Or – “Forty Years Ago… Or Perhaps Some Time Last Week, Whichever…”



So, foolishly, I didn’t realize when I covered issue 1 that this series is shipping bi-weekly, meaning two issues per month to cover rather than the usual one (or, if you’re reviewing Wonder Woman, the usual apologies and adjusted shipping date…) My enthusiasm for last issue was pretty much unbridled, both in terms of seeing a cool new series and seeing a classic Avengers lineup interacting in today’s more adult terms. There’s more of the same this issue, and the comparison to today’s Avengers makes for an interesting contrast. Plus: Nick Fury!

aemh1.jpgI realized when I was doing a little research (yes, I do research, thank you), that the stories we’re bridging with this series took place in 1968, even before old dudes like Stephen and I were born. That the themes have aged as well as they have is pretty incredible, but the fact is the themes of artificial intelligence, race relations, and emotional instability that show up in those books were well ahead of their time. Maybe they weren’t thinking all of it through back in the day, but at least they were giving us something to think about.

This issue starts, as did the last, with AIM. Last issue they captured the Super-Adaptoid, this issue they’re working on figuring out what makes him tick. Now AIM is known for many things, but 100% results ain’t one of them, as proven by the massive explosion that ends this scene. More on that later. When last we saw The Vision, he was facing down Jasper “Overzealous” Sitwell and a SHIELD strike team, intent on bringing him in. Back in these days, SHIELD’s headquarters was located in Manhattan under a barbershop, and you simply sat down in a chair and were lowered into James Bond land. The Vision being The Vision, decides to expedite matters…


Jasper blows a gasket, and tries to intimidate Vizh by sticking him in a solitary interrogation room and sweating the truth out of him. He’s not all stupid, however, as they’re scanning the synthezoid with every form of energy known to man. Back at the mansion, Goliath contacts Captain America about SHIELD’s unlawful seizure of their personnel, and requests an audience with Fury. When Cap suggests maybe he should be involved, Henry shoots him down, a little TOO harshly. Seems like Goliath may protest a bit too much, but in any case, things are set in motion, just as the SHIELD techies make an important discovery.


Apparently, most of Jasper’s probable cause went right out the window there. And I do like the fact that Tony Stark has already made his protests about the gub’mint grabbing an Avenger without due process clear. Can’t help but see a subtle point made, there, but I may be overthinking it as well. As Jasper continues his trials, we see the Black Panther enduring a torturous ritual of his own… high school.


“To Siiiirrr… With luuuuuuuuuuuuuvvv!” He even looks like Sidney Poitier, here. Also of note, the young lad looking out the window is Delroy, and he’s the class outsider, enduring the abuse of the cool kids and the scorn of the girls. Even after only one class, T’Challa can tell he needs a little extra help. Wild speculation time: former Avenger Triathlon’s first name was Delroy. I’m wondering if this is HIM as a teenager, with T’Challa helping to start the next generation of heroes on the right path? That would be interesting, at least to the continuity geeks. We’ll see if I’m right. Unfortunately for the Panther, people in his government don’t want the Panther opening up Wakanda to the west.


Holy heck, but there are a lot of plotlines going on in this book! Last issue, I made a point that I liked seeing Hawkeye get to have a beer, something that was totally in character, but that he couldn’t have done when the issues actually got published. This issue, something similar happened, and… well… I think pictures speak louder than words.


Oof. That, by the way, is the Black Widow, Hawkeye’s girlfriend until… um… right now, actually. Hawk watches the news report, the gist of which is that The Vision is a menace, and picks a fight with her out of frustration. The Widow, you see, is an AGENT of SHIELD, and Hawkeye isn’t known for his restraint. The fight escalates into a full fledged breakup, and Hawkeye stalks back to the mansion, just in time to pick ANOTHER fight with none other than Nick Fury, head of SHIELD himself. Fury has arrived at the mansion at Captain America’s behest, but finds his welcome somewhat chilly, with Jarvis cold, Goliath playing bad cop, and Hawkeye shouting in his face. Nick being Nick, he weathers the storm and points out that he’s not the enemy…


By taking The Vision into custody and PROVING that he’s not the Adaptoid, Nick has made it crystal clear that Vizh is not the threat Sitwell might think he is. Fury did what Fury does best: made a judgement call, stepped in, and ended the situation decisively. Period. I like Nick Fury a lot. He takes no static, shoots straight, and basically John Waynes it through even the toughest situation. Case in point: when Goliath raises his voice, Nick calmly looks him in the eye (keeping in mind that Goliath could crush Fury’s skull like an eggshell) and points out exactly why nobody messes with the head of SHIELD: “I’ve got the bigger stick, Pym. Believe it.” Confrontation over.

Sadly, not all the news is good, as Fury now needs to ask a favor of the Avengers, letting them in on the Adaptoid situation. It seems things have gone from bad to “holy $#!+” with AIM, as they’ve tried to mass-produce Adaptoids. The results are… less than promising.


You may not know what an Adaptoid is, but let me assure you: THIS IS BAD. A killer cliffhanger, for another excellent issue. The art on this book is beautiful, and the story never pauses for a second. Everyone has their moment (well, everyone but the Wasp, but hopefully that’s still coming), and most of all, it’s got Nick Fury acting like Nick Fury, with nary a Maria Hill in sight. This is another awesome outing for the A:EMH team, and earns another 4 1/2 stars. It’s a good, old-school thrill ride, and I’ve yet to be disappointed by this book.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Previous post

Batman #659 – Grotesk

Next post

Top Cow Announces Witchblade Manga in February 2007!

No Comment

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section