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New Avengers #9: Review

Aug 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato Jr.

New Avengers #9 cover

Story Name:

The Cull Obsidian

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #9 Review by (September 1, 2013)
I misunderstood something in Infinity #1. I thought the Outrider discarded the info about the Infinity Gems as not what Thanos sent him to find out about, as he did most other things he found in Black Bolt's mind. He then homed in on something about 5 ancient rulers. However now that we are told it really *was* the Gems that Thanos was after, then I have to reinterpret the memory of 5 ancient rulers as indicating where the Time Gem went. And when he returned the Outsider told Thanos that Black Bolt hides what he seeks. However things aren't so simple. This doesn't fit with Thanos sending his generals to get the Illuminati to reveal where the Time Gem is. Unless Thanos didn't pick up on the 5 ancient rulers bit when studying the Outrider's brain, which The Outrider never actually mentioned to him in Infinity #1. But then Thanos would also have to be ignoring what the Outsider actually *did* say to him about BB knowing the answer. In Avengers Assemble #5 Gamora claimed that Thanos didn't know the Infinity Gems were on Earth, or he'd have come for them long ago. But now it seems that's exactly what he sent Outrider to find, and why he's invading Earth. From Infinity #1 'the tribute' appears to be a selection of severed heads. But maybe that's not that simple either. Andromeda is a female Atlantean warrior, daughter of Attuma the Barbarian. She 1st appeared in Defenders #143, but has since been a staunch ally and friend of Sub-Mariner, and defender of Atlantis. Maximus might just want Black Bolt to tell the Illuminati about the devices we saw him building in the last 2 issues. But his words indicate that they know what Thanos wants.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This time the previously page refers back to Infinity #1, rather than to earlier New Avengers issues. (Avengers #18 did the same.) The Outrider brings news to Thanos from the mind of Black Bolt, that the Illuminati had possessed the Infinity Gems but lost them. Thanos also learnt that the Avengers had left Earth, so now is the time to send his 5 generals of the Black Order to take the planet.

A page at the end of the issue describes the Black Order, or the Cull Obsidian, including their powers. Some of these powers will be used this issue, so I'll summarise them here. Corvus Glaive is the top dog and most loyal. He's strong, fast, and immortal as long as his blade is unbroken. Proxima Midnight is the greatest warrior. Her spear becomes 3 deadly and unavoidable black light beams. Black Dwarf shares Thanos' love of death. He's super-strong and invulnerable. Supergiant is a mentally unstable super-telepath. Ebony Maw is the Loki of the team, who claims to have no powers.

Thanos in his spaceship is studying the data in the decapitated head of the Outrider. He sees the Infinity Gems disintegrating, but notes that one of them disappears instead. (We know from #3 that it was the Time Gem.) Thanos considers even 1 Gem is a prize worth taking, and sends his generals to interrogate the Illuminati about it. He himself will go to Earth to extract 'the tribute'.

Thanos' forces attack Earth. As we saw at then end of last issue Black Dwarf and his troops attack Wakanda, Proxima Midnight's forces reach Atlantis, Ebony Maw tackles Dr Strange by himself, and Corvus Glaive's contingent target the Westchester mutant school. We learn this issue that Supergiant is there too. A horde of spaceships appear over New York, where Iron Man and Mr Fantastic draw their fire with super-cannons in Avengers Tower. Strangely no-one approaches Black Bolt, but Attilan is hovering over New York.

Black Dwarf and Proxima Midnight are met by the effects of the Atlantis/Wakanda War last issue. The Wakandan armed forces, led by both Black Panther's T'Challa and Shuri, were already ready for a war. They repel the boarders, although T'Challa breaks a hand on BD's skin. PM finds Atlantis destroyed by Wakanda's sneak attack last issue. She offers to leave Atlantis alone if Sub-Mariner will pledge allegiance and tell her where the Infinity Gem is. To the astonishment of his ally Andromeda, Namor acquiesces but only to sneakily tell PM that the Gem is in Wakanda.

Ebony Maw has somehow bound Dr Strange and his servant Wong. He's trying to talk Strange into telling him where the Gem is. Strange, probably truthfully, denies all knowledge.

At the Jean Grey School the alien troops face Armor, Beast, Iceman, Rachel Summers, Storm and Wolverine. Supergiant takes over Iceman's mind and uses him to attack some of the others. Corvus Glaive skewers Wolverine. A combined attack by Marvel Girl and Storm makes Supergiant release Iceman. (But throughout this Thanos' guys make no attempt to target the Illuminatus Beast.)

Meanwhile Black Bolt is convinced by his brother Maximus that it's time to come clean with the rest of the Illuminati. So he triggers the signal device embedded in each of his teammates' palms.

New Avengers #9 cover

Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Frank Martin
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (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)

(Maximus the Mad)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Ororo Munroe)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Andromeda, Armor, Black Panther (Shuri), Lockjaw, Rachel Summers, Supergiant.

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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