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Avengers #12: Review

Jan 2019
Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness

Story Name:

The Agents Of Wakanda

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Avengers #12 Review by (January 26, 2019)
Cory Smith shares the pencilling with Ed McGuinness again, with Mark Morales, Scott Hanna and Karl Kessel on inks again.

There was a previous Avengers Support Crew in the early 90's which did more of what it said on the tin than spying and superheroing. Man-Wolf was a member in his human guise as John Jameson. The team was the idea of Mark Gruenwald and they spent more time in his Captain America run than in the Avengers own title.

The origin of Marvel's vampires lies with the 1st vampire Varnae in King Kull's pre-Cataclysm era. However it is suggested that Lilith might have had a hand in his creation, and that she might be the mother of some of the oldest vampires. Possibly this is the Mother Of Vampires that Odin refers to. And maybe we'll hear about his involvement with her in a future issue.

Bifrost the Rainbow Bridge that linked Old Asgard with Earth was destroyed during Ragnarok at the end of Thor's 1998 series. When Thor returned in the 2007 series he rebuilt Asgard on Earth. After Siege this was again rebuilt as Asgardia, which was eventually taken into space where it got its own Bifrost. But Asgardia was thrown into the Sun in Thor #705. Odin now wants a Rainbow Bridge rebuilt to the ruins of Old Asgard.

Ka-Zar is accompanied by sabre-toothed Zabu on the cover but not inside this issue. They've been living in the Antarctic Savage Land of dinosaurs and such since #10 of the X-Men's 1st run. As Kevin Plunder he's heir to an English Lordship. He hasn't made many apps in the post-Secret Wars III universe - Lockjaw #1-2, Old Man Logan #42 and the mentioned Thor #9.

As a member of the vicious alien Brood, Broo's mutation was to be born with compassion. He was adopted by the Astonishing X-Men and enrolled in the Jean Grey School where his high intelligence was discovered. He's also only had a scattering of post-SWIII apps, all X-titles as a student ending in Generation X #8.

Scientist Michael Morbius tried to cure himself of a blood disease in Amazing Spider-Man #101-102 but instead turned himself into a being that looks like a vampire, has some vampiric abilities and needs to drink blood like a vampire but *isn't* a vampire. He doesn't have magical abilities like turning into a bat or mist, and doesn't have the vampire weaknesses to crosses and holy water. Since SWIII he's specialised in comics featuring Deadpool and his Mercs For Money though he's not part of that team. Domino took them over, and Morbius' last 2 apps were Domino #7-8 but he's still not in that group.

John Jameson, J Jonah's son, dates all the way back to the original Amazing Spider-Man #1. He became Man-Wolf in ASM#124. He's also not a real werewolf and his transformation stems from an alien gem. His post-SWIII apps have mostly been in the 2015 Carnage series.

American Eagle débuted in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #6. He's had scattered apps since then, his most long-running being in Thunderbolts #112-116. His last app was Fear Itself: Home Front #5 well before SWIII.

Dr Nemesis actually 1st showed up as a hero in Ace Magazines comics in 1940, mainly in Super-Mystery Comics. Roy Thomas re-used him as Nazi villain Dr Death in the 1993 Invaders mini-series. Then he was brought into the modern era as Dr Nemesis Nazi-hunter in Uncanny X-Men #500 and joined the X-Club science team. His only previous post-SWIII app was a little tale in the recent Merry X-Men Holiday Special, but this month he's also with hordes of other X-folk in UXM(2019)#9-10.

Fat Cobra was 1 of the Immortal Weapons champions in the Immortal Iron Fist series, and hung around afterwards. Since SWIII he's been in the Deadpool vs Gambit mini, including 1 issue with Morbius, and IF(2017)#78-80 (Legacy numbering) as part of the Damnation event.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #12 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue contains flashbacks showing the recruitment of Agents Of Wakanda but at some point it becomes part of the current Avengers timeframe.

Some weeks ago Black Panther shows semi-retired Avengers butler Edwin Jarvis around the newly-completed Avengers Mountain HQ, in the shell of the Celestial Progenitor at the North Pole (see #1-6). T'Challa doesn't expect Jarvis to look after *this* huge place, but wants his advice on choosing a team to do it instead. (But apart from Gorilla-Man who we met in #10 as Chief of Security, most of the rest of the people hired this issue don't seem like household staff.)

1st-up *is* Gorilla-Man who Panther finds in a bar in Timbuktu. At 1st Ken Hale thinks T'Challa's here to kill him, like everyone else, to gain immortality. But Ken informs him that those guys haven't read the small print that the successful hunter would spend his immortality as a talking gorilla. However BP says he's here to offer the ex-SHIELD and ex-Atlas Agent a job. Hale immediately tells the barman to send his tab to Tony Stark because he's an Avenger now. But Panther tells him he's not exactly being recruited into the Avengers.

Next T'Challa welcomes Wasp (who we also saw as an Agent in #10) to a variant helicarrier over Wakanda. Janet Van Dyne isn't interested in joining a rebuilt SHIELD, but again Panther says that's not what he has in mind for her.

In Wakanda itself T'Challa consults with Okoye, leader of his Dora Milaje bodyguards, over the selection of his Agents. She approves of Wasp but isn't so sure about Gorilla-Man or the rest of the photos spread before her. Her king tells her he doesn't need another super-team, he's building a 'ground crew for the Avengers'. Which he qualifies as meaning a group of individuals who can gather intelligence from a variety of sources. And the team members need Okoye's approval because he wants her to be their Director.

(We could be up to the present day at this point. Agents Gorilla-Man and Wasp have been active in #10. BP and Okoye have already recruited Roz Solomon in Thor #8 and Roz has met Gorilla-Man and another recruit Ka-Zar in Thor #9.)

Okoye's next job is to take Ka-Zar, Lord of the Savage Land, out into the ocean to infiltrate Atlantis to see if they're preparing to attack the surface world. She offers him a special wetsuit and weaponry but Kevin Plunder just dives out of the flying car in his loincloth with a large knife between his teeth.

Back in Avengers Mountain Gorilla-Man and Panther greet the next recruit, Broo the small mutant of the alien Brood, as their IT Department. Tony Stark and Kitty Pryde of the X-Men recommend him as a genius who can handle the super-computer running in the Celestial brain.

As Broo settles in he gets a mayday call from Wasp in a quinjet besieged by vampires on the hull. She took the craft into space but that didn't faze them. The vamps are after her passenger Morbius the Living Vampire. Broo gives her a new course which side-swipes a Stark satellite and knocks some of them off (breaking 1 of the satellite's solar panels in the process). But the remaining disciples of Dracula break through the hull and Wasp has to go on the offensive. However Broo sends in another Agent to help. John Jameson drops in from an Avengers space-station and transforms into Man-Wolf to deal with the foe.

Black Panther, King of Wakanda, goes to visit Odin, All-Father of Asgard, in the ruins of Old Asgard. Apparently Odin secretly acts as T'Challa's advisor and they discuss the current vampire situation. (In #10 Wasp rescued Blade the Vampire Hunter from Dracula's castle, and a vampire problem was mentioned last issue.) Dracula has sent his troops after Morbius, but the scientifically-created pseudo-vampire doesn't know why. Odin regrets not wiping out the vampires when they 1st began with the Mother Of Vampires.

In return for Odin's aid Panther is organising the rebuilding of the broken Rainbow Bridge between Earth and Asgard. Heimdall is working with Man-Wolf to find the shards of the old Bridge scattered through space. And then Broo will find a way to assemble them back together.

Odin sent his ravens on a spying mission to Transylvania. They have reported that someone called the Shadow Colonel is preparing to challenge Dracula for leadership of the vampires. Both sides have been recruiting allies for the upcoming Vampire Civil War.

Now Gorilla-Man meets 3 more new Agents of Wakanda in Avengers HQ:- American Eagle who can spare some time from his job policing the Navajo Reservation. Doctor Nemesis, Nazi hunter and member of the scientific X-Club. Fat Cobra, Master of Kung Fu. And Wasp receives intel from Agent Roz Solomon about the War Of The Realms. (She went spying in Thor #9.)

We learn that Mockingbird, Shang-Chi and Ant-Man are coming in for interviews, but Valkyrie and Moon Knight declined the invite. Ka-Zar returns from his ocean dip lugging a sea-monster which he suggests they could roast, and then goes to report to T'Challa.

Panther calls a meeting of the Avengers (Captain America, Captain Marvel, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, She-Hulk and Thor) to tell them that Atlantis isn't currently getting ready to invade, but he doesn't tell them how he got the info. He also summarises the vampire situation and introduces them to the newest Avenger Blade.

Ed McGuinness
Mark Morales
Erick Arciniega
Alan Davis (Cover Penciler)
Mark Farmer (Cover Inker)
Jim Campbell (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther


(Eric Brooks)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Jennifer Walters)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: American Eagle (Jason Strongbow), Broo, Doctor Nemesis (Michael Stockton), Fat Cobra, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Gorilla-Man (Arthur Nagan), Man-Wolf, Morbius, Okoye, Roz Solomon.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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