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Avengers #16: Review

Aug 2011
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #16 Review by (February 6, 2013)
Master Man (Max Lohmer) is the 3rd villain to take the name. The 1st was his WWII uncle Wilhelm in the Invaders series. Max didn't appear until CA(2005)#18. These Exiles are nothing to do with the series of that name. They 1st appeared in CA(1968)#102, though the Official Index credits them with being in the 1-panel shot of the associates of the evil Dr Strange (no relation to the good guy) in the Iron Man story in Tales of Suspense #41. In CA#102 they were surviving Nazi underlings of the Red Skull. RS had been in suspended animation since WWII, but it didn't explain then how the Exiles remained young. Maria Hill here says she doesn't know whether the ones in this issue are replacements, the originals brought forward through time, or with lives extended by a super-formula. But the members, especially Iron Hand Hauptmann, have made occasional appearances in between. Cap's shield saves him and Sharon from the blast and cushions their fall because it contains vibranium, which absorbs impacts. Daisy Johnson was a SHIELD agent who worked directly for Director Nick Fury, as 1st seen in his Secret War against Latveria. She accompanied him when he was thrown out of SHIELD for this, and continued to work for him, eventually in Secret Warriors. Maria Hill is coming to the end of her regular Avengers slot. She'll be in #18 and then drop out. Meanwhile, after their shared gig here, Quake will be an active Avenger in #19-24. Hill will also be a regular in Avengers Assemble, and they'll both be back together for the final issues of this series #33-34.

This is the 4th of 5 Fear Itself tie-ins. Iron Man is only in this issue as one of the talking heads. Wasp's inclusion as a talking head can't be explained away as easily as it was in #13 and #14. The opening sequence is structured as a conversation between all the heads, which includes a direct reference to the events of Fear Itself. This could mean that the chat happens much later, after Wasp returns in #31-34, but some costumes (e.g. Hawkeye and Ms Marvel) wouldn't fit with that. Marvel Previews has the issues mixed up again. The covers for this issue and #17 are switched round. Both blurbs refer to the Hawkeye/Spider-Woman romance. They're not *in* this issue. They are at least *in* #17, which gets their cover as a couple, but that issue doesn't actually mention their burgeoning coupledom anywhere. Surely it was openly known that Sin was leading her forces from Washington to New York between FI#3 and #4.. This issue will be before Steve is asked to retake the Captain America role in CA#619, itself before his appearance in the Cap uniform in FI#4. It was revealed in Dark Avengers #11 that Victoria Hand was a SHIELD accountant before Norman Osborn took over and made her his PA in Dark Reign. Presumably she had some basic agent training as well. After Dark Reign Steve made her his liaison with New Avengers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #16 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens with the talking heads, which this time comment on how Captain America changes to reflect the country's mood. But this time he's reflecting his own mood, sadness and anger after Sin/Skadi killed Bucky in Fear Itself #3.

Steve Rogers is in the Secret Avengers' quincarrier brooding over Bucky's death at the hands of Sin, when Sharon Carter tells him they've received intel that she is in a Swedish castle. He leads a team of Sharon, Maria Hill and Victoria Hand to invade the place. (He didn't want to alert Sin by taking any of the main Avengers from the public battles.)

Hill can't understand why New Avengers liaison Hand is on the team. Steve says she's got SHIELD training. Hill points out that's only as an accountant.

Steve's still in his Super-Soldier outfit, but with the Captain America shield, retrieved from Bucky's body.

The 4 split up into pairs to effect separate entrances. Steve and Sharon end up facing Master Man, and Maria and Victoria meet the Exiles. All unrepentant Nazis.

Master Man blasts Steve and Sharon out of the castle with a big gun. Steve takes the brunt of the blast with his shield, and then uses it to protect them from the fall. Steve sends Sharon to help Hand and Hill, and then faces Master Man alone.

Meanwhile Maria and Victoria are executing a fighting retreat from the Exiles, when they run into one of them, Iron Hand Hauptmann. But Sharon pops up and shoots him. The 3 SHIELD agents then hold off the other 5 Exiles.

Both fights are interrupted when the castle is hit by an earthquake. The goodies get separated from the baddies. And Steve learns that it wasn't a natural earthquake when he meets Daisy Johnson, codename Quake. She's a SHIELD agent, but not part of the organisation that Steve heads. She was one of Nick Fury's Secret Warriors.

Our hero(in)es realise that this was all a trap for Steve, and Sin was never here.

In a talking head epilogue Steve, now in full Cap gear, ponders making Quake an Avenger.

John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Paul Mounts
Alan Davis (Cover Penciler)
Mark Farmer (Cover Inker)
Javier Rodríguez (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Exiles, Iron Hand Hauptmann, Master Man, Quake (Daisy Johnson), Victoria Hand.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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