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New Avengers #26: Review

Dec 2006
Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #26 Review by (March 2, 2024)
Albert Deschesne and Richard Starkings shared the lettering.

Aunt Agatha is (presumably) supposed to be Wanda Maximoff's not-Aunt but mentor witch Agatha Harkness. But Miss Harkness was dead in Avengers #503, killed by Wanda and kept as a corpse (and maybe that's what was in the other room). She'll remain dead for quite a while until the 2015 Scarlet Witch series.

According to Avengers: Children's Crusade (especially #6) Wanda Maximoff here is a Doombot left by Dr Doom to stop anyone enquiring further and finding her in Latveria.

The real Scarlet Witch won't surface until the Av:CC maxi-series, specifically from #2 onwards.
Meanwhile this is the Doombot's 1st app and it will reappear in X-Men v2#204 in a backup tale that is part of a long sequence of such scattered across various X-issues starring Beast looking for a cure for the Legacy Virus. Then there's a non-interactive cameo panel in Young Av Presents #3 where SW's 'sons' Speed and Wiccan are searching for her. And another cameo in NAv#53 as a potential candidate for the new Sorcerer Supreme! And finally the robot is uncovered and destroyed in Av:CC#2-3.

Clint Barton is next in a flashback in She-Hulk (2005) #20 where he teams up with Two-Gun-Kid (in the present day) to stop delivery of all the 'if you get this I'm dead' videos he left behind. Then in Fallen Son #3 - Captain America he reveals he's alive to Iron Man who tries to persuade him to become the next Cap. Next is an FB in NAv#30 where Clint joins them, vouched for by Dr Strange, and dons Echo's Ronin costume to go with them to Japan to rescue her in our next issue.

Like Clint Dr Strange is also here straight from House Of M.
Wong was last seen in #1-2 of the 2005 Defenders mini-series.
They'll both show up next in the crowded #2 of the Spider-Man & Fantastic Four mini-series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #26 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
When Scarlet Witch had a mental breakdown as a result of regaining the memory of her lost magical children she caused attacks on the Avengers (in the Avengers Disassembled event). Among the fatalities was Hawkeye (Clint Barton). Later her continuing disturbed state caused her to change reality into a mutant supremacy version (in the House Of M event). She recreated Hawkeye there but when he learned all she had done he turned against her and she deleted him from that reality. And he's not been seen since she returned reality to normal (apart from removing the powers of most mutants and stopping any others being born) at the end of that event. Neither has Wanda Maximoff been seen.

This issue begins with a flashback to the time of the end of House Of M. Clint in his Hawkeye costume awakes lying in the snow in Central Park opposite Avengers Mansion. He enters the grounds setting off an intruder alarm and finds the place in the wrecked state caused by Av Disassembled. (The New Avengers have moved to Stark Tower.) Inside he happens across a newspaper clipping saying he's dead which he pins to a wall with an arrow, along with his costume. He obviously finds some other clothes because he walks out leaving his bow and arrows behind.

He goes to Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum for help where Wong lets him in immediately. The Dr examines him physically and mentally and declares him the real deal, alive and well. Clint says he read some papers on the way and knows about Wanda's 'No More Mutants' edict. And he remembers her killing him twice. He asks Stephen Strange where she is but the Sorcerer Supreme says he can't find any trace of her Chaos Magic or her mutant hex power. She may have committed suicide, but Clint can't believe that.

He asks Stephen not to tell the Avengers he's alive yet. He wants to work out who he is now. And he wants to find Wanda to ask her why she did it. The Dr says she's not well and her reality-controlling power took her over. There may not be a logical answer. Clint still wants to find her for closure. Stephen warns him that it may not be a good move - he might trigger her madness again. And he strongly advises against revenge. But Clint is determined. He'll try Genosha 1st where he saw her last (in House Of M), and then try Mount Wundagore where she was born.

Some time later he's in a market in a village on Wundagore Mountain where he sees a boy steal a woman's bag of food. He picks up a dropped apple and throws it to knock the boy over, and he returns the bag to the woman. Who turns out to speak English and look amazingly like Wanda but she doesn't seem to recognise him. And he faints.

He wakes on a bed in her house. She suggests that he fainted because he's not acclimatised to the mountain air. She asks him to speak quietly because her Aunt Agatha is asleep in the next room. He tells her he's here looking for a friend. She asks the friend's name but he counters by asking hers. She replies Wanda Maximoff and he says Clint Barton, but still no recognition. She claims to have lived here all her life, but all her family are dead apart from the Aunt. She also claims not to know or care much about what happens in the outside world. Even when he mentions the Avengers and that 1 of their members attacked the others. Then she asks about his friend again but he says he knows now she's not here. He hints at the reasons why he's come but she advises him to let go of the past. And she adds that his trip wasn't wasted because he was her hero today. And they make love.

Next morning he wakes before her and goes to the door to Aunt Agatha's room. But he doesn't open it, gets dressed and leaves. (Marvel Fandom Wiki suggests that Wanda's magic made the door handle slip out of his hand. The artwork indicates that *something* happened.)

Alex Maleev
Alex Maleev
Alex Maleev
Alex Maleev (Cover Penciler)
Alex Maleev (Cover Inker)
Alex Maleev (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: ?.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Clint Barton)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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