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Mighty Avengers, The #8: Review

Feb 2008
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley

Story Name:

Venom bomb part 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Mighty Avengers, The #8 Review by (May 4, 2015)
Hank Pym mentions Jan leaving him in England after they went there in Avengers: Finale to try to rebuild their relationship. #15 will show that it wasn't working before Jan left, but that was also the point at which a Skrull replaced him. It will also show that Skrull-Pym's gift of a growth power here is part of the Skrull plan. At the end of Secret Invasion he will turn Jan into a giant bomb, and Thor will have to 'kill' her. Venom of course was originally the black costume Spider-Man acquired during the 1st Secret Wars. It turned out to be sentient, and has since attached itself to various hosts. The combination is usually villainous, but the latest version will be with heroic Flash Thompson in his own Venom series. The Venom symbiote has also spawned some offspring, the most famous being Carnage. It was revealed in 1995 in a set of Spider-Man Specials that the Venom symbiote came from a planet of such beings. But this virus version is new, and we'll learn more about its origin in the next 3 issues. Mr Fantastic and Invisible Woman are still on their 2nd honeymoon on Titan (where Reed Richards presumably returned after his visit in #6). The replacement Fantastic Four have probably returned from their alternate universe travels in Black Panther #27-34. (My proposed sequence changes stemming from the Dr Doom problem make this a certainty.) But they might be out with Deadpool in Cable & Deadpool #45-46. Spider-Woman is also a Skrull. So maybe she *did* pretend to be taken over by a symbiote. Or maybe Skrulls are vulnerable too but the symbiote maintained her Spider-Woman form.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Mighty Avengers, The #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Yesterday Hank Pym came to see his ex-wife Jan to give her a present - an improved formula that will allow her to become a giant as well as the tiny Wasp.

Now Wasp is with her teammates facing a Manhattan becoming full of people taken over by Carnage and Venom symbiotes. Ares is ready to smite them with his axe, even if they are innocent people inside. But Wasp tells him to hold off, and surprises her team by suddenly growing as tall as the surounding buildings.

However Iron Man realises that the symbiotes are infecting people by contact. Black Widow becomes a Carnage and Spider-Woman a Venom. The Golden Avenger tells the rest of his team to escape - he'll stay because they can't get through his armour. But then Wonder Man finds his ionic body is immune, Ares is a god so he's alright, Sentry is OK too, and even Ms Marvel's semi-Kree biology seems sufficient to save her. But Wasp is now a giant-size Carnage.

Tony Stark contacts SHIELD (as its Director) ordering them to quarantine Manhattan Island, but not to come in. He tells his team to try to keep the symbiotes under control while he flies off to find a cure.

Left with their thankless task the team run across Luke Cage of the fugitive New Avengers. He says they were coming to help when the rest of the NAv got the bug. And the Mighty Avengers are suddenly attacked by Dr Strange, Echo, Iron Fist, Ronin, Spider-Man and Wolverine.

The surviving MAv now have to fight transformed civilians and Avengers while trying not to hurt them. Wolverine's healing factor enables him to fight back against his infection. Ms Marvel gets Sentry to knock giant-Jan out.

En route to his destination Stark reviews the SHIELD files on Venom and Carnage. They tell him who has 'worn' the symbiotes, but not what they are and where they come from. With a Venom symbiote captive in a forcefield he reaches the Baxter Building. The Fantastic Four are currently not at home. His clearance allows him to use Reed Richards' computer to work on the cure.

While the computer analyses the symbiote virus, Tony worries if this is all part of the Skrull infiltration that he learned about last issue. Has this symbiote been sent to distract him from investigating that problem. Paranoia has him suspecting everyone of being a Skrull. At 1st he assumes that at least Black Widow and Spider-Woman can't be Skrulls because the symbiotes were able to take them over. But then he realises that a shapeshifting Skrull could just pretend to be taken over. His whirling thoughts are terminated when the computer announces it has synthesised an antidote. And Stark tests it by curing the sample he brought, which turns out to be a dog.

Meanwhile Luke Cage and Ms Marvel are trying to beat a cure into Iron Fist, when Iron Man flies overhead spraying the place with antidote. The symbiotes dissolve and everyone is free.

Both teams set about helping the civilians, while Dr Strange casts a calming spell. Iron Man spots a maskless Clint Barton (Ronin) and is disappointed to find him among the renegade New Avengers, after he offered him the job (in Fallen Son #3: Captain America) as Cap's replacement. But the ex-Hawkeye accuses him of being effectively guilty of Cap's assassination.

Iron Man suddenly jets off, leaving Ms Marvel to sort out the mess. The MAv should arrest the NAv, but Carol Danvers just lets them go, and concentrates her team's efforts on helping the confused citizenry.

Shellhead is following a trail his AI has picked up on, leading to the source of the virus. It is a satellite, as we saw last issue, and it holds more batches of the virus. Stark discovers that the satellite belongs to Dr Doom. Next thing you know the Mighty Avengers are on the way to Latveria.

Mark Bagley
Allen Martinez
Justin Ponsor
Mark Bagley (Cover Penciler)
Danny Miki (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Peter Parker)

(James Howlett)

> Mighty Avengers, The: Book info and issue index

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