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Avengers #22: Review

Feb 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Renato Guedes

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #22 Review by (February 20, 2012)
Bendis continues not to give the Avengers issues any titles, but this is part 5 of the Avengers entry in the Shattered Heroes follow-up to Fear Itself (although the Shattered Heroes banner has gone from this issue). I figure that the story will end in #24, with 2 issues this month to allow #25 to be an Avengers vs X-Men issue in April. The cover shows Captain America fighting the Hand's Gorgon, as indicated in last issue's 'Next' box. But that fight doesn't happen, and Gorgon isn't even in this issue. Spider-Woman has a long and tangled history with Hydra. As a young woman she was inducted into Hydra, but quit when she realised how bad they were (as told in Marvel Spotlight #32 and modified in Spider-Woman: The Origin). They temporarily brainwashed her into serving them again in Marvel Two-In-One #29-32. Viper/Madame Hydra claimed to be Spider-Woman's real mother in Spider-Woman #42-44, but this was refuted in Captain America #281-282. Spider-Woman appeared to be a SHIELD/Hydra double agent during Civil War and Secret Invasion, but she turned out to have been replaced by a Skrull. As their Supreme Scientist, Monica Rappaccini is head of AIM. (Sometimes she has lead only a faction of AIM, but I think she's currently boss of it all.) She first showed her face in Amazing Fantasy v2 #7 in the strip starring her daughter Carmilla Black, the 2nd person to take the codename Scorpion. Her latest appearance was within the Heart of the Monster arc in Incredible Hulks #630-635. Part of Iron Man's armour has been stored within his body since the Extremis version in Iron Man v4 #5. The current Bleeding Edge version manifests completely from inside him, since Iron Man v5 #25. This issue continues a grand tradition of having people crawling around inside an Avenger. Ant-Man (Hank Pym) started it by invading Vision to kickstart him in v1 #93. Vision returned the favour for an extremely giant-sized Yellowjacket (Hank Pym) in v1 #140. The Hydra agents are pres

One of these days I'm going to learn not to try to submit too much Comment at once! In the meantime, I've lost most of the last sentence in the Comment below. It should be:- The Hydra agents are presumably using Pym's size-changing technology, courtesy of Dr Washington, as they did in the last 2 issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Most of the current team have been captured by Norman Osborn's alliance of AIM, HAMMER, Hand and Hydra. We follow some of them here in their captivity.

Captain America is the prisoner of Madame Hydra, who tells him that Osborn's forces are now going after the New Avengers too, and then they'll try recruiting from the Avengers Academy. She continues Osborn's claim that it is the Avengers who are evil and power-mad.

She also tries to tempt Spider-Woman back to her old role as an agent of Hydra. During her interactions with the heroes her insanity shows through.

Iron Man is trapped in a zero-point energy bubble by AIM, their Supreme Scientist Monica Rappaccini, and renegade SHIELD scientist Carolina Washington. They are attempting to extract his armour, which these days is bonded to him. There's obvious friction between Rappaccini and Washington.

Some miniaturised Hydra agents, working with Rappaccini and AIM, attempt to extract a sample from inside the comatose Red Hulk, but they're beaten back by his antibodies. (And he may not be as comatose as they think.)

There are only 2 members of the Avengers team still on the loose.

Quake has tracked down the man who planted Osborn's holographic projector at the Avengers press conference in #19-20 and 'persuades' him to lead her to Osborn.

Vision returns to Avengers Mansion, where there is a crowd protesting against the Avengers, in direct contrast to the scene in #19-20. Osborn is there again, this time apparently the real deal. He turns Vision solidly immovable (presumably using the info on superheroes Washington brought with her).

Meanwhile the President and his cabinet are discussing Osborn's claim in #20 that the current Avengers deposed him from his legally-sanctioned position as head of the Avengers and SHIELD/HAMMER, and that he has since then been illegally held without trial. They have to admit that this is all technically true. And that Osborn has a power base and a lot of popular support. The President prepares to make a deal with him.

Renato Guedes
Jose Wilson Magalhaes
Jason Keith
Stuart Immonen (Cover Penciler)
Stuart Immonen (Cover Inker)
Marte Gracia (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)

Plus: Carolina Washington, Monica Rappaccini, Quake (Daisy Johnson).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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