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New Avengers #38: Review

Feb 2008
Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos

Story Name:

The breakup

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #38 Review by (April 13, 2024)
Albert Deschesne and Richard Starkings share the lettering.

This issue is vamping until Secret Invasion is ready. It has Luke Cage arguing with Jessica Jones about her taking their baby to Avengers Tower for safety, and Iron Fist providing a new base for the New Avengers after they lost Dr Strange's Sanctum. Luke is angry because he believes that the Mighty Avengers are all Skrulls, especially Iron Man and Spider-Woman. Iron Man because he led the 'wrong' side of the Civil War. Spider-Woman because she took the Elektra-Skrull's body to Iron Man. It will turn out that he's right about Spider-Woman but wrong about Iron Man and the others. But he never suspects Edwin Jarvis.

This issue is written as though there's not much gap between its 2 sections but the Marvel Chronology Project puts stuff in between them. Most significantly Spider-Man changes from his black costume to his original red & blue 1 because Mephisto has rewritten reality to stop Aunt May dying. We've moved from Back In Black via One More Day to Brand New Day and now everyone including the Avengers have forgotten that he's Peter Parker. I've already covered this and other apps by team members in more detail in my Comments on Annual #2.

However I can add info about the Mighty Avengers in the 1st part.
They appear to just return from some combined mission but we don't know what that was. Ms Marvel has just been in the end of the Annual. Before that she was with Spider-Woman and our team in an improbable tale in Breaking Into Comics The Marvel Way. Before that she was without SW but with Ares, Black Widow and Wonder Man in Av: Initiative #11-12. That covers their recent history.
In the immediate future after their apps here Black Widow will join Iron Man and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes in Captain America v 5 #29-33, at the end of which Bucky will agree to become the new Cap. Then BW and the rest of the MAv will convene in (Cable &) Deadpool #49-50 (co-starring Ka-Zar and then Spider-Man). Then Spidey co-stars in Ms Marvel's Annual. And that's all their apps before that occur before the last part of this issue.
(Fake) Jarvis was previously in out #36. He goes straight from his app in this issue to ASM#544. But then he isn't seen again until the Iron Man: Iron Protocols 1-shot almost at Secret Invasion.

Our team will split up after this apart from Echo, Ronin and Wolverine sharing next issue when they discover another Skrull. Spider-Man of course will have lots of his own stuff beginning with ASM Family #4, as will Wolverine after next issue. Jessica Jones and Danielle Cage won't be seen until SecInv #7. Luke Cage will appear in Daredevil #107-108 and then join Iron Fist in #16-20 of his own Immortal IF series, and IF will continue the DD link with #111-115. The whole team apart from Echo and Ronin will join nearly every other Marvel hero in Fantastic Four #556-557 where FF beat a menace after everyone else has failed. Then there's a big gathering for Sue Storm's 'funeral' in FF#562. Then the team apart from Spidey and Wolvie go quiet until the Avengers/Invaders maxi-series. After that Luke Cage joins Ronin for Young Avengers Presents #6, Iron Fist guests in Eternals vol 4 #1 and then Secret Invasion actually starts.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #38 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Annual #2 Hood's gang invaded the New Avengers' base in Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Our team won but only at the expense of wrecking the place and DrS using demonic magic that has forced him to retire from active duty. Jessica Jones escaped the fight with Danielle Cage, her and Luke Cage's baby daughter, and fled for safety to Avengers Tower, home of the rival team Mighty Avengers. The 2 teams had split because of the Civil War and the NAv are now outlaws.

Luke goes looking for for Jess at Alias Investigation Services but she's not there. He sees a picture of Avengers Iron Man, Thor and Ms. Marvel (in her 1st run with that id) with teen Jessica in her original super-id Jewel. Outside he sees Avengers/Stark Tower in the distance with Sentry's Watchtower on top, and he realises where she's probably gone.

Jess is having breakfast in the Tower with Danielle in a basket beside her when she gets the call from Luke she's been expecting. He's calling from a payphone and launches immediately into an angry tirade, ignoring her patient explanation that she and the baby are OK and she signed the Super-Powers Registration Act so Danielle could stay here in safety. Cage reminds her of the Civil War and the death of Captain America. But she reminds *him* that they lost the War. She stayed with him while he led the New Avengers in a principled stand but now she has to put their baby 1st. He  then reminds her about the Skrulls but she says she can't be concerned with big existential threats. Luke breaks the payphone. Jarvis expresses concern and Jess says Luke will probably try to break in to get to her.

So she goes down to meet him outside the lobby. They run over the argument again. He accuses her of betraying him and ending their marriage. She says he can save the marriage by Registering and joining them in the Tower. He says it's not a safe place because Tony Stark is a Skrull. She responds that he doesn't *know*  that there's a Skrull invasion because the team have only found *1* imposter Elektra (#31). But if there is a Skrull threat then Avengers Tower is the safest place to be, unlike Strange's house turned out to be. She knows she should have talked about it with him 1st, but there wasn't time with the super-battle going on.

Meanwhile the (Mighty) Avengers (Ares, Black Widow, Ms Marvel, Spider-Woman and Wonder Man) have returned from a mission to see end of the argument playing out on a monitor screen and Danielle in her basket. Jarvis explains what's happened while they were away. Ares thinks Cage should just make Jessica do what he wants. Carol Danvers heads out to mediate.

The couple have descended to talking lawyers over custody of the baby. Jess points out that his fugitive status gives him no chance of winning. He threatens to go in and *take* Danielle by force. Jess reminds him that most of the Avengers are his friends. He responds that changed when they chose the wrong side. Ms Marvel flies in and he accuses her of selling out. She reminds him how she let him and his Avengers go free last issue. Jessica maintains she had no choice and goes inside.

Carol asks Luke if he's thinking about switching sides, because if he says he's 'thinking' about it then she can let him go again. But Luke's too angry to take the hint. Then Wonder Man flies in to join them followed by the rest on foot. Black Widow tries to arrest him but Ms Marvel says she's negotiating his surrender. Then Cage accuses them all of being Skrulls and warns them about harming his wife or child. The team profess to not know what he's talking about, and Luke tells them to ask Spider-Woman or Iron Man. He walks away ...

... and Ms Marvel lets him go. Ares and BW protest. Carol points out that Natasha would be in a Russian gulag if the Avengers hadn't taken her in. And she tells them that Luke and his team just took down Hood's gang who were guilty of killing many SHIELD Agents. Jessica has come back out but Carol escorts her back inside. BW and WM ask SW what Cage meant about Skrulls and she tells them it's classified SHIELD stuff and they should ask Director Tony about it.

Later Danny Rand (Iron Fist) is showing the New Avengers (Luke, Maya Lopez, Ronin (Clint Barton), Spider-Man (back in his red & blue costume) and Wolverine) around an empty floor in a building that Rand Corporation (indirectly) owns. He tells them that it was rented by Samuel Sterns (Hulk's foe the Leader) but the villain's activities have resulted in his properties going into receivership which will take a long time to sort out. The upshot is that this place is theirs to use for the foreseeable future. But they'll have to use their own back elevator for secret access, and there's no Wong to do the housekeeping.

Michael Gaydos
Michael Gaydos
Jose Villarrubia
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Penciler)
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Inker)
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: ?.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Clint Barton)

(Peter Parker)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Danielle Cage, Echo (Maya Lopez), Jarvis (Edwin Jarvis).

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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