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New Avengers #19: Review

Jun 2014
Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

We are all monsters now

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

New Avengers #19 Review by (June 15, 2014)
I couldn't explain Tony Stark's injuries last issue. But then I hadn't yet seen Avengers #28 and #29. This issue refers back to Av#28 where Captain America punched him in the nose. And then during time travel to the future a future Hawkeye hits the nose again, stabs him in the arm with an arrow and beats him up some more. Then Stark returns to the present time, so presumably last issue and this are after all that. That sorts out the sequence of recent Av and NAv issues. And the end of Hulk #4 suggests that *that* arc happened before Banner joined the Illuminati. But Av#28ff are an Original Sin tie-in, and if it is more than a thematic connection then the secret Cap learns in OS#3 is what's been happening in this series. It remains to be seen how Cap, IM and Hulk's continued presence in OS can be reconciled with events in AV and NAv.

I didn't know what the skeleton in Thanos' stasis prison was in #15. We are now told it is Corvus Glaive. In my defence Glaive was disintegrated in Infinity #6 at the feet of Thanos. But there was no skeleton inside the amber cube Thane created to freeze his father, neither in Inf#6 nor in #12 of this series. Glaive's wife Proxima Midnight *was* in the cube and she had her husband's blade weapon, which the skeleton was grasping in #15. In #9 we were told that Glaive was immortal as long as the blade was whole, and something Proxima says in Inf#6 suggests that holding in to the blade meant she still had her husband. The Marvel Database Wiki says this is why Glaive is regenerating, and Maximus has just speeded the process up. This is all probably leading up to the freeing of Thanos in time for his upcoming series.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #19 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page:- The Illuminati removed their current activities facing the 'incursions' from Captain America's memory in #3, but he recently remembered in Avengers #29. Something changed in Thanos' stasis prison cell in #15. Bruce Banner joined the team and learned about their worldkiller antimatter bombs last issue. Black Swan told them how to view incursions on other Earths in #13, and they foresaw themselves facing the Great Society team from 1 such Earth in 2 hours time in #17.

That incursion happened last issue. Now the Illuminati are going to the Great Society's Earth. The other team await them on top of the Sphinx, which on that Earth has the head of Apocalypse. Sun God can tell our lot are basically human, not any of the warlike aliens they've encountered in incursions before. Norn, still weakened from his part in resolving the last, very recent incursion, tries to magically determine the Illuminati's motives.

In a flashback Beast is helping Bruce Banner implement a variation on the method that the alternate Avengers in Av#25-28 used to control their Hulk. His modified version is designed to give Banner some control over the level of Hulk's rampages.

Hank McCoy chooses this time to pose a question to Bruce. The Illuminati have devised ways to destroy the alternate Earths if necessary to save their own world. But what if survival isn't the right goal, if it means compromising their moral principles?

Back in the present Norn has obviously given the Illuminati a clean bill of health, and the 2 teams meet to talk. But Rider is still suspicious, as is his wont. He asks how the Illuminati know to trust his team. And Beast admits they've been observing them. Boundless, the female speedster, isn't happy about that.

Beast explains that they have a machine for observing other incursions. They've seen the Great Society solve 2 such. In #16-17 we saw them destroy an Earth already ruined by the Mapmakers and Sidera Maris. Now we learn that they resolved an earlier incursion by moving their Earth (and universe) out of phase. Mr Fantastic is eager to know how they did it.

Norn explains he used the Wishing Box, a cube made of 6 differently-coloured panes of Forever Glass. But the Box was destroyed in the process and so they can't use that method again. Reed recognises that this is the equivalent of how they used the Infinity Gauntlet in #2, which also destroyed the Infinity Gems.

It turns out the Great Society survived a 3rd incursion as well, but they refuse to talk about it.

The teams decide to discuss what they can do about their situation. The Great Society have nothing to offer but hope. (Sun God's statement "Everything lives" in #16 is a direct contrast to Mr Fantastic's "Everything dies" in #2, and his team's intention to fight the good fight until they go down fighting throws into relief the Illuminati's decision to use whatever methods necessary to ensure that their Earth never loses, which in turn riffs on Beast's earlier question to Banner.)

But Rider soon susses that the Illuminati do have a fallback plan. And Black Panther owns up about the antimatter bomb.

Meanwhile back on our Earth in the Illuminati's base the Wakandan Necropolis Maximus the Mad is intrigued by the slow changes in the skeleton of Corvus Glaive in Thanos' stasis cube. Watched by Black Swan from her prison cube he drills a microscopic hole in the wall of Thanos' cube. And Glaive's skeleton regenerates his whole body.

Another flashback, to last issue, shows Reed Richards talking to Black Swan after Tony Stark left her. She says that Stark is desperate because he's run out of options he can live with. And she says Reed is in the same situation.

Reed catches up with Tony and asks him about his bandaged nose, arm and chest. Stark replies that Steve Rogers remembers what they're doing, and knows how they made him forget. And he's told the other Avengers. They can now expect the Avengers to come after them. They will be in the right, because the Illuminati have done bad things in the name of good. But the 2 men also know that they can't afford to stop.

Now we return to the present on the other Earth for the last time. Mr Fantastic denies that they came here intending destroy the Great Society's Earth. But cynical Sub-Mariner sarcastically says that they didn't intend to because they didn't want to believe that they would have to and that they would do it.

Iron Man tries to turn the talk to saving as many people as possible. Beast agrees when Dr Spectrum calls it triage - 1 Earth has to die, they can only mutually decide which 1 and proceed from there. Norn confirms that the Illuminati really believe this analysis, and have the power to follow through.

Despite this having been worked out and Panther mentioning the antimatter bomb earlier, we now get another page of Rider establishing that the Illuminati have the power to destroy his planet while his side don't have the equivalent (because Norn's knackered). And if they can't come up with a better solution before it's too late the Illuminati will take the fatal step.

Namor is pissed off with all this useless talk. He attacks Rider with his trident. Sun God  blasts the Illuminati. And battle is joined.


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> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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::: click cover to ENLARGE it :::


Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Frank Martin
Dustin Weaver (Cover Penciler)
Dustin Weaver (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Maximus
Maximus

(Maximus the Mad)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

Plus: Great Society.