gyrich. Because Hawkeye is still there HPG has to pretend that he likes the outcome of the affair.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Max Fiumara
Max Fiumara
Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lee Weeks (Cover Penciler)
Lee Weeks (Cover Inker)
Andy Troy (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Sam Wilson)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

> Hulk Smash Avengers: Book info and issue index

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