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New Avengers #20: Review

Jun 2014
Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

Blu'Dakorr

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

New Avengers #20 Review by (July 6, 2014)
This doesn't seem to be the intelligent Hulk we see in Original Sin and its Hulk vs Iron Man sub-series, courtesy of the Extremis cure in Hulk #4. But that's just another of the anomalies if we try to merger the current issues (and those of Avengers) with OS. In #4 it said of the Blu'Dakorr that to read it stains the soul. It also said that to *use* a spell from it required the death of 40 evil men and 1 good one. I don't know if a whole planet dying as a *result* of using spells counts - if that is what is going to happen next issue. It also said that using the spells would kill the spell-caster. In Annual #1, which came out the same week as this issue, only Dr Strange appears but his actions are relevant. References within it set it within the incursion crisis. And Strange uses Blood Magic (ie magic from the Book of Blood) to solve an intractable problem, which horrifies the monks of the monastery where the Ancient One used to live. But that hasn't killed him yet. (And he didn't have to kill anyone at that time.)



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #20 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Previously page:- Way back in #12 Dr Strange decided to get serious about the incursions problem. Last issue the Illuminati met with the Great Society to talk rationally about the fact that 1 of their Earths must die to save both of their universes. But the talks broke down rather quickly and they started fighting.

But now we start by flashing back to the end of #14 where Strange offered to sell the whole of his soul for the power of a god. But now we learn that the deal fell through because he didn't have a complete soul to sell!

Last issue Beast and Mr Fantastic fell at the 1st blast from Sun God. Norn reads Stephen Strange's mind and sees darkness. But he seeks the location of the anti-matter bomb that the Illuminati have prepared to destroy the Society's Earth, and discovers that they have left it on their own Earth at the incursion point (next to the Sphinx). The Rider sends Dr Spectrum to deal with it, chased by Black Bolt.

Meanwhile Sub-Mariner impales the Jovian on his trident. But it's not easy to kill a shapeshifter. The Rider matches skill Black Panther, and Sun God dukes it out with Hulk. The Green Giant appears to be winning, but a mega-blast from Sun God turns him back to Bruce Banner.

The other fight is between Iron Man and Boundless. But the speedster removes Tony Stark's armour piece by piece. Norn stands over Dr Strange. Without his (Dr Fate-like) helmet he appears to have a smoking blue skull. He produces from his within his cloak another helmet - 1 belonging to a Black Priest. Donning it he prepares to utter some of the BP's words of power. But Strange speaks alien words of his own.

Another flashback shows us Dr Strange returned to his Sanctum Sanctorum and his servant Wong. It appears (I think) that Stephen lost part of his soul when he started down the dark track the Illuminati chose to defend their world at the cost of others. In particular when he chose to read the Blu'Dakorr, the Blood Bible, in #4. Now he chose to open that book again, and speak words from it.

It is those words he speaks again now, and Norn is easily bested. He rips away Norn's cloak, and magical items fall from it. This time when the (Black Priest) helmet is removed the mystical being is shown to be a teenage male. All his power was in the artefacts he had collected.

Now our 'hero' calls down dark tentacles from a hole in space, which grab the Great Society members and drag them away.

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> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Frank Martin
Dustin Weaver (Cover Penciler)
Dustin Weaver (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (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.