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Avengers #20: Review

Sep 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu

Story Name:

The offer

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #20 Review by (September 29, 2013)
The Annihilation Wave was a vast horde of warships from the Negative Zone in Annihilation and related mini-series. The original Wave was under the control of Annihilus, so I don't k now why this one wouldn't be. The Builders set up systems that span the universe and the alternate universes. One of them was the system whereby Aleph robots created Abyss/Ex Nihilo pairs to 'garden' worlds, as seen initially in #1. Another was the Superflow spanning the multiverse, which we saw breaking down in #7. This was connected to the New Universal system, whereby White Events created certain superbeings such as Nightmask and Starbrand (as again in #7). This system is certainly related to the 'newuniversal' comic series by Warren Ellis, and possibly also to the earlier New Universe set of series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #20 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page has the Gardeners in the Builders' fleet amazed at the existence of 1 of the long-lost Abysses in the ranks of the Avengers, and Ex Nihilo (the Gardener in the Avengers) not understanding why his Builder creators and fellow-Gardeners are on a destructive rampage (both from #19). Plus a Builder accepts the surrender of the Kree, Captain America leads the Galactic Council attack on the Builder fleet at the Kree homeworld Hala, the Builders escape leaving Gardener Ex Nihila to scuttle their damaged command ship (all in Infinity #3).

Ex Nihilo and Abyss meet and exchange news. Ex Nihilo describes how the Builders destroyed most of the Galactic Council's ringworld base. And how the Avengers led a fightback, stealing some of the Builders' planet killer ships and using them against the Builder fleet. (All from Inf#3.)

Abyss relates in more detail the rescue of herself and the rest of Captain Marvel's team from the Builders. Black Widow, Manifold, Shang-Chi and Spider-Woman freed CM, Cannonball, Hawkeye and Sunspot just as they were about to be executed. They then found the stasis tubes holding Abyss, Nightmask and Starbrand (and Captain Universe unshown). But before they left Ex Nihila saw them, and mentally told Abyss to 'come find us'. (This rescue has been spread across Inf#3, CM#16 and Avengers Assemble #19.)

The remaining members of the Galactic Council (Annihilus, the Brood queen, Gladiator and Super-Skrull) along with Mentor of the Imperial Guard, Captain America and Captain Marvel meet above Hala. The Builder fleet has reformed elsewhere and continued its path towards Earth. But it has lost all its planet killers.

The Brood queen has a hive of drones and Annihilus has a new Annihilation Wave ready to be launched at the Builders. The Shi'ar have stargates ready to deliver them. But once released the Annihilation Wave will be out of control. Gladiator wonders if it's worth that risk to save Earth.

Cap suggests that they should try to talk to the Builders while they are still smarting from defeat.

Down on the planet surface, Ronan wants to know why the Builder who accepted the Kree surrender is still there, and still claiming the world. The Kree Supreme Intelligence predicts that the overwhelming probability is that the Builders will triumph and the Kree empire will remain theirs.

But then a hologram of Gladiator appears wanting to parley with the Builder.

Meanwhile Abyss has led Ex Nihilo to where she knows Ex Nihila is waiting. And loads of other Gardeners, who continue to be astonished that Abyss is alive. The Ex Nihili and Abyssi are always created in pairs. The Ex Nihili create, and the Abyssi judge the creation. But Ex Nihila says that all the other Abyssi died thousands of years ago.

It seems the Abyssi committed suicide when the Builders stopped the Gardeners from creating, and started using them as destroyers instead. All this happened when the New Universal system was begun.

Back on Hala the Builder agrees to meet with a representative of the Council to negotiate peace. Steve Rogers will be that man, and he's chosen a strange tactic. He's going to surrender!

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Leinil Francis Yu
Gerry Alanguilan
David Curiel
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Penciler)
Leinil Francis Yu (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Clint Barton)

(Jessica Drew)

Plus: Abyss 3, Brood, Builders, Cannonball, Ex Nihila, Ex Nihilo, Gladiator (Kallark), Manifold (Eden Fesi), Mentor (A'Lars), Ronan (Ronan the Accuser), Starbrand (Kevin Conner), Super-Skrull.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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