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New Avengers #52: Review

Apr 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

New Avengers #52 Review by (August 22, 2017)
The 2 art teams from last issue are here again. Once again Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend and Antonio Fabela do the Hood stuff on pages 1-6 and 11-16, while Billy Tan, Matt Banning and Justin Ponsor do the Avengers in p7-10,17-23 including the Hellstorm/Hood finale.

Madame Masque has been in Hood's gang from the beginning in #35 and became his 2nd in command by Annual #2. Now she'll add lover to her CV. Since Iron Man #13 she's been trying to track down Tony Stark for Norman Osborn, but she won't have any success until the much later IM#14. Meanwhile she's been in the Dark Reign: Hood mini-series.

Daimon Hellstrom's conflicted nature has been in evidence in his recent (infrequent) appearances. As lord of a Hell he was involved in a war against Dormammu in Hellcat #1-3. He was a foe of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos monster troop. But he worked with the good guys in Last Defenders. And again in Marvel Zombies 4 (also alongside the Hood).

Hellcat apps have been more frequent. She was a teacher from the beginning of Avengers: Initiative. Her role as the sole member of the Alaskan Initiative featured in the Patsy Walker: Hellcat limited series. She rejoined the main Initiative group for Secret Invasion and Osborn's takeover afterwards. And has left the team since then to be in the Models mini-series (as per the Marvel Chronology Project)..
This presents a wee continuity problem for this issue. I can only presume that Patsy is lying on the phone because she doesn't want her angry ex to know where she *really* is.
Patsy will go from here to the Marvel Divas limited series before showing up for real in #59-60.

Jessica Jones and Danielle will be left at home for the rest of this story arc. They'll feature in a backup tale in Amazing SM #601 where Jessica and Peter Parker clear the air after the revelation last issue that they knew each other in High School, before returning for #55.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #52 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from New Avengers #52
We begin with a flashback in the form of Doctor Strange telling the New Avengers about his battle with the Hood in demon form with guns. After telling Wiccan of the Young Avengers to run away Stephen Strange tried to talk Parker Robbins down. Hood wanted the Eye of Agamotto and DrS told him the power would destroy him - the demon empowering him was only using him to get the Eye for himself. Hood responded with magic and bullets - and Strange realised the villain was now more powerful than himself since he lost the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.

Just then Wiccan appeared on a rooftop and attacked Hood with lightning bolts. So Hood brought the building down. DrS launched a counterattack, saved Billy Kaplan and magicked them both away. Then he came here to NAv's hideout in Captain America (Bucky Barnes)' base.

(Some things have changed since he left the team in Annual #2. He knows about the new HQ because Luke Cage texted him. And he's mildly surprised to see Mockingbird - she was supposed to have died in Avengers West Coast #100 but that was really a very early Skrull replacement.)

Stephen reassures Luke Cage that Hood can't track him here (Luke is worried about his wife Jessica Jones and baby Danielle Cage behind him). Then DrS runs through the stuff about his action in An#2 meaning he is no longer worthy to be the SS. Someone else will inherit the title and he needs to find that person and give him the Eye. But Hood will be looking for him or her to kill them. The team insist on helping him.

Meanwhile Hood has returned to his own HQ, his demon transformation racking him with pain. His gang lieutenant Madame Masque finds him asks if his deal with Dormammu is worth it. Parker says everything will be fine once he gets Dr Strange. She offers to help him, because he saved her from the Skrulls in #46. To prove her commitment Whitney Frost takes off her golden mask and shows him her scarred face. They kiss.

Ms. Marvel leads them to Cap's garage where even he is surprised to find an Avengers quinjet. Carol Danvers says she 'borrowed' it when Norman Osborn took over. Spider-Man isn't happy about that but Luke Cage, Ronin, Spider-Woman and Wolverine are perfectly OK with it.

Clint Barton flies them to New Orleans where the Eye indicates a concentration of magic. Under Bobbi Barton's questioning Strange admits that a 'bad' guy like Dr Doom could be the next Sorcerer Supreme, but Stephen would strongly resist that. Logan asks if it could be Scarlet Witch, to uncertain reactions.

And in a New Orleans apartment we find Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan, ringing his ex-wife Patsy Walker, Hellcat. He wants to know where she is. When she tells him Tony Stark sent her to Alaska as the Initiative team for that state she claims not to know that Norman Osborn has taken over so she can quit. Daimon is worried about her but his temper soon gets the better of him and the conversation ends badly.

Then things get worse as Hood attacks him.


Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:




Billy Tan
Matt Banning
Justin Ponsor
Billy Tan (Cover Penciler)
Matt Banning (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hellcat
Hellcat

(Patsy Walker)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Ronin
Ronin

(Clint Barton)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Danielle Cage, Wiccan (Asgardian).

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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