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New Avengers #28: Review

Dec 2014
Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

You can't win: part 1

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

New Avengers #28 Review by (January 20, 2015)
This issue follows on from Avengers #39 and shares a title - this is Part 2 of You Can't Win. It also shares a 2-part cover by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer depicting SHIELD Avengers vs Illuminati. Last issue's cover had SHIELD Avengers Captain America, Captain Marvel and Hawkeye, but blew it by including Black Widow and Spider-Woman who were AWOL then and revealed as gone over to another side here. This issue's cover has Illuminati Beast, Black Panther, Hulk and Mr Fantastic, but spoils the surprise ending a bit by including Black Bolt. But worse is the inclusion of Dr Strange, who as readers of last issue will know is dimensions away with the Black Priests. Mike Deodato has come over from Av#39 to pencil/ink the 2nd part of the story, bringing colorist Frank Martin with him. But he's had to share part of the issue with Mike Perkins. I think Perkins did the 2-page battle spread and the following fight page. I think Deodato did the preceding full page intro of the Mighty Avengers, but Perkins also did the page before that. The cast page highlights the SHIELD Avengers except Captain America and Hawkeye, the Illuminati (Beast, Black Panther, Captain Britain, Hulk, Mr Fantastic) and Sunspot's New Avengers except Pod, Validator and the Zebra Kids. It keeps Black Bolt and Sub-Mariner unhighlighted for the surprise ending, and similarly doesn't even show the Mighty Avengers or Medusa. (Presumably it doesn't highlight CA as a SHIELD Avenger because it keeps him 'hidden' as a Mighty Avenger. But Hawkeye also shows up for 1 panel.) (Actually I don't think Invisible Woman is highlighted as a SHIELD Avenger either, but it's a bit difficult to tell. If so then she too is supposed to be part of the surprise ending.) The Mighty Avengers team seems to be what it may settle down to post-Axis (CA&MAv#1-3). Spider-Man (the non-Superior version) seems to get let back in during #3. Kaluu isn't here so maybe he'll get dropped.

The sociopathic alternate Bruce Banner was put in SHIELD custody by Iron Man at the end of Av#28 before the 8-month leap. But there is a problem here. Maria Hill thought she was being given the 'real' Bruce Banner, who had been rendered incapable of Hulking out and 'as a side effect' incapable of speaking. SHIELD was going to imprison him because he'd gone on a rampage. But really it was a cunning plan by Tony Stark and the 'real' Bruce Banner, and the real BB was spirited away to secretly work with the Illuminati. Ignoring continuity problems at that point, the question now is when did SHIELD discover they had the wrong BB? possibly we'll find out during the history lessons in upcoming issues of Avengers World. There's also the question of the remote control device for evil Banner. It was crushed in Av#26. So SHIELD scientists must have reverse-engineered another 1. Reed Richards continues the voiceover from Av#39, which is supposedly notes in his journal for daughter Valeria. But only during the final battle scene. Basically it tells us that the whole thing was another cunning plan to get Steve Rogers to reveal all his game pieces. Only when Reed was sure (how?) that Rogers had run out of options did he call in Sue to close the fight down. And then reveal that he had even more pieces up his sleeve.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #28 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page:- Avengers #27 Bruce Banner KO'd the evil BB from another timeline. Av#37 We discovered Sue Richards was a spy in Steve Rogers' camp when she met secretly with husband Reed. Av#38 Shang-Chi gained the power of replication from the Japanese Origin Bomb site. Av#39 Steve's SHIELD Avengers attacked the Illuminati in Cadiz. On the last page Beast summoned Sunspot's group, now claiming to be the Avengers, to oppose them. This issue continues directly from there.

Sunspot, calling from the (New) Avengers disc-shaped flying craft which dwarfs the 2 SHIELD helicarriers, tells Rogers that he thinks it's time for all the Avengers to band together to face the major crisis (incursion of alternate Earths, death of the multiverse) that is facing them. But Steve just cuts him off.

Instead he checks in on James Rhodes, to learn that he's running out of War Machine drones. So he authorises Maria Hill to unleash their secret weapon - the alternate Bruce Banner SHIELD has had in custody since Av#28. Agents throw him off the helicarrier, and on the way down SR remotely triggers his transformation into a Hulk.

This Hulk's landing scatters Black Panther and Captain Britain, setting the scene for a slugfest between Hulks.

Before Hill and Rogers can send SHIELD against the (New) Avengers, the fight is brought to them as Manifold teleports in from Sunspot's craft with Black Widow and Spider-Woman. Natasha hopes her long friendship with Steve will help sway him. But he's adamant that the Illuminati are bad guys. And he gets agreement from Captain Marvel who's just returned from space where Hulk hit her to in Av#39.

Roberto da Costa decides to send in the multiple Shang-Chi's to take down all the SHIELD agents in the helicarrier Archangel. SR's response is to leave Carol Danvers to keep BW, Manifold and SW from causing any trouble while he and Maria Hill execute the next stage of their plan.

A square of floor the 2 are standing on drops into the air. And Steve sends a control message to their Hulk to catch them when the square nears the ground.

Their Hulk has knocked out our Hulk. The remaining Illuminati (Beast, Black Panther, Captain Britain and Mr Fantastic) make another plea for cooperation. But as he sees Sunspot flying in with Cannonball and Smasher, Steve calls Captain America to bring in their next players - the Mighty Avengers (CA with Blue Marvel, Luke Cage, Power Man, She-Hulk, Spectrum, Spider-Man and White Tiger) (which Reed Richards refers to as Steve's Secret Avengers - this is getting too confusing).

Then we have a double-page battle spread plus more involving most of the players, including Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman and the Shang-Chi's come down from the helicarrier. And also including Hawkeye in the background of the 2-pager.

Reed Richards keeps mostly out of the fighting, and makes another comms call. Steve Rogers confronts him and tries to punch him in the face. But something prevents him. Looking round he sees that every combatant apart from Reed is surrounded by a forcefield. He belatedly realises that Invisible Woman must be a traitor.

And SHIELD agent Sue Richards arrives on the scene - but descending from the (New) Avengers' craft. And behind her comes Medusa of the Inhumans. Followed by 2 more surprises - Sub-Mariner who's supposedly leader of the evil Cabal, and Black Bolt who's been who-knows-where.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Frank Martin
Alan Davis (Cover Penciler)
Mark Farmer (Cover Inker)
Brad Anderson (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Peter Parker)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Archangel, Cannonball, White Tiger (Ava Ayala).

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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