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Avengers #23: Review

Feb 2012
Brian Michael Bendis, Daniel Acuna

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #23 Review by (March 4, 2012)
Presumably Osborn got his new powers via Dr Washington, who was responsible for the Hulk and Ant-Man/Goliath-type powers the baddies have shown during this storyline. The crowd outside Avengers Mansion this issue seems to be solidly pro-Avengers, with a few dissenters. The same crowd last issue was much more evenly mixed. Is this supposed to represent a reversal in popular opinion which will allow the Avengers to continue after next issue? The only captive Avenger not seen in the last 2 issue's of captivity is Protector. Will this be significant? We also haven't seen Maria Hill since she got captured either.

This is part 6 of the Norman Osborn/HAMMER story that began as the Avengers' contribution to Shattered Heroes. The arc will end next issue. It's the 2nd issue this month, presumably to get the story out of the way before Avengers vs X-Men kicks in. The blurb for this issue on (which we previously copied to this site) seems completely wrong. Until you realise that it really belongs to New Avengers #23. Even the release date, which puts it after Avengers #24. In another misleading cover the Avengers are seen fighting the Hand ninjas, which will presumably happen next issue. Maybe we'll get the Captain America/Gorgon fight from last issue's cover as well. Unless I blinked and missed him, Gorgon hasn't been in any of the issues so far.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #23 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A representative of the US Government with full military backing arrives at a meeting in the desert with Madame Hydra and an unarmed Hydra troop. Hydra has the captive Captain America. The US rep has a holographic device through which Madame Hydra can negotiate with the Cabinet.

Madame Hydra wants the Avengers tried for war crimes, Norman Osborn reinstated to his post as head of all law-enforcement agencies (including the Avengers and SHIELD), and HAMMER (including AIM, Hydra and the Hand) to be the international 'peacekeeping' force.

Cap urges the president not to deal with terrorists. The President orders the Hydra squad arrested. But Madame Hydra triggers them into transforming into Hulks, who trash the army.

Meanwhile at HAMMER's HQ, AIM continue to experiment with other captured Avengers.

Renegade SHIELD scientist Carolina Washington and AIM's Supreme Scientist Monica Rappaccini continue to snipe at each other as they study Storm. Because Storm has only just joined the Avengers, Washington hadn't prepared a plan to handle her. They currently have her in a zero-point energy bubble like they used on Iron Man last issue. And now they just resort to gassing her unconscious.

They turn their attention back to Iron man's bubble. Despite expecting him, Washington still hasn't figured out how to remove his armour.

They are interrupted by the devastating arrival of Quake (who tracked down the HQ location last issue).

The only other Avenger still at large is Vision, who was assaulted in front of Avengers Mansion by Norman Osborn last issue. He now follows Osborn, who has just flown off. But right after he leaves, government troops arrive to take over the Mansion.

Rappaccini organises the evacuation of HAMMER HQ, leaving Washington to face Iron Man and Storm, free from their bubbles. Quake finds Spider-Woman and Red Hulk, also free from the captivity we saw last issue. Red Hulk disperses some remaining HAMMER troops.

The trio meet up with Iron Man and Storm. Red Hulk terrifies Washington into telling them where the other Avengers (Captain America, Hawkeye and Protector) are being held. She says it's down in the basement with Gorgon's Hand ninjas. (Cap of course isn't actually there.)

Before they can follow up this lead, a door is blasted open and Hawkeye staggers in. Followed by Osborn toting an unconscious Vision, and backed by a horde of Hand ninjas.

Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna
Daniel Acuna
Renato Guedes (Cover Penciler)
Renato Guedes (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Red Hulk
Red Hulk

(Thunderbolt Ross)

(Ororo Munroe)

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

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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