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New Avengers #55: Review

Jul 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #55 Review by (October 24, 2017)
Calvin Carr succeeded his brother Curtis as Chemistro in Power Man & Iron Fist #93, inheriting the alchemy gun which can transmute stuff into other stuff. Wizard gave him wrist blaster versions of it in Iron Man #251-252 during Acts Of Vengeance. He was part of the prison break from the Raft in our #1 and joined Hood's army from the beginning the flashback in #35.

Jonas Harrow began as a surgeon giving powers to villains in Amazing Spider-Man, but evolved into a more general-purpose villainous scientist. He showed up here at Owl's auction of Deathlok in #33 and transferred into Hood's gang for #35. But hasn't been involved in any Hoodery since.

When this issue was written it was presumably intended that Hood missed his gang meeting because he was still in hospital after the end of last issue. But he's in lots of other comics during Dark Reign and the Marvel Chronology Project has him in several issues between then and now, as I documented in last issue's comments along with those of other chars. Possibly he's busy with Initiative business. Madame Masque was captured with him last issue and handed over to the authorities, but Norman Osborn probably freed her and she's possibly continuing to hunt Tony Stark for him. Hood's cousin John King is possibly absent just because Hood is.

Why does no-one in the gang appear to know Hood is working for Osborn? Brothers Grimm, Cutthroat, Griffin, Living Laser, Mandrill and Razor-Fist have all been with him in the Initiative.

Small continuity problem:- Wolverine tells the *whole* team he's leaving for San Fran in Dark Avengers/X-Men: Utopia, which the MCP has to put as (the only) app of the other NAV members between the 2 halves of this issue. So we have to ignore Spider-Woman giving them the news here. (And anyway the MCP inserts several Logan and Osborn apps between the Utopia arc and the 2nd half of this issue, even though no chars in the 2nd half appear anywhere else in that interval.)
Wolvie won't return to the NAv until the début of the new team and series after Dark Reign ends with Siege.

We don't get an explanation why the power drainer affects Captain America and Ronin who (at this time at least) have no superpowers except skills and a cyborg arm. But it doesn't affect Mockingbird *because* she has no such powers (again, at least at this time).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #55 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from New Avengers #55
This issue can be divided into 3 parts:- A flashback to the end of #50, interleaved with the 2nd part which happens before the Dark Avengers/X-Men Utopia crossover. Then the 3rd part is after Utopia. I'll describe the whole fb before part 2.

We see a replay of the end of the battle in the Hellfire Club's abandoned HQ in #50 between the New Avengers and Hood's gang, as Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel team up to take down the villains enough for our guys to escape.

The villains are unhappy with the outcome of the fight despite Hood spinning it that they caused the Avengers to run away. Madame Masque says the NAv succeeded through better teamwork, and reminds the gang that none of them took her up on her offer to train them. Hood reminds them that he keeps them out of jail, and has made them all richer.

Wrecker has elected himself spokesman and demands to know how Hood knew the NAv would be here, and why they seemed to expect someone different. Hood refuses to enlighten them that he's working for Norman Osborn, and the Avengers were expecting to fight NO's Dark Avengers.

Chemistro examiners the remains of a device which the NAv had but which Hood shot up before the fight started. We know that it was a power drainer the NAv intended to use on the DAv. Chemistro learns that when he takes it to Dr Jonas Harrow. The pair think they can figure out this piece of Stark Tech and get it working again.

Now in the 2nd part Captain America (Bucky Barnes) gets back to the base he's letting the NAv use as an HQ to find the place a slum with Wolverine passed out.

Next night Spider-Man drops in but only finds Jessica Jones and baby Danielle Cage there. He wishes she wouldn't call him Peter, but she reminds him they went to school together. He says that if she and the others get used to calling him by his real name then 1 day they'll accidentally use it in public and then he'll be back with the problems he had after he went public in Civil War. (I wonder how the team took his explanation of how he made them all forget who he was?)

Jessica assures him that she and Luke Cage will never betray his trust. She claims he's Luke's hero. But Peter Parker is convinced that coming out to them (in #51) will mess up his life *somehow* - it's the Parker luck.

The same night Hood's gang gather for their weekly meeting. Hood and his lieutenants Madame Masque and John King haven't showed. Wrecker announces that he and his Wrecking Crew are quitting, but Living Laser speaks for the others who like what they get out of the deal.

Jonas Harrow is there and he tells them he's worked out that Hood is working for Norman Osborn. It's how he keeps them out of jail. It's how he knew where to ambush the NAv. But this only makes Dirk Garthwaite even more determined to get out.

Harrow suggests that they put aside the secrets and accept like Laser that the perks are worth it. But he has another proposition for them. He shows them a case (presumably containing the restored power drainer) and says this is something that Osborn will pay a lot for. They only have to get his attention.

Sometime later the NAv are having a meeting without Wolverine. Spider-Woman tells the others he had to go join the other X-Men in San Francisco (for the Utopia crossover). Luke Cage informs them that Drs Strange and Voodoo are getting on with things after Daniel Drumm became the new Sorcerer Supreme in the last arc. Everyone ignores Bucky's attempts to complain about the mess they're making of his home.

Jessica Drew censures Ronin for his TV tirade against Norman Osborn (#50). He readily agrees, but only because he should have killed Osborn instead - which is what he intends to do now. This shocks Spidey to the core - they're supposed to be the *good* guys. Cage agrees but thinks they should discuss it. Carol Danvers (a former member of the military) says this is war. Mockingbird is characteristically quiet. In the heat of the argument Clint Barton blames Spidey for not having killed Osborn in the many times *they* fought.

Cap interrupts the 'discussion' with an assignment.

They find Chemistro in Times Square firing his wrist blasters to transmute stuff, but not harming people or trying to steal anything. The police have him surrounded but daren't approach. The team swoop down but find their superpowers failing them. Ronin tells unpowered Mockingbird to escape. Luke Cage starts to have a heart attack.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Stuart Immonen
Wade Von Grawbadger
Dave McCaig
Stuart Immonen (Cover Penciler)
Wade Von Grawbadger (Cover Inker)
Dave McCaig (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Clint Barton)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Chemistro (Curtis Carr), Danielle Cage.

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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