Or – “I Coulda Sworn I’ve Reviewed Avengers Twice This Week Already?”



Hulk:  “Raaar!
Vision:  “0101110111010.
Hulk:  “Raaar!”
Vision:  “011011100110111100.”
Hulk:  “RAAARRR!!!!”
Vision:  “Yo mamasan!”
Hulk:  “My mamasan?”
Vision:  “Sho’ nuff.”
Vision:  “Well, I can dig where you’re coming from…” *Grabs the suitcase and heads upstairs*

MA2.jpgPreviously, on Mighty Avengers:  In the wake of Secret Invasion, Janet Van Dyne was dead, Iron Man was discredited, Captain America was back, Thor was less than impressed with his old friends, Hulk was all over the place, and Henry Pym was very upset to find that his whole life had been co-opted by a monstrous alien shapeshifter AND THAT NO ONE HAD NOTICED.  Vowing to try and redeem himself, he created yet another costumed identity, this one in tribute to his fallen ex-wife, and called himself The Wasp.  When a crisis arose, and none of the usual suspects came to save the day, The Scarlet Witch (?) began collecting Avengers from around the globe to unite and head to Wundagore Mountain to stave off the menace of C’Thon (who I believe is C’Thulu’s less popular cousin.)  And then, Matthew somehow missed an issue.  As an experiment, we’ll play catch-up here, and see if the story is self-evident…

In the first issue of this arc, we saw Jarvis and Hercules attempting to find Thor, and finding that Oklahoma no longer exists on the map or in the physical universe.  This issue opens with Loki and Thor in Asgard, desperately seeking to figure out what is happening.  Her magicks and his… abilty to hit things with a hammer (much like a big blonde Handy Manny) fail to make anything clearer, and we cut to a confrontation between Iron Man and the New Wasp.  Apparently, Stark has done his standard issue Stark thing, waltzing in and taking over everything.  When Hank asks Tony why he thinks he’ll have a better handle on the situation, and Iron Man replies, “Three words.  You’re.  Hank.  Pym.”  Ouchie…  Iron Man adds insult to injury by completely ignoring Pym and formulating a plan to take out a demon-possessed Quicksilver, and things are even more condescending when Hercules, U.S. Agent and the others instinctually follow the man in the big red metal suit.  A not-at-all subtle point is made when Iron Man says “One super-soldier.  One god.  That’s all the Avengers I need.”  A shot at those who pooh-pooh this series because of it’s lack of the Big Three, I’ll wager.

Iron Man’s brilliant plan?  DESTROY THE MOUNTAIN, freeing endless legions of evil thingies from their slumber, and endangering millions of people.  Scarlet Witch appears, and begins whispering to Bruce Banner, “Your world could die…  Are you angry?  YOU could die.  How does that make you feel?”  C’thonsilver finds himself the recipient of a fistinnaface from The Incredible Hulk, while Hank and Amadeus Cho have a brainstorm together.  Using a spare Ant-Man helmet that Amadeus cobbled together, he scrambles the signals going to Quicksilver’s brain, causing him to be unable to speak, and thus depriving him of his magic.  At the same time, The Vision reads the spellbook in which the mind of Quicksilver has been trapped, sucking C’thon into the book, and (somehow) downloading Quicksilver into his own hard drive.  Hank and his “also-rans” hav saved the day, and Pym quickly zips off to find his old pal Tony, realizing that Iron Man isn’t himself lately.  Tony, once again, has three word for Hank and his plan to run a new Avengers branch: “Don’t screw up.”  The world is saved, and for once, they know who did it, as the entire planet rallies behind the former Yellowjacket and his Avengers.  In Oklahoma, things are returned to normal, and the locals cheer Thor for saving the day, but he tells them it was the Avengers who did the deed.  His little sister Loki laughs in her secret chamber, and a shocking reveal about the identity of the “Scarlet Witch” is made.

I’m not a big fan of the art in this issue, as Khoi Pham is not one of my favorites, but the redesign of the Wasp is well-done, and the storytelling is mostly clear throughout.  I’m bothered by the fact that Jocasta is virtually invisible throughout the issue, and the battle sequence never seems as epic as it should due to claustrophobic tightness in the staging, but it’s not overtly unpleasant.  Dan Slott’s story is good, but there are some parts that feel very telegraphed, and the use of Iron Man (Crap… ON… TONY STARK!!!!) as a complete jerk felt…  I don’t know.  Not exactly wrong, as it’s just a magnification of the whole “futurist” thing he’s been doing for years now, but the situation was just a bit forced.  Slott does his best work on Amadeus Cho, and his Hulk is oddly clever, but overall the issue never quite gels for me.  Maybe once the roster is actually a roster, things will feel more complete, but honestly, the whole point of these three issues was to overturn several years of “Crap on Yellowjacket” and, in that it succeeds.  Overall, the good and the questionable balance out into an okay read with some real potential.  Mighty Avengers #23 earns 2.5 out of 5 stars, and with a stable cast, I think this book could really go someplace.


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. March 28, 2009 at 11:03 am — Reply

    This issue destroyed every bit of good will I had towards the book. Stark was worse than even his appearance in She-Hulk when he depowered the titular character. I liked the art but the treatment of Hank by his fellow heroes was jarring. I’ll give the book another arc or two but if it continues in this vein I’m gone…

  2. Ricco
    March 28, 2009 at 11:50 am — Reply

    I loved how Hank’s call to calm actually made the god of chaos more powerfull, the reveal at the end was nice since the original Avengers did come together because of him. I loved how science trumped magic in a way that doesn’t seem made up.

    About Iron Man, depending on the time line, he’s currently dying and without his extremis abilities so he’s allowed to be a jerk.

    • March 29, 2009 at 11:05 am — Reply

      About Iron Man, depending on the time line, he’s currently dying and without his extremis abilities so he’s allowed to be a jerk.

      Um… no. When you’ve engineered the biggest cluster-schmozz since Apokalips hired Gambit and Sabretooth for a sewer-crawl, you don’t get to be snippy because Hank Pym’s not your idea of a hero. Iron Man is a tool here, and that’s kind of the point. Also worth remembering: Who wrote the issue where Iron Man showed up and obnoxiously depowered She-Hulk? :)

  3. Gaumer
    March 28, 2009 at 11:57 am — Reply

    Although the reveal at the end was nostalgic, I felt ripped off by the Witch not actually being around.

    I really just want her to fix the cluster$%^# she created in the HoM.

    Likewise, I’ll give this book one more arc to get good.

  4. Salieri
    March 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm — Reply

    I’m glad Tony made my point that dressing up as your dead wife isn’t really the best way to get over her death, or show the world that you’re not a crazy person who likes to impersonate other people.

  5. Ricco
    March 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    @Gaumer: Hope Summers’ mutant power seems to be able to find whatever she’s looking for so I guess she’ll either find a cure for the decimation, the x-gene that seems to be gone in the depowered mutants OR the Scarlet Witch herself. The newly reborn Jean Grey could use the Pheonix froce to do it, either way at the end of Messiah Wars the Witch’s spell will be lifted, saddly we’ll probably loose Layla Miller too ;-(

  6. Gaumer
    March 29, 2009 at 1:19 am — Reply

    @ Ricco

    I dont think her mutant power has been revealed yet (I think that was dumb luck and Cable’s wishful thinking) but I just have this gut feeling that Hope Summers’ aint no mutant at all.

    It’s just the most horrible thing that could happen and since Marvel loooovves shitting on the mutants, thats what I think.

    But either way I agree that we prolly lose Layla.

  7. Ricco
    March 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    @Matthew: you’re right, it’s just that I like the comic “Invinsible Iron Man” so much I’m incapable of seen his bad side (The Five Nightmares rocked!), but it’s true the writter does seem to dislike Stark. He was probably pro Cap during the civil war ;-)

  8. Gaumer
    March 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm — Reply

    Writers shouldnt be Pro Cap they should be pro good characters.

    The 5 nightmares DID rock but I dropped the book when “Iron Man had to wipe his brain for the sake of humanity”…what a f%&^*in’ tool.

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