Or – “Making The World Safe By Standing Around And Talking For Roughly A Decade…”


If you’re a regular Spoilerator, (And if so, thanks! If not, welcome aboard! There’s dip by the radiator, and remember our only rule: ‘Tom Grice is WRONG, Sir! WRONG!’) you won’t be surprised to hear that the new, awesome, world-changing status quo of the Avengers titles hasn’t really done anything to blow my dress up thus far. I mean, yes to the setup of the two conflicting team, yes to the use of less-spotlighted characters and old favorites (the return of the Wasp and the induction of Iron Fist and Ares all get thumbs up) but the split of the Avengers is much like the time the transporter split Jim Kirk: neither of the entities left behind is complete.

MA1.jpgNew Avengers seems to have the more dynamic story right now, with ninjas and underground superheroes and like that, but the art leaves me cold (and while I may not be in a majority here, I’m certainly not alone.) Mighty Avengers, on the other hand, has slick, pretty art (almost to the point of distraction) but the narrative flow has been choppy with multiple flashbacks, timejumps, and a completely mystifying development at the end of last issue. I’m distracted by the lack of pupils on one title, and by the plethora of mammaries in the other. Neither is touching upon some of the most important post-CW questions: What about the Young Avengers? What about dead Cap? How did Doctor Strange come to join? Where ARE all the old-school Avengers during all this? Why does Marvel want to demonize Hank Pym for slapping his wife (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning spousal abuse, here) while not wanting to bring up Tony Stark’s war profiteering, manipulation of events, and illegal tactics including the hiring of a super-villain to fake an attack at a critical moment for drama? Both books are dissatisfying on one level or another, and I suspect it will damage the momentum of The Avengers in the long-term. Last time: a bunch of guys in funny suits got attacked by the weather and mole monsters, and The Iron Dictator morphed into a naked, metallic, bustier version of Janet Van Dyne. And that’s pretty much the bottom line, whether Stone Cold would say so or not.

Y’know what might have made this issue more fun? Not knowing from six months ago that the villain was Ultron, so that the eventual slow reveal doesn’t make our heroes look like a bunch of yayhoos arguing among themselves and doing the fish-slapping dance. In any case, since the first issue engaged in tons of flashbacks and out-of-sequence storytelling to get where we’re going, this issue has to, as well. After all, we’ve only showed how HALF the team joined, right? We start in Manhattan (well, honestly, we end there as well, but this is a couple of days ago) as Simon Williams takes a meeting about starring in a new reality show… He turns them down cold, wanting to do something that matters more.


If they’re not going to do a romance between Simon and Carol, they’re really missing the boat, as their obvious mutual affection is one of the things that have really rung true over the last two issues (as well as through Ms. Marvel’s own book). And far be it from me to point out a lady’s shortcomings, but in the ‘hanging outside the window’ panel, her legs are thick enough to have protected Captain America from those bullets. She’s muscular, yes, but I don’t think she should be able to crack walnuts with her breasts or have legs like redwood trunks. We return to the present, mere moments after last issue, as Naked Ultron stands smirking in a crater and the Mighty A’s ponder their next move. Ares wants to kill her, Ms. Marvel wants to parley, and Wasp thinks she looks like her with a bad haircut. I agree, except Naked Ultron’s hair is hot, and Jan’s is so very Betty Boop. Mole Man angrily makes his minions attack, and the plot seems to be moving, so… Time for a flashback! Bob and Lindy Reynolds sit in their kitchen, discussing whether he is healthy enough to get back out and fight the good fight, when…


Carol Danvers subtle override of Tony’s dictum here also works for me, as it’s the first moment where she behaves like a leader. She may be forced to work with the Golden Goon, but she’s going to make damn sure that she knows what she’s dealing with, and that he knows about her reservations, LIKE AN HONORABLE PERSON. Take notes, Iron Dictator… Oh, wait, you can’t, you’ve been turned into a woman (a rather Serling-esque punishment for a man who’s walked around like a big swingin’ @#&* for the last couple years.) Also, while I liked the thought balloons last issue, this page shows dramatically how distracting they are in the midst of a scene. It’s not as though following a Bendis conversation isn’t difficult enough without throwing additional parentheticals in the mix. Wait, there’s a black kettle on the phone for me… Back in the now, Naked Ultron easily manhandles Mole Man’s monsters, and Ares once again leaps to the fore to rip off her head. Ms. Marvel stops him, but when the creature starts talking to Mole Man about how to improve his constructs intelligence, she for some reason gives the call to attack. Faux-Superman and Faux-Thor leap in, which should in theory mean she’s about to become a fine red mist…


Knocked his little broom-hat right off, didn’t she? They apparently forgot (or Tony never told them) that she controls the weather. Ignoring the attack entirely she continues her discussion with Moley, realizing that he probably didn’t want them to have free will, and proceeds to kill his creatures with her storms. Mole Man cries a pathetic and vaguely funny, “No! Please! MY BAAAABIIIES!” as the monsters are annihilated, and Ultron returns to standing there and looking voluptuous. Ms. Marvel takes control, as she and Sentry step up to Parley with the crazy naked robot that used to be her boss.


She picked him for the team, folks. It seems to be implied that The Black Widow was ready to shoot her in the brainpan (or whatever she has) but doesn’t, and I’m not clear on why, nor am I certain why Naked Ultron looks directly into the scope there at the end. Of course, Ms. Marvel has gotten some information, and that constitutes plot, so… FLASHBACK TIME!!!!! Where’s Toni when you really need her? Natalia Romanova, The Black Widow, is angry about being marginalized in Maria Hill’s version of SHIELD, so obviously she needs to beat up many men in her underwear. Wait, what? Tony and Carol arrive to play Candyman again, and offer another kid their chance to tour the Wonka factory.


Is anybody else bothered that she owns leather boyshorts? That’s just… too specific an item to have just shown up in the pages, you have to figure that either Bendis or Cho wanted to see a hot woman (and she’s drawn very attractively) in leather panties. Not that there’s anything WRONG with that… Back in real time, Ares is barely restrained by Wonder Man and Sentry, roaring at Naked Ultron, “I WILL CUT THAT SMILE RIGHT OFF YOUR FACE!” She inquires if he’s the real Ares, and he responds affirmatively, to which Ultron smirks, “Meh. I like Thor better.” He immediately breaks free of the two strongest Avengers and attacks…


…completely impotently. I’m reminded of a friend’s dog, and her response to the small electric shocks from her anti-bark collar. The difference is, Ginger learned her lesson after the first shock, and seldom requires another. Sentry quickly grabs her, and inquires in his best tough guy voice, “Where is Iron Man?” She muses on how hard it’s going to be to kill him (but doesn’t seem worried) and tells them that all will be explained, and returns to just standing there teaching us all what girl parts look like. Ms. Marvel finally gets her people to retreat, against the protestations of Ares, but The Wasp looks at her, seemingly on the verge of figuring it all out… which means, Flashback, FLASHBACK, FLASHBACK! This is getting truly ridiculous. Janet is in her studio when she receives her Golden Ticket, and since she is the former Mrs. Pym, it’s time to play Mark Millar’s favorite gameshow: CRAP! ON! YELLOWJACKET! *Crowd cheers.*


Janny, my love… You look like a Lego woman in that haircut. Since she’s the only member of the team who isn’t a super-strong juggernaut or a woman with leather panties on (well, as far as we know, I suppose) Jan finally successfully figures out what’s going on. Her dormant suspicions finally lead her to return to human size, walk into the middle of the killing field, and confront Naked Ultron face to face…


“This episode of Crap On Yellowjacket is brought to you by: Emasculon! The new scent for people who will never be allowed to get any respect! Emasculon! Wear it to Thanksgiving dinner.” More than 20 pages of standing around and discussing how dangerous this thing is while it melts giant monsters and electrocutes Ares isn’t a lot of fun. Well, the melting and electrocutions were interesting, but it just seemed like a lot of time passed in the book, when it’s obviously only been a few minutes. People complain that Brian Bendis spends a lot of time getting from place to place, and that the decompression of his scripts makes them tedious and long-winded… and those people are right, in this case.

Mighty Avengers #2 is best with the flashback sequences, explaining why these particular heroes are getting involved, and the criminally underutilized Black Widow some screen time (leather pantied screen time, but screen time nonetheless.) Frank’s cheesecake poses (with the exception of Naked Ultron) are more restrained this time around, and while I’m still not happy with his Sentry or Wonder Man, there’s a great deal of improvement in terms of presenting his characters and the story. Problem is, there really isn’t much story, as nothing really happens, and it takes forever for anybody to figure out that frontal attacks aren’t going to work. That seems obvious, what with the “decimating giant monsters with a wave of her hand.” The things that really drop the rating for me: the thought balloons have become distracting, Naked Ultron is only Naked Ultron so that Frank can draw a hot, naked girl (and while I love naked girls, it seems gratuitous), and the aforementioned glacial plot. We’re holding steady at the 2 out of 5 star rating that issue #1 earned, but that will probably be whittled away if the pace continues this sloooooowwww.


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.

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  1. Brent F.
    April 26, 2007 at 7:39 pm — Reply

    When did Ultron acquire a shield composed of Tang? I knew it was a kick in a glass, but who knew it was a kick to the face too?

  2. April 26, 2007 at 11:26 pm — Reply

    Heh. All this reminds me of a ‘spider-Man’ issue where the Looter grabbed Flash Thompson and held him at gunpoint.

    Looter: Not so funny now, is it? Now just slide that breifcase full a cash over here, and I’ll be happy to give you – what’s your name, hot-shot?

    Flash: …Uh…Flash Thompson?

    Looter: I’ll be happy to give you FLASH back…Flash-Back…Flashback…

  3. April 26, 2007 at 11:30 pm — Reply

    Oha, and you want respect for Hank?

    Are you sure…? http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=108571

  4. April 27, 2007 at 6:18 am — Reply

    I do. And I sincerely doubt they’ll off Hank that soon after Captain America. It’d take the spotlight off Cap, and also waste a death they can use for a big shockeroo later.

    Quesada’s Marvel: Where the plot twists aren’t predictable, but the order that they come in is…

  5. Josh
    April 27, 2007 at 7:16 am — Reply

    Didn’t the Hank Pym/Wasp relationship issues get resolved years ago? You know, when Geoff Johns wrote Avengers for too short a time. It’s kind of sad that writers can’t do anything with Pym or Wasp without going back to Pym’s a wife-beating @$$hole, which was resolved forever ago. Take’s me right out of the story when character development is ditched like that.

  6. TomGrice
    April 27, 2007 at 8:58 am — Reply

    A complaint about a hot Russian woman in leather panties? What is this world coming to? That should be the tag line for the book! “Mighty Avengers: Hot Russian Women in Leather Panties” Now that is a 5 star book. Of course, Bendis won’t steal Oeming’s thunder. You know Oeming? “Red Sonja: Hot Hyborean Women in Chain Mail Panties”

  7. April 27, 2007 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Didn’t the Hank Pym/Wasp relationship issues get resolved years ago?

    Yeah, it did. But Chuck Austen’s run brought it up again (and, WORSE, treated it like it just happened and implied that Hawkeye still held a grudge, when Hawkeye forgave him 20 years ago ON PANEL in an issue of West Coast Avengers).

    I part of the problem is that, with today’s “realistic” character development, there’s a feeling that Hank should have had greater consequences, even though the fallout of that storyline kept him sidelined and untrustworthy for YEARS. Marvel’s writers today (Millar, especially, but others have done it as well) seem to think that Hank got off light, for some reason. I’m with you, it’s distracting, especially since the man just won a Nobel Prize for standing around and letting his best friend get killed valorous scientific stuff during Civil War.

  8. April 27, 2007 at 9:34 am — Reply

    A complaint about a hot Russian woman in leather panties?

    Not a complaint, just a moment of “Why is she in leather panties?” It’s not as though it’s part of her uniform (which is a full leather leotard) or something that you expect Natasha to just have in her locker at SHIELD.

    Leather panties, as a rule, are something that I imagine a woman packs for specific situations, like a teddy or a combat rifle… However, your point also stands: She am hot, indeed.

  9. April 27, 2007 at 10:08 am — Reply

    Hum…Natasha’s pose is kinda reminiscent of a scene from the first ‘Miss Congeniality’…except,t here’a pile of groaning bodies, and one of them is a woman.

  10. Brent F.
    April 27, 2007 at 10:50 am — Reply

    I’m pretty sure leather panties can lead to some nasty infections and odors.

  11. April 27, 2007 at 11:34 am — Reply

    Annnnnnd… there it went.

    As an aside, I’m wondering if all these references to “leather panties” are going to bump our google numbers?

  12. Josh
    April 27, 2007 at 11:38 am — Reply

    “Yeah, it did. But Chuck Austen’s run brought it up again (and, WORSE, treated it like it just happened and implied that Hawkeye still held a grudge, when Hawkeye forgave him 20 years ago ON PANEL in an issue of West Coast Avengers).”

    God damn you Chuck Austen!!!

  13. April 27, 2007 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    Hmm…I’m not sure it could be considered Pym’s fault for everything that Ultron does, no more than it’s “The Colonel” ‘s fault that KFC is one of te cuases of Obesity.. I think Jan is after her ex for help, you know? He’s going to be like some sort of superh-robot-genius mechanic; they’ll bring him in, he’ll fix the problem, he’ll charge ’em $5500 with a girn on his face. Especially as he’s going to have to be Ant-Man to do it – so, maybe Tony won’t be the only one on the inside of Ultron?

    Oh, and…

    Leather Panties. Leather Panties! LEATHER PANTIES!


    (Just to up the numbers…)

  14. April 27, 2007 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    God damn you Chuck Austen!!!

    Preach on, Brother Joshua… Preach on.

  15. Josh
    April 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm — Reply

    And here I thought we were done with Austen’s influence…

  16. April 27, 2007 at 8:28 pm — Reply


    Is Nightcrawler still a 19-year-old son of a demon who is also a priest without the time to go to divinity school?

  17. April 27, 2007 at 10:44 pm — Reply

    He wasn’t a demon’s son…he’s Mystique’s.

  18. April 28, 2007 at 7:34 am — Reply

    Yes, but Chuck created the story that said his father was an actual otherwordly demon called “The Draco.” It’s awful…

    Which is why in Twisted Toyfare Theatre when She-Hulk asked that the judge strike Chuck Austen’s stories from continuity (he wrote the one where Juggernaut claims to have bagged her), Nightcrawler leapt up and screamed “Voo Hoo! I don’t suck anymore!!!”

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