I also want to use this Classic Comics voucher which I picked up from Armageddon Expo, entitling me to a 25% discount off all purchases! The voucher has to be used by 1 November and I'm not sure when I'll get to go to the CBD for more comics, so might as well use it now while I can!
Mighty Avengers #5 is also out today. I can't wait to see the Avengers kick female Ultron's ass! Which is a perfect segueway into this column featured in Wizard Universe:
EARTH’S MIGHTIEST COLUMN: OCT. 17, 2007
Wizard Universe’s regular rundown of Marvel’s mightiest teams
By Matt Powell
Posted October 17, 2007 2:30 PM
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Beyond the umbrella of “The Initiative,” Earth’s mightiest heroes soldier on to unravel the shadowy threats that menace the Marvel Universe! For regular recaps of post-Initiative New Avengers, Mighty Avengers and New Avengers: The Illuminati, swing by with each new issue for insight into the costumed conspiracies and superpowered slugfests that break out every time the Avengers assemble! )
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
PREVIOUSLY IN THE ‘AVENGERS’ TITLES:
• It was a period of Civil War. Though seemingly brought together by fate out of the ashes of the disassembled Avengers team to stop a supervillain breakout at the supermaximum security prison the Raft, the group of heroes known as the New Avengers—Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett), Luke Cage, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), the Sentry (Robert Reynolds) and sometimes Ronin (Maya Lopez, aka Echo)—were torn between Iron Man’s drive to register all superhumans and Captain America’s determination to resist.
• When the dust settled, Captain America was dead and Iron Man triumphant, installed as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. As a result, two separate teams claim the Avengers mantle.
• Duly authorized under the Superhuman Registration Act, the Mighty Avengers consist of Iron Man, the Sentry, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), the Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Wonder Man (Simon Reynolds) and god of war Ares.
• On the run from the government—including the Mighty Avengers—the New Avengers comprise Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spider-Woman, Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme), Iron Fist (Danny Rand) and the new Ronin (Clint Barton, formerly known as Hawkeye). They’re supported by Strange’s servant Wong and Cage’s wife Jessica Jones (the one-time hero Jewel and mother of Cage’s child).
• As part of the “Initiative” event, the Mighty Avengers are embroiled in a tense struggle against a new Ultron, who seized control of Tony Stark’s biomechanically enhanced body, transforming it into a female form not unlike the Wasp’s and deploying near-unstoppable new powers against the team—most recently killing the Sentry’s wife Lindy.
• Meanwhile, the New Avengers’ battle to rescue their teammate Echo from the clutches of the powerful ninja cult called the Hand ended abruptly when Echo stabbed the Hand’s leader Elektra to death—revealing that she’s not Greco-American Elektra Natchios at all, but a Skrull impostor. The fact that a member of this shape-shifting alien race—whose long and hostile history with Earth’s heroes was recently illustrated in New Avengers: Illuminati—could assume control of the deadliest group of assassins known to man left the team wondering: Who else might be a Skrull? And who can they trust?
• Not Spider-Woman, apparently: Whether because she’s secretly a Skrull or just thinks taking Skrullektra’s body to Tony Stark for analysis is the right thing to do despite the objections of her teammates, Jessica Drew takes advantage of the crash of the New Avengers’ jet to zap Wolverine and make off with Skrullektra’s corpse.
• Tempers rise and paranoia spreads like a disease, causing the New Avengers to almost disassemble! As the team takes a much-needed break from one another, Wolverine comes face-to-gun-barrel with the criminal underground’s newest head honcho—the Hood!
• Finally, New Avengers: Illuminati has been depicting untold tales of a clandestine group of heroes known as the Illuminati: Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Professor X (Charles Xavier), Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards), Black Bolt (Blackagar Boltagon, king of the Inhumans) and Namor the Sub-Mariner (ruler of Atlantis). Brought together in secret by Stark in the wake of the Kree-Skrull War to quietly protect humanity from major threats, the group played a major behind-the-scenes role in the Marvel Universe before splitting up prior to the Civil War. Among other tasks, they’ve chased off a Skrull fleet, gathered the Infinity Gems, attempted to banish the Beyonder from this universe, convinced Marvel Boy to rethink his life, and exiled the Hulk from the Earth.
• Capitalizing on the disarray facing Marvel’s heroes following the Civil War and the Initiative, the new Kingpin-in-training—the Hood—gets organized and rounds up virtually every villain who broke out of the Raft back in New Avengers #1. Promising his newfound allies more money than they can imagine, the Hood pledges to hit heroes where it hurts—particularly their families—if any cape comes near his new operation. To prove his dedication to his new world order, the Hood physically and psychologically takes out Tigra and sets his sights to earn big while the heroes are occupied with a symbiote infestation.
MIGHTY AVENGERS #5
Brian Michael Bendis (W)/Frank Cho (A)
• While the Mighty Avengers continue their metallic melee with the horde of Iron Man armors unleashed upon them by Ultron, Ares leaves the battle assured he’s got the solution to defeat the mad robot.
• Meanwhile, distraught over his wife’s death, Sentry weeps as Ultron goads him into a fury.
• As Ultron and Sentry trade thunderous blows, Ares meets with Hank Pym at the depowered S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier to reveal his plan and demand Hank Pym shrink him down to subatomic size to implant a virus in Ultron.
• Already ahead of Ares with the virus plan, Pym utilizes outdated technology to get the helicarrier’s systems back online right before learning Ultron has been distracting the heroes with violence while its real goal was to commandeer and launch U.S. nuclear missiles.
• Angered by the ordeal, Maria Hill assumes control in lieu of Tony Stark’s apparent demise, and decides to proceed with Ares’ plan.
• Amid the battle with Sentry, Ultron manages to override the password of a missile before launching it off the coast of Florida.
• Contacted by Black Widow, Ms. Marvel intercepts the missile and directs its flight upward into the atmosphere.
• Back at battle, Ant-Man and Wonder Man distract Ultron while the Starktech 940 drone secretly launches a shrunken Ares into the mouth of Ultron.
ULTRON GETS OWNED
After facing the corpse of his beloved wife Lindy, the man with “the power of 1 million exploding suns” is as pissed as 1 million Wolverines at last call. Obviously Sentry leads with his right, as the Golden Avenger unabashedly punches through an Iron Man drone to rearrange the face of his wife’s murderer, Ultron. Between the iron innards and ghastly grimace of Ultron, we’ve got an f-word for this panel, and it ain’t “Fakoom.”
ARES: GOD OF AWESOME
Even though he may be seen as the “dumb jock” of the team, Ares earns his keep by coming up with the possible virus solution to end the rampage of Ultron. Add to that his stabbing an Iron Man drone in the brainpan and riding it like a modern-day Pegasus to S.H.I.E.L.D’s helicarrier, and Ares enters the upper echelon of awesomeness. To his credit, he is the god of war, making him a millennia-old master strategist and tactician, so don’t think this was a lucky break. We’re pretty sure if Kratos went up against this guy, he’d still be cowering in bed back in Sparta.
THE ALMOST REDEEMED ANT-MAN
You may have been caught with you pants down and necking with Tigra a few issues ago, Hank Pym, but you sure got your ass in gear this issue. Pym’s not only a few steps ahead of the god of war in terms of strategy, but he also gets the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier back online with a Commodore 64! Feelin’ bold, Hank dons his Ant-Man duds to face Ultron, antennae-to-optics. Now if you can save the world from the psychopathic AI you originally invented, you may be having your best week ever!
Like Dennis Quaid before him, Ares gets in touch with the insides of another life form. After getting the green light from S.H.I.E.L.D. to shrink himself down to bite-size and deliver a virus to Ultron, Ares rides an awesome chopper straight down Ultron’s throat to deliver the payload. After all is said and done, you can imagine Ares bragging in the barroom to Hercules about the time he went down the hot, naked robot’s throat. Verily.