Avengers Assemble Alpha #1: Review

Nov 2022
Jason Aaron, Bryan Hitch

Story Name:

Avengers Assemble: Part 1 - The battle a million years in the making

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Assemble Alpha #1 Review by (December 3, 2022)
The bulk of this issue is the usual Marvel heroes meet but fight each other before facing the common enemy.

The helmet Avenger Prime chooses looks to me like the 1 worn by Eric Masterson as Thor.

Our standard view of 1M BC hominids would agree with Nighthawk's estimate of their vocal capabilities. But previous issues involving the 1M BC Avengers have shown humans capable of speech, and AXE Judgment Day Eternals 1-shot explained in passing that some early humans had fallen through a chronal rift to create a race of humans here. Which probably explains why Mephisto here refers to them as inbred.

Captain Carter had her own series and was seen in Avenger Prime's army in Avengers Forever #4

Longbow looks like the char Hawkeye was converted into by Morgan Le Fay in Avengers (1998) #1-3, and he also appeared in AvF#4.

Moon Knight (Mariama Spector) was inducted into the Prime army from Earth-818 in that issue.

In the background in Avengers Tower we see the armoured War Widow who was also in Av F#4. Also the ape Captain America from the Marvel Apes mini-series, and a random Black Knight and Hercules and probably a member of the Carol Corps from AvF#9. Plus lots of other indeterminate chars.

This Avengers Assemble saga will continue with part 2 in Av#63 where the 2 Avengers teams fight the Multiversal Masters Of Evil in 1M BC. And part 3 in AvF#12 where the Avengers gathered in earlier AvF issues, and more, fight the Mephistos in the God Quarry.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Assemble Alpha #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Avengers #62 the modern Avengers finally evaded Mephisto and reached the era of the 1M BC Avengers (with a supreme effort from young Starbrand (Brandy Selby) which aged her into an old woman).

But we begin with a visit to Avengers Tower at Infinity's End in the God Quarry (graveyard of dead gods) which we now learn is the boundary between the 1st Firmament and the multiverse beyond it. This is the home of Avenger Prime and his army of Deathloks plus Avengers from various timelines. We see him (in shadow) standing before an array of weapons, symbols and helmets representing different Avengers. And he picks up a winged particular helmet and dons it as he dares to leave his sanctuary for the 1st time in eons ...

... and a portal delivers him to Earth-616's distant past where cavemen run from him and Mephisto accosts him in snow-covered surroundings. He tells the devil that he's here to watch him lose, but Mephisto mentions all the early Earths on other timelines which his allies the Multiversal Masters Of Evil have already conquered for him, and which Prime and his army were unable to prevent. But AP points to where the modern Avengers have met their 1M BC counterparts.

Nighthawk expects hominids in this era to be incapable of speech. Which is why they're surprised to be addressed by 1 of them who we know is Agamotto, the 1st Sorcereer Supreme, to invite them to the greatest fight of their lives. Iron Man has met them before (Avengers #28) and jets forward to tell them they're here because of the MMOE, but Agamotto knows all about *them*. How they are killing the equivalent early Avengers groups on all Earths to stop the rise of superheroes. And he starts to say that he senses the MMOE are already here but gets cut off by a blast of fire.

Odin recognises that as Phoenix fire (presumably it's from the MMOE's Dark Phoenix). He has a beef with the Phoenix Force (because its avatar Lady Phoenix refused to marry him in the 1M BC Av Special). Now he transfers that anger to the Avengers' current Phoenix Avatar Maya Lopez. But his son Thor attacks him demanding to know what's happened to his mother (Lady Phoenix).

Agamotto is still bathed in fire but IM tries calm everybody down. However the 1MBCAv's Red Hulk-like caveman Starbrand goes berserk and attacks him, Captain America and Nighthawk. Sub-Mariner retaliates but SB literally blows him away. Then it's Captain Marvel and Thor's turn. Between them they carry him away but his Starbrand power explodes in their faces.

Meanwhile unrestrained Odin is attacking Phoenix with Mjolnir. Valkyrie attacks *him* because she's had experience with his older self, and then sees if Maya is OK. The Asgardian All-Father blasts them both with his personal power.

Now it's CapA's turn to beg everyone to stop fighting. But the 1M BC Ghost Rider can smell 'sin' on some of the new arrivals. Hotheaded Namor grabs him but GR calls for his ride the giant fiery mammoth which stomps on Subby. Our Starbrand starts to intervene but CapA won't let her risk ageing further. Nighthawk faces the 1M BC caveman Moon Knight while the 1MB Iron Fist tries to help Agamotto who tells her the Avengers aren't their enemy.

No-one's noticed Avenger Prime and Mephisto watching from a nearby snowy hill. The demon tries to stab AP who counters with mystic(?) blasts from his hands. However the Avenger suddenly finds himself surrounded by multiple alternate Mephistos all wielding knives.

CapM and Thor are still having a slugfest with 1M BC Starbrand. Carol Danvers punches him through the top of a small mountain, so he picks up what seems to be a small mountain peak and throws it at them. Thor's response is to Mjolnir him with a blow that forms a large crevasse to bury him in. But SB just blasts his way out.

Meanwhile Odin is sending the still-young Mjolnir against Phoenix and Valkyrie. But it's still disobeying his orders and it seems to quite like Valkyrie (Jane Foster) (who will have wielded it in the future when she will have been a replacement Thor). CapA is fighting Ghost Rider while trying to persuade him to use his Penance Stare on him to discover that the Avengers have good intentions. But GR says that his mastodon's PS is already causing Namor to feel the guilt of his sins. Iron Man vanquishes Moon Knight but Iron Fist accuses him and his crew of being the kind of arrogant time-travelling invaders they've fought off many time before.

But at last Agamotto recovers and says that Doom Supreme and Mephisto *want* them to fight, and he orders his team to stand down. GR stops attacking CapA and tells his mastodon to let Sub-Mariner go. Steve Rogers has to restrain him from getting revenge. Odin and Valkyrie are still vying for control of Mjolnir and neither will back down. Until Thor's Mjolnir drags *him* into the fray and the 2 versions of the hammer meet with a thunderclap that levels all the nearby combatants apart from Agamotto.

But now it's time for Doom Supreme to step forth for a clash of magics with the Sorcerer Supreme. Doom boasts about how many Dr Stranges and Cleas he's killed as he conjures a tentacled being to ensnare Aggy. But as his current foe is an Agamotto Doom finds it fitting to surgically remove his eyes.

Then the caveman Starbrand arrives. Tossing aside an unconscious Captain Marvel he smashes through Doom's mystic defences to close in for hand-to-hand combat. But Doom senses Vnn's grief over his dead lover (see Av#26) and uses it against him. However this just enrages SB further and he starts to crush Doom's metal mask. A spell from Doom breaks his fingers. And then another 1 reduces him to a mangled ball of red flesh.

Our 2 teams are at last united against the common foe. But Doom Supreme is joined by the rest of the MMOE:- Black Skull, Ghost Goblin, Kid Thanos, King Killmonger and Dark Phoenix with her berserker hound Wolverine. Avenger Prime is down with multiple knives in his back. And our Mephisto reveals to him that the prize was never just the Earths, but access to Avengers Tower and the God Quarry. And he leads his army of Mephistos through the portal to there ...

... where Captain Carter sees them advancing and wonders where Avenger Prime is. Longbow (Clint Barton) reminds her they've got an army of Avengers assembled from across the multiverse ready to fight. And Moon Knight (Mariama Spector) (from Earth-818) points to their trump card the just-arriving All-Rider in his Hell-Charger which bowls through loads of devils. Peggy Carter thinks AR is just a myth but MK has seen him in action (Avengers Forever #1-4). But when the car stops, and is mobbed by Mephistos, we see inside Ant-Man-818 and Robbie Reyes. Who can't become Ghost Rider (after he spent all his power trying to kill the main Mephisto in AvF#11).

Bryan Hitch
Andrew Currie
Alex Sinclair
Bryan Hitch (Cover Penciler)
Bryan Hitch (Cover Inker)
Alejandro Sanchez (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


(Jane Foster)

Plus: Agamotto, Ant-Man (Tony Stark 818), Avenger Prime, Avengers (1MBC) (1M BC Avengers), Captain Carter (Peggy Carter), Doom Supreme, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Ghost Rider (1MBC), Iron Fist (Fan Fei), Longbow (Clint Barton), Moon Knight (Mariama Spector), Moon Knight (1M BC), Multiversal Masters Of Evil, Nighthawk (of SSOA), Phoenix (Maya Lopez), Starbrand (Brandy Selby), Starbrand (1MBC).

> Avengers Assemble Alpha: Book info and issue index

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