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New Avengers #1: Review

Jan 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Steve Epting

Story Name:

Memento mori

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Avengers #1 Review by (January 4, 2013)
Panther tells the kids not to call him king, which ties in with his sister Shuri now being the ruler (since Black Panther v5). But he suggests that he *is* king of the Necropolis, which is something I haven't heard before. Why are the Wakandans speaking English? Over the past decade the Black Panther has been shown using lots of advanced tech, though the force shield is I think new. Black Swan's companion Manifold has the same codename as Eden Fesi in the current Avengers, and bears the same symbol on his chest.

It appears that this series will feature the Illuminati. But there's a question mark over the membership. The cover, and the preview blurb, suggest that the line-up is as at the end of this issue, but with Beast instead of Captain America. Perhaps next issue will clarify things. (I don't think Cap is Beast with an image inducer.) As the flashback shows, the Illuminati were originally Black Bolt, Dr Strange, Iron Man, Mr Fantastic, Prof X and Sub-Mariner, with Black Panther declining, formed after the Kree-Skrull War. Namor quit when the others sent Hulk to Planet Hulk, while Prof X was missing after House of M. The Infinity Gems story in Avengers (2010) #7-12 saw the original 6 gathered together, except Medusa came instead of her husband Black Bolt, who was feared dead after the War of Kings. Cap found out about the group then, and took Black Bolt's place. Black Bolt later turned up alive. Meanwhile Prof X died in Avengers vs X-Men, and Beast may well take his place. And in the same series Namor became a villain (again), so that should make for tense meetings.

OK, I've now realised that Panther was made King of the Necropolis, with enhanced powers, in Hickman's Fantastic Four #608 to defend against some future threat that would involve Mr Fantastic too. This is that future threat.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
We begin with a flashback to the founding of the Illuminati, where Black Panther declined membership. He distrusted the idea of a group of superheroes deciding to run the world for its own good, but keeping it secret from everyone else. No-one else could be trusted. But what would happen if they found they couldn't even trust each other?

Then we have an ominous present-day scene where Mr Fantastic is counselling his audience (presumably the Illuminati) that nothing lasts forever.

Then we jump back a day for the bulk of the issue, which is basically a Black Panther story.

A group of 3 Wakandan youths have taken part in a ritual 'treasure hunt', and are the 1st to reach and decode the final element, which displays to them the map of an alien solar system. T'Challa greets them, and tells them that is their destination. The West has stopped exploring space, and the East is too slow. Wakanda will lead the way.

Suddenly a rhino charges from some sort of space-warp. Panther steps through it and finds himself in another version of the same scenery, but with another planet hanging in a pink sky. A woman, a man and some soldiers drop down from that planet, speaking Sumerian.

The 3 youths follow T'Challa through the warp. When the 4 talk to each other, the woman recognises the language as English. She tells them she is a Black Swan. and she is here to kill a world. But she didn't bring the other planet here, that was the Great Destroyer. This is all happening in what she calls an Incursion, bounded by the space-warp the rhino and the humans passed through.

Panther swears to stop her, and she tells her soldiers to kill the Wakandans. The soldiers fire, and Panther projects a force shield. But some of the energy gets through, killing Kimo and T'Dori. The 3rd youth N'Kono retaliates with blasts from his hands.

Panther grabs N'Kono and tries to teleport them both back to the Royal City. But the space-warp barrier stops them. They travel on foot instead, and the soldiers follow to stop them from walking out into the normal world. N'Kono gets killed next, and Panther decides to turn round and take the war back to the enemy.

Panther fights his way through the soldiers back to Black Swan and her companion whom she calls Manifold. He has materialised an object, which she takes from him and kills him. Panther attacks her just as she switches the device on. And the world in the sky explodes. And the sky returns to blue. (And the visitors vanish?)

Black Panther remembers a prophecy, and sends for the Illuminati. The next day they arrive:- Captain America and Tony Stark in an Avengers quinjet, Mr Fantastic in the Fantasticar, Black Bolt via Lockjaw the teleporting dog, Dr Strange magics his way in, and Sub-Mariner probably uses an Atlantean aero-sub.

Steve Epting
Mark Simpson
Frank D'Armata
Mark Simpson (Cover Penciler)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

Plus: Lockjaw.

> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

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