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Vengeance #4: Review

Oct 2011
Joe Casey, Nick Dragotta

Story Name:

Drive all night

Review & Comments

4 stars

Vengeance #4 Review by (July 6, 2024)
Supposedly Black Knight (Dane Whitman) currently has the real Ebony Blade so the female BK here shouldn't have that. There have been other Ebony Blades including that belonging to an alternate Dane called Proctor and a fake created by Dracula which fooled our Dane for a time. They are both now unaccounted for so the female BK's sword could be 1 of them.

Operation Der Tag is the 5 robots called the Sleepers which will be activated in Captain America stories in Tales Of Suspense and his own succeeding series.

The adult Loki on the cover is very different from the young Loki here. The usually 1-dimensional villainous old Loki died somewhat heroically in Siege #4 at the end of Norman Osborn's Dark Reign. But Thor found him recreated as an amnesiac young lad in his #617. Kid Loki gradually regained his memory and powers and even more slowly earned the trust of the Asgardians as a good guy. In Journey Into Mystery #622 he found the ghost of old Loki who offered to be his mentor, but the Kid turned him into the magpie Ikol.
Kid Loki is on a journey to become a much more interesting Loki than his predecessor. He will sacrifice himself to defeat Maphisto by allowing Ikol to take over his body. But the result will be a merge of the 2. And even later he will be transmuted into the God Of Stories.
The female Loki mentioned refers to when old Loki returned from the latest Ragnarok with Sif's body from Thor (2007) #5 until Thor #602 not long before the Siege event.

Ikol is mainly seen with Kid Loki in the Journey Into Mystery series, last before this in #636. But the Kid has other apps without him, particularly since then in Mighty Thor #8-12 (vs Ulik disguised as Tanarus) and a 1-off #12.1.
They both are next in the Exiled (JIM and New Mutants crossover) event beginning with the Exiled 1-shot.

At last the single panel of Tiboro in #1 is justified by the use of his Screaming Idol here. More on them both next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Vengeance #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the Young Masters went to kill Dr Octopus and the Teen Brigade went to save him. They succeeded but Radioactive Kid's radioactive hand scarred Ultimate Nullifier's face.

Now we see that RK's glowing green pustulent head is exposed from his hazmat suit as well as his right hand. Executioner tells him to kill UN because he's still dangerous. And Mayne proves it by shooting the Kid with 1 of his Nullifier guns. Meanwhile Miss America Chavez flies to the rescue (taking time out to advise Barnell Bohusk over comms to tell Angel Salvadore he loves her), slams Danny DuBois over breaking his nose, and zooms away with her injured teammate. And Radioactive Kid is disgusted to discover he's now normal.

Later in their base, a crashed helicarrier, the Masters review the situation. They lost the muscle of their team Mako in #2 and leader Executioner thinks they should have found a replacement before taking the Doc Ock job on. Their mysterious benefactor and task giver would have been patient. The Kid is back in his full hazmat suit and glad to have his radioactive power back. (We knew that the Nullifier's effect is only temporary.) Android Egghead is getting repaired but is able to join in the conversation. Young female Black Knight joins them and refuses to apologise for being late. *She* buried Ock's minion Rhino in concrete but she didn't see the others doing much. (The other 2 minions Electro and Sandman were both Nullified by the other team.) So she just threatens Mayne with her Ebony Blade, and she continues to refuse tell where she acquired it.

They don't know who the Teen Brigade are. But their benefactor has given them some more info including where to find Loki and recruit him. They know that Loki is currently suitably young (although RK would have preferred the recent version that was female).

The Red Skull flashback has moved on to 1945. His secret internment camps in Poland have finished killing the families that comprised the Russian eugenics program to breed superior humans. He considers this as saving the world. He gets a message from Hitler that the Allies are closing in on Berlin, but he decides this means he must activate Operation Der Tag for the future war.

The 2 Nighthawks (current Joaquin Pennysworth and ex Kyle Richmond) are in a bar with ex-SHIELD Agent Jack Truman (in Larry Young's body). He admits leaking SHIELD info. He explains his back-story:- He was Agent 18, the prime SHIELD Manhunter, until they sent him after Cable. He was severely injured then so SHIELD's ExTechOp turned him into a Deathlok cyborg under their control. But he rebelled and used a Tibetan mind-swap technique to take the body of Larry Young, a not-so-nice SHIELD Agent, leaving him as the Deathlok. Richmond comments that he's done the mind-switching bit before as well (Defenders #31-33). Truman adds that since the swap Young has mixed booze with cybernetics and broke down. And he claims that his leaking is aimed at cleaning up messes that have been forgotten about. The Last Defenders drink to that.

Last issue Ultimate Nullifier flirted with Black Knight while they fought Sandman. Now Mayne's tracked her to a Manhattan night club even though his head is completely bandaged. We can tell the girl is BK because (she's obviously ditched the armour but) she's still wearing the t-shirt with the Black Knight bird symbol on. And UN also has his guns in their thigh holsters. He's in touch with Angel back at base, who queries whether he's after information or a date. They dance a while, but the answer's still in doubt when he accompanies her back to the Young Masters' base. She gets him to show her his scarred face, and then they kiss. And we see them take it further while the next scene unfolds.

The other 3 YMs are in a van outside the museum where they expect to find Loki. They're unhappy with the Knight's no-show but figure if Loki joins them they can do without her anyway. Inside Kid Loki is dismissively looking at a display of Asgardian stuff. He's not happy to be interrupted but Executioner asks him to join them. Loki consults his magpie Ikol. They both sense evil in them, Ikol's happy about that, Loki not so much. But before any deal can be concluded America Chavez drops in through the roof. DuBois fires bullets at her but they have no effect. Radioactive Kid charges at her but a stamp of her foot bowls both of them over. Loki calls on 1 of Thor's chariot-pulling goats Toothgnasher to fight her. (We see a flashback where the young In-Betweener tells her, Angel and Barnell that young Loki doesn't favour either Order or Chaos so should not be an enemy.) She defeats the goat but Loki produces the Screaming Idol of Tiboro which sends her somewhere. Executioner makes his offer to Loki plainer but the little god says it's not for him.

Chavez finds herself on an alien world. Angel and Barnell lose America's signal. The In-Betweener goes mystical and disappears, possibly saying he's going to do something. And Angel and Barnell have no idea what to do next.

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.

Ms. America
Ms. America

(America Chavez)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

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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