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Mighty Avengers, The #20: Review

Dec 2008
Brian Michael Bendis, Carlo Pagulayan

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Mighty Avengers, The #20 Review by (December 12, 2016)
This issue is bannered as Secret Invasion Epilogue. The 1st section takes place very soon after the end of SI, but the funeral doesn't happen until the beginning of Dark Reign while Norman Osborn is putting together his Dark Avengers.

It has multiple artists. I think most of it was done by Carlos Pagulayan with Jeffrey Huet as inker. The flashback to Avengers #4 is by Lee Weeks, and the pages covering the events since Henry Pym went away are by Jim Cheung. The big difference in the pages after 1 1st funeral page are presumably due to change of colourist from Dean White to Jason Keith.

The last issue I synopsised was #14. #12-19 were side-issues of SI with the covers of classic issues (mostly Avengers) redone with Skrulls. In #14 I also briefly mentioned #12&13. The issues since then were:-
#15 copied Av#213, the court-martial of Yellowjacket. It covered the replacement of Hank Pym and some of his actions.
#16 took Daredevil #168 as its inspiration, the 1st Elektra issue. It dealt with the replacement of Elektra and *her* actions.
#17 was a homage to Tales To Astonish #27, the 1st Henry Pym story. The original Skrull Pym went mad and had to be replaced by another.
#18 did Strange Tales #135, the 1st SHIELD story. Nick Fury trained his Secret Warriors for the upcoming Invasion.
#19 went back to the Avengers with #89, featuring the original Captain Marvel. Featured the Skrull Captain Marvel and the Kree Marvel Boy in the midst of the Invasion.

The examples Hank and Jan exchange of things that will astound the revived Captain America are all things that became prominent from after WWII to the 60's. (That is if by tin foil Jan means aluminium foil.) This ties in with the actual date of Avengers #4, rather than whatever date Marvel's rolling timeframe assigns it now.

The last time Hank saw Jan was in England. They had been trying to rebuild their relationship and had got away from the superhero life when Henry's scientific career took him to Oxford. But Jan wasn't happy and she left him. And then he was replaced. (All this as seen in #15.)

A lot happens between the 1st half of this issue and the funeral, including Norman Osborn building up to his Dark Reign in the last section of SI#8. We see the President giving him control of (replacements for) SHIELD, the Avengers and the Initiative. And we see him convene the Cabal of villains explored in more depth in the SI: Dark Reign 1-shot.
This issue says it continues in Dark Avengers #1 where Osborn creates his own version of the Avengers. But this series itself continues with an underground version including Hank Pym.

There are many other notable folks at the funeral:-
Osborn's right-hand woman Victoria Hand is actually 1st seen here, but her recruitment will be shown in a flashback in DA#1.
The disgraced SHIELD Deputy Director Maria Hill attends with Tony Stark.
The usual suspects like the Fantastic Four, Dr Strange and members of various Avengers (ex-)teams.
I don't think Cap (Bucky Barnes) is allowed in, and Steve Rogers is still 'dead'.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Mighty Avengers, The #20 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Henry Pym has returned from Skrull captivity at the end of Secret Invasion to learn that his ex-wife Janet Van Dyne has just died in battle.

He remembers when the Avengers found Captain America frozen in suspended animation (Av#4), when Hank was Giant-Man and Jan was as usual the Wasp. Cautious Henry warns her that they might not be able to successfully revive Cap, but she is just awed by the prospect of fighting alongside a living legend - and of course he'll want to join the team.

Cap has been MIA since 1945. They wonder what he'll make of various things that have appeared since then, and how he'll cope with most people he knew being dead. Jan says if Hank gets frozen in a block of ice she'll wait for him ...

... but now he's here without her, talking about her funeral, supported by Carol Danvers (Ms Marvel) and Simon Williams (Wonder Man). He's unshaven and dishevelled and can't take it in.

On the way out to a waiting car he's besieged by reporters. Hank can't understand most of the questions they ask. Carol fights them off and joins him in the back of the car. She explains that the Skrull who replaced him was a major player in the Invasion, and many people think he still is a Skrull. He insists she explain everything that happened while he was gone.

We get 1-page shots of House of M (and "No more mutants"), the Superhuman Registration Act/Civil War (and the Mighty Avengers), Captain America's assassination, World War Hulk, and Secret Invasion (and the death of Wasp). Henry remembers the young Jan saying she'd wait for him, and the last time they were together before he was replaced when they argued and split up. And he at last collapses in tears.

Days later it's Jan's funeral. Henry is tidier but still unshaven as he steps up to speak about his ex-wife. But he turns it into a rant at Tony Stark who he blames for everything (as do most people). Thor calms him down and delivers a better eulogy for his Avenging comrade. Then he takes Hank away where they can mourn together.

Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) are among the mourners. When they see Norman Osborn in the crowd Clint loses his temper and calls him Green Goblin. Osborn holds his cool and gives Barton and the other New Avengers 24 hours to Register with the Initiative, which he now runs. Carol Danvers drags Clint away.

Afterwards we see Osborn occupying Avengers Tower.

Carlo Pagulayan
Jeffrey Huet
Dean White
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Penciler)
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Inker)
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


> Mighty Avengers, The: Book info and issue index

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