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New Avengers #17: Review

Oct 2016
Al Ewing, Paco Medina

Story Name:

AIM vs SHIELD part VI: If you choose to accept it

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #17 Review by (November 2, 2016)
In Original Sins #5 Nick Fury revealed that Dum Dum Dugan had been killed early in the SHIELD era, and since then he's been a succession of LMDs. The Dugan LMDs themselves *believed* they were the real deal, with life extended by Fury's Infinity Formula. The LMD was reactivated to lead the Howling Commandos Of SHIELD in their series, knowing what it is, and SHIELD (2015) #9 told us about the central control source.

Paul Kraye was a SHIELD scientist working for STAKE, of which the above version of the Howling Commandos were a part. He had his own secret agenda which Dugan's presence threatened to expose.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Sunspot's AIM beat off the attack of Maker and his New Revengers but were then assaulted by SHIELD. And the cyborg SHIELD Agent John Garrett killed Sunspot. Meanwhile Maker escaped and carried out Plan B to kidnap the US President from Air Force One and sell him to the highest bidder.

Maker (the Reed Richards of the Ultimate Universe) remembers Secret Wars III #9 where he confronted the RR of the Marvel Universe, but then Molecule Man sliced him into pieces. He now explains that MM placed a slice in each universe of the multiverse he created, and each slice became a Maker and they're all connected. And Universe-616 (if it's still called that) was the central point - Universe Prime.

He also says that Eternity is in chains (as seen in the Ultimates series). And he believes that MM wants him to remerge the multiverse and create a stronger Eternity (or himself become that Eternity?) to face a war that's coming (that is also mentioned in Ultimates #12).

The President is tired of listening to this rant. He triggers the Mission: Impossible theme and takes off his facemask to reveal himself as Sunspot.

It's time for more of this series' flashbacks to explain what really happened.

Weeks ago in the main base of Maker's WHISPER organisation the megalomaniac is musing about Plan B. His only audience is the minion who was disgraced by being caught by AIM in #5, and has been demoted to washing floors. But in #15 we saw that Songbird had slapped a bug on him and now Sunspot overhears the conversation.

Last issue AIM'er Hulkling fought the (alternate universe) New Revenger Paibok the Power Skrull. They took the fight away from everyone else, and we now see that Hulkling won. But then Roberto da Costa rang him up with a plan.

Now we see da Costa's body (in the Warlock armour) after Garrett shot him in the head. Power Man and Songbird attack the cyborg but he electrocutes them, while reminding Melissa Gold of Ulysses' prediction that she would soon attend Roberto's funeral. Wiccan has a go but Garrett is prepared with combat hypnosis lights which disorient the mage  so he can't cast spells.

But then the Warlock-armoured body gets up and punches the SHIELD Agent. It wasn't Sunspot but the shape-shifting Hulkling. And the 1st rule of shape-shifting apparently is to move your brain somewhere less obvious. (And the armour will turn out to be not the techno-alien Warlock at all but just part of the shape-shifting.)

Garrett retaliates by ordering his Dum-Dum Dugan LMD allies to attack (as if they weren't already). Squirrel Girl and the 2 (powerless) White Tigers fight them. (And we saw Cannonball flying around the Dugans earlier.)

We skip to where Aikku Jokinen (who used to inhabit the sentient Pod armour which sacrificed itself for her in #15) and Toni Ho (wearing her version of Pepper Potts' Rescue armour) are watching the proceedings on a screen. Toni says she's been researching Dugan since he became their SHIELD liaison. The LMDs have inbuilt alien/human hybrid tech, and there are lots of them all running off a central control signal. But she knows how to stop them all.

Back to Maker and Bobby da Costa. Maker sneers at Sunspot who is dying from the the Terrigen-induced M-Pox and has lost his powers. He also boasts that getting SHIELD to blow up the main WHISPER base (last issue) hasn't dented his plans. WHISPER is much bigger than that, and there are many schemes in play. He drops a hint that Nadia Pym (the new Wasp in the ANAD Avengers title) is involved.

But then Sunspot reveals that they aren't even in the real Air Force One. This plane is just Warlock in disguise. Maker calls on his AI minion OMNITRONICUS who supposedly infiltrated the plane's computer system. But that was just a part of Warlock that now has the AI trapped. And now the last reveal - Bobby hasn't really lost his Sunspot power - he just doesn't use it because since the M-Pox it shortens his life. But that's a small price to pay for smashing Maker.

Back at the battle in AIM's Savage Land base the Dugan LMDs start questioning what they're doing. Aikku and Toni have arrived with a Dugan in a stasis tube. It's the real body of Dum Dum but contrary to current belief it's not dead. Nick Fury put it in suspended animation and this is the source of the control signal that runs the LMDs.

Toni has stopped the long-range broadcast that Garrett tampered with, and the LMDs are now getting a short-range signal direct from the source. 1 of the Dugan's knocks Garrett's block off (literally).

But Dum Dum is now angry at (the now dead) Fury for letting him believe he was just a robot. And angry at the AIM heroes for not telling him, especially his friend Songbird. But Toni Ho says that she and Max Brashear were the only ones who knew. She thinks Fury didn't want his enemies coming after the helpless Dugan-body. (She cites in particular Paul Kraye.) But then Toni lets slip that Roberto knew too, and Dugan plans to have words with the guy.

Sunspot has delivered Maker to the US Army (rather than SHIELD) in the person of Gen'l Maverick (who sent American Kaiju against AIM in #9-10). Da Costa wants a pardon for his team, and offers to get rid of all the AIM splinter groups he doesn't control. (And it seems this will all happen next issue, before this title is cancelled and replaced by US Avengers - with some of the same cast.)

Paco Medina
Juan Vlasco
Jesus Arbutov
Julian Totino Tedesco (Cover Penciler)
Julian Totino Tedesco (Cover Inker)
Julian Totino Tedesco (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Billy Kaplan)

Plus: Cannonball.

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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