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Vengeance #3: Review

Sep 2011
Joe Casey, Nick Dragotta

Story Name:

Every little thing

Review & Comments

4 stars

Vengeance #3 Review by (July 6, 2024)
This issue's cover villain does make a significant (but peripheral to the plot) appearance, but the cover version is obviously much healthier than the 1 inside.

The In-Betweener was created by Jim Starlin in his Warlock #9-11. And he also created Lord Chaos and Master Order in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2, who represent the 2 forces the char is supposed to keep the balance between. His latest apps before this series were in Avengers (1997) #58-60 (where that team rescued him after he'd been split into his 2 sides by Scorpio) and a cosmic beings cameo in Avengers Academy #7.

SHIELD Agent Jack Truman was introduced in Cable #59-62 sent to capture the title char. He was severely injured in that last issue and turned unto a Deathlok cyborg in Uncanny X-Men #371. He starred in the (1999) Deathlok series until at the end of that series he swapped bodies with an old foe and ex-SHIELD Agent Larry Young. We haven't seen either since then and this is the situation we find Truman in during this series.

Since Spider-Man's Brand New Day event Dr Octopus' body has been failing him. As his arms and legs became useless he added 4 extra robotic arms to the 4 he already had on his harness. The Marvel Chronology Project places this issue and last between the end of Iron Man #503 (during Fear Itself) and Amazing Spider-Man #676 (which he and his Sinister 6 take over from Spidey).

Electro, Rhino and Sandman are part of version of the Sinister 6 which Doc Ock has been running since ASM#648. The most recent app of all 3 was with the others (Ock, Chameleon and Mysterio) in ASM#660, and all 6 will be together again in Ock's next app ASM#676.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Vengeance #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue ended with the black&white boy offering to show Ultimate Nullifier what's really going on. But now he's showing the main Teen Brigade chars (Mayne plus Angel Salvadore and Barnell Bohusk) by taking them into his psychedelic special space which includes images from their pasts, futures and probably just imaginary (including Angel and Barnell getting their mutant bodies back). He explains that the most important thing in the universe is maintaining the balance between Order and Chaos. And we see him as the 'adult' In-Betweener whose job that is. He says he created this space to chill out in, but somehow it resulted in the Braak'nhud who are obsessed with destroying that balance. The IB contained their menace by absorbing them into himself, but now they're free again.

America Chavez isn't with them because IB has transformed her into a version of himself, symbolised by her black&white colouring, and she's flying around as a decoy to lure the Braak'nhud away. And we see that the other 4 are sitting in a diner holding hands, seemingly asleep. Their vision seems to involve a big-brained octopus which the young In-Betweener thinks also threatens the balance. He continues his explanation to say that when the Braak'nhud escaped he was shrunk to this boy-form with his mind addled. Now they are after him for revenge. He needs the Brigade to fight to preserve the balance to stop reality collapsing. But it will involve delicate choices.

Now we see the old man in the men's hotel from the beginning of #1. It seems that he is the 1 who has been supplying the team with information. But he finds the place unusually deserted and Nighthawk (Joaquin Pennysworth) waiting for him. NH addresses him as ex-SHIELD Agent Larry Young and asks him to come quietly. But Young decides to fight, and puts up a good 1 until relative youth wins out. Ex-Nighthawk Kyle Richmond has been watching from the shadows but now steps forward to reveal that they know he's really Jack Truman.

Next it's time for this issue's 1944 Red Skull interlude in Poland. He's had the special extermination camps built (which Hitler mustn't know about) to deal with the Russian families that the SS have rounded up. These families are part of a Soviet eugenics program to produce 'supermen'. 1st he'll have all the adults killed, and then their children.

In the present Miss America is overwhelmed by Braak'nhud demons (and her black&whiteness seems to have worn off). But suddenly the rest of the Last Defenders (Daimon Hellstrom, Krang and She-Hulk) arrive through a midair portal in Hellstrom's 'Son Of Satan' chariot pulled by 2 demon-steeds. (Hellstrom sensed the Braak'nhud invasion last issue.) Shulk dives down onto the mass of demons and starts tearing them apart. Daimon fires blasts and even Krang's swords manage to take out a few from the back of the chariot. But Jennifer Walters' dive has now taken her *through* the crowd and she's falling towards the ground, until Chavez powerdives down to save her. But then the demons leave because they've realised she's not the In-Betweener. America delivers She-Hulk to the flying chariot and then leaves. Jen comments that she looked extremely young.

Later Angel and Barnell enter Dr Octopus' base while in contact with Ultimate Nullifier outside. Doc Ock these days has his torso encased in a metal shell with 8 metal tentacular arms, his own useless limbs dangling limp and the top of his brain exposed. They tell him they're not here for a fight, but they don't believe the harmless act he's putting on. They're here to warn him that someone else is after him.

We see Executioner and Radioactive Kid of the Young Masters surveilling the place and talking about putting Ock out of his misery. They get a message from Black Knight saying she's being attacked by Rhino. And we see that Electro is also on Doc's defence squad, but he gets his power temporarily removed by 1 of Mayne's Nullifier guns, and then beaten unconscious.

BK traps Rhino in concrete from a mixer truck. The Egghead android accosts Ulty but his gun seems to discorporate his floating head (which is maybe a holographic projection). BK of the Masters is then attacked by Sandman and UN of the Teen Brigade saves her by nullifying his control of his sand body. He does his trademark show-off bit by twirling both his guns. BK isn't impressed and whacks him on the head (with the flat of her sword).

As Angel and Barnell exit Ock's HQ Mayne is dodging automatic rifle fire from Executioner. Then R-Kid drops on him from above, removes 1 glove and grabs his face with his glowing green, radioactive and pustulent hand.

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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus

(Otto Octavius)

(Max Dillon)
Ms. America
Ms. America

(America Chavez)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

(Jennifer Walters)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)

Plus: Angel (Angel Salvadore), Beak (Barnell Bohusk), Black Knight (of Young Masters), Egghead (android), Executioner (Danny DuBois), In-Betweener, Jack Truman, Nighthawk (Joaquin Pennysworth), Radioactive Kid, Ultimate Nullifier.

> Vengeance: Book info and issue index

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