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Avengers #5: Review

Sep 2010
Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers #5 Review by (July 6, 2012)
2nd story:- Continued from New Avengers #4. As with the chapter in NAv#4 that describes them joining the Avengers, Wanda isn't interviewed alongside her brother Pietro. This is probably because she is missing, so I would guess these interviews take place after House of M (or possibly before that but after Avengers Disassembled). Wasp being alive also puts them before Secret Invasion. Getting all the Avengers together makes it before Civil War too. Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) couldn't be interviewed directly because he died in Giant-Size Avengers #2. I don't think Mandarin can really be described as a former leader of Chinese Republic. As far as I remember the nearest he got was in his alliance with Fin Fang Foom in Iron Man #261-275 and in the Iron Man/Force Works/War Machine crossover Hands of the Mandarin. To be continued in New Avengers #5.

This is part 5 of 6 of The Next Avengers. Ultron took over Iron Man's armour in the story in Mighty Avengers #1-6. But I don't think it was the first time this happened. Younger Tony says here that Kang claimed the Next Avengers were going to kill him (Kang) in his future. Kang never actually said that, but the Avengers did later see a future scene of the Next Avengers killing Immortus. But Immortus is no longer the future of Kang, since Avengers Forever. (However, with time-traveller's involved, that story might not have happened yet.) As someone who did mathematical physics at University, I recognise a lot of the equations on older Tony's wallchart. Somebody did their homework! Also the chart includes hints of things to come in the near future of the Marvel universe. E.g. 'Chaos War', and 'Who is Worthy?' for Fear Itself. Like Rip Hunter's blackboard in DC's 52 and Booster Gold series, but more organised. Iron Man mentions that Kang made the sophomore mistake of repeatedly attacking Ultron at the height of his powers. But there is no explanation given why the time-savvy Kang didn't destroy Ultron at an earlier, weaker stage. Still, if Kang ever did the sensible thing he'd be ruling the whole universe by now. And that wouldn't make for good comics. Presumably Kang came back here after visiting the Avengers, rather than just running away, because he needs the timestream fixed as well. It shouldn't be surprising that Kang resembles Immortus, because they are (or were) the same person. Future Iron Man says he doesn't remember Protector, so they must be from different timelines. But Kang knew about Protector in #1. So is this Kang manipulating things? Or just an editorial mistake?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the present Hawkeye, Maria Hill, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Killraven are at a loss what to do to as elements from various times and alternate realities infest the streets and skies of New York. But Thor knows what the biggest threat is, as he attacks Galactus.

In the future Tony Stark wakes up to find himself without his armour. The future Iron Man says he shut the armour down (so it's dormant in Tony's body) because Ultron could have taken it over. This is the reason he himself wears a very low-tech iron suit. Young Tony swears that he's made his armour Ultron-proof since the last time Ultron invaded it. Old Tony says Ultron always finds a way.

The other Avengers (Captain America (Bucky), Protector (Noh-Varr) and Wolverine) are standing around with Maestro (and his unnamed female associate) and the Next Avengers. And Kang is also there.

There follows some confusion as younger Tony tries to get straight what's going on. It turns out Kang didn't exactly tell the truth (surprise!) when he visited the Avengers in #1. He claimed that the Next Avengers had broken the timestream, and he needed the Avengers' help to put it right. Actually Kang broke it, and future Iron Man and Maestro sent Kang back to recruit the Avengers.

Iron Man explains that Ultron took over the world, and Kang tried to stop him. Kang recruited an army from all over time/space/alternity, but lost. So he recruited another army and tried again. And again, and again .... Always attacking at the same time.

This is why the timestream is broken. And future Iron Man and everyone else here is trapped in a recurring Groundhog Day scenario. Kang is the only one who could get out, so that's why he was sent to the Avengers in #1.

In the middle of all this, Kang removes his helmet, to reveal a face that resembles that of Immortus, as he appeared at the beginning of #1. He's worried about the Next Avengers killing him, which is what we saw in #1.

It turns out that future Iron Man doesn't remember Protector. So this means Noh-Varr wasn't in the history of this timeline, and so maybe he can do something to prevent the disaster. As  time fragments and prepares to start another rerun, future Iron Man tells Protector to get to the moment before Kang broke the timestream.

The time-travelling Avengers find themselves with the other Avengers back fighting Apocalypse and the Horsemen at the beginning of #4. But the time-travellers can remember what happened since then.

They re-rebuild Protector's time-machine, but this time go to a different point in time. Where they confront Ultron and ask for his help.

Story #2

Avengers Assemble: The Oral History of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes Chapter 7

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America, Hawkeye and Quicksilver discuss the early days of the new team of Avengers after #16. With contributions from Wasp. The main topics are Hawkeye and Quicksilver thinking at the time that one of them should be leader instead of Cap, and Swordsman's appearance in #19-20.

There are also negative comments from J, Jonah Jameson, Madame Hydra, Count Nefaria, Dr Doom, Mandarin and quotes from an old SHIELD interrogation of Swordsman. Some of them echo what Wonder Man is currently saying.

John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Kang the Conqueror)

(Peter Parker)

(Jessica Drew)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Four Horsemen, Next Avengers, Protector (Noh-Varr).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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