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Avengers #26: Review

Feb 2014
Jonathan Hickman, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Look around ... there's no way out

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #26 Review by (February 23, 2014)
The cast page includes all the current Avengers who are being interviewed by Maria Hill, plus the others who only appear in the 1 page having their DNA stolen by AIM. And Hulk because the real Bruce Banner crops up near the end. When the Avengers were KO'd in #16 Hawkeye was with them, but in #17 (as here) he wasn't among the members whose DNA AIM took. Probably because his superhero ability is learned not built-in. The original Adaptoid, also a creation of AIM, was 1st seen in the Captain America strip in Tales of Suspense #82-84. There it began its hobby of collecting the powers of Avengers. It has had a varied career as the Super-Adaptoid but was last seen off in space in Annihilation Conquest: Quasar. AIM have created other Adaptoids in the past, and now they're at it again. They have also adapted trhe technology to humans, turning Yelana Belova into an Adaptoid in the 2006 Annual. And Norman Osborn made use of it in his post-Siege comeback. I presume Iron Man needed to establish which version of his armour was being used so he could decide which tracker signal to look for. Of course this is very dodgy logic where alternate universe doppelgangers are concerned. Similarly the chances of both Bruce Banners having the same safe room is unlikely. Especially as such a room would currently be supplied to our Banner by SHIELD - and not so for the other Banner.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #26 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue AIM were randomly fishing in the multiverse and brought an alternate band of Avengers to this universe. After these Avengers escaped AIM decided to activate special 'explorers' to begin mapping the multiverse. The new Avengers seem to have a different agenda than our familiar group - they made a spectacular entrance in New York to impress a world they seem to intend to rule. 3 hours later SHIELD found the body of someone who seemed to be Henry Pym, Giant/Ant-Man, and CCTV footage that showed the Avengers menacing the populace. Maria Hill wants our Avengers to provide alibis for the time in question.

1 month ago in Perth AIM take genetic samples from a bunch of comatose Avengers - Black Widow, Cannonball, Captain America, Hyperion, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man, Sunspot, Thor and Wolverine (see #17).

3 weeks ago on AIM Island the scientists believe they have all the traits they want. The Scientist Supreme authorises them to move on to the next phase of creating beings who can survive in any environment.

1 week ago they activate the new beings. They are Adaptoids who manifest the appearance of various mixtures of the above Avengers. They declare they are improved versions of previous Adaptoids. They call themselves Explorer-Class, designed to mine the multiverse.

We now see what happened to the strange Avengers 3 hours ago. The Thunder God, who is referred by the different spelling Thorr, does the impressing-the-natives-by-calling-down-the-lightning bit we saw last issue. But then a portal opens and spews forth the Adaptoids and a couple of AIM minders. AIM is field-testing its creations by getting them to recapture the Avengers.

The Adaptoids initially concentrate on Thorr and Hulk, who tears 1 of them apart. But they soon realise that this Hulk is being controlled by the miniature Wasp, so they turn their attentions to her. She attains human size and defends herself with her stingers, until Iron Man comes to her aid. But she's lost the device she controlled Hulk with. The beast reverts to Bruce Banner and runs off. Ant-Man prepares to shrink to microscopic size to invade Banner's body to activate something that will bring him back under control But 1 of the Adaptoids kills him before he can do it. And Captain America calls on Thorr to take the team away.

AIM take the Adaptoids back home. They are unhappy that their creations failed to capture the Avengers. But they note that they adapted to failure and started to kill their targets instead.

Ant-Man's body is left where SHIELD will find it. And as noted last issue Thorr's lightning caused the nearby CCTV cameras to stop working so that there is no evidence of the fight that followed.

And now in the SHIELD helicarrier Maria Hill is interrogating a somewhat-unrelated bunch of Avengers (Black Widow, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hyperion, Iron Man, Smasher and Thor). She gets some flippant replies to her request for alibis. But Cap assures her it wasn't them.

Hyperion can tell that this Henry Pym isn't from this Earth. Iron Man agrees. He also ascertains details of what the unknown Iron Man's armour looked like. He then says he can find that Iron Man from trackers he always builds into his armours. He locates him in Times Square.

Meanwhile the fugitive Bruce Banner has fled to a special safe room he used in his own universe. And finds our Banner there.

And on AIM Island the Explorer-Class Adaptoids consider the mission they have just been on. They reject the specific forms they used in favour of a standardised one which they believe will suit their primary goal of exploration. They declare themselves self-aware and decide to start exploring.

Salvador Larroca
Salvador Larroca
Frank Martin
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Inker)
Frank Martin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Peter Parker)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Andrew Forson, Cannonball, Explorer Adaptoids, Hyperion, Smasher (Izzy Kane).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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