Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Avengers #3 [2010] by Brian Michael Bendis & John Romita Jr.

The original Avengers series ended at #502 after the Avengers Disassembled storyline. The series is now back after the Dark Reign saga. Steve Rogers steps down as Captain America and steps up as the world’s top cop after Norman Osborn. Maria Hill is now running this team of Avengers with the combined might of the new Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man.

Steve Rogers assembles the Avengers just as Kang comes for a visit warning them that reality is coming to an end due to their children. Living in a world ruined and rebuilt by Ultron – the Avengers children had to survive by any means necessary and they did by destroying Ultron and taking over his empire. Now wielding a power that they do not understand or control they are on a collision course to destroying the universe. It is up to the Avengers to go into the future and stop them.

First they need a time machine and they recruit Marvel Boy. Both Tony Stark and Marvel Boy construct their time machine that shows them possible futures of the Marvel Universe. These futures include Avengers Next, Days of Future Past, 2099, Age of Apocalypse, Earth X, and the one where they are heading towards.

The communication is interrupted by the Future Imperfect Hulk, Maestro. Now the Avengers believe that the space time continuum is broken and could have ramifications for the Marvel Universe. Then Wonder Man attacks destroying the time machine they built and disappears stating that he warned Steve Rogers not to reunite the Avengers. Realizing that they do not have that much time left Tony Stark asks Marvel Boy to construct another time machine quickly. However before anything can be done the X-Men villain Apocalypse arrives with his four horsemen: Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death.

The Avengers battle the four horsemen of Apocalypse who have a strong resemblance to various Avengers characters: Scarlet Witch, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and the Red Hulk. During the San Diego Comic-Con, Brian Michael Bendis announced that the Red Hulk joins the Avengers “as the character most need of redemption” at the start of the second story arc.

Apocalypse and the four horsemen disappear as quickly as they arrived. Maria Hill divides the Avengers into two groups as one heads to fix the timestream while the other deals with the crisis in NYC as Killraven and Devil Dinosaur suddenly appear.

Bendis knows about characters as he demonstrated with his creator-owned character Scarlett with Alex Maleev. He also explains that Spider-Man is an Avenger because “he is the heart of the Marvel Universe….Captain America is the soul. They say you’ve taken all this @#$Q and you never back down. You always keep fighting, you never buckle, you never break down.”

The cover of this issue is extremely misleading because Kang, Maestro, nor Spider-girl appears within this issue. Besides that complaint Bendis writes the most unpredictable story arc and keeps me interested for the next issue.