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New Avengers #53: Review

May 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #53 Review by (August 22, 2017)
Who are the possible new Sorcerer Supremes contacted by the Eye of Agamotto? comicbookdb has a more complete cast of characters for this issue than Marvel Wiki (which doesn't have any extras), and I can make a good stab at correlating them with the comic panel, roughly in rows from top to bottom:-
Brother Voodoo, Jennifer Kale, Topaz, Satana, Tigra, Dr Doom;
Morgan Le Fay, Dr Druid, Hellstorm, Derwyddon, Baron Mordo;
Scarlet Scarab II, Cyrus Black, Modred, Soulfire;
Wong, Hood, Talisman, Mr Rasputin, Selene, Hellfire;
Wiccan, Devil-Slayer, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Scarlet Witch;
Magik, Spiral.
There are differences from comicboodb's list. I've used Dr Druid rather than Druid (of the Secret Warriors) - Dr Druid may be currently dead but it looks like him and Druid isn't magical. I've used Hellfire (from #51's cover) instead of Kaluu.
There are some other questionable attributions. Eg both comicbookdb and the Marvel Wiki claim that Mr Rasputin is here but the only other completely bald guy apart from Wong is the small pic in the middle with alien-looking big white eyes. But since a similar pic is included next issue and comicbookdb nominates Rasputin again I'll go with it.

There are some obscure characters here:-
Mr Rasputin fought DrS in ST#145 and only reappeared in the Mutant Misadventures of Cloak & Dagger #1.
Cyrus Black fought DrS in Defenders #6, DrS(1974)#34 and tangled with Nighthawk in a backup tale in Tales to Astonish (1979) #13.
Talisman is the Aboriginal Australian who was introduced in the 1st Contest of Champions but subsequently only showed up in Quasar #23-25.
Scarlet Scarab II fought Thor over the Eye of Horus in Th#326.
Derwyddon is an ancient Druid who helped Gargoyle in the latter's mini-series.
Soulfire fought/helped Daimon Hellstrom in Hellstorm: Prince of Lies #4-5.

We've already seen Hellfire, Hellstorm and Wiccan in the last 2 issues.

Of the others:-

In Brother Voodoo's last appearance in this title (#29-30) he was helping the post-Civil War Registration forces against his friend DrS and the NAv. But he may well have been the Skrull replacement uncovered in Black Panther (2005) #38. His real post Secret Invasion apps have been (Cable &) Deadpool #47-48, Hulk (2008) #9 where he cured Hulk of being a Wendigo, and Ghost Rider (2006) #32 the conclusion of a battle between multiple other GR's and GR Danny Ketch.

GR Johnny Blaze has just come from that story arc in GR(2006)#26-32.

Tigra's been a feature of the Initiative series for a while, taking time off for War Machine (2009) #8-10 before quitting to form the Avengers Resistance in Av:I#25.

Ex-Defender Devil-Slayer is here after being on the Hawaii Initiative team in Av:I#14,17-18.

Jennifer Kale has done quite a bit since her days with Man-Thing. Fairly recently she starred with Satana and Topaz in the Witches mini. Then she was in the Florida Initiative team during SI in Av:I#19, but the team broke up during Marvel Zombies 3. And in Marvel Zombies 4 she was part of the new Midnight Suns which included Hellstorm and Werewolf (By Night).

Topaz started off in Werewolf By Night but has become a frequent DrS character, lastly in DrS: Flight of Bones limited series. Then Witches.

Satana was resurrected by DrS to take a heroine role in Witches. In Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #6 she played the heroine again (with Brother Voodoo) against her brother Daimon Hellstrom. But in Legion Of Monsters: Satana she took revenge after being forced to be a 'heroine'. And in Hood's Dark Reign series she provided him with info about Dormammu.

Modred the Mystic is another character who swings between good and evil. Lately it was evil as he returned Chthon to Earth in Mighty Av #21-23.

Morgan Le Fay was most recently seen falling out with Dr Doom in Dark Av #1-4. Unfortunately that means she's currently trapped in prehistory.

Dr Doom has recently welcomed the Asgardians to Latveria in Thor #600-601 as part of a plot hatched with Loki in DR: Cabal. Then he attended Cabal meetings in DR: Hood #2 and MAv#24.

Scarlet Witch has been keeping a low profile since House of M. That definitely wasn't her in MAv#21-24, it was Loki in disguise.

Dr Druid was Ancient One's trainee before Stephen Strange. He's had a varied career including Monster Hunter and Avenger.

Baron Mordo is a longtime foe of DrS last seen in the Offenders team fighting the original Defenders (including a past version of DrS) in Hulk (2008) #10-12.

Wong is of course DrS's longtime manservant who is usually by his side - lately in our Annual #2 and Friendly Neighbourhood SM #24.

Selene is mainly an X-villain (although she did pop up in Witches #1). This issue is placed within the X-Men's Necrosha event in which she has the pivotal role. Before this app there was X-Necrosha: The Gathering and X-Force (2008) #11 where she picked some accomplices including a resurrected Caliban who would enable her to bring back other dead X-chars in the main event that will follow.

X-woman Magik is currently the soulless Darkchylde but she was brought back from Limbo in the X-Infernus mini-series.

X-villain Spiral was latterly in Red Queen's Sisterhood of Mutants in Uncanny X-Men #508-511.

Many of the potential Sorcerer Supremes will show up again next issue but others will leave the game here:-
Scarlet Scarab, Soulfire and Talisman leave more permantly because they haven't been seen again.
Jennifer Kale, Modred and Spiral will be part of Nightmare's army against Dr's Voodoo and Doom in DrV: Avenger of the Supernatural #5.
Satana will next share the spotlight of Deadpool Team-Up #892.
Morgan Le Fay will be rescued from the prehistoric past by her daughter Caroline in Fearless Defenders #12.
Hellfire returns to the Secret Warriors in DAv#9 and then back to their own series from #7.
The real Scarlet Witch will remain among the missing until the Av: Children's Crusade limited series. And Loki will continue to impersonate her for a few more issues of MAv.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #53 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from New Avengers #53
The New Avengers have flown their ('borrowed') quinjet to New Orleans to help Doctor Strange find the person destined to be his replacement as Sorcerer Supreme so he can hand over the Eye of Agamotto. Ronin (Clint Barton) is having difficulty finding somewhere to park. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) is trying to assure Luke Cage that he shouldn't worry about the crush his now-wife had on Pete in High School, but he's just digging a bigger hole and Luke is getting more annoyed.

Suddenly the Eye floats up in front of Stephen Strange and shows images of all the possible claimants. DrS thinks what's happening is that the Eye is appearing to each of them simultaneously. And then it vanishes, possibly going to the new owner it has chosen.

But then there's another 'suddenly' as Madame Masque shoots at them with a rocket launcher. Wolverine tells Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) to open the bay door and he and Spidey jump out. Masque fires a machine gun at them. Logan shakes off the bullets and Peter dodges them. Whitney Frost fires another rocket which Strange magically dismantles in flight.

Now Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) glides out of the jet to confront Masque, who drops a couple of smoke grenades. The pair have a hand-to-hand (and foot-to-jaw) fight in the smoke. SW knocks MM off the roof, but she recovers and hides.  DrS figures that her associate Hood is probably here too and may have taken the Eye. (He tried to take it off Strange in the last 2 issues.)

Hood certainly is here but he doesn't have the Eye because neither does his target Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan. Daimon didn't understand why this demon-possessed human was attacking him until the Eye just appeared between them, and just as suddenly disappeared. Now he fights back in earnest, and Dr Strange, Luke Cage, Mockingbird and pilot Ronin spot the blaze of magical energy from the quinjet.

Captain America (Bucky Barnes) and Ms Marvel have joined the other 3 on the rooftop. Healing Wolverine uses his senses to locate Masque. Ms Marvel and Spider-Man head off to get her. (Cap doesn't understand why both refused to take any of the guns Masque left behind.)

Hellstrom and Hood's fight has spilled outside. Hood has turned into his giant demon form when super-heavy Cage lands on him from a height. Dr Strange levitates down to join the battle. They both assume the Eye has chosen Daimon.

Carol and Peter have Whitney cornered but she's taken a woman hostage holding a gun to her head. Danvers gives her a count of 3 to surrender, then the newly-arrived Cap shoots her in her metal mask which knocks her out. Wolvie and Spider-Woman turn up, and they all can tell where the rest of the team is by the flames and flying debris.

Luke hits the demon Hood with a car. Stephen tells Daimon to run away because Hood mustn't get the Eye. But Hellstrom informs them that he doesn't *have* it. And then the real new owner, Brother Voodoo, drops in.

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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Clint Barton)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(James Howlett)

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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