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New Avengers #17: Review

Apr 2014
Jonathan Hickman, Rags Morales

Story Name:

A perfect world II

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

New Avengers #17 Review by (May 3, 2014)
Black Panther and Sub-Mariner have been enemies since Namor tried to drown Wakanda during Avengers vs X-Men. But they have also secretly been uneasy allies since the Illuminati reformed to deal with the incursion crisis at the beginning of this series. Namor's Atlantis kingdom was destroyed by Wakandan forces during Infinity. Black Panther ceded rule of Wakanda to his sister Shuri long before AvX in Fantastic Four, taking control of the Necropolis instead. But when Shuri and the other Wakandans found out after Infinity in #12 about T'Challa's working with Namor, she threw him out of the tribe and confined him to the Necropolis. It was then that Namor and T'Challa's relationship started to thaw, but we haven't seen Namor here since then until last issue. *We* know that Hulk joined the Illuminati in Av#28. Has that happened already or will it be in the next 2 hours? Similarly Mr Fantastic's new red and black costume has only made its way across from the Fantastic Four's new series in Av#28 and this flash-forward. And Dr Strange is in both apps with no explanation even though he's been absent since #12 and was last seen in a dodgy situation in #14. Even if Namor and T'Challa know about these changes, why do they *assume* its their Illuminati, not 1 of the alternates they've seen before?

The previously page is written as if this was an issue of the Great Society's comic. I don't remember Marvel doing something like this since Av#148 (which I recently synopsised) where the splash page was written as if the book belonged to the Squadron Supreme. The Great Society follow in an old Marvel tradition of being modelled on DC heroes, dating back to the Squadron Sinister in #69 of the original Avengers series. Boundless is Flash (looking more like the current Earth 2 version), Dr Spectrum is (as usual) Green Lantern, Sun God is Superman, the Jovian is Martian Manhunter and the Norn is Dr Fate. The Rider's name Wayne presumably indicates Batman. The previously page starts with Sun God's "Everything lives" speech from last issue, a take on Mr Fantastic's oft-repeated "Everything dies". The Mapmakers fear Sun God as a post-Universal. I would guess this relates to the White Events which the Avengers part of Jonathan Hickman's massive storyline has imported from the New Universe, and more specifically Warren Ellis's newuniversal series. A White Event created the current Starbrand in Av#7, and I guess Sun God is the product of a White Event - maybe he's another Starbrand - in these 2 issues we've never seen the palms of his hands to see if he has a Starbrand tattoo.

Rags Morales replaced Simone Bianchi as artist for this issue and the last. Next issue the Great Society story is set to continue under yet another artist. I didn't document #16 because its only regular Marvel characters were Black Panther and Sub-Mariner. This issue is only saved from that category by the last panel appearance of the rest of the Illuminati including Iron Man (and Hulk). The title page includes an editorial note advising the reader to do this week's companion issue Avengers #28 1st. This must be a last minute addition as Av#28 was scheduled to come out 2 weeks before this 1 (and they're both late). The relevant bit of Av#28 is that Bruce Banner joins the team. Also of interest is that we find out that the Mapmakers are evolved Adaptoids.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue is a continuation of the tale in #16 where Black Panther and Sub-Mariner view the world of the Great Society as it deals with incursions. The previously page reminds us of the Great Society members Boundless, Dr Spectrum, Sun God, the Rider, the Jovian and the Norn, who were outcast anti-heroes who banded together to save their world from incursions. They have survived many without having to destroy living Earths. Last issue saw them repel the Sidera Maris (again) and destroy their ruined Earth.

It was the mystic Norn who did the destructive deed with the help of 2 of his alternate future selves - alternates who perished in the process. Norn himself is weakened and Dr Spectrum puts him in stasis to heal. But not before Norn says he's failed. Pieces of the shattered Earth land on this 1, allowing this Earth to be mapped and 4 Mapmakers to arrive.

The speedster Boundless manages to gut the central AI out of 1 of the Mapmakers before it can adapt to her. But another Mapmaker blasts her. The Jovian morphs into a beast, and a 3rd Mapmaker does the same to counter him. The Rider remembers that individual Mapmakers had previously shown their ability to fight 2 foes at a time. But he suggests if he and Sun God and Dr Spectrum join forces against the 4th Mapmaker it might be enough to overpower him.

But Sun God has another plan - his well-known last-ditch defence. The beast-form Jovian takes Boundless to safety and Dr Spectrum expands her stasis-shield to encompass the others. Sun God takes to the air as the 3 surviving Mapmakers realise he is a post-Universal and try to summon the Host of Mapmakers. But Sun God generates a solar explosion which melts the Mapmakers, and a large amount of the surrounding area.

Unfortunately Norn announces that he detects another incursion beginning. And the team is knackered.

Our attention now turns to Black Panther and Sub-Mariner watching these events. T'Challa sees this as how the Illuminati might end up - worn down and falling away 1 by 1. Scornful Namor points out that they'll probably get killed by Black Priests or Mapmakers 1st. And offers to let his companion join him in the consolation of Atlantean wine.

The 2 have reached an uneasy truce now that they've both lost their kingdoms. But T'Challa's determined optimism still contrasts with Namor's nihilism. Over the bottle of wine they both admit their regrets. T'Challa proposes that in the position they're in they at least shouldn't lie to each other. But Namor counters that it's lies that keep them going. Panther says he believes they're going to win the battle against the incursions. They look at each other and collapse laughing.

Then Panther notices that the Great Society have reached the site of the next incursion. He explains to Namor that the connection they have to this alternate reality shows 2 hours into the future. And they see the Society facing the Illuminati, including the Hulk.


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Rags Morales
Rags Morales
Frank Martin
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Inker)
David Curiel (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Wil Moss.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

Plus: Great Society, Mapmakers.