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New Avengers #13: Review

Dec 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Simone Bianchi

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Review & Comments

4.5 stars

New Avengers #13 Review by (January 5, 2014)
Simone Bianchi has taken over as artist for the next few issues. This is supposedly an Inhumanity tie-in but despite the cover image there is no link to the Inhumanity plot in current Marvel, merely a weak addition of their own Terrigenesis Wave on the alternate Earth that gets destroyed this issue. Missing from the Earth-23099 Illuminati are Beast (because he hasn't taken Prof X's place), Dr Strange and Sub-Mariner. Mr Fantastic invented his Bridge in the Dark Reign: Fantastic Four mini-series (written by Hickman) and it's been used extensively since in their main series (mainly Hickman again), but to go to other places not just view them.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #13 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page this time goes mainly back to the beginning again, with words and images taken from #2 explaining the basic incursion dilemma, where they have 8 hours each time to destroy the alternate Earth of the incursion or both realities will die. As usual some of the words are attached to the 'wrong' images (in 1 case to an image of the latest incursion from #11), and sometimes spoken by the wrong person. It ends with words and an image from last issue as Dr Strange swears to do his utmost to solve the problem.

We open the issue proper with Mr Fantastic making the same speech to the other Illuminati as in #2. But this is a different alternate reality (Earth-23099) and a different Illuminati. Black Bolt, Black Panther (T'Challa) and Iron Man are also members, but so are Black Panther (Shuri), Captain Mar-Vell (the original), Magneto and Prof X (not dead in that reality).

The Illuminati have only just discovered about incursions, but the time is now so the Terrigenesis Wave has just hit. In this reality it is Maximus who rules the Inhumans and Black Bolt is an exile. It was Maximus who set off this Terrigenesis that is unleashing the dormant powers of everyone in the world with Inhuman heritage.

As in the main Marvel timeline Earth-616 Attilan is hovering over New York, but not destroyed by any Thanos invasion. And New York is where the current incursion is happening. As usual the alternate Earth is only visible in the pink sky of a small area. But this time the Illuminati see a crowd of beings coming from it, cloaked and wearing elaborate horned masks.

In the Wakandan Necropolis on Earth-616 our Illuminati (including Beast but not Dr Strange and Sub-Mariner) are seeking help from Black Swan, who destroyed the 1st incursing Earth in #1 and who is the source of all their information about the threat to the multiverse. She describes to them a device for seeing incursions happening in other timelines. But she describes it in mystical terms, which doesn't sit well with the scientifically-minded group members.

She says they need the 'mirror' because others have it. Especially the Black Priests who the Illuminati are likely to encounter because they 'move through time and space the way you would'. With this mirror you can focus your needs to find what you are looking for.

Beast, Iron Man and Mr Fantastic translate this as a viewer for looking into other timelines, with variable parameters to select the type of event to home in on. And Reed realises he has already built such a device, that he calls the Bridge. They bring the Bridge from the Baxter Building to the Necropolis and use it to view what of course turns out to be Earth-23099. And the invaders are the Black Priests.

Dr Strange isn't present because he's putting his vow into practice. Using stuff he learned from the Blood Bible (which he's been studying since #4)) he's travelling further into the mystic realms than ever before. Beyond the distinctions of light/dark, good/evil and chaos/order. Ready to sell body and soul for the words of power to end the threat of incursions forever.

On Earth-23099 the Black Priests are killing the inhabitants of New York, both human and those who have been changed by Terrigenesis. They can be destroyed by Mar-Vell's blasts and by Black Bolt's voice, but the Priests just reconstruct themselves. Charles Xavier tries to read their minds, and finds that each is actually a hive of thousands of minds. But this contact enables the Priests to speak English.

Magneto removes their masks, revealing eyeless and noseless faces with individual symbols inscribed on the blank front. But despite that they all intone "We see you". Iron Man and Black Bolt (again) see their assaults shrugged off. Mr Fantastic reasons that their ability to reassemble themselves from bits implies no internal organs. Shuri suggests they work by magic rather than science, a distinction that the Priests find amusing.

Echoing Dr Strange they say that it is 'the words' that underpin reality. Uttering such words in an alien script they kill the alternate Illuminati. As they replace their helmets they say that "many cannot endure the words".

Then they sense that they are being watched via a 'mirror'. They can't tell who is watching, and ask if it is the Mapmakers (see #6) or the Ebony Kings (anything to do with the Ivory Kings that Black Swan mentioned last issue?). To whoever it is they declare that a day of convergence is coming when the final word will be spoken. And opposition is futile.

And our watching Illuminati see the alternate Earth die.

Simone Bianchi
Simone Bianchi
Adriano Dell'alpi
Simone Bianchi (Cover Penciler)
Simone Bianchi (Cover Inker)
Simone Bianchi (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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