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Mighty Avengers, The #22: Review

Feb 2009
Dan Slott, Khoi Pham

Story Name:

Earth's mightiest part 2 of 3: The writing on the wall

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Mighty Avengers, The #22 Review by (June 12, 2017)
The Darkhold has been destroyed and/or scattered several times but keeps reforming. Often it exists almost complete but with pages missing. And also copies of large or small parts of it have been made.
The fairly complete Book was last seen in the library of Dr Strange, but individual missing pages were retrieved by the Darkhold Redeemers in the Darkhold series and related Midnight Sons titles. More turned up in odd places later, most recently in Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm.

The is the 1st (and only?) mention of a cave called the Darque Hold - and the 1st time it is said that Chthon wrote the Book in Wundagore. Thor Annual #10 told how he wrote all his knowledge in it before Demogorge drove him from this dimension. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 described how Morgan Le Fay and the Darkholders used the Book bring Chthon back to Earth but then trapped him within Wundagore Mountain. Perhaps the Darque Hold cave was the site of both happenings.

Modred's history is also intimately entangled with the Darkhold. The Morgan event happened in the Age of Camelot. A Darkolder Magnus repented his ways and stole the Book from Morgan. In his origin in Marvel Chillers #1 Modred the Mystic studied the Book and lost his soul to Chthon, who put him into suspended animation until the modern age.
Later in Avengers #185-187 Chthon (in his 1st published app) made him use the Darkhold in Mount Wundagore to give the Elder God control of Scarlet Witch's body. Modred isn't always under Chthon's sway, and then is sometimes a hero. But in Quasar #11 he tried to free Chthon again. However in the Darkhold series he was on the side of the good guy Redeemers - but he had an ulterior motive to try to get his soul back from Chthon.

Hercules and Amadeus Cho are fugitives because they tried to help Hulk during World War Hulk. SHIELD imprisoned them but they escaped, and Cho used a temporarily maddened Herc to strike back at SHIELD.

Since his return after WWH Bruce Banner transforms into different versions of the Hulk. In Hulk #8-9 that was the green 'Hulk smash' version which is where he's at here.
At the end of WWH he learned that the Illuminati (including Iron Man) weren't responsible for his wife Caiera's death. Maybe dumb green Hulk can't remember that.

The English team are part of secret Department MI-13 as seen in Captain Britain & MI-13 series. They fought the Secret Invasion in #1-4, and since then they've battled Plokta and the Mindless Ones in #5-9. And since then CB has been saved from being killed by Slaymaster in X-Men: Sword Of The Braddocks by his sister Psylocke temporarily bopping in from her gig with the timeline-hopping Exiles.
The Russian team are part of the Winter Guard last seen in She-Hulk (2005) #34-36, which also features her team ...
... the Lady Liberators who are the group seen in the US. They were originally formed in Hulk #7-9 to hunt Red Hulk. Since all these apps they have finished She-Hulk's series with #37-38, and *she* has moved on to the All-New Savage She-Hulk starring Lyra, the spawn of Hulk and Thundra from an alternate future.

All these folk will be back in #23.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Mighty Avengers, The #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
We start with a flashback showing how Quicksilver got into the mess he was in last issue. He'd been working with the New Men/Knights of Wundagore to stop Modred the Mystic from assembling the complete Book of the Darkhold. They tell him that the last page is in the Vatican, but when he superspeeds there he finds Modred has beat him to it. Modred says he now has the whole Book, and almost everything he needs to summon Chthon to Earth. And he vanishes.

The Knights then inform Pietro Maximoff that Modred has returned to Mount Wundagore, to the Darque Hold cave where Chthon wrote the Darkhold. Quicksilver races back there as he hears the New Men being slaughtered over his communicator. But as he enters the cave he sees all the Knights dead, and Modred with Bova the cow-woman his prisoner.

Modred reveals that he killed the Knights hours ago and he's been faking their calls to lure Pietro here. Magic soon has Quicksilver in chains. The Mystic says he's the last piece in the puzzle, a child born on the magic mountain who comes here of his own free will to become the host of Chthon.

Last issue we saw Modred spend a day transferring the Darkhold text into letters of fire on his own body - becoming the Book. This enabled him to call Chthon to occupy Quicksilver's body.

Outside the mountain in Transia a new team of Avengers has been assembled, seemingly by Pietro's sister the Scarlet Witch. But they're not getting along at all well. Stature enlarges and tries to hit the woman who killed her father Ant-Man/Scott Lang (in Avengers Disassembled), until Vision (Jonas) points out that SW is just an astral projection. Hulk is just mad at everybody. Hercules and Jocasta try to restrain him, but U.S. Agent attacks Herc because he and Amadeus Cho are wanted fugitives. Hulk severely injures robot Jocasta and leaps off. Wasp (Henry Pym) tells everybody to stop fighting. (Edwin Jarvis is there too.)

Chthon, Modred and Bova watch this from further up the mountain. Chthon isn't worried about this ragtag team of Avengers, and he speeds off to play havoc with the world. But Modred wants to deal with the heroes just in case. Wanda sees the speedster's dust trail, and also the retreating Hulk. She uses magic to follow 1 of them. Amadeus Cho sees the team disintegrating in front of his eyes, but Hank Pym is more concerned about the collapse of his friend Jocasta.

While Modred was reading the Darkhold the Earth suffered a day of random chaotic afflictions. Now Chthon/Quicksilver races round the globe spreading just 1 of those plagues everywhere, and we see the world engulfed in carnivorous plantlife. (We see Captain Britain, Black Knight and Spitfire fighting back in England; Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar and Red Guardian in Russia; She-Hulk, Thundra and Valkyrie in the US.)

Last issue Iron Man went into space to view the Chaos Cascade (as Cho called the random problems) as a whole. He figured out it was centred on Mount Wundagore, and he has landed his booster rocket nearby. SW has chosen to follow Hulk and she draws his attention to the rocket - she wants to see if Tony Stark is the man to lead the team rather than Pym.

But when Hulk sees Iron Man he is reminded that Stark was 1 of the Illuminati who exiled him to the planet Sakaar. This may have had the happy outcome of Hulk finding a bride Caiera, but it also led to her death. So he attacks IM, who has difficulty fighting back because he can't control his Extremis armour so well since the Skrull virus in Secret Invasion.

The other Avengers have made a local inn their temporary HQ. Wasp re-enlarges a workstation from his Toolbot and enters it to repair Jocasta. Stature's suspicion of Wanda Maximoff is increased by the innkeeper who tells them 1 of the Maximoffs was seen entering the Darque Hold. Jarvis goes to inform Pym and finds him finishing the robot's repairs. Wasp delegates Cho to monitor Jocasta's recovery and Jarvis to watch over them both. The rest will head for the Darque Hold.

But Modred is prepared for them. He has written spells on the walls of the cave to spawn a horde of opponents to surround the team. Even Vision can't phase through them. Hank Pym figures the runes now on the golems are what animates them, and the Avengers aim at *them*.

Hulk tries to throw Stark's giant booster rocket at him. But it's leaking fuel which Iron Man ignites. The team in the cave feel the explosion, and Chthon senses it on the other side of the world and heads back.

The pages of the Darkhold have been blank since Modred took the writing into his own body. But now we see writing on a page communicating with Bova. The chained cow-woman tries to brain the Mystic with the book, but she doesn't catch him by surprise. But distracted he doesn't notice Iron Man enter with an unconscious Bruce Banner. And 1 repulsor ray zap knocks Modred out, and the golems freeze.

Stark says that now he's here he'll take over.

And the person communicating from the Darkhold is Pietro who's trapped inside.

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> Mighty Avengers, The: Book info and issue index

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Khoi Pham
Allen Martinez
Jason Keith
Khoi Pham (Cover Penciler)
Danny Miki (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Spitfire
Spitfire

(Jacqueline Falsworth)
Wasp
Wasp

(Henry Pym)

Plus: Black Knight, Bova, Captain Britain, Chthon, Crimson Dynamo (Boris Vadim), Darkstar, Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis), Jocasta (Jocasta Pym), Modred the Mystic, Red Guardian (Anton), Stature, U.S. Agent, Vision (Jonas).