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New Avengers #50: Review

Feb 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #50 Review by (May 9, 2017)
As well as the Tan/Banning/Ponsor art team doing most of the issue there are guest teams on the individual fight pages, many of them handling familiar characters.
Bryan Hitch & Rain Beredo do an initial 2-page spread of the whole battle.
David Aja & Dave Stewart do Iron Fist.
Michael Gaydos does Luke Cage.
David & Alvaro Lopez (& presumably Ponsor) do Ronin & Mockingbird.
Alex Maleev does Spider-Woman.
Steve McNiven & Dexter Vimes & Morry Hollowell do Spider-Man.
Leinil Yu & Mark Morales & Dave McCaig do Wolverine.
Steve Epting (& probably Ponsor again) do Bucky-Cap.
Greg Horn does Ms Marvel vs Hood.

Echo was with the team during Secret Invasion (and I missed spotting her in the opening pages of #48), but as they say here she's vanished since then. She'll crop up in NAv(2010)#7 as 1 of the potential nannies for baby Danielle. She'll then have a major role in the 2011 Moon Knight series, but get killed near the end. But 1 of the many post-Secret Wars resurrections will have her back in action in the 2016 Daredevil Annual.

The power drainer mentioned here, described as a biological EMP, was called a neural net when it was used in #28-29.

The Hellfire Club was last abandoned/wrecked in Wolverine: Origins #29.

The last time we saw the Hood's gang they were helping fight the Skrulls in Secret Invasion #7-8. But since then Hood has joined Norman Osborn's Cabal, which is why he's been given the job of 'chastising' the NAv. But he and his mob were happy to do it in revenge for their defeat in Annual #2.
Apart from those I've mentioned in the text I can see Blackout, a Blood Brother, Chemistro, Jigsaw, Madame Masque, Mandrill, Piledriver, Vermin, Wizard and Wrecker.
Hood discovered the demon behind his powers was Dormammu in #46 during Secret Invasion. Presumably he's the demon this issue. In the 1st 2 pages of #51 we will learn that Dormy wants Hood to find Dr Strange and take over as the new Sorcerer Supreme. But he won't get to that until the bulk of #51 and following. In the meantime he'll be busy with his gang in his own tale in DR:Cabal, hunting Tony Stark in IM#12-13, in Initiative #25, Marvel Zombies v4, Deadpool: Suicide Kings, his own DR:Hood series and more beyond that.

Iron Fist's reference to problems in his own life is probably supposed to refer to events in the Immortal Iron Fist series. But the vagaries of trying to fit all Marvel Comics events into a sequence means that in the Marvel Chronology Project he hasn't been in that series since the bulk of #20 not long after World War Hulk. But he has an excuse for disappearing after this when he returns to his mag for the last page of #20 where he leaves for an extended visit to the mystical 8th City.
He'll be back here eventually for #59-60 to help Luke Cage, and gets involved in Siege that ends Dark Reign.

Spider-Man mentions 3 previous invitations to join the Avengers before NAv. I presume he refers to:-
1 might think the High-School reference was to Av#11, but it was actually a robot duplicate SM there, and *he* asked to join rather than being invited. More plausibly it was the follow-on tale added in Av Classic #11 where Captain America and Giant-Man talk with him and mention thinking about asking him.
The College time was most certainly Amazing SM Annnual #3.
As a young adult he actually did join temporarily in Av#329-331.

Ms Marvel immediately follows this issue with p3-5 of #51 where Carol sees Clint's TV app followed by Wonder Man quitting Avenging on TV. Clint tells her afterwards that it was meant to rattle Osborn and speed up his inevitable descent into Green Goblin madness. The rest of #51 is placed halfway through Dark Reign. The team members do a lot of stuff in the meantime. Spider-Man and Wolverine are their usual busy selves - too busy to keep track of. But I'll follow the other members to about the halfway point.
I'll leave the rest to my Comments on #51.
After Luke Cage takes some time with Jessica and baby Danielle in Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #2 the whole team including Iron Fist reunite for Free Comic Book Day 2009 Avengers where Thor unites the New and Dark Av to fight Ymir. After this IF goes his own way for a while. Then most of the team cameo in Mighty Av #21 where Scarlet Witch assembles a rag-tag team, but she's really female Loki in disguise. And everybody but Mockingbird fight the Agents Of Atlas in their #5. Then it's a nearly-full cameo in Wolverine #73 before the team split up a lot. Mockingbird and Ronin have their own story in DR: New Nation and their own mini-series NAv: Reunion before guesting in War Machine #8-10. Ms Marvel fights her own battles in her #31-37, ending with her apparent death. Karla Sofen/Moonstone takes over the title in #38, but Carol Danvers' fight back with the help of this team is a subject for the 2nd half. Meanwhile Bucky-Cap and Spidey join Wolverine for his #74 finale. After that Daken takes over the series renaming it Dark Wolverine, and Logan moves to Wo: Weapon X. Then CA#43-48 involves Bucky with Prof Chin who has used the android body of the ex-Invader Human Torch to create a deadly weapon, and then he meets up with the surviving WWII Young Allies in their 70th Anniversary Special.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #50 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from New Avengers #50
We pick up from the end of last issue where the New Avengers have seen the unveiling of Norman Osborn's Avengers at the end of Dark Avengers #1. They study a paused TV report and try to figure out who the imposters are. Captain America (Bucky Barnes), Mockingbird (mostly), Spider-Woman and Wolverine (mostly) keep quiet while Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Ms Marvel, Ronin and Spider-Man toss comments back and forth.

Ronin wants the team to go beat the imposters up, but Ms Marvel advises caution and planning. Clint Barton (Ronin) is extremely unhappy about someone who obviously isn't Kate Bishop using his old Hawkeye identity, and Spidey wonders who crazy Norman has given his black costume to. Danny Rand (IF) comments on the 2 actual Mighty Avengers Ares and Sentry on the team. MsM reminds them that Sentry is mentally unwell, and Cage opines that Ares is just doing the job as usual.

Mockingbird wonders who the 1 identified as Captain Marvel is, and Carol Danvers identifies him as the Kree Marvel Boy who fought against the Skrulls in Secret Invasion. But Carol (MsM) can't figure out who's using her id and old costume, after she refused Osborn's offer of the job. Then Luke works out some of them are the Thunderbolts. Carol realises the other Ms Marvel is Moonstone. Ronin recognises 'Hawkeye' as Bullseye. And Spider-Man is disgusted that he's been replaced by the Mac Gargan (ex-Scorpion) Venom. And Wolverine admits that his lookalike on the team is his son.

Along the way Spidey reminds Barton that he's wearing someone else's costume too - Echo/Maya. No-one knows what's happened to her after Secret Invasion. Mockingbird, who's been a Skrull prisoner for a long time, wants to know who this Maya is who her (ex-)husband Clint has got a costume off! But she doesn't get an answer.

Then Spidey wonders how come Norman Osborn is wearing an Iron Man armour, albeit in red, white and blue. And he's taken over Avengers Tower which belongs to Tony Stark. Ms Marvel explains that Tony has used SHIELD money to finance the Avengers since he took it over after Civil War. So now Osborn has the Tower, and the Iron Man armours inside.

Bucky-Cap isn't so familiar with the details of all the super-characters, what with having spent most of his life as Winter Soldier mostly in suspended animation. So he checks that Norman Osborn really is the Green Goblin, and he's as bad as they say. And some of these new Avengers aren't any better. Then he agrees that they should fight them ....

.... but they don't have the authority to arrest them. Ronin is sure that the villains will reveal their villainy in a fight. Spidey thinks his team is outgunned. But Ms Marvel has a plan.

She reminds them of when Stark lured them into a trap after Civil War with Steve Rogers' dead body (#28-29). He used a power inhibitor on them, and only Dr Strange was able to get them out. (Cue a reminder that DrS isn't with the team any more.) Carol says she can get hold of an inhibitor to use against the imposters when they lure them into a trap.

But now Jessica Jones pops in with baby Danielle. She's lost Strange's Sanctum and Avengers Tower as safe places to bring up her child. She doesn't want to lose this place too (Cap's hideout). Carol assures her they're not going to lure the enemy here. Logan has an idea for a place. Now all they have to figure out is the luring.

At this point the other Jessica (Drew/Spider-Woman) speaks for the 1st time - she can do the luring.

Cut to Avengers Tower. The Kree Captain Marvel/Noh-Varr/Marvel Boy wants the Avengers to hunt down any remaining Skrulls (that's long-term Kree/Skrull animosity speaking). Osborn says HAMMER is doing that. Hawkeye/Bullseye suggests they go after Tony Stark for his failure during the Skrull Secret Invasion, but Osborn is leaving that to the lawyers. He wants his team to do something to impress the public.

Suddenly Spider-Woman appears at the window, and of course some people assume she's the Skrull Queen who impersonated her during SI. But Osborn for 1 knows Veranke is dead - because he shot her. Norman is willing to talk, while Spider-Man/Venom holds her down - there's no point taking chances.

SW claims to be messed up by the Veranke situation. She went to the New Avengers but they all hate her because of the Skrulls. So she's come here because she can't think of anyone else who might accept her. But NO's not interested.

Venom still thinks she's a Skrull, so pissed off Jessica hits him with her venom blast - and Marvel Boy too. A couple of kicks take down Bullseye and Ms Marvel/Moonstone. Osborn stops Wolverine/Daken from joining in as SW uses Moonstone's blast against Ares. But then Sentry restrains her wrists, and her venom blast is ineffective against him.

Norman is impressed with the display of prowess but wants something more before he'll give her a job. So she offers to tell him where the NAv are living.

The real Wolverine has taken his team to the abandoned Hellfire Club. He'd considered this as a base for them before Bucky offered them his place. And the real Ms Marvel has procured a power drainer plus pills to protect them from its effects. The effects will only last for a few minutes, and might not affect all the enemy.

Spider-Woman joins them. She says Osborn swallowed her story, and tagged her so his Avengers could follow her here. They should arrive any second. But Wolvie smells something wrong and SM's spider-sense kicks in too. And suddenly a hail of bullets shatters the power drainer. Another bullet enters Logan's skull. And an explosion heralds the entrance of Hood and his gang of villains.

At Avengers Tower Osborn gloats about a plan coming together. It would have been bad publicity for his team to fight a team containing a Captain America, so he's left it to Hood. He's in the Iron Patriot armour and they get into a quinjet because they've got another mission (see DAv#2).

As the battle commences Hood points out that last time (Annual #2) it was Dr Strange who saved the NAv, and he's not here now. Now it's Mockingbird's turn not to know who's who. She'd been kidnapped by the Skrulls years ago and she's never heard of Hood and doesn't recognise most of his henchmen.

As Iron Fist wades through Answer, Cutthroat, Griffin and Bulldozer he wonders why he's here. He only joined the team after Civil War to help his pal Luke Cage. And he resigned in #48, so why isn't he getting on with his own life?

Meanwhile Cage himself is duking it out with Thunderball. And wondering if Spider-Woman betrayed them. His paranoia resurfaces as he wonders if she is still a Skrull.

Clint Barton and Mockingbird are a team again like they were in West Coast Avengers. They are fighting Shockwave and Crossfire. But while Bobbi revels in the action which is dispelling her post-Skrull syndrome, Ronin is concerned how Hood is connected to Osborn.

Spider-Woman blames herself for this mess, and adds that to all the other things bringing her down. But she turns the feeling into rage which fuels her fight against Corruptor, Slug(?), a Brother Grimm, Living Laser and Razor-Fist.

Spider-Man is fighting Dr Demonicus. Meanwhile he too wonders why he's in this team of Avengers. He turned down offers of membership during High School, College and young adulthood when the team were top of the heap. Now when he does join he finds himself in an outlaw team reduced to meeting in fake Cap's basement.

Wolverine is just busy taking down opponents. We see him fighting Centurius.

Bucky-Cap's shield bounces off (the other?) Brother Grimm, ????, Slug and Scarecrow. He has committed himself to this team of Avengers as part of taking on Steve-Cap's role. Even as he uses the gun that Steve Rogers never would.

Ms Marvel is fighting the Hood himself, who seems to be just a guy in a cloak with 2 guns. But when she blasts him in the face his eyes glow and he turns into a giant fiery demon. (I think this is what happens, although the fiery form appears in a previous crowd scene where Hood is also shown separately. But I can find no indication who else this fiery being might be.) Cap and Wolvie turn their attentions on this fiery foe to no avail.

Ms Marvel gets Spider-Woman to hit her with all the bioelectric venom-blast she can must. MsM absorbs all the energy and re-emits it as bolts which knock down all the enemies. The NAv take the opportunity to escape, with Carol carrying the now unconscious SW.

Back at base the NAv hold a postmortem. Spider-Woman apologises for the plan going wrong, but Mockingbird says it's not her fault and Ms Marvel says it's down to her they escaped. Ronin concentrates on the fact that Hood is obviously working with Osborn. And Clint has a plan.

He does a TV interview openly as Clint Barton/Avenger/Hawkeye/Ronin. He points out that people seem to have forgotten that Norman Osborn, the man who's been given so much power, is the criminal sociopath Green Goblin. He claims that most of Osborn's Avengers, who's identities are being kept secret, are also in fact criminals. And that Osborn just sent the Hood and his criminal gang to attack Ronin's real Avengers team. He invites everyone to join the fight against Osborn.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Billy Tan
Matt Banning
Justin Ponsor
Billy Tan (Cover Penciler)
Matt Banning (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)

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