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Vengeance #1: Review

Jul 2011
Joe Casey, Nick Dragotta

Story Name:

Broken eggs

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Vengeance #1 Review by (June 29, 2024)
This series had a strange genesis. Marvel had the 6 villain portraits by Gabriele Dell'otto and asked Joe Casey to write a 6-issue mini-series with them as covers. Th plot of the series wound up depending very little on the cover chars. But it accidentally introduced new heroine America Chavez.

At least the cover villain this issue Magneto makes a significant appearance inside.

I give this issue 4.5 for its exuberant throwing in of so many chars and ideas.

The old man at the beginning will turn out to be ex-SHIELD Agent Jack Truman.

Angel Salvadore and Barnell Bohusk were mutants Angel (with wings and acid spit) and Beak (bird-like) who attended Charles Xavier's school. They were depowered by Scarlet Witch in the Decimation event after House Of M. They both took on technological powers and joined the New Warriors. As Tempest Angel could fly and generate extreme heat and cold. As Blackwing Barnell wore a power suit giving him flight, strength and energy blasts.

Ultimate Nullifier is a new char but seems awfully like Marvel Boy. But he's currently busy as Protector in the Avengers. He's appropriated the name of the cosmic weapon that the Fantastic Four used to drive off Galactus in their 1st encounter, but he's not connected to it in any way.

Stacy X is another depowered mutant who was in New Warriors with Angel and Barney as Ripcord with another tech costume. This issue suggests she's still a mutant and has her pheromone power, which shouldn't be true.

Sugar Kane is a Welsh pop star who was only previously seen dating Chamber for PR purposes in Uncanny X-Men #395-398. And she won't be seen again.

Magneto's trying to prove he's a good guy again after his (perceived) involvement in House Of M and Decimation. He's here between X-Men vol 3 #16-19 (Betrayal in the Bermuda Triangle) and X-Men Legacy #250-253 (Lost Legions).

Rich businessman Kyle Richmond started off as a villainous Nighthawk (Avengers #69) but turned hero in Defenders #13, joined that group, funded them and often led them. After Civil War he assembled a new team of Defenders as 1 of the Initiative teams in the Last Defenders mini-series. But by the end of that series he'd created the Last Defenders outside of the Initiative with the lineup we see here.

Joaquin Pennysworth's father worked for Richmond's company but turned out to be a criminal. But Kyle still persuaded the ex-SHIELD Agent to take over the role of Nighthawk to lead the Last Defenders.

Between then and now Nighthawk and She-Hulk teamed up with Frankenstein's Monster and Howard The Duck as the Fearsome Four in their own mini-series within the Fear Itself event. And after that She-Hulk was in #10-11 of another FI epilogue Fearless.
She-Hulk also had a lot of apps between Last Defenders and Fearsome Four. Nighthawk only had 1:- a mass gathering in New Avengers v2 #7 which also included SHulk.
Daimon Hellstrom has also been very busy since LD. Recently he was in FI: Fearless #7-12, sharing 2 issues with SHulk. After that he was in Journey Into Mystery #633-636 helping Loki battle Nightmare and other Fear Lords.
Krang had more limited exposure in that time. He stirred up trouble in Atlantis in Uncanny X-Men #528 which led into his apps in Namor: The 1st Mutant.

Gargantus had his own monster story in #80&85 of the pre-Marvel Strange Tales. He was brought into the Marvel era for the Marvel Monsters: Monsters On The Prowl 1-shot where he and others escape from the Collector's secret zoo until an assemblage of super-heroes sends them all to the Negative Zone. Now he (like some of the others) seems to have found his way back to Earth.

The package America Chavez rescued will turn out to be the In-Betweener. But I'll leave him, Tiboro, Kristoff Vernard and the Young Masters for later Comments.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Vengeance #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The issue begins with a flashback to 3 months ago when an old man in the communal room of a men's hostel watches TV showing Commander Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter trying to deal with the Fear Itself event. The general consensus is that the heroes are all useless, and the old man decides to do something about it.

Switching to the current day we see a costumed youth in a club attracting the attention of 2 females. He's also in text message contact with someone else and his messages are labelled ULT while hers are signed ANG. He hooks up with the other 2 and they decide to leave for somewhere more private. An older man is standing around watching them.

Now another flashback, this time to 1944. Adolf Hitler feels the War slipping out of his control. He believes the Russians have a secret breeding program to evolve superior humans and he details Red Skull to deal with it.

Now we see an organisation including depowered mutants Angel Salvadore and Barnell Bohusk who are in radio contact with their agent Miss America (America Chavez) (apparently not yet 16 years old). They have sent her to an abandoned secret facility near Groom Lake, acting on info from a reliable deep source. It has a scrambling field preventing them from detecting what's inside. Chavez flies down into a very wide, very deep man-made hole inside a building, ending in front of a big door which Bohusk detects has a time lock which he should be able to deactivate. But America doesn't wait and just tears the door out. They direct her to the only occupied cell where she finds another door. Bohusk says this 1 has a sonic lock, but Chavez doesn't try to whistle the right notes and just tears this 1 open too. Inside she finds a young lad dressed in black and white but whose body is half and half too. And he's mumbling "2 sides. Same coin. It's all out of balance. Lucky 13. They're coming. All of them." Angel hopes their leader gets back from his 'playtime' soon.

In the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel ULT and his female companions are in bed when Magneto (presumably the guy who was watching them in the club) smashes the window. He's disgusted by their sordid behaviour and says that mutant Stacy X is neglecting her responsibilities. ULT pulls out a strange gun but Magneto throws them around using the iron in their blood. However when ULT fires his gun their foe loses his mutant ability. ULT says he's been keeping under the radar but he goes by the name Ultimate Nullifier. Stacy and her friend Sugar Kane leave. Magneto tries straight fisticuffs but UN agilely defeats him. He declares that his loss of power means he can no longer carry out his duty of policing the mutant community so the boy might as well kill him. Ult says he was here to protect the girls from *him*, but now guesses that he really isn't the villain he used to be. He also says that the Nullifier effect is only temporary, and Magneto feels his power returning and leaves. ULT texts ANG to say he's returning with mission sort-of accomplished. (And by now you should have worked out that ANG is Angel.)

But we leave all that for the cafeteria of a New York business where an ex-SHIELD Agent has called Kyle Richmond for help via a mutual acquaintance Joaquin Pennysworth. He thinks another ex-SHIELD Agent is feeding classified info to someone. He's unsure who to trust in SHIELD now Steve Rogers has taken over so he wants Richmond to investigate, even though Kyle says he's given up being Nighthawk. Meanwhile the current Nighthawk (who is Joaquin Pennysworth) is leading the Last Defenders (Daimon Hellstrom (Son Of Satan), She-Hulk and the Atlantean Warlord Krang) in their plane against giant aquatic beast Gargantus who is razing a city.

Ulty is back at HQ with Angel, Barney and many unnamed others beavering away at their computers. He reminds them that they are the current Teen Brigade, a descendant of the 1 led by Rick Jones in the early days of the Hulk and the Avengers. But he claims there have been Teen Brigades going back to WWI, 9 or 10 in total, those other than Rick's working in secret to aid the overt heroes. As he speaks he spins his 2 Nullifier guns dramatically. But Angel and Barney are more interested in keeping track of Miss America's progress. UN grabs a mike to chat her up in the guise of checking if she got the 'package'. She rebuffs him and says she's flying home with 'it'. And 'it' continues babbling "No more masters. The ankh is dead. Disparate rivers of chaos merging into 1."

4 single-page snapshots follow:-
In his 6th Dimension Tiboro declares "My idol screams across the extra dimensions wailing decay and so I await my sacrifice."
The Last Defenders have subdued Gargantus and get a call from Kyle Richmond with another job.
Kristoff Vernard has been crowned ruler of Latveria.
Egghead and Executioner of the Young Masters (Of Evil) welcome 3 new members.

Meanwhile Chavez has flown into strange weather. Her burden mumbles "Out in the open. They can find me now. They want satisfaction. The Braak'nhud." And demons appear in the air around them.



Nick Dragotta
Nick Dragotta
Brad Simpson
Gabriele Dell'Otto (Cover Penciler)
Gabriele Dell'Otto (Cover Inker)
Gabriele Dell'Otto (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rus Wooton.
Editor: Thomas Brennan. Editor-in-chief: Axel Alonso.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ms. America
Ms. America

(America Chavez)
Nighthawk
Nighthawk

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)

Plus: Angel (Angel Salvadore), Beak (Barnell Bohusk), Egghead (android), Executioner (Danny DuBois), Kristoff Vernard, Nighthawk (Joaquin Pennysworth), Stacy X, Tiboro, Ultimate Nullifier.

> Vengeance: Book info and issue index

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